When I first started reading this book, I assumed that it was young adult literature, mainly due to the fact that the main character is a seventeen year old girl. I don’t mind YA lit in the least. In fact, I end up reading quite a lot of it unintentionally. I’m not sure what that says about my reading preferences, but there it is. With this book however, the further I progressed, the more it became apparent that this could easily be an adult novel, in which the age of the main character didn’t matter at all. So I don’t hesitate to recommend it here.
Guesswork is a well-crafted mystery that revolves around Primrose Whistler, a clever and smart-mouthed teenager on a cross country road trip to visit her estranged Aunt Vern, who lives in Hygiene, Colorado. Shortly after her arrival, Vern recruits Prim’s help in getting to the bottom of the suspicious death of her neighbor.
When Prim befriends the victim’s daughter, Emma, she is thrown into a deep well of sex, lies and murder that involves both locals and visiting carnies at the Boulder County Fair.
After a desperate attack on Prim and her new-found friend results in Emma’s disappearance, Prim stumbles into the help of carnival member, Joe Odin – the world’s best guesser. Together, they both set out to rescue the people they care about.
Colorado author, Scott Lininger is a jack-of-all-arts that turned his creative juices loose on the world of fiction with this debut novel. The language is bright and paints a vivid picture of some real Colorado characters. He obviously doesn’t assume that young equals dumb, which is (sadly) refreshing, in a time when teen lit is mostly teen drama and very little lit.
If you have an e-reader, you’re in luck, Scott’s primary focus has been publishing for e-reader friendly online outlets, such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. However, if you are like me and still like a good old-fashioned paper copy, a print edition is available as well, also through amazon.com.
In addition to Guesswork, Scott is working on publishing his second novel called Xenopaths, a science fiction novel for kids. He also has several flash fiction/short stories, both in print and online.
– Misty Kaiser