One Killer Problem

HarperTeen. Jun. 2024. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063324480.
Gr 9 Up–A queer high school murder mystery packed with raunchy laughs and tender moments. Italian American Gigi Ricci is not exactly excelling at school. Her hot temper and jiu-jitsu prowess land her in detention for starting fights and give her a formidable reputation. Her IBS has been acting up, and her love life is nonexistent (she’s harbored a years-long unrequited crush on her brother’s best friend). Things only get worse when Gigi and her friends, members of the Mystery and Thriller Literary Scholars club, stumble upon their math teacher dead in his classroom after school. It’s ruled an accident, but the facts don’t add up. The teens tackle the mystery themselves, even as they’re followed by ominous threats and violent near-misses. The mystery unfolds at a satisfying clip, though some of the codes and clues are too convenient and are solved with no trouble from the sleuths. Poop and penis jokes abound; Gigi’s sense of humor will be refreshing and relatable to many teens. The cast of characters is some racial diverse with lots of facets of LGBTQIA+ representation. Gigi is bisexual, her mom is queer and uses they/them pronouns, her brother is gay, and two close friends are lesbians, one of whom identifies as asexual and aromantic.
VERDICT A funny, inclusive, and queer whodunit that teens will be dying to read. Recommended for school and public libraries.

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