|Now||2019||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio|
The Underdogs: 11/12/16
The Underdogs by Sara Hammel is at first glance a middle grade murder mystery told from the perspective of a bystander named Chelsea. It begins with the discovery of Annabel Harper floating in the pool at a country club.
It's clear pretty early on that Chelsea, though headstrong and opinionated, is an unreliable narrator. After the initial chapter, every subsequent chapter is either BEFORE or AFTER. Those chapter titles are another big clue to what's going on.
As the book progresses it becomes clear that the who killed Annabel isn't the payoff for this book. The twist, the one that no one will tell you in their reviews, is who is narrating the story. For anyone who doesn't get it — even through the end will have their question answered in an epilog.
The problem here is that the twist isn't much of a twist to anyone who reads enough cozies. There's a whole sub-genre dedicated to this type of twist. For the intended audience, though, the twist is probably more revolutionary.