Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New YA Mysteries: She is Not Invisible,The Body in the Woods and Blur

Summer vacation is just around the corner and it's time to recommend some fun summer reads.  This month I will focus on new young adult mysteries.  First, Marcus Segwick, who won the Michael Printz award for Midwinter Blood, has a new mystery out entitled She is Not Invisible.  April Henry's new Point Last Seen mystery series introduces teens who work for a search and rescue team in Oregon in The Body in the Woods. Steven James' new trilogy of young adult thrillers begins with Blur, about a teen sleuth who has crime related visions.

In a departure from his usual historical fiction and fantasy writing, Marcus Sedgwick proves himself very versatile with his latest thriller She is Not Invisible, that explores the secrets of the universe. Laureth's father, novelist Jack Peak, is investigating Jung's theory of synchronity (coincidence) when he disappears. His notebook shows up in New York City, so Laureth, who is blind, enlists the help of  her 7-year-old brother to travel without their mother's knowledge from London to NYC to find Dad.  As they search the notebook for clues to his whereabouts, they become familiar with Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Pauli, Edgar Allen Poe and other scientists' theories about coincidence. But will these findings lead them to their father?

The Point Last Seen mystery series begins with The Body in the Woods, which will be available for purchase in June.  The series was hatched when the author met a teen, who volunteers for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, and attended several trainings with her. The first book introduces Alex, Nick and Ruby, who have just joined the Portland County sheriff's Search and Rescue team.  When they are sent out to the woods to look for a lost autistic man, they find a dead body instead.  Although the three teens have very different backgrounds, they find themselves becoming friends, as they team up to find the girl's murderer.  The three quirky characters are almost as interesting as the mystery itself.  The next book in the series will find Nick a suspect in his neighbor's murder.

Steven James, who is best know for a series of adult psychological thrillers called the Bowers Files, has just penned Blur, the first book in a new YA thriller trilogy. When a classmate's corpse is found in Lake Algonquin, Daniel Byers, whose father is the town sheriff, believes her death was accidental.  The she begins appearing to him, imploring him to find her killer.  Calling these visions "blurs," Daniel wonders why she picked him to contact in her afterlife.  As he begins to look into her death, he continues to have hallucinations that blur his connection with reality.  With the help of his best friend Kyle and a new love interest, Daniel attempts to solve the mystery in the hopes of regaining his waning sanity.  The "blurred reality" sequences, as well as twists and turns in the plot, make this a creepy, but fun, read.