Jessica "Jex" Malone has to spend the summer in Nevada with her estranged father, and she's not happy about it. But she quickly makes some friends and they just as quickly decide to spend their summer not being bored and instead investigating a cold case that Jex's detective father was never able to solve - the same case that caused Jex's mom and dad to divorce in the first place.
I have to say, there should be a disclaimer on this book for teens: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. For instance, Jex and her friends break into someone's house. Jex and her friends run off to California in search of clues. I don't remember Nancy Drew ever breaking laws or trafficking minors across state lines. Maybe Jessica Fletcher did, but she was old and didn't have anxious parents to answer to.
So kids, read the book, enjoy the fiction, but do not ever break into someone's home even if you think they killed someone 13 years ago. ESPECIALLY if you think they killed someone 13 years ago. It's just not going to end up well for you in the real world.
Oh, there's also a little bit of "bad boy" romance, but it doesn't dominate the story, so that's good. Jex and her friends are pretty capable of taking care of themselves without boys. (Or rather, maybe Deva's parents' AmEx card is taking care of them. Read the book. You'll understand.)
The characters in this book are all in high school, so I think the book would appeal most and be most appropriate to kids ages 14 and up.
Jex Malone is published by Merit Press and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free review copy for my honest review.