The waiting—will it never end? When Vito, Fingers, and Larry the Lock told you to watch the back door while they climbed up the drainpipe and went in through the skylight, it seemed like an easy way to make a quick fifty bucks. But they’ve been in there a while and, from the clanging and swearing clearly audible from your alley lookout, they’re not coming out any time soon. Every time you hear the whiz of tires on asphalt, you’re sure it’s the fuzz. You’re jumping out of your skin!
It’s the next worst thing to waiting for Booklist‘s Mystery Month to begin. But, like a dime novel you forgot you had tucked into your windbreaker pocket, we’ve got the perfect remedy to keep you company until the safe goes boom—or the burglar alarm starts clanging.
Solving crimes requires clear wits and steely concentration—two qualities that can be hard to come by when you’re zonked out of your gourd on hindu kush, marching to the beat of Bolivian marching powder, or amped to the eyeballs on speed. Sleuths may have sipped martinis or bourbon once upon a time, but, these days, they’re just as liable to be battling a serious case of cotton-mouth. They’re also just as likely to be botanists or drug dealers as detectives.
Almost Criminal. By E. R. Brown. 2013. Dundurn, paper, $17.99 (9781459705838).
Tate MacLane isn’t a user—in fact, he’s almost too clear-headed for his own good. A prodigy who graduated prematurely from high school, he was kicked out of university for “socialization issues,” and, now, at the ripe old age of 17, he’s a has-been who works at a coffee shop while dreaming of making his way back to academia. Until, that is, he goes to work for a medical-marijuana grower who, Tate learns, is really just a drug dealer working the system. It’s going to take more than a high I.Q. for Tate to safely extricate himself from the life he’s wandered into.