Sunday, August 28, 2016

Delicious Trouble

I was promised Sherlock meets Veronica Mars meets Ferris Bueller.

I was not in any way disappointed.

At this point it's been weeks since I read Trouble Is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromly, but I'm still going to gush, because it was just so much damned fun.  Maybe it was a little too clever, but if it was, then so are most of my favorite things and I don't care, I will love them anyway.

You start with Zoe Webster, new in town, coming off her parents' divorce with a chip on her shoulder.  When her path crosses with Digby, she finds him infuriating, but also the least boring thing about her new suburban town. He's equal parts insufferable and intriguing, and soon she's sucked in, straight up John Watson style.

Oh, fine, let's have another adventure then.
The book cover says he's attractive, but to be honest, that's not what's going on, and I love that.  Digby is weird (wears an ill-fitting suit) and his step-ahead style of interaction is really infuriating. Honestly, it's his friend Henry who's attractive, and even then only incidentally.  The fact that there's not a lot of romance here is huge to me, and the end doesn't ruin that.  (Also, in my head Henry is Asian instead of Greek; I'm sticking with that headcanon, thankyouverymuch.)

Anyway, Digby is looking for a local girl who's gone missing, following up on leads the police aren't, and investigating his own sister's disappearance a decade ago--an incident that destroyed his family.  With Zoe and Henry at his side, they investigate a shady doctor, a local drug ring, and a religious compound. He works half a dozen jobs, never shows up at school, and will eat your meal out from under you.

I appreciate that the obnoxious dude is acknowledged to be obnoxious, and that he's legitimately brilliant and kind of not normal.  I love that the adults are not stupid, and that they work with the kids when it's appropriate. I love Zoe's hard exterior and how it's weird, prickly Digby who softens her heart, like caring for a mangy stray puppy.

But none of this can capture the pure pleasure of the sass and wit and banter in this book. Veronica Mars is at its heart, because it's dark and everyone has secrets, but it has a warm marshmallow core.

You want to know how good it is?  I have preordered the sequel, which comes out this fall.  Paid money for it, so I don't have to wait.  THAT is how good this book was.  So there.

No comments: