Review: Deadly Cool is the first of the Hartley Featherstone mysteries. Hartley is sixteen and has just discovered that her boyfriend Josh has been cheating on her with no less than the chastity queen (“earn your right to wear white”) Courtney. Going after school to confront him, Hartley and her best friend Sam break into his bedroom and discover Courtney's strangled body. The now on the run Josh asks for Hartley's help in finding the real killer.
As well as Sam, Hartley has help from “bad boy” Chase, the editor of the school newspaper who is after a scoop.
Hartley's investigation takes place under the sympathetic and increasingly mistrustful gazes of her school peers as dead bodies seem to be following her around with another student killed on school premises.
Can Hartley find the real killer, clear her now ex-boyfriend's name and keep her grades up?
Deadly Cool is an enjoyable read and surprisingly funny for a murder mystery. (There is a hilarious scene where Hartley is hiding under Chase's bed and he starts to undress...). Hartley is a smart, likeable, resourceful character whom I'm looking forward to meeting again in Social Suicide (out soon). The mystery isn't one you can solve before Hartley as the solution relies on a brainwave from Hartley and hard graft by Chase. Hartley does commit the cardinal sin of crime novels though – going out at midnight without telling anyone...
As Hartley is getting over a break-up and betrayal in Deadly Cool, there isn't much romance – though there is plenty of witty banter - but I can see that changing in short order.
If you've enjoyed Star Crossed: Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill then you should like this.