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I Belong

Review: The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

Title: The Dead Girls Detective Agency

Author: Suzy Cox

Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery

Series: The Dead Girls Detective Agency (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 13, 2012

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062020641 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062020642 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kayla


Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death?

Maybe if I hadn’t slept through my alarm, slammed into Kristin—my high school’s reigning mean girl—or stepped in a puddle, destroying my mom’s new suede DVF boots (which I borrowed without asking), I wouldn’t have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I wouldn’t have been pushed in front of that arriving train. But I did, and I was.

When I came to, I was informed by a group of girls that I’m dead. And that because I died under mysterious circumstances, I can’t pass straight over to the Other Side. But at least I’m not alone. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency: Nancy, Lorna, and Tess—not to mention Edison, the really cute if slightly hostile dead boy. Apparently, the only way out of this limbo is to figure out who killed me, or I’ll have to spend eternity playing Nancy Drew. Considering I was fairly invisible in life, who could hate me enough to want me dead? And what if my murderer is someone I never would have suspected?

Quick & Dirty: A dramatic mystery with an unusual plot.

Opening Sentence: Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death?

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

In this humorous chick lit, Charlotte is an ordinary girl with an ordinary boyfriend. Except when she wakes up dead in a hotel surrounded by two girls who claim to be dead as well. More than a little freaked out and overwhelmed, Charlotte goes through her first couple days in a daze, not quite believing what she hears but following orders anyway. Then, finally, something snaps, and Charlotte remembers the shove on her back as she stood waiting for the T train. Now she’s on the hunt for her murderer–and they might be closer than she thinks.

This book=brain cell killer. This is pure girly fluff that has no meaning behind it. The plot was dull. The characters were stereotypical. The writing… The writing was actually all right. It was witty and smooth. But unfortunately everything else overwhelmed the good writing.

Mysteries used to be my favorite genre (this was before dystopians became popular). This book is a classic mystery, but it falls short of the “good” standard. Charlotte herself is an okay character. But her interactions with the other characters (except Edison) were boring. She did nothing unexpected or unique. Now her relationship with Edison (love interest and bad boy extraordinaire) is well developed.

There’s this line that is so cliche that it annoys me when any author uses it. “But she/he’s different.” Usually I think this is a lazy excuse to make the characters like each other. But in this book, we actually see Edison’s surprised reactions to things Charlotte says or does (that are very witty whenever she’s around him.) Their relationship development is apparent, not hidden or sudden to the audience. It makes the book a little more bearable with a nice romance.

Now. Everything else. The Nancy Drew and co. were cute, but there was no depth to them. Nancy is the nerd of the group. I kept getting her personality confused with Lorna, who is the “preppy girl” in the beginning of the book. It isn’t until the middlish-going-on-end of the book that their personalities became clear and connected with their actions. But when I could distinguish their personalities apart, they became stereotypical. The only parts that didn’t correlate with their personalities was how they died. One died by accident when her house got burnt down by a hit squad who were targeting her parents. Interesting, right? But that is only mentioned once in the book. The only unique thing to this person and it’s only mentioned once. This annoyed me, but more details could be uncovered in the next installment.

Tess was also a stereotypical character. Miss Prissy and her glare of doom was simple and easily figured out. She was probably the most (besides Edison) complex character in the book. She has motives and rules to dictate her actions. But those reactions were predictable once you figured out her personality.

This book was not a pleasant read. I found it boring and very predictable. Hopefully the next book will have a better plot and the characters will become more complex.

Notable Scene:

He was on his feet now, clapping his hands on his jeans, putting back up the barricade, looking annoyed again. “I’ve got better things to do than sit around riverbanks with newbies, you know?”

“Oh, I’m well aware of that,” I said. “But I thought you were going to teach me about the dark arts of ghosting, instead of
standing around talking like a sorority girl all night.”

He started at me. For far longer than I can honestly say I was comfortable with.

“Drop dead, Ghostgirl.”

“Edison, as you know only too well, I already did.” I held his gaze. This time he was the first to look away.

The Dead Girls Detective Agency Series:

1. The Dead Girls Detectice Agency

FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of The Dead Girls Detective Agency. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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