(Oliana Mercer, #1)
Publication date: August 21st 2017
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Oliana knows that every family has a secret, but she never expected hers to come from the grave.
High school senior Oliana Mercer dreams of attending the prestigious Reyersen Drama Academy and pursuing her acting career. But when tragedy strikes, Oliana discovers secrets hidden from her by her adopted parents, dimming the lights on her perfect world. As the sins of the past surface, Oliana finds herself caught up in a tug-of-war between two families while the love for her boyfriend is tested. Determined to find some form of happiness in life, Oliana becomes student director in the high school’s senior play. When her best friend, Devin Worthy, dies during dress rehearsal, Oliana is re-cast as the lead. Everyone thinks the death was a suicide, except Oliana, whose search for clues may be enough motive for the killer to murder again.
Gripping, complex, and entertaining contemporary young adult murder mystery.
Shadowed Seats is the first book in the Oliana Mercer young adult mystery series and is an immediate attention grabber. The two main characters, Oliana and Devin, are undergoing a lot of stress yet are still giving the high school play their all. Even after Devin’s murder, Oliana is able to keep her composure enough to start asking questions and putting crucial pieces of information together that the police have overlooked.
I liked that several storylines opened and progressed simultaneously, and they meshed together into an absorbing whole, so I didn’t want to put this book down until the very end. Some are not resolved and, hopefully, are held over to be explored further in future books, and I will be waiting anxiously for what comes next.
Wrapped up in this intriguing murder mystery, the author has also taken on some difficult and important topics, such as alcoholism, blended families, teen pregnancy, and bullying. With relatable teen characters discussing these serious and relevant issues, young readers may be motivated or inspired to speak out if similar situations arise in their lives.
I recommend SHADOWED SEATS to readers who enjoy young adult mysteries that entertain but weave in topics relevant to life today.
When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer!
Her blog, Criminal Lines: Settled Writer Past 40 is her outlet while building dollhouses and plotting out her next book.
Marguerite lives in Wisconsin and enjoys RVing.
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