At the beginning of Deadly Cool, Hartley thinks she has the perfect boyfriend. Then she discovers that Josh has been cheating on her. And not only that, it's with Courtney, the president of the school Chastity Club. Cue one breakup.
Then she discovers Courtney in Josh's closet, strangled to death with the cord of her iPod headphones. Oh yikes! Did Josh kill Courtney? Or is this all an elaborate frame job, meant to send Josh to jail for murder? (And if it is, does Hartley really care?)
Hartley takes the case, reluctantly. She may want to see Josh thrown into a live volcano or staked to a red anthill, but that doesn't mean she wants him to take the rap for a murder he didn't commit. What follows is a fast-paced, hilarious mystery with regular teenage problems piled on top. How is Hartley supposed to sneak out to meet her informant when her overprotective mother has imposed an early curfew? Is it possible to be attracted to a new guy (the obnoxiously cute and smart school paper editor) right after you've just been dumped in the most humiliating possible way? And oh my god, all these murders are putting a serious crimp in her social life.
If you loved Veronica Mars or other snarky, funny teen detectives, this is the book for you.