Queen of the Tiles. Hanna Alkaf. 2022. 320 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: When Trina Low walks by, the world holds its breath.
Premise/plot: Najwa Bakri, our heroine, is returning to the world of competitive scrabble a year after the death of her best friend (and social media star) Trina Low. It's been one year since her friend literally dropped dead mid-game in competition. The experience was so traumatic that Najwa still can't remember exactly what happened that day; she's blocked it out. But when her dead friend's Instagram account starts posting again the weekend of competition, well, it's spooky and weird. Najwa and her frenemies (and a few legitimate friends) work together--or seemingly so--to solve the mystery of Trina's death. Is there a killer among them? Or was her death an accident?
My thoughts: Queen of the Tiles is a YA mystery. The list of suspects is long. I think the quicker a reader can speed through this one, the better it will be to become immersed in the story and go with the flow. Some characters blend together; others stand out. But beware red herrings!
There is a LOT of Scrabble talk--playing, planning, strategizing, etc. Each chapter starts with an [obscure] word and its [possible] points when played.
I can see this appealing to some readers, but not all readers.
© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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