The Murder Game

Sourcebooks/Fire. Apr. 2021. 384p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728222295.
Gr 9 Up–Luke Chase and his best friend Oscar just wanted a night of teenage rebellion at their quiet, private boarding school. The plan was simple: sneak out of their dorm, meet their friends Kelsey and Pippa, and have a fun evening. When they hear adults near their hangout spot, the four teens think they’re caught. Instead, they hear a murder. The victim, Mrs. Heckler, is the flirtatious wife of one of the deans, and when rumors fly that she was having an affair with a student, Oscar becomes the prime suspect. Luke knows Oscar is innocent, so he starts his own investigation to clear his friend’s name. Doyle uses her past work writing cozy mysteries to create an intriguing whodunit with enough red herrings and plot twists to keep readers guessing until the big reveal. The teen characters are richly developed and complex, with interesting and suspicious motives. However, the adult characters are more stereotypical and some readers may find the interactions between the teens and adults implausible. In particular, the teachers are too informal and open with their students. While the resolution is tidy, the pacing is a bit rushed near the climax, and readers may be left wanting more. Readers who enjoyed Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying, Dana Mele’s People Like Us, and Chelsea Pitcher’s This Lie Will Kill You will find this a satisfying read. Most main characters’ races aren’t stated, and there is some diversity in the supporting cast.
VERDICT A character-driven murder mystery that will leave readers guessing until the big reveal.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing