cover image Useless Bay

Useless Bay

M.J. Beaufrand. Amulet, $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2138-0

In this stellar mystery from Beaufrand (The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters), 17-year-old quintuplets investigate a death on Whidbey Island in Washington State. Marilyn Monroe “Pixie” Gray has a reputation for finding things (including missing people) with the help of her bloodhound, Patience, and her rough-and-tumble brothers, Dean, Lawford, Sammy, and Frank, all named after members of the Rat Pack. When 10-year-old Grant, the younger brother of Pixie’s friend Henry Shepherd, disappears, Grant’s millionaire father is frantic; Pixie’s discovery of a body kicks off a dangerous series of events with consequences for both families. The narrative alternates between the perspectives of Pixie and Henry, highlighting Pixie’s sly sense of humor, as well as her love for her family and their beloved island home; Henry, meanwhile, harbors a dark childhood secret that may come to the surface. Short in length but long on atmosphere, it’s a gripping mystery with a supernatural overlay that makes its setting all the more haunting. But it’s the irresistible Gray quints, subject to their own rumors and local mythos, who steal the show. Ages 13–up. Agent: Steven Chudney, Chudney Agency. (Oct.)