Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Spies and Prejudice

Spies and Prejudice

Talia Vance
For ages 12 and up
Egmon tUSA, 2013   ISBN: 978-1606842607

Eight years ago Berry’s mother died in a car accident. At the time some people said that she had committed suicide, but Berry has never believed that her mother would voluntarily leave Berry and her father in such a way. After months spent in shock and wrapped in grief, Berry and her father slowly worked their back to living again. Both were changed by their loss, and since then Berry has kept most people at a distance. Though she is now over sixteen, Berry has never had a boyfriend, she has never been kissed and that is how she wants things to stay.

   Berry’s choice not to let any kind of love interest in her life is, in part, there because she helps her father with his work. Berry’s father is a private investigator and he is often hired by men and women who think their spouse, or significant other, is cheating on them. Being a teenager, Berry is often overlooked by adults, which makes it easy for her to spy on people without them noticing. She is very good at catching people being unfaithful, and this is what she is doing one day when she sees something she is not supposed to see.

   Pursuing a “mark” into a parking lot, Berry sees Mr. Moss, her best friend’s father, meeting a woman. At first she thinks it is a romantic assignation, but then she realizes that it is something else. The woman gives Mr. Moss a folder and Berry photographs one of the pieces of paper that he looks at. At home, when she takes a closer look at the picture, she sees that the piece of paper has her mother’s name on it. Why does Mr. Moss have the piece of paper and what is the connection between him and Berry’s mother?

   Compelled to find out if the paper has anything to do with her mother’s death, Berry starts to investigate. She is soon joined in her quest by a boy called Drew, who is reclusive like her and who seems to want to help. They plan on searching Mr. Moss’s office, which is easy since his daughter, Mary Chris, is Berry’s best friend.

   Unfortunately, Berry and Drew’s investigations are constantly being interrupted by the arrival of Tanner, a new boy who recently moved into the area. Tanner always seems to turn up at the most inopportune moments, and Berry finds his arrogance and annoyingly gorgeous good looks very distracting. She does not want to be attracted to him and yet she is. Berry thinks that he is simply pursuing her, but it turns out that Tanner is not who he seems to be.

   In this engaging book the author combines a mystery story with touches of romance and moments of tension and action to give readers a story that is highly entertaining and full of surprises.