Jillian Heise's Reviews > Partners in Crime

Partners in Crime by Kim Harrington
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's review
Feb 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, middle-grade
Read from September 23 to 24, 2012

Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends

I really enjoyed Kim Harrington's young adult debut book, CLARITY, also a mystery book, so when I saw that she had a middle grades mystery series also, I made sure to get it right away. Part of the reason is that so many of my students liked CLARITY also, so it's always nice to have a favorite author in the classroom, but also because some of my students aren't ready for the maturity of the young adult book yet, so I was hopeful that the SLEUTH OR DARE series would be a good fit for my other readers, and I'm sure it will be.

PARTNERS IN CRIME is a perfectly middle grades book. The writing level and complexity of the subplots and main mystery are all right in that sweet spot. The mystery was a bit obvious to me, but again, I'm not the age or ability level of the intended audience. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all though. One thing that is really nice is that the mystery is such that it's a great fit for younger middle grades students who want to try mystery but aren't ready yet for more complex novels.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. There was quite a bit about their relationships with their families, and the arc the characters take to accepting and appreciating their own families is a nice message. In addition, the two main characters are not the popular girls, but instead each have their own interests aligned with their intelligence and abilities. It's nice to see a story with these characters who are into astronomy and technology being the strong leaders of the book, and even though they're not popular, they still have good relationships and confidence in themselves. There are some subplots relating to bullying and typical middle school dynamics that are handled well also.

Once again Harrington has struck just the right voice. The book is written with a strong female lead and in such a way that it sounds like she's talking right to the reader. This allows us to get insights into what's happening, but also stay fully engaged in the story. Overall PARTNERS IN CRIME is a fun, quick mystery with heart. I look forward to reading the next two books in the series: SLEEPOVER STAKEOUT and FRAMED & DANGEROUS and handing these off to my students.

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09/23/2012 page 8
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