The Night in Question by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson
To be published by Delacorte Books on May 30, 2023
Plot Summary of The Night in Question
Alice Ogilvie and Iris Adams became the talk of Castle Cove when they cracked the biggest case of the fall: the death of Brooke Donovan. Together, the Agathas put Brooke's killer away for good, and since then things around town have been quiet.
But if Alice and Iris know anything, it's that sometimes quiet is just the calm before the storm. Brooke's disappearance wasn't the first mystery to rock Castle Cove, and it won't be the last. So when their school dance at the infamous Levy Castle—the site of film starlet Mona Moody's unsolved death back in the 1940s—is interrupted by a violent assault, Iris and Alice pull out their murder boards and get back to work.
To understand the present, sometimes you need to look into the past. And if the Agathas want a chance at solving their new case, that's exactly where they'll need to start digging. Only, what they uncover might very well kill them.
Review of The Night in Question
I really enjoyed The Agathas a lot - you can read my review here.
What I love about this series: the feminist bent, the Veronica Mars coastal California vibe*, and of course, the Agatha Christie inspiration, though Agatha appreciation wasn't as much of a thing in this second book. But maybe because there is a LOT going on.
Second books in a series, especially a mystery series, can be tricky. While I still love this odd couple crime solving duo, I didn't enjoy The Night in Question quite as much as The Agathas.
One of my favorite parts of the first book was the prickly relationship between popular girl Alice Ogilvy and her more down-to-earth tutor and classmate, Iris Adams. In this second book, the girls are friends (or at least a good deal more friendly?) and while I'm all for teamwork (and friendship), I missed some of their former enmity.
Second, and maybe this is a problem of an adult reading a young adult book, I really could have used a bit more recap of book one incorporated into the plot. Or a character list, at least. All I remembered of book one was Alice, Iris, and Brooke.
There were a bunch of secondary characters, these two cliques called the Mains and something else,** and a bunch of other Castle Cove high school students I wasn't sure if I was supposed to remember, or not. And a storyline set in the past about movie star Mona Moody, who I'm pretty sure was in the first book, because she had to do with Brooke. And Levy Castle, which must be inspired by Hearst Castle.***
I was confused for the first two-thirds. This is a very high school focused book with a lot of characters, plus there's a whole second set of characters and relationships in the past AND many of the current characters are related to those in the past. Maybe a character list and a geneology chart? There was a map, though. I love a map!
I also felt like The Night in Question took a while to get going. The last quarter of the book was really fun and more fast-paced.
So I remain a huge fan of this series, and it looks like, from the authors' interview after the book ends, that there will be a book three, so I am excited about that and will definitely try it. ****
* I feel like Alice is old popular Veronica and Iris is sadder-but-wiser Veronica. I have always meant to re-watch Veronica Mars and do a post on ALL the books inspired by the show.
** I just remembered: the Zoners. I am not a fan of these weird clique nicknames, which I feel like came out of The Outsiders. I was not a fan of them in this Netflix show and have asked every person under 25 I can find if this is even a thing in 2023 and have not heard one "yes."
*** Maybe in another post I will do a deep dive into Levy Castle/Mona/Charles Levy and Heart Castle/Marion Davies/William Randolph Hearst
**** They still need to solve Mona's mysterious death, right? So that means I need to work on remembering all the characters in the past and the present. I can make the character list. I better get going!