Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mason, Simon. Running Girl.

Mason, Simon.  Running Girl.  Scholastic Press  2016  420p  $18.99      ISBN 978-1-338-03642-8    Hardback  ms/hs  Mystery  VG-BN

What a fun mystery!  The protagonist, one Garvie Smith, has everything to attract readers to share in his adventures. Brilliant, daringly suave but surly and secretive, engaging, quirky and surprising: all these traits combine to give Garvie his over-the-top detective skills. The story begins with a missing girl, Chloe Dow. Garvie once dated her, but his role in her death is not brought into the plot until well into the rising action. Equally important to the plot is Singh, a young, dedicated, newly appointed detective who must figure out who killed Chloe. After Chloe’s body is found, he finds himself one step behind Garvie throughout the entire book. Is it pride that keeps him from collaborating with Garvie, or is it Garvie’s young age of sixteen? Whatever the reason, Garvie works his way through several leads that include a school janitor and a downtown casino where he has found some suspicious behavior, both linked to Chloe’s desire to “grow up too fast”. Even in her death, she comes alive for the reader.  Who doesn’t know girls like her, girls who use their looks and attitudes to further their goal of making it big? Her provocative and daring behavior have seemingly led her to her death. Or, is there something else that the reader does not know that has led to her demise?  Whether or not one figures out the mystery, the reader will be glad that Mason’s books are now available in the U. S. This may be Garvie’s first case, but it won’t be his last!
This book is a wonderful choice for future sleuths, or for anyone who likes mysteries. Good for the U.S. that Simon Mason’s Garvie found his way across the ocean … both middle and high-school readers will enjoy this, and hope for more, soon!  

Summary: Sixteen-year old genius Garvie Smith can’t help himself. He uses his unusual deductive skills to try to figure out crimes. In this case, he knows the victim, is driven to find her killer and jumps recklessly into the mystery of who killed Chloe.     

Murder-Fiction, Detective stories                           —Martha Squaresky

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