Literary Sleuths, a la Veronica Mars

heiress piI am still riding on the Veronica Mars train as I plow through season 2. I'm holding off on seeing the movie until I finish the series but I cannot wait! In the meantime, these bookish sleuths are enhancing my love for the other new Nancy Drews.  Heiress, P.I. by Amanda Mahan (pictured). The inspiration for this book (which is just $2.99!) came a few years ago when Paris Hilton gave the police a tip that helped them solve a crime. Mahan starting thinking how funny it would be if Hilton's whole party-girl persona was a ruse and she was actually working as a private investigator. "That's why I call Heiress, P.I. 'Paris Hilton meets Veronica Mars,'" says Mahan. "Because the richest teen in the world gets made over and goes under cover to solve a mystery." Watch the trailer!

 Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff. Mila is a girl who senses things -- emotional clues, tiny details that the adults around her seem to miss. Her special skill makes her a grade-A detective when her father's old friend goes missing, and it also makes her a fascinating main character with tons of wit and heart (plus super smart observations).

 Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington. When Liv comes to an exclusive private school on a scholarship, she thinks her life is golden. Then? She's viciously murdered. As Liv's ghost tries to piece together what happened, she discovers a dark conspiracy that spans over 100 years, one that will claim more victims if Liv doesn't expose it.