I really like the Adrien English mysteries but this is not my favourite of the series so far - that's number two. Maybe it's the lack of Jake (please don't gang up on me, any Jake haters out there).
Whilst I found the mystery interesting, what I liked most about the story is how Adrien is thrust into his new family dynamic. He's now got three stepsisters who are something of a (telepathic) force of nature. Adrien is quietly overwhelmed. He's suffering through family get-together's and Christmas day with them, having to make the awkward transition from only child to sibling. They just won't take no for an answer.
Meanwhile his relationship with Jake slowly disintegrates, which is quite painful to read about. It has an almost unstoppable quality. There are little signs, little niggles leading up to the inevitable conclusion. The strain of being out whilst Jake is firmly in the closet.
...he asked, "What did you tell them?It's a book where things fall apart, whilst other things come together. Very good subjects for a middle book to tackle.
"I told them we were friends. I lied. That's what you want, right?"
The main thing that keeps me reading this series is Adrien, possibly one of my favourite characters. He's sarcastic, speaks when he shouldn't, is vulnerable yet stands up for himself.
..."I'm not involved in a serious monogamous relationship."He has a way of putting things, that cuts straight to the heart of them.
I was, but it was apparently a solo effort.
This is one series that I'm not waiting until next year to finish. DIK Challenge book for December will be another Adrien English mystery. :)