Sticks and Stones, Janice MacDonald

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. True or false?”

Sticks and Stones hit all the right notes for me (and even some that I didn’t know I was looking for: analyses of The Great Gastby and Twelfth Night being used as crucial clues to the mystery? Yes please, more of this!). I love Randy Craig, and now part of me wants to be Randy Craig. She teaches English, helps solve murder mysteries, and dates a hot cop–who doesn’t want all that? (I’m pretty sure 15-year-old Matthew–he who would check out a dozen Agatha Christie novels from the library at a time–would be disappointed to learn that I don’t at least own my own detective agency nor am I invited to lavish dinner parties where the evening ends with the death of a guest.)

Whenever I hear people discuss the Randy Craig Mysteries, the most highlighted feature is that they’re set in Edmonton. But that’s just a neat aspect of the series–what really made this book a great read was Randy’s wit, the light peppering of romance, and the disturbing crimes. The story starts with a group of boys from one of the U of A’s residences sticking invitations (which include threats of rape or violence for non-attendance) into the dorm rooms of girls. Everything escalates–to murder of course–as Randy and the reader ponder what power words have in the crime.

I’ve been thinking about this book since I opened it yesterday, and I really wish I hadn’t needed to interrupt it with so many Christmas duties. This is one of those books that begs to be finished at 3 a.m. of the same day.


Books Read: 7



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