I enjoyed the character and how her ability to solve mysteries came as a surprise to her and everyone else. I think many young people have skills they don't recognize until the need for them arises, just like Lucy. And I know from my own students that many of them notice details that others overlook, so if they could put them together the way she does, they could also figure out things that others have missed. That makes Lucy a believable character, even if some of the situations she finds herself in are overly dramatic (brother falsely accused of murder, rich recluse who suddenly decides to hire an amateur sleuth to solve the mystery of his wife's death, etc.) The school-based events seem more real-life, but I realize that higher stakes such as suspicious deaths make a more gripping story. The similarity of teens in Lucy's hometown to teens elsewhere should make the story appealing for young adult readers from multiple areas. The puzzles she receives from a mysterious email sender are also a fun way for readers to try their skills against hers.
The supporting characters - her best friend (Susan), her family, the school's information broker (Patrick), and the local police - all play their parts in supporting, or hindering, Lucy's investigations. The fact that she can take something she saw, something she overheard, and put it together with other facts to come up with a different theory than everyone else makes her a possible peer for young sleuths such as Nancy Drew or Enola Holmes. This may be her first outing, but it won't be her last.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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