From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–Once again Lulu Dark, reluctant girl detective, finds herself in the middle of an increasingly complicated Halo City mystery. Age discrimination is at the root of a number of kidnappings as a group of out-of-work actresses joins in a plot to get them movie roles. Lulu's sort of boyfriend and her C-list actress mother are among those in peril due to the actions of a deranged Hollywood figure. As in the first adventure, there are many references to pop culture, such as the television shows The Apprentice
and Veronica Mars
as well as Jessica Simpson. The novel keeps moving, with a few red herrings thrown in for added piquancy. Today's Hollywood starlets are mockingly portrayed as vapid, self-absorbed teens spoiled beyond belief. Lulu and her friend Daisy wisecrack their way through the book. The denouement leaves them all in danger until Daisy's scarily controlling mom shows a new facet of her personality with a daring rescue. While many of the situations are outlandish, they are also amusing, such as when Lulu hijacks a city bus and involves the passengers in helping her get into a suspect's building. Teens will enjoy this smart, funny chick-lit heroine who has real problems and a satirical outlook.–B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 6-9. Even after her successful sleuthing in Lulu Dark Can See through Walls
^B (2005), Madison's reluctant girl detective mocks Nancy Drew-type series: "In real life, mysteries happen once in a lifetime, not once a week." Perhaps, but this sequel wastes no time in introducing another puzzle: Is Lulu's washed-up celebrity mom the ringleader of a guerilla group against Hollywood ageism? When her mother's disappearance coincides with the kidnapping of her friend-turned-flame Charlie, Lulu launches an investigation loaded with both farce and chipper, modern-girl spirit ("It's one thing to threaten me with a loaded gun. It's another to be condescending"). Discoveries about relationships underlie the rampant plot absurdities, and Lulu emerges as more wholesome than many of chick-lit's edgier heroines, barely mentioning sex and drinking "ginger ale . . . straight up, on the rocks." Fans and newcomers alike will want to see more of Lulu, as much for her screwball adventures as to find out whether she and Charlie ever settle into a comfy best-friends-with-benefits routine. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved