McManus, Karen M. Cousins, The. Fiction. Delacorte, 12/2020. 336pp. $19.99, 978-0-525-70800-1, PLB $22.99, 978-0-525-70801-8. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 8-12.
Twenty-four years ago, fabulously wealthy reclusive widow Mildred Story abruptly disinherited her four children, and the only explanation they got was a note saying “You know what you did.” Now Mildred has invited her three 17-year-old grandchildren, white Aubrey and Jonah and biracial Milly (white and Japanese), to tiny Gull Cove Island off the coast of Massachusetts to work in her swanky resort. The cousins, who barely know one another, all have their reasons for wanting to finally meet Mildred and to have a summer away from home. McManus (One of Us Is Lying, 2017) is in top form with this riveting and fast-moving YA mystery. Right from the start, secrets are exposed, unexpected twists are discovered, and danger lurks as the cousins start finding out more than they would like to know about their parents and the small island community. Brittle Milly, sweet Aubrey, and bitter Jonah take turns narrating the present with interludes from the past woven in. Perfect for fans of McManus’s previous mysteries. Review based on an ARC.
Hayley Beale, San Francisco University High School