Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kiss in the Dark Lauren Henderson

Kiss in the Dark by Lauren Henderson
This is the third book is the Scarlett Wakefield series. I am usually pretty good at knowing what books are coming out that I am looking forward to. Somehow I missed this one. I was very excited to see this one come into the store on Friday. Scarlett Wakefield was one of my favorite female protagonist of 2009. My expectations for Kiss in the Dark were high. I was not disappointed.

After being dubbed the kiss of death at her old school Scarlett transfers to Wakefield Hall. The school is run by Scarlett's grandmother and she will inherit it one day. Scarlett is looking for a fresh start Wakefield. Everything is going according to plan until, Scarlett's old enemy Plum enrolls. Forcing Scarlett to be on the lookout again for Plum's snide comments and cruel tricks.

Scarlett's spends most of her time with her boyfriend Jase or her best friend, Taylor. Scarlett and Jase are forced to hide their relationship since their families disapprove of it. Scarlett comes from money, Jase's dad is the Wakefield's groundskeeper. The adults in Scarlett and Jase's life are concerned about more than different financial brackets. Henderson does a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing and interested in what's behind the harsh feelings the adults have for this young relationship.

Besides being Scarlett's best friend Taylor is also her partner. Taylor wants to become a private investigator. So being friends with a girl who is good at coming across dead bodies is perfect. After discovering a body at Wakefield, Scarlett must uncover the truth to protect someone she loves.

In Scarlett Wakefield, Henderson has managed to create a very believable accidental teenage sleuth. Scarlett is smart and athletic ( being a former gymnist comes in handy). In many good mysteries the main character have their own secrets to uncover. Scarlett is beginning to wonder about her parents past. Whether a sleuth is 16 or 36, an author must decide if they work alone or have a partner. (either way works for me) Henderson decided to do the latter. Scarlett and Taylor's friendship and partnership are very believable. One of the many things Henderson is doing right with this series is not forgetting to give Taylor her own storyline.

When I reviewed Kisses and Lies I wondered if Taylor would have a relationship of her own in the third book. If so would Henderson give her a boyfriend or girlfriend. Taylor is still unattached. Plum is continuously calling Taylor names and referring to the two as a couple. Scarlett isn't bothered by Plum's remarks. Towards the end Scarlett does ask herself what if Taylor is gay? Taylor's storyline isn't limited to her what her sexual preference might be. She has a few secrets of her own.

Kiss in the Dark was really good. I read it in one sitting. This is one of the best transitional books in a series I've read. Transitional books bridge the gap between the stories packed with action. Usually, I like them well enough. Though at times it can feel as if an author treats them merely as a precursor to the next book, and they don't spend as much time developing the storyline. Henderson didn't fall into that trap.

Kisses and Lies made many references to the first book. I found it to be a little repetitive. I was worried this would be the case with Kiss in the Dark. I worried for nothing. Henderson does not over do the references. Those who have read the first two books will get a chance to remember a favorite scene or two. Those who haven't will wish they had.

The first two books are out in paperback. I highly recommend starting the Scarlett Wakefield series from the beginning For those already familiar with this series, you will be very happy with Kiss in the Dark. This would be a great suggestion for fans of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series.


Anonymous said...

I just recently read and enjoyed the first book. They're quick easy and refreshing with multicultural casts, athletic females, not to mention who expects teen girsl to solve murders? I'll have to make time to read the next two!

Anonymous said...

I've read them all and can't wait for the next one! Anyone know when it will come out?