McBride's fun, new Debutante Dropout series introduces Andrea Kendricks, a woman whose primary hobby has become "deftly resisting my mother's relentless efforts to draw me into the lifestyle of the rich and famous."

Bad news is afoot when Andy receives a phone call from her high school best friend, Molly O'Brien, whom she hasn't seen in years, and who has been accused of murder. After Molly's lawyer reports that the evidence against her is strong enough to convict her, Andy takes it upon herself to clear her friend of the murder charge.

Andy tends to be somewhat eccentric and plucky, which makes it easy for her to take outlandish risks, especially when the future of her friend is at stake. She becomes a server at a hangout called Jugs—where scantily clad, well-endowed waitresses serve beers and burgers to drooling men—after stuffing shoulder pads in her bra to ensure that she gets the job.

Thus Andrea Kendricks, debutante in disguise, becomes a full-fledged amateur sleuth. In the crowded amateur sleuth field, McBride has created a fresh new voice for fans of the genre to enjoy. (Feb., 352 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters