|Now||2023||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Black Authors||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio||Artwork||WIP|
Drew LeClair Gets a Clue: 11/01/22
Drew LeClair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury and Devon Hales (Narrator) (2022) is the start of a new middle grade mystery series set in Oakland, California. Drew was named for Nancy Drew. She loves mysteries and loves profiling people. When a cyberbully starts targeting her school she has the distraction she needs to avoid thinking about her mother who has run off with the school's counselor.
Drew hero worships a local investigator and author, Lita Miyamoto. In her own investigation she references Miyamoto's, In the Shadow of a Killer in which she recounts how she tracked down the Junipero Valley Killer. More on that later.
The setting, a school, the crime, cyberbullying, and the protagonist, a school aged girl, makes this a middle grade book. The tropes, basic outline and pacing of events, even the family trouble, are all things common to the types of cozy mysteries I regularly read.
One fantastic bonus is the setting. It's set in Oakland — a recognizable Oakland. Drew and her father talk about local landmarks and events. She even mentions going to Redwood Regional — not something I've ever seen in a novel before. The local color brings this book to life.
But I listened to the audiobook. This now is the second audiobook this year with California places — meaning Spanish words and names. Like the narrator for Nacho Average Murder, Devon Hales butchers some basic Spanish pronunciations. Especially annoying was listening to her mangling of Junipero, as in the "Junipero Valley Murderer" a phrase that shows up in nearly every chapter. I am taking one star off my review for Hales's performance.
The second book in the series is Drew LeClair Crushes the Case and is scheduled for release on April 18, 2023.