cover image Trouble Is a Friend of Mine

Trouble Is a Friend of Mine

Stephanie Tromly. Penguin/Dawson, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-5254-2840-4

In what reads like a combination of Veronica Mars and The Breakfast Club, debut author Tromly creates a screwball mystery with powerful crossover appeal. Sixteen-year-old Zoe Webster, a newly minted child of divorce from Brooklyn, is biding her time with her mother in the suburbs of upstate New York until she can move back to the city and attend boarding school. When she meets Digby, a loner who “treats you like a book he’s already read,” she agrees to help him discover what happened to a missing classmate, Marina Miller, as well as Digby’s sister, who was abducted eight years ago. Joined by high school quarterback Henry, preppy cheerleader Sloane, and science genius Felix, Zoe and Digby uncover a gynecological drug ring, stop a shady pseudo-religious cult, and even make time for homecoming photos. Tromly enlivens scenes with breakneck pop-culture-dosed dialogue (“Don’t be a Squidward”) and slapstick comedy. After risking her life, Zoe finally figures out what she wants from her parents and from Digby, but Tromly leaves enough loose ends to suggest a possible sequel—a very welcome prospect. Ages 12–up. Agent: David Dunton, Harvey Klinger. (Aug.)