September's genre for book club was school stories. I actually had a hard time finding a book: I didn't want to read about teenager romance or vampires or wizards (already read those). But yay for goodreads - I found a gooder!
September 2015: Set in a School
The Big Splash
By Jack D. Ferraiolo
Vinny Biggs and his syndicate has control of Franklin Middle School. You know, the usual stuff, forged hall passes, contraband candy. If you cross him, or he doesn't like you, then you get put in "the outs" - a group of outcast kids who once had water guns sprayed on them so it looks like they peed themselves. You try coming back to the cafeteria after the entire school has laughed at you. Vinny needs a favour from Matt - the local school detective, but that favour turns into another job after one of Vinny's top guns gets soaked. Who sprayed Nikki? Matt is on the case, with the help of the local newspaper editor and friends to solve the mystery.
This book was great - so film noir I could hear the characters talking like on set of a noir film! There was a touch of romance, but more about junior high friendships, all narrated perfectly by our detective. Sure it was written for kids (man I bet junior high boys would love it), but I think the author did such a great job with the film noir tone that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd highly recommend this to any mystery fans who are in, or want to go back to those junior high days!
There's a sequel too (The Quick Fix) that I fully intended on reading, but the premise sounded similar and let's be honest, I'm not 13. It was a fun trip to film noir for preteens though! (Although I wonder if Matt found his dad, who disappeared mysteriously? And what's up with his mom's mean boss...)