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Publisher's Summary

Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks it’s the wrong guy. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and Riverdale can’t miss this who-done-it that’s sure to be the next must-listen Young Adult thriller!

Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She's not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex-best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .

Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.

In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they're about to walk into.  

©2022 Kathleen Glasgow (P)2022 Listening Library

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SPOILERS BELOW

2.5 STARS

SPOILERS BELOW

Poor little rich girl Alice teams up with Iris from the wrong side of the tracks to solve the mystery of Alice’s former BFF’s murder and clear their ex boyfriend Steve’s name. BTW, he’s the reason the girls became former friends.

I was excited to see YA phenom writer Kathleen Glasgow team up with newcomer Liz Lawson for THE AGATHAS, which on paper seemed like the perfect teen mystery. Though the writing is at times clever and punchy, THE AGATHA’s lacked heart and the connection to the narrators in Glasgow’s and Lawson’s previous books. Both Iris and Alice were tropes of characters found in multiple books and tv shows as were many of the minor characters. The “secrets” each held were blatantly obvious to anyone familiar with YA storytelling (or life). Additionally, the domestic violence in Iris’s life seemed to skirt around the issue and minimize the reality of the issue.

THE AGATHAS is geared more towards upper MG and young YA readers, filled with teens smarter than every clueless adult and dialogue that felt more like adults writing for tweens and teens than hoe adolescents actually speak. Have you ever heard a real-life teenager say amazeballs?

If the writers had made me care more about the victim, the falsely accused or the teen sleuths’ suspect, I would have been more invested in THE AGATHAS. I did root for Iris and Alice, the best part of the story and maybe that was the point.

I guessed the perp, the hapless guidance counselor, early on despite how hard the writers tried to push her lover, the victim’s adoptive father as the killer. That never made any sense to me. Brooke’s grandmother was a billionaire. Five million dollars is a drop in the bucket to billionaire. She’d have gladly parted with the money to lose her SIL, less than a percentage of her net worth. I could list other aspects that didn’t pass the smell test, but younger teens won’t care.

The narrators average with a few mispronunciations and a number of pauses for page turns where the words didn’t flow smoothly.

Tweens and younger teen girls will probably enjoy THE AGATHAS more than older teens and boys.