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Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
by Kelly Brady Channick
I received this book free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing (February 1, 2020)
Paperback: 260 pages
Asbury, although a haven to shoobies (tourists) in the summer, is a divided coastal town. With the rich half living in the East, and the rest living in the West, most friendships stay within their boundaries. Luckily for a spunky-smart tomboy, a clever billionaire athlete, a gossipy-in-the-know cheerleader, and a wrong side of the tracks technological genius, boundaries are a foreign concept. In fact, Maddie, Cornelious, Carly and Pilot have been Asbury’s strongest quartet for years, despite their vast differences.
Nevertheless, after a few weeks of starting high school, the foursome’s friendship is tested.
After a string of burglaries in East Asbury, the gang decides to solve the crime as a reason to make time for each other. The further they investigate, the more they find themselves constantly side-stepping tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum-like policemen, outsmarting local bully JB and his gang of misfits, and dealing with Cornelious’ billionaire father and Governor—who has disapproved of his son’s choice of friends for years. In addition to these obstacles, the foursome must also adapt to their evolving friendship with each other and their peers.
With upperclassmen, teachers, and teammates vying for their attention, the gang must work even harder to root out the red-herrings from the true thief. Aided by Carly’s gossip, Maddie’s boldness, Cornelious’ quick-wit, and Pilot’s knack for technology, the gang soon discovers its edge over the local police department.
Asbury High and The Thief’s Gamble is a little bit “Scooby Doo”/”Nancy Drew” with a little bit of “Riverdale” thrown in. The main characters in the book have been friends for years even though two of them are from the East side of town and two are from the West side. The East-siders are the ones with money, but that hasn’t stopped these friends from sticking together. As we know, high school comes with challenges. The gang are involved in sports and activities plus they’ve got their homework. They still find time to hang out though.
When the East-siders’ homes begin being robbed, the West-siders come under suspicion. This doesn’t sit well with the gang since they know trouble comes from both sides of town. Investigating the string of robberies comes with its challenges, but thanks to Pilot, the tech genius, the gang can get some inside information.
The author has called this a young adult cozy mystery, and for the most part, I agree. It has some swearing, but it seems like cozy mysteries these days do have more swearing than in the past. There is also underage drinking and sexual innuendo, so be aware of this if you’re getting this for your young reader. It has the feel of a cozy mystery due to the close knit group of friends and non-gruesome mystery. In addition, the main characters are the real sleuths much to the consternation of the local police, and that’s usually the case in cozy mystery books.
I thought that the interaction among the gang was fun and realistic…typical of high school friends. I liked getting to know members of Maddie’s close-knit family and appreciate the fact that they are supportive of one another. All the family members are expected to pitch in without question. I felt sorry for Cornelius since his dad thinks success, money, and knowing the right people are what life is about.
Asbury High and The Thief’s Gamble is the first book in this series. Who knows what mystery the gang’s sophomore year will hold?
Guest post from the author
Thanks, Kelly, for this fun post! My daughter is working on editing her book, so I’m sure she can relate!
10 COMMANDMENTS OF AN AUTHOR’S CAREER
1) Thou shall write every single day— even if its only a few lines, or simple editing.
2) When you finish your first draft, let it sit for a few weeks. This way you’ll look back with fresh eyes. Use this time to get fresh air and relax…if you can.
3) Reread and rewrite until you’re satisfied.
4) Realize you’re not satisfied and jot down a few more ideas, and character conversations that you need to add.
5) Reread and add more details to settings and things you can see perfectly in your mind’s eye, but the reader isn’t telepathic so can’t.
6) Stop for a much-needed cookies and milk break. I find the classic, sweet and refreshing snack cheers up and clears up my mind. It’s at this point that it’s fun to laugh at those who think writing a book is easy or not a good career choice or tell you to give up, mostly because they’re jealous or insecure (Luckily, the people in my life are just supportive so I don’t really deal with these types).
7) Do the random page test. Flip to a random page and see if you can pick up any errors that way. Do this a few times.
8) Send the manuscript to an editor, and find yourself questioning whether or not you should have sent it already. Pace around and drive your spouse crazy this way.
9) Get comments and edits back, and breathe when you see that you were overreacting. Fix any lingering errors.
10) Publish novel, take a deep breath, and begin all over again with new book idea.
About Kelly Brady Channick
For as long as she could remember, Kelly Brady Channick loved making up stories and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.
Perhaps that’s why she always managed to talk herself out of trouble…
After graduating from NJ’s own Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. As a lifelong athlete, Kelly understands the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, something she hopes translates into her books.
Before writing page-turners, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show.
Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boy, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat.
Purchase Link – Amazon
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