Young Adult Mystery Review
term “dead ball foul” come from football when there is a false start
before the ball is in play. Football
is key to the mystery McGrady weaves with a number of suspects capable of
murdering the referee. Like
a modern day Nancy Drew, Tricia Lakely gathers her own facts and evidence
when it becomes apparent that the police investigation will stop with the
owner of the murder weapon. Tricia
knows football star Aaron is not a murderer and is driven to solve the
death of her friend Paul the referee.
Spanish class partner Luke becomes her companion in the investigation, and
a romance blooms between the two of them.
Aaron and his best friend Joe also play roles as lookouts and
informers for the student investigation.
possible theories Tricia must work through offer a range of complexity
that keeps the novel interesting. Did
Aaron kill the ref for a bad call when college scouts were watching him?
Did Coach Jones kill the ref for a bad call costing him the game as
college scouts watched to the coach for a college position?
Did local loan shark Roscoe Thompson have Paul killed for an
interesting twist is the growing relationship between her widowed mother
and the new neighbor with a fake British accent.
Dead Ball Foul is the debut novel from Kayla McGrady, a Virginia high school senior. She has written an action-packed adventure with chase scenes that will have the reader on edge. Like most normal teenagers feel, McGrady’s novel makes the adults seem slightly dumber than the teenagers; but both groups work together in the end. There is a sweet wholesome element to the novel as Tricia is offended by foul language and at times battles her own desire to cuss in stressful moments. I suspect we’ll be hearing more from Kayla McGrady.