A Long Stretch of Bad Days by Mindy McGinnis (2023)
YA Fiction | Mystery
Lydia Chass doesn’t mind living in a small town; she just doesn’t want to die in one. A lifetime of hard work has put her on track to attend a prestigious journalism program and leave Henley behind—until a school error leaves her a credit short of graduating. Undeterred, Lydia has a plan to earn that credit: transform her listener-friendly local history podcast into a truth-telling exposé. She’ll investigate the Long Stretch of Bad Days: a week when Henley was hit by a tornado and a flash flood as well as its first—and only—murder, which remains unsolved.
But Lydia needs help to bring grit to the show. Bristal Jamison has a bad reputation and a foul mouth, but she also needs a credit to graduate. The unexpected partnership brings together the Chass family—a pillar of the community—and the rough-and-tumble Jamisons, with Bristal hoping to be the first in her family to graduate. Together, they dig into the town’s worst week, determined to solve the murder.
Their investigation unearths buried secrets: a hidden town brothel, lost family treasure, and a teen girl who disappeared. But the past is never far, and some don’t want it to see the light. As threats escalate, the girls have to uncover the truth before the dark history of Henley catches up with them.
This gripping mystery from award-winning author Mindy McGinnis shows the power of a name and one lie and how two girls can use their voices to change a town forever.
Goodreads | Amazon
pooled ink Review:
SHE’S BACK!! And by “she” I’m referring to one of my favorite YA authors, Mindy McGinnis. I rarely voluntarily choose a YA contemporary book preferring to lean more into the fantasy/sci-fi genres, but I picked up The Female of the Species for some reason (I much prefer the original yellow cover btw) and from then on I’ve been a McGinnis fangirl. That being said, The Last Laugh kinda missed the mark for me…(I’m sorry, McGinnis! I still love you though!) So I didn’t immediately pick up this book when it released…but wow I should have.
A Long Stretch of Bad Days has it all – mystery, murder podcast, unlikely friendships, small town drama, adorable animal companion – and it’s unravelled with McGinnis’ trademark frank no nonsense yet tinged with dry humor voice. The characters wear their clichés with a freshness much needed in the genre making them genuinely interesting and likable and kept the plot alive as it rolled from one episode to the next. This was fun, intriguing, gritty, and utterly binge-able. I look forward to what McGinnis publishes next.
Meet Mindy McGinnis!
Website | Goodreads
Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.
While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.