Sunday, August 15, 2010

Three Fabulous Mysteries by Alane Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

Source: My Shelves
Genre: Young Adult Forensic Mystery

Last summer I read the first in this series, The Christopher Killer. I actually purchased all three of these books to take home and read this summer. Move over Patricia Cornwell. I have loved her books for a long time. However, I can’t very well give one of her books to my middle school students. Alane Ferguson has handled the problem by creating a series with a teenage protagonist who just happens to love forensic science. Her father is the county coroner and in need of an assistant. He hires his daughter because of her interest, her attention to detail and her passion for the job. What follows is a brief summary of the next three books. We see Cameryn grow and mature in her relationships with her family, her friends and the important adults in her life. We get to see a teenager operating in an adult world, while still dealing with teenage issues. These books are not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of forensic detail in these books. If you like gore and all things forensic you will like these books.

The Angel of Death
Cameryn (Cammie) Mahoney is like any seventeen year old girl in high school. She keeps secrets from her family, has some bumps in her relationship with her father and her best friend, and she is starting a new relationship, while someone is waiting in the wings for her. What makes Cammie unlike most seventeen year olds is she is a paid assistant to the county coroner, who just happens to be her father.
In this sequel to The Christopher Killer, Cammie is once again involved with a murder. This time her English teacher, a scout leader is the victim. When Mr. Oakes didn’t show up for a scout hike, Kyle O’Neil goes to the scout leader’s house and makes the gruesome discovery. In addition to the investigation, Cammie is having some hiccups with her best friend Lyric and she is beginning a relationship with Kyle . She is also keeping a secret from her family. She is awaiting the arrival of her mother whom she has not seen since she was four. The stress alone could kill her. The problem is she has so much on her plate she doesn’t even realize she is a target of the killer until it is almost too late.

The Circle of Blood
In this third book in the series, Cammie is trying to build a relationship with her mother and keep peace at home with her father and grammaw. They have all been keeping something from her and she doesn't know what it is or why. She knows it involves the reason her mother left. They keep telling her they were just trying to protect her. She is looking forward to college and believes she has a scholarship from a prestigious college. This possibility of a scholarship helps Dr. Moore, the medical examiner, take a bigger interest in her education.Cammie’s mother tries to help a young frightened girl. When the girl steals her mother’s wallet and then turns up dead, Cammie withholds evidence in the hopes of proving her mother had nothing to do with the case. This step may cost her the very job she’s worked so hard to keep, and her mother’s freedom. When she takes matters into her own hands she once again puts her life and the life of others in danger. In this one we see a little more of Justin and yet we see Cameryn holding back. Why?

The Dying Breath
Kyle O’Neil is still after Cameryn. Now he is leaving notes along side dead bodies promising to love her until HER dying breath. Can you say stalker? Everyone is trying to protect Cameryn, especially Justin. Since he was first introduced in the first book, The Christopher Killer, we have known of Justin’s feelings for Cameryn. She is ready to let her guard down and develop a relationship with Justin, but will that put him in danger? We also find the gruff, medical examiner, Doctor Moore taking a bigger interest in Cameryn as he sees her as a very gifted person and an asset to forensic science. We see Cameryn mature before our eyes as she figures out teh next steps in her life.

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