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Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

4 stars
book jacket

Reviewed by Camryn

I was immediately drawn into this book by the title and summary. Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey is a story about a girl who is "Nancy Drew-obsessed" trying to solve the murder of the school football coach, Coach Killdare. As a life long fan of Nancy Drew I was very excited.

The main character Millie Ostermeyer is a school reporter whose father is both the Mayor and assistant football coach at her high school. Her mother died from cancer several years before the book starts. She is determined to solve the murder to clear her father's name, and to irritate her nemesis, Viv.

Chase Albright is the mysterious love interest with an unknown past, a fact the reader is reminded of every page until it is revealed. He's a strong supporter of Millie, eventually, and honestly not an awful love interest for her.

The story kicks off at a football game where Millie jokingly makes a list of who might want to kill Coach Killdare while drawing a picture of Chase Albright. Here the story skips forward a year and he actually is dead, and Millie's father is a prime suspect. She and her nemesis Viv race to get their stories into the school newspaper and then, to actually find the murderer. Millie gets help from the local librarian and reads all the how-to-solve-murder books she can find, including Nancy Drew. When student is found dead not only is Millie's father a suspect, now she and Chase are as well.

The story was really good, an excellent murder filled in with convincing characters with surprisingly good back stories. The murder is great, the writing is well done, and the reason for my perhaps negative tone in my review was probably out of the author's control, as I feel the book was falsely advertised. The summary promises Nancy Drew, the book itself is classic Nancy Drew yellow, and the opening page quotes The Message in the Hollow Oak. Yet Nancy isn't that important at all, and Millie is far from obsessed.