(I like this cover much better. And I see that in between the two books, the publisher reissued the first book with a cover that coordinates with this one. Very nice.)
"Confessions" series, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
1. BAM! ACTION! Right from the start! Just like the first book in the series, The Private School Murders wastes absolutely no pages before introducing the action. Girls are being murdered! Matty is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend! The Angels are going broke! Their Uncle Peter has arranged for a strange new man, Jakob Perlman, to be their new guardian!
2. Tandy. Tandy is awesomeness wrapped in self-confidence and sprinkled with a liberal helping of sass. And I love love love it! In this book there is a sub-plot of slight romance with James Rampley, but it's definitely not prominent and there are no sexy times described. Tandy spends 95% of the book way more concerned with the private school murders, Matty's trial, and her family's financial worries. Tandy is so well written: the reader gets to see (and I swear I even felt) her fear, but that never stops her from going the extra mile to protect her family.
3. Which brings us to the third thing I love: the family dynamic. Yeah, the Angel family is faaaaaaar from perfect, but they love each other and are fiercely loyal. Like, they'll beat you up if you try to drive any wedges between them. Nothing stops them from sticking together. Not even the NYPD. It's nice to see a relatively normal sibling dynamic in a book.
4. No spoilers, so this may not make a ton of sense, but all of this is in this one quick-read book: deadly exotic wildlife, dumbwaiters, lives of the obscenely rich & famous, a murder trial, a footchase through Central Park, an Israeli commando, a pink chair with pig hooves that snorts when you sit on it, friendship, first loves, and a cruise. ALL OF IT. Wow.
5. I listened to the audiobook on CD and loved it. Spot-on narration. The narrator sounds like Tandy (don't ask me how I know; I just do) and the pacing is great.
I give this five of five stars and not-so-patiently await future "Confessions."
*I received my copy of The Private School Murders from my public library.