cover image Buzz Kill

Buzz Kill

Beth Fantaskey. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-5473-9310-0

After 17-year-old Millie Ostermeyer discovers the body of none-too-popular football coach “Hollerin’ Hank” Killdare, the student reporter decides to investigate his murder. She has several motivations, including beating out her nemesis—cheerleader/newspaper editor Viv Fitch—and clearing the name of her own father, the team’s assistant coach and the number-one suspect. Millie is joined in her amateur sleuthing by handsome, enigmatic quarterback Chase Albright; while Millie is attracted to him (or at least to his amazing vocabulary), she discovers secrets about his past, too. Bright, underachieving Millie is an offbeat and frequently hilarious narrator; after a falling-out with her favorite librarian, a heartbroken Millie huffs, “From now on, I’ll be using the school library.” (Aside from cracking the case, Millie’s primary ambitions are to win a local steak-eating contest and “to backpack around the world after high school. Or maybe take a nice nap”). A quirky cast and Millie’s quasi-bumbling antics make Fantaskey’s (Jekel Loves Hyde) murder mystery a breezy and thoroughly entertaining read. It’s easy to get swept up in the buildup to the exciting final confrontation. Ages 12–up. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (May)