Author: Suzy Cox
Series: The Dead Girl Detective Agency #1
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 8, 2012
Source: Publisher for Review
Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death?
Maybe if I hadn't slept through my alarm, slammed into Kristin (my high school's reigning mean girl) or stepped in a puddle, destroying my mom's new suede DVF boots (which I borrowed without asking), I wouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I wouldn't have been pushed in front of that arriving train. But I did, and I was.
When I came to, I was informed by a group of girls that I'm dead. And that because I died under mysterious circumstances, I can't pass straight over to the Other Side. But at least I'm not alone. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency: Nancy, Lorna, and Tess--not to mention Edison, the really cute if slightly hostile dead boy. Apparently, the only way out of this limbo is to figure out who killed me, or I'll have to spend eternity playing Nancy Drew. Considering I was fairly invisible in life, who could hate me enough to want me dead? And what if my murderer is someone I never would have suspected?
I knew I had to read The Dead Girls Detective Agency as soon as I saw the cute, but slightly creepy (look at the hands) cover and read the blurb. Teen ghost girls solving a murders? Yes, please. I was expecting some fun and clever shenanigans. Did it deliver? Not so much. It actually took me almost a month to finish it because I fell asleep every time I read it. I’m not even joking. At the same time though, I did like it a little. Just a little.
Charlotte is sixteen and dead. Someone pushed her in front of the subway, but everyone assumed her clumsy ways caused her to trip to her demises. When teens are murdered they check-in at the Attesa Hotel where they have to solve their murder in order to obtain their Key to the great beyond. This is where Charlotte ends up. She joins four other ghosts who haven’t received their Keys for one reason or another, and they all start working to try and figure out who killed her. Sounds pretty good, right? Unfortunately, no. I did so many eye rolls while reading this book… well, when I wasn’t falling asleep, that is. There were too many times that I had to question the point of what was going on, it was like Cox just needed to add fillers in the story to make it longer. They reminded me more of a bunch of ten-year-olds playing detective, instead of 16 and 17-year-olds who had been solving murders for years.
The characters were kind of boring and had no real depth; I can’t say that I cared for any of them. I expected to like Charlotte, and should have wanted to root for her. Instead, I found myself wanting her to hurry and get her Key so she would hurry and leave. All of her attempts at witty humor got old fast. Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of humor – dark, cheesy, snarky, etc. But 80% of the humor in this book just fell flat for me. As for the other characters, they honestly aren’t worth mentioning.
So why did I say that I liked the book a little when it sure doesn’t sound like it? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the idea of what this book could’ve been that gives me a tiny soft spot for it. As of now, the book seems to be a standalone, but it could easily be turned into a series. To be honest, though, I don’t think that tiny soft spot is enough for me to want to read a sequel.
Overall, I just couldn’t get into The Dead Girls Detective Agency. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who love this book, but I’m not one of them.