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PW #368: Young Adult Contemporary Mystery: FISTS, LIES, AND ALIBIS

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Amy Trueblood

Mentee Name: Kylie Schachte


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Mystery

Word Count: 89,000


Flora Calhoun’s crush is dead. Determined to find the killer, Flora uncovers a seedy, underground fight club that implicates everyone in school from the star running back to the shy girl in her math class. As Flora gets closer to the truth, she’s forced to make an impossible choice: find justice for the murdered girl, or stop digging before anyone else gets hurt.


Greg Garcy leers at me from his mugshot: bastard doesn’t know I’ve nailed him yet. I clutch his Wanted flier in my hand and race down the hall, but I can’t look away from his crushed, sneering nose and bleary eyes.

You can’t run from me.

The bell rings. Damn. I’m so going to be late for chem.

I spent my free period in the parking lot listening to the police scanner on my phone and lost track of time. It was worth it. Garcy is wanted for a string of serial rapes upstate, but no one’s tracked him down. Until now. I need to run a plate, but-

I slam into someone and there’s a brief tangle of sharp elbows and mingled yelps. The Garcy flier, my bookbag, pens, and various notebooks scatter across the hallway. The corner of my chem textbook lands on my toe. Of course this is the day I didn’t wear my steel-toed boots.

“Gah! Balls! Fuck! Ow! Shit!” I yell.

“Flora Calhoun, you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

I squint through the red haze of stubbed-toe agony.

Ava McQueen gathers up my papers, pens, and the lone tampon I dropped. One corner of her plum-painted mouth tugs up in a troublemaker’s smile, and a fizzy feeling climbs the back of my neck. Two years after the fact and I still remember exactly how her lips felt against mine.

Filed: PW Entries

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