I'm very excited to review this book, the first of a new young-adult mystery series, as it is written by a friend of mine. The series is about the adventures of 14-year-old Summer, her cousin Francesca, and her friend Arabella. In this story, Summer is spending July and August at Lake Como in Italy, where her mother is restoring a painting. There, the girls encounter a boy who is falsely accused of a crime, and they work together to prove his innocence. In the meantime, Summer has struggles of her own as she deals with bad news from her mother.
The series is reminiscent of the Nancy Drew series that I loved as a child. One difference is that the mystery element is only one aspect of the story. The trials of adolescence and the bonds among families and friends are also explored. The exotic setting is an additional attraction of this book, as are interesting details about scuba diving and Italian art. Another detail I particularly liked are the photographs placed at the beginning of each chapter, as they help the reader visualize each scene.
More information about the series and how to purchase the first book is available at the Lake Como Girls blog.