I started this series way back in March. I was looking for something funny to listen to and ran across the first book Trouble is a Friend of Mine. I was intrigued and decided to give it a try, and I was immediately hooked. Kathleen McInerney did an excellent job as the narrator, she can do witty and snarky teenager well. She narrates for all three books, but I only did the audiobook for the first two. Even though the third book came out in April, it took forever for my local public library to get a copy, so that is why there is such a huge lag in getting this review done. But it was worth the wait. The third book in the series was just as good as the first two and was a very satisfying ending to the mystery of what happened to Digby’s sister.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine (book 1)
Of course I didn’t like Digby when I first met him. No one does.
The first time Philip Digby shows up on Zoe Webster’s doorstep, he’s rude and he treats her like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to.
But before she knows it, Zoe’s allowed Digby—annoying, brilliant, and somehow…attractive? Digby—to drag her into a series of hilarious, dangerous, and only vaguely legal schemes all related to the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that might be connected to the tragic disappearance of his little sister eight years ago. When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can’t say no.
But is Digby a hero? Or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exorcize his own obsessive-compulsive tendencies? And does she really care anyway?
“When there’s an end-of-the-world cult living next door to you, make it your business to find out what they’re up to,” he said. “That’s, like, a basic life rule.”
Well I liked Digby from the start. Yes, he was annoying, but also I could sense something in him that I liked, and he does sort of grow on you. Zoe was a little bit harder to like. She was a little bit whiny and very self centered, but Digby ends up being exactly what she needed to get her out of herself. The schemes and situations they find themselves in are quite humorous, and I often found myself saying why did you do that??? But laughing at the same time. There is a hilarious group of supporting characters as well. Henry, the football jock who is incredibly handsome, Sloane, the high school queen bee and mean girl who ends up sort of being Zoe’s friend and Felix, the much younger genius geek who has a crush on Zoe.
There is a lot more to the plot than just Digby searching for what happened to his sister. There is a host of creepy adults doing bad things that this scooby like gang ends up spoiling their evil plans. Meanwhile all of the usual high school drama is also going on. All with witty banter and of course sleuthing.
Trouble Makes a Comeback (Book 2)
“How do you like life in the fast lane?” Digby said. “Is it everything you thought it would be?”
Achieving high school “normal” wasn’t as hard as Zoe Webster expected, but she’s beginning to think Hollywood oversold how much fun it all is. Isn’t dating a jock supposed to be one long Instagram dream? Shouldn’t she enjoy gossiping 24/7 with her two BFFs? And isn’t this, the last year before the finish line that is Princeton, meant to be one of her best? If “normal” is the high school goal, why can’t Zoe get Philip Digby—decidedly abnormal, completely chaotic, possibly unbalanced, undoubtedly rude, and somehow…entirely magnetic—out of her mind?
However normal Zoe’s life finally is, it’s about to get blown up (metaphorically. This time. She hopes, anyway.*) when Digby shows up on her doorstep. Again. Needing her help to find his kidnapped sister. Still. Full of over-the-top schemes and ready to send Zoe’s life into a higher gear. Again.
It’s time for Zoe Webster to choose between staying in the normal lane, or taking a major detour with Digby (and finally figuring out what that stolen kiss actually meant to him).
Guess which she chooses?
* This is a mistake; Zoe should know better than to expect there not to be explosions when Digby is in town
“He carries around a notebook where he keeps a list of suspects and motives so the police will have leads if he ever turns up murdered”
This second book was just as good as the first. In this one, there is an evil coach who is dealing drugs to the football team under the guise of vitamins and supplements. All sorts of shenanigans ensue, and yes I do believe there was an explosion in this one as well.
Zoe and Digby’s relationship continues to develop even though they both have other people they are dating. Austin, Zoe’s boyfriend, becomes an unwitting participant in the Digby schemes. Bill, Digby’s girlfriend also comes along at times, but she ends up not as helpful and becomes the new mean girl in this book. I really liked how Zoe’s and Sloane’s relationship develops in this book. We get a better idea what Sloane’s life is like and how she is the way she is. I ended up liking Sloane better in this book, she grows on you. Henry is also a sweetheart and really cares about his teammates and what the coach is doing to them.
Trouble Never Sleeps (book 3)
No one makes getting into trouble look as good as Philip Digby—and he looks good doing it. Now that he’s back in town, he’s plunged Zoe (and their Scooby Gang of wealthy frenemy Sloane, nerd-tastic genius Felix, and aw-shucks-handsome Henry) back into the deep end on the hunt for his kidnapped sister. He’s got a lead, but it involves doing a deal with the scion of an alarmingly powerful family, not to mention committing some light treason. Zoe and Digby are officially together now, and she’s definitely up for whatever closure this new caper might offer, even though this mystery will come with a twist neither expected.
With acerbic banter, steamy chemistry, and no small amount of sarcasm, Zoe and Digby are the will-they-or-won’t-they, charismatic crime solving couple you’ve been waiting for.
“Love triangles happen because people get confused about their feelings for the partner they already have,” I said. “High school is hundreds of people at peak horniness spending eight hours a day together while being told that absolutely no way can they have sex. There’s going to be confusion.”
This one starts off right where book 2 left off. Zoe and Digby kissing, right after they both broke up with their girl and boy friends. Some one snaps their pictures making out and posts it online with some rather nasty comments. The scenes that follow are typical high school drama stuff, that was handled quite well by the author. It was funny while still maintaining that wit and sarcasm that I have come to expect from Zoe and Digby and the gang.
This third installment was a bit lower key than the other two as many of the stories are tied up and come to an end. Most of the focus is on Digby and Zoe’s relationship. They do find out what happened to Digby’s sister, after heisting some research from a government facility, almost getting killed by the drug dealers from the last book, and getting very little sleep. But it was still a fast paced and exciting read that was hard to put down.
Overall I highly recommend this series, especially if you are looking for a light and funny Scooby-do type book. Lots of fun dialogue and witty banter with some realistic high school characters. Even though there are no more books planned in this series, I would really love to see more books. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by this author.