cover image Casual Conversations About Love and Murder

Casual Conversations About Love and Murder

Chelsea Mueller. Chelsea Mueller, $14.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-73265-645-1

Mueller’s (Prom House) fast-paced murder mystery follows 17-year-old Emma as she unravels a string of inexplicable deaths in her small town. When Emma’s best friend Becca drowns in Camber’s Stone Lake, her passing is written off as another occurrence in a long line of the town’s supposedly accidental deaths. Heartbroken and reeling from a fight the pair had just before Becca was found dead, Emma becomes convinced she was murdered. But the local sheriff disregards her pleas to reopen the case, her grieving friends beg her to move on, and her bickering parents ignore her entirely. The only person who agrees to help Emma investigate on her own is unpopular classmate Cole, whose belief that something more sinister is afoot in Camber is exactly what Emma needs to crack the case. Emma’s unexpected, budding attraction for him complicates matters, however, especially when trying to balance a dangerous inquiry in which no one can be trusted, and as the death toll rises, the duo fears their own time may run out before they can unmask the killer. Mueller’s winding thriller features a take-charge heroine whose righteous anger, frustration, and determination are palpable. Most characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. (Self-published)