Shadow Alley, compiled by Lucy Sussex (YA Mystery)

Cross posted from

First published in 1995, Shadow Alley is a compilation of short crime stories written around the premise of detectives when they were teenagers.

A majority of the authors stuck to this premise, whereas some chose instead to write about teenage characters within the stories themselves.

Kerry Greenwood takes Phryne Fisher back to her boarding school days in England, right after her father has inherited the title that makes her an "Hon". AN OVERACTIVE IMAGINATION is set during WWII and Phryne is an adventurous schoolgirl already very dismissive of authority and so called "hierarchy".

In FORBIDDEN FRUIT, Jennifer Rowe has Verity Birdwood recounting the story of the death of one of her childhood neighbours and how, as a young child, she was able to provide the clues that correctly identified the perpetrator.

Garry Disher introduces a young girl in a difficult position, using her wits when trapped in a building by corrupt police in WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED.

In TOTALLY DEVOTED, Susan Geason has an unnamed private detective tracking down a young girl who has suddenly gone missing in Kings Cross.

Allan Baillie takes great liberties with the premise in the very amusing MURDER AT CROCKUS FLAT.

THE TERRIFIC TWO GETS BUSTED by Alison Goodman is a tale of peer pressure and right versus wrong.

Claire Carmichael uses GET JACK to explore the feelings of guilt and retribution that are left when a hit run driver kills one friend and leaves the other gravely injured.

SQUAT by David McRobbie uses homelessness to provide a brief glimpse of sheer desperation to survive and the cruelty of manipulation of other people's circumstances.

Jenny Pausacker uses ANOTHER DAY IN HELL to highlight snobbery and pretension in private school petty power games.

All in all, this is a great anthology for teenagers. Even though it's now over 10 years old, the subject matter is current. If you can get hold of a copy of this it's a great series of stories for boys or girls.

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