October 18, 2019

Wolfe in Shepherd's Clothing (A Shepherd & Wolfe Mystery, Book 3)

Written by Angie Counios and David Gane
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing
480 pp.
Ages 15+

Regina authors Angie Counios and David Gane introduced their teen protagonists Tony Shepherd and Charlie Wolfe in Along Comes a Wolfe (Your Nickel's Worth, 2016) when Tony's girlfriend disappeared and the two went sleuthing. Now in their third book, Wolfe in Shepherd's Clothing, a finalist for the John Spray Mystery Award of the Canadian Children's Book Centre's book awards, the two teens are in their senior year of high school and trying to respect Detective Gekas's request that they try to keep out of police business. But there's a serial killer on the loose and the two can't seem to stop themselves from investigating, especially after it becomes personal.

While Tony's family includes parents celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, supportive older siblings Heather and Jodi and countless family and close friends akin to family, Charlie's is more of a black hole. Though treated like a son by the Shepherds, Charlie tends to keep himself at a distance, that is until he is evicted and comes to live with them and attend school with Tony.

School becomes the focal point for the two boys and Charlie definitely seems to be fitting in. He comfortably hangs with Tony and his best friend Mike, makes new friends, and seems to catch the eye of several girls. When Tony is convinced that Detective Gekas wants their help in investigating the brutal murders of three seemingly-unrelated persons, the boys pursue leads left by a manipulative killer who feels compelled to retaliate against them when they get too close. But, as the title suggests, not all are as they seem and the deadliest character may be hiding in plain view.

Wolfe in Shepherd's Clothing is a cat-and-mouse psychological thriller as Tony and Charlie attempt to uncover a serial killer. Even as author Angie Counios and David Gane alternate the story from the boys' perspective with that of the twisted killer, it was impossible to predict the criminal's identity. With a plethora of twists and turns and a multitude of characters, Wolfe in Shepherd's Clothing is as involved a read as it is a thrilling plot. Still Angie Counios and David Gane tie things up effectively without being frivolous or simple–no one likes solving a mystery easily– even leaving readers hanging with a teaser about the elusive Charlie for their next Shepherd & Wolfe Mystery book.

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