18 October 2012

Spies and PIs - A Book List (Part I)

I"m not talking about Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys.  Teen detectives (and other investigative types) have made the jump into the 21st Century. 

Following are a few of my favorites.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
I realize this list is somewhat female-centric; tomorrow's list will have  detective stories about teenaged boys.

The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter.

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is not your typical private school.  Students take classes in advanced martial arts, chemical warfare, and codebreaking.  Protagonist Cammie Morgan is a student there, and despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that her mother is the headmistress, she always manages to get in trouble.
The five-book series includes:  I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You; Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy; Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover; Only the Good Spy Young; Out of Sight, Out of Time.

Extras:  Check out the Gallagher Academy website, where you can apply for admission to become a Gallagher Girl.

Don't Turn Around (The Persefone series) by Michelle Gagnon. 

So far, only the first book has been published in this series about Noa, a sixteen-year-old orphan who is living "off the grid".  She's a computer expert, and is able to make enough to support herself and stay out of trouble. But one day, she wakes up in a warehouse with an IV sticking out of her arm and no memory of how she got there.
Luckily, she's able to escape, and eventually find an ally.  Peter Gregory, is a  rich kid who's the leader of an alliance of hackers.  Together they discover that the group who took Noa is more powerful and corrupt than they could have imagined.

Extras:  A free prequel novella called No Escape.

The Girl is Murder & The Girl is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines.

Since fifteen-year-old Iris Anderson's mother died and her father returned from Pearl Harbor missing a leg, her whole life has changed.  They have to move to the Lower East Side of New York City, and Iris has to leave her private girls' school for a public one.  Not only is she a fish out of water at PS 110, she doesn't know how to deal with her father, since he'd been overseas most of her life.
Knowing that it's difficult for him to do his job (he is a private detective) with his bad leg, she decides that she must convince him to let her help. 

Extras:  There's a fantastic glossary of period slang at the end of the first book, as well as an interview with the author.

The Hailey Tarbell series by Sophie Littlefield. 

Sixteen-year-old Hailey lives with her creepy grandmother in Gypsum, Missouri, also known as "Trashtown".  Her life is pretty bleak, except for her four-year-old foster brother, Chub.  She loves him more than anything, and plans to take him and leave as soon as she's eighteen.
Then a classmate is injured in gym class, and Hailey discovers that she's a healer.  This is not something she ever wanted, and though she tries to keep it quiet, word gets out, and suddenly armed strangers turn up at Gram's house in the middle of the night and try to kidnap her.
Who are they, and what do they want with her?

The two-book series includes Banished and  Unforsaken.

Extras:  Sophie Littlefield has a fantastic website, which includes interviews, tour info and more.

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