I love a good YA mystery or thriller, and this was a book that sounded so good. The Agathas is a mystery very inspired by the works of Agatha Christie. I won’t pretend to be an Agatha Christie fan myself. Honestly, years of seeing the same episodes of Poirot and Miss Marple repeatedly, thanks to my Mum, derailed any interest I might have had in them. But this book sounded like so much fun, and I’m glad that I asked to be part of this tour. Thanks again to Anne at Random Things Tours for allowing me to participate!
This book follows two teens – Alice and Iris, who couldn’t live more different lives. Alice needs to stay out of trouble after disappearing a few months ago, and Iris just needs to get out of town. Iris is hired to tutor Alice, but after a girl disappears, Alice convinces Iris to help her look into the case. When the girl then turns up murdered, they realise that there may be a lot of secrets out there that they need to uncover.
I really enjoyed this book. Both Alice and Iris are good protagonists. They’ve had different lives until now, and it’s only tutoring and murder that bring them closer together. That’s pretty exciting. Both of these girls have secrets that they’re keeping throughout the novel and that sometimes leads to tensions between them, but that didn’t frustrate me as a reader. You can understand why they’re making these decisions, and that was well done. Side character-wise we have both Iris’s friend group and Alice’s former friend group. There are some interesting people in both of these sets, and though some of them you won’t like, it’s interesting to see the resolution in the end.
If you’re looking for romance, you won’t really find it in this book. I generally like my reads to have some, but I didn’t mind that we didn’t get further than hinted crushes in this. It was nice to see the focus on friendships, and I think we need more of that in YA.
Obviously, we do get some connections with Agatha Christie in this book. Alice is a big fan of her works. She even disappeared as Agatha did in an attempt at revenge. In this book, she creates theories and plans that are things similar to what you might see in a Christie novel. She’s even sad interrogation isn’t like it is in the books. Though, if it was, the confessions wouldn’t be admissible in court. The book was very clever about this too. Clearly, the police can’t use what two teen snoops get illegally. But they work with a lawyer who tries to get the information they can use. This is something I don’t see talked about often in mystery novels, so I appreciated that hint of reality.
The mystery was actually very good. There’s a character you think committed the murder for most of the book. It’s revealed early on that they think it’s them after following some leading clues. Then it turns out not to be them. I was genuinely surprised by the twist this took, though it still definitely made sense. It just made the death even sadder. I was so sure the killer had to be who they were hinting at, then they started to hint at someone else, and I thought maybe… Then boom! It was someone completely different. But thinking back, there were definitely hints all along. So that was super awesome.
Though this book feels like a chunky paperback, the story isn’t even 400 pages long. On top of that, it’s a fast and easy read. This is a book I didn’t find easy to put down, and I’m sure you’ll love it too.
Title: The Agathas
Author: Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson
Age Range: Young Adult
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Release Date: 03/05/22