Millie Ostermeyer is a spunky, award-winning high school reporter. She is intelligent, witty and a bit of an outcast and she's also the daughter of the Town Mayor/Assistant Football Coach of her school, Honeywell High. When Millie and the school janitor stumble upon the body of the unlikable and obnoxious Head Football Coach, "Hollerin' Hank" Killdare, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Her father is the prime suspect, so to clear his name she decides to conduct her own investigation. She means well, but her only guidance comes from the pages of Nancy Drew novels, which she hasn't even read since her mother passed away several years ago. She is a smart girl, so how hard can solving a crime be? Well, it's actually quite difficult when the victim is hated by so many people. The list of suspects is long and as she digs deeper into Coach Killdare's life, she discovers that there was a lot more to him than just anger and sports. It's going to take a lot of detective work to solve this crime, especially since her arch-rival, Vivienne Fitch, is sabotaging her at every turn. Millie finds an unlikely accomplice to her sleuthing when Chase Albright, the mysterious (and gorgeous) quarterback, offers his help. Like her, Chase wants to find the real killer, but he's got his own secrets, too. Everyone seems to be hiding something and Millie is determined to figure it all out... hopefully before she becomes the next victim of the cold-blooded killer who doesn't seem to be finished with his or her murderous spree.
Buzz Kill is a fun, witty, quirky, well crafted, contemporary mystery and I really enjoyed it. I love Beth Fantaskey's other books, so I had high hopes for this one. She takes a departure from the paranormal, Buzz Kill being a genuine mystery that combines classic Nancy Drew with the modernistic wit and unconventional sleuthing style of Veronica Mars, and it totally works for me. Fantaskey keeps you guessing until the end while weaving the stories of her multidimensional characters throughout the book. Not only is it a good old fashioned whodunit mystery, but it's also the story of a girl trying to move on after losing her mother and a troubled boy who can't let go of the mistakes he's made in the past falling in love in a small town. I love that every character has a story and there is more to each of them than meets the eye. Just like in life, what you see on the outside is only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many levels to this novel. As the mystery itself unravels, the characters are forced to deal with their pasts, courageously face the future and ultimately find forgiveness. So, all in all, Buzz Kill is a lot of fun, has a lot of heart and it kept me up way past my bedtime turning it's pages.
Other books by Beth Fantaskey: