By Beth Fantaskey
Available now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR
The tone of BUZZ KILL reminded me of NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU. It is both chipper and dark. Millie Ostermeyer, the heroine, is a school reporter who gets nosy after Coach Killdare is murdered. In many books, there's a murder of a nice person that then reveals their dark secrets. In BUZZ KILL, Coach Killdare was hated, but his death reveals some good things about him.
BUZZ KILL is hard to put down, almost every chapter ending at a place designed to keep you reading. The mystery keeps things moving, as does Millie herself. She's still struggling with her mom's death, in addition to her attraction to Chase, the cute quarterback she spotted going into Coach Killdare's home after his death. Before Millie had the mystery to capture her attention, she spent a lot of time at the public library. She's not up to speed on getting a boyfriend.
I'd be happy if BUZZ KILL got a sequel (or two). It's very much in the vein of Nancy Drew mysteries, with a plucky girl detective, a fairly chaste romance, and clues popping up like daisies. Things really move into gear once more bodies turn up, but the beginning of the book certainly isn't slow.
It's also similar to Nancy Drew in that the girl detective herself is as much or more an attraction than the actual mystery. Millie has an appealing voice, both extremely stubborn and vulnerable. Some of the secrets she uncovers during her investigation hit her in soft spots, but she keeps going because there is a story out there and because Coach Killdare deserves for someone to fight for him. That's a heroine who'd I'd read about again.