cover image Trust Me, I’m Lying

Trust Me, I’m Lying

Mary Elizabeth Summer. Delacorte, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-74406-5

Debut author Summer’s series kickoff accompanies its shrewd protagonist on a myriad of escapades as one of the best “fixers” in Chicago. At first, 15-year-old Julep Dupree is content to run small-time cons for a fee and a favor—finagling a geek’s date to a dance with a popular girl or fabricating fake IDs for St. Agatha’s Preparatory School’s precocious socialites. But when her apartment is ransacked and her father (also a hustler) goes missing, Julep must figure out who is responsible, even if it means getting suspended from school, risking foster care, evading the FBI, and hunting down a Ukrainian mob kingpin. Julep’s investigations and quick escapes keep the high-stakes story entertaining and readers guessing, yet her inability to read some characters’ all-too-obvious motives is surprising given her wealth of talents as a grifter. Scenes involving a gun battle, a stabbing, an explosion, and a surprising death make for action-packed albeit gruesome reading, and enticing clues dropped at the end of the novel pave the way for Julep’s next tussle. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (Oct.)