First in the Jess Tennant mysteries
By Jane Casey
Available now from St. Martin's Griffin
Jess moves, with her mother, back to her mother's childhood town. It's a real two-horse town, and Jess doesn't just stick out because she's new, but because she looks just like her cousin who died last summer. No one knows if Freya fell, jumped, or was pushed. But Jess becomes determined to find out.
HOW TO FALL is filled with suspicious characters. Freya's former best friends, former romantic rivals, and former suitors are all potential murderers. (If, that is, someone murdered her.) But even as Jess suspects everyone, she can't help being drawn to Will, the cute boy next door (who no one in town likes).
The mystery of Freya's death develops fairly predictably. (Although the actual resolution surprised me.) At the same time, Jane Casey seeds intrigue for future books. Jess's mother burned some bridges when she left, including leaving behind a former beau. A former, very creepy beau.
If you like mysteries set in secretly sinister small towns, give HOW TO FALL a try. It has some neat character work, making Freya feel developed even though she is dead the whole time. She's very distinct from Jess. Jess is a more realistic, tougher sort. She fights fire with fire.
HOW TO FALL isn't the most complicated mystery, but it's full of interesting characters and a few intriguing twists. The preview of the next book in the Jess Tennant mysteries has me eager to learn what happens next in Port Sentinel.