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Nine Liars

Stevie Bell has just started her senior year of high school, but it is not the exciting time she would prefer. Her boyfriend David is living across the Atlantic in London, she does not have a firm grasp of what she wants to do with her life, and she would do almost anything to experience the rush she gets from solving murders. One day, David does the unexpected and finds a way for Stevie and her friends to spend a week in London under the guise of a study abroad pursuit. Upon arrival, though, Stevie quickly becomes enmeshed in a murder mystery from 1995 that has yet to be solved. Clues come to light that begin to illuminate exactly what happened that fateful night, and it is up to Stevie and her friends to get to the bottom of things before it is too late.

This installment of the Stevie Bell series features many of the characters encountered in previous stories while introducing new ones, as well. Written much like a movie might unfold, a great deal of time is taken to establish the story's foundation as well as the profiles of each character involved. While this slows the pacing of the initial chapters, it gives readers ample information to begin piecing the mystery together on their own. The narrative shifts in time between 1995 and the present day to set the stage for Stevie's journey while establishing a solid starting point for the novel. Police reports are included later on to assist with crime solving, as well, and readers will find themselves piecing the clues together alongside Stevie and her friends.

Though she is only in high school, Stevie is a quintessential detective who is able to expertly piece together seemingly disparate information into a cohesive whole. At the same time, however, she is also a teenager who is trying to manage her unpredictable emotions and desires. While this complicates things in Stevie's world, it also makes her a more approachable character and one who will easily resonate with young adult readers. It is not necessary to have read the other books in this series before reading this one, although occasional references are made to previous installments that connect them to one another. Filled with rich British history, occasional strong language, and a palpable sense of friendship, this book is a quality addition to library collections for young adult readers.

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