Nightingale by Jerry Pinkney (2002). This was a beautiful picture book version of the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale but set in Morocco. There is a little girl with more than her share of common sense in the story. The symbol of death is a little creepy but otherwise a lovely, lovely book.
Drama! the Four Dorothys by Paul Ruditis (2007). This is a cute mystery with a teenage detective Bryan Stark. He attends the elite Orion High School filled with Hollywood’s progeny. The egos are so big that the school’s musical production features four leading ladies. The mystery is so-so as the Dorothys are incapacitated one by one but Bryan’s amusing observations more than make up for it. It’s the first in a series.
Romeo’s Ex by Lisa Fiedler (2006). This is Rosalind’s story in which we find out that she was much smarter and more mature than Romeo. She finds a worthy man but not without death, revenge and a painful amount of self-destructive behavior by everyone involved. Not for the fan of the romantic Romeo & Juliet.
Improper English by Katie Macalister (2003). A young American woman Alexandra goes to London to write a romance novel. She regales everyone from her cabdriver to her landlady with her progress. The problem is, the stuff is awful. It’s abysmal. In fact, Macalister could have eased up on us a little.
Alexandra does meet a handsome man there, named Alexander. He, understandably enough, shudders whenever she approaches him with her manuscript in hand. Not bad but I like Macalister’s vampires better.