Asbury High and the Parcels of Poison (#2 Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series) by Kelly Brady Channick

Published May 24, 2020 by Purple Milk Publishing

Synopsis: Asbury’s fearless foursome is back! Is their favorite restaurant to blame for customers falling ill? Or is there something more sinister at work?

After an unprecedented first year of high school, the gang is ready for a relaxing summer vacation, although in Asbury that may be easier said than done. This summer, the Food Network is running a summer special highlighting local hot spots; Carly, Maddie, Pilot and Cornelious are psyched to have the world’s best restaurant featured – their very own Brady’s! In fact, Maddie can almost forget that her arch-nemesis, Alexis Johnson, will also be on TV for winning the logo design for Caulfield’s Candies… almost.

However, after patrons start falling ill, rumors of food poisoning cause many to point their finger at Brady’s. When Brady’s threatens to close it’s doors, Pilot realizes his mother’s job is in jeapordy, as well as his future in Asbury. With the aid of Cornelious’ wealthy cousin Dane, who spends every summer with the quartet, the gang is once again thrust into an investigation. Unfortunately, they find themselves thwarted by both the local police (who believe their recent success was due to luck rather than skill), and Cornelious’ father, who has decided to run for Mayor of Asbury and cautions his son on the need to maintain a spotless public image.

With a new pancake house on the boardwalk, Mainlanders invading their beaches, and the Pitbulls sneaking around and terrorizing shoobies (as usual), there’s no shortage of suspects. But can they solve the case before the summer, and Brady’s, are finished?

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In this second book in the Asbury High Mystery series, we meet up with our foursome of friends, some victims, and a bunch of secondary characters living in or visiting Asbury. It is the end of the school year and the four friends are getting ready to spend their summer together, much of it at the beach. When people start getting sick after eating at their favourite restaurant, food poisoning is suspected and Brady’s has to shut its doors. The kids want to help out their favourite chefs and figure out what is happening and make sure Brady’ stays open. Will the police take 15 year olds seriously? Will anyone talk to them when they are investigating?

I like that the mysteries in these books are ones that readers of YA would be able to identify with. The lives of the four main characters are realistic with school activities, bullying, sports, rivals, crushes and family issues. Once again, the police had no idea what was going on, and it took the four teens to put the clues together to figure out what was going on. There were not really a lot of suspects, but there were a couple of red herrings. The final twist at the end was fun and I enjoyed how the group put the pieces together to solve the full mystery. Of course there is a little surprise at the end that I enjoyed. This book brings back memories of the mysteries that I read as a young adult. I recommend this book to young mystery lovers

About the Author: For as long as she could remember, Kelly Brady Channick loved making up stories and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.

Perhaps that’s why she always managed to talk herself out of trouble…

After graduating from NJ’s own Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. As a lifelong athlete, Kelly understands the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, something she hopes translates into her books.

Before writing page-turners, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show.

Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boy, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat.