Sleuth or Dare #1: Partners in Crime Paperback – May 1 2012
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Praise for Clarity
*"Clare is a teen detective for the 21st century." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The suspense begins on the first page." — School Library Journal
"Clare is an appealing character with whom readers easily can identify." — Kirkus Reviews
"Twists, suspense, and a touch of romance keeps you guessing." — Girls' Life Magazine
About the Author
KIM HARRINGTON is the author of several acclaimed YA novels. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. When not writing, she's most likely reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. She has no psychic powers and is cool with that. Visit her online at www.kimharringtonbooks.com.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: Purchased all three in the series, for our library.
With the Sleuth or Dare books, Kim Harrington creates a new girls detective series for modern readers. “Partners in Crime” is similar to a twenty-first-century Nancy Drew and is very relatable for middle-grade readers, particularly girls. This book is narrated in the first person by Norah, which enhances the relevance for readers. Given that Norah and Darcy are so different and yet best friends who stick together and help others their own age, there is also a strong message of loyalty and friendship. These two main characters complement each other very well, and they take a stand against bullying while dealing with typical situations, both in school and at home, that face contemporary middle-school students. Norah and Darcy prove that being intelligent and unique and not necessarily belonging to the popular, “in” crowd is ok and has rewarding benefits. The use of technology such as cell phones and the Internet, coupled with teenage lingo, ensures that the plot will be applicable to young readers. Also, several of the chapters have mildly frightening cliff-hanger endings, and the end of the story leads into book two, “Sleepover Stakeout.”
In the first book, Partners in Crime, Norah and Darcy form a pretend business for a class assignment. They are surprised when an anonymous someone seeks their detective help in finding a missing person. They decide to help but first they need to find out the identity of the person seeking their aide. Using Darcy's computer skills and Norah's inescapable logic, can they find the mysterious requester or the missing person?
In the second book, Norah and Darcy's friendship is tested when Norah starts spending time with Fiona, the most popular girl in school, and Maya, the quietest girl in school. But the friendship issues take a back seat when Maya comes to them with a problem, mysterious noises are coming out of a baby monitor while she's babysitting. Can they catch the culprit(s) and maintain their friendship?
In the third book, Norah and Darcy's friendship seems to be over, but is it? And what about Zane, Norah's crush, did he really burn down the field house or has he been framed as he claims? Can Darcy and Norah stop fighting long enough to find out?
This is a delightful new mystery series of special appeal to girls. Not only is the writing good but the stories are interesting and believable. They also involve the technological side of things involving computer hacking, smart phones, and baby monitors. Okay, so baby monitors aren't really high tech, but once you've read book two you might think otherwise. This is a great series to recommend to readers who've moved past Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys or who want a more modern type of mystery. I think this series will really speak to young readers, and I really enjoyed it myself
They set up a detective agency as a school project, one of those make-believe businesses that get assigned in different classes to make kids think. Norah wants something different, but not wildly so. However, before she knows it, she gets sucked into Darcy's fantasy world and they establish a detective agency (Partners in Crime), complete with an on-line web presence.
Shortly after their debut during class, they get their first email. A mysterious person wants the duo to find her missing twin sister.
As an adult reader, I love traipsing through kids' books. Given the fact that sales of kids' books are way up these days (showing more of an increase than adult books), I feel confident in the knowledge that I'm not the only dedicated reader who pines for the good old days of curling up with a crackerjack story peopled with fun characters.
Kim Harrington's first person narrative throughout the book is fun and breezy, never taking itself too seriously. There is plenty of crushing, nervousness, and near-social disasters to keep the younger crowd happy, but it doesn't get in the way of older readers either.
The mystery is plenty of fun, and Harrington keeps the reader on his toes because there are a lot of things going on in this book to keep the pot stirred. There are plenty of characters on stage in this one that I feel certain will be back again and again throughout the series. Looking to see more of them, and I'm curious about what Zane is really doing. That's one mystery that didn't get resolved in this book.
However, I was surprised at how adult the actual mystery turned out to be. I put it all together well before the final reveal, but I thought it was an ambitious plot with fairly placed clues.
As someone who grew up on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy, I'm always going to read mysteries about young sleuths. Norah and Darcy are an enchanting pair and I'm already looking forward to the next two volumes, both of which will be released in subsequent months over the summer.
This is definitely a book for that young detective in your household, and a great book to purchase for a school library.
This was a really fun little mystery. I really like Norah and Darcy. It was a fun age that Kim Harrington put them at. A little bit about crushes, but still young enough to have some good clean fun. Both girls were very passionate about their hobbies too which made this book awesome. I can't wait to see Norah's love for astronomy come in to play more. The mystery was a little bit obvious for me to figure out, but it might be a bit trickier for younger kids (not adults like me). The length and adventure in this novel makes me quick to recommend to reluctant readers; it should keep them interested throughout it's brief story. If you like fun characters and a quick mystery read, make sure you check out this first Sleuth or Dare book.
"The killer held his breath and huddled in the back of the darkened closet, hoping not to be found."
"You know you're going to pee on the hydrant. I know you're going to pee on the hydrant. You pee on that thing every day. Stop acting like you're trying to make a decision."