Title: You Killed Wesley Payne
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Length: 359 pages
Dalton Rev is a seventeen year old Private Dick (that’s detective in Beaudoin-ese). He transfers to the seedy Salt River High to find out who killed Wesley Payne. To solve the crime and get the cash, he must fight his way through killer cliques, questionable cops, corrupt authority and pretty (but can he trust them?) girls.
The set of Salt River High is like the cliques in Mean Girls on steroids. See chart below:
Understanding the cliques might be the key to solving the mystery, but it’s like learning a whole new language (there’s even a glossary at the back of the book). It was hard as a reader to plow through this crazy world at time, but really funny and insightful at others. Dalton is our perfect guide- hilarious, smart, not the world’s best detective (he gets his PI skills from his favorite literary detective, Lexington Cole), but ultimately, the guy you want to get the job done.
Everything in Dalton’s world comes with a price, and it’s usually a steep one. It’s capitalism at its greediest (for example, not having Calculus on every slot on your school schedule is $60 in the pocket of the school registrar). The reader gets to see Dalton unlike anyone else in the book, learning his real motive behind solving crimes. But as in any good detective novel, he keeps some facts from us readers, so it’s worth it to keep reading, and not just for the answer to the crime.
(I did not!)
An enjoyable read if you're looking for something different than you've read before, or if you like mysteries.