Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham gives us story about a fifteen year-old girl, Scarlett that has all ready graduated from high school and is now running a detective agency. The story starts with a young girl asking Scareltt to investigate her older brother because she thinks he may have caused someone to commit suicide. As Scarlett begins to investigate, she is pulled into a deeper conspiracy involving an ancient symbol, King Solomon's Knot, an ancient story involving djinns and ancient prophecy, and a group of dangerous people that may be connected to Scarlett's past. Scarlett can only hope to survive with the help of her friends, including the handsome young man named Decker.
The story is told with a noir feel to it, which provides something different than most mystery novels for YA. Scarlett also must balance the life of a detective and being a teenage girl with her Islamic faith (this part is done fairly well as it fits some aspects of modern life with myths). In the end, I never really got pulled into the story. The fact that she is a fifteen year-old girl going on thirty made it well-beyond concepts of believable. Mix in with a noir style that seemed to fade in and out, the story felt, for lack of a better word, cheesy. Lines like "Seeing Emmet always reminded me that I wished I could see him more." (pg. 97) remind me of Humphrey Bogart, but then it will switch back to classic teenage sass.
In the end I can only recommend this book if you are looking for something different in the mystery genre, or you like a sassy teen character that is way tougher and knowledgeable beyond her years.