This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.
What would you do when your boring summer gets turned into something unexpected, exciting and dangerous?
Sarah is so not looking forward to spending her summer with her younger sister Lacey at their uncle’s home in a small town. She is a city girl and she can’t quite imagine herself living in a small boring town for the summer. But when she stumbles upon a ruthless murder, she decides she’ll investigate and hopefully help to put the murderer into justice. With the help of her sister and two friends, Sarah learns that picking up objects at a crime scene can lead to undesirable consequences. Can she get herself out of trouble before it’s too late?
I was sort of expecting this to be a fun crime mystery. What I didn’t expect was the moral implications of right and wrong in the story. While I welcomed the implications, I personally found the behavior of the characters a bit too young for their age. What I do like about the characters is that each one of them has a distinctive personality. While Lacey is timid and hates to break rules, Sarah is her opposite. It’s interesting to see how each of them influences one another as the story unfolds. I wouldn’t say there is a lot of character development here but I do like that Sarah and her friends get to learn a few things about not judging people by their appearances while they go about investigating the small town crime. I guess we all have our opinions on people who may appear weird but when it comes to pranks and jokes, how far is too far? Is it alright to make fun of those who look weird or crazy? How about those who have disabilities? Is it okay to tell jokes about them just because they’re disabled?
While The Super Spies and The Cat Lady Killer starts out more like a middle-grade mystery, I like that it ends with something that is worthy of discussion not just among young teens but also among grown-ups. I wouldn’t say the story is gruesome because it is not but it does serve as a reminder that sometimes we cannot judge a person by his/ her appearance and occupation.