Book by Milda Harris
Review by Bruce Carroll
Adventures in Funeral Crashing is an exciting read with all the intensity of a thriller and all the passion of a teen romance. Kait is both a well-developed and memorable character, and the fact she cannot see that popular boy Ethan is as crazy about her as she is about him is simultaneously fun and frustrating.
Kait lost her mother to cancer at a young age, and ever since the funeral, she has been crashing other funerals in her town. Wear black and avoid conversations: that’s how she has managed not to get caught as a funeral crasher. Until the day the hottest guy in school makes his way through a crowd of mourners to ask how Kait knew his sister. Oops!
Kait and Ethan begin to suspect his sister has been murdered. Though Funeral Crashing is billed as a cozy mystery, I disagree. It does borrow from the cozy genre in that the murders all happen offstage. But it also borrows heavily from thrillers. The murderer injects the victims with a lethal dose of heroin in an attempt to make it look like an overdose. The motive is not one of the classic motives for murder. There is even some gunplay at the climax of the story. In addition, there is also talk of forensic tests being done which might not provide conclusive evidence in real life.
None of that mattered to me as I read it. It has all the thrill of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and I could not decide if I was more anxious to discover who the murderer was (before Kait herself became the next victim) or to see Kait finally realize Ethan has feelings for her.
If you enjoy cozies, you'll enjoy this high school mystery/thriller with a romantic touch.
Adventures in Funeral Crashing is a winner of the 2017 Author’s Choice Award (YA Thriller).