No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
For some reason, regionalisms don't translate well in print - "you betcha" being one example. There's no need for them to be sprinkled quite so heavily into the dialog. And a father nearly incapable of calling his daughter by her real name, instead using strange nicknames (Pickle being the most normal of them, others include Pimple and Chocolate Butt)? We're just reaching for the odd here.
The plot itself is interesting, billed as "Twin Peaks meets Fargo" (hence all the "you betchas") and centering on a rather horrific death in a small Wisconsin town. Of course there's no shortage of oddball characters and events, although some did strain credulity. Kippy, our heroine, is grieving the loss of her best friend and trying to investigate whodunnit but runs into problems and really, no one takes her seriously. Except the killer, unveiled in a twist that doesn't quite work. To be more accurate, the it's the capture of the killer that isn't credible but by this point in the book, if you've read that far it probably won't bother you.
Mixing humor and mystery is difficult enough, but making it appeal to YA audiences? Even more difficult.
ARC provided by publisher.