The Agathas

Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson. Delacorte, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-43111-5

Alice Ogilvie is one of the rich, popular kids who rule California’s Castle Cove High. After basketball star Steve Anderson dumps her for her best friend, Brooke Donovan, Alice vanishes without a trace for five days, hoping to garner sympathy and attention. Then Alice reappears unscathed, and everyone is furious; she endures months of house arrest as punishment, then returns to school a pariah, prompting her to crash the in-crowd’s Halloween bash. Her appearance causes Brooke to flee, en route passing Alice’s tutor, Iris Adams, who is out walking. But when Brooke misses school the next day, and most people think she just “pulled an Ogilvie,” Iris and Alice unite to find her—Alice out of guilt and a desire to use the detective skills she learned reading Agatha Christie, and Iris for the reward money offered by Brooke’s grandmother. Iris and Alice co-narrate, allowing Glasgow (You’d Be Home Now) and Lawson (The Lucky Ones) to fully develop both characters. Despite an outlandish denouement that undercuts the story’s impact, the mystery thrills and gratifies thanks to escalating stakes and devastating reveals. Subplots involving domestic abuse and parental neglect confer depth. Most characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agents: (for Glasgow) Julie Stevenson, Massie and McQuilkin Literary; (for Lawson) Andrea Morrison, Writers House. (May)