3 stars to Death and Detention by M.T. Harrte

Published September 8, 2013 by katheryn13

In a sleepy Mississippi town, a slew of mysterious murders are setting the town on edge, and everyone is worried they will be claimed as the next victim. Seventeen year old Jessica St. Claire, a normal girl living in an abnormal place, dreams of finally being accepted by her world renowned family of necromancers and will do just about anything to prove she is worthy of the name St. Claire.

The bodies keep multiplying so the police finally turn to Jessica’s detective brother to aid in the investigation. When a Do Not Reanimate clause prevents him from using the family gift, Jessica seizes the opportunity to prove she can crack the case without it.

Teaming up with her best friends, she embarks on a mission ranging from questioning a withered Civil War Veteran to breaking and entering. Her own life ends up in jeopardy when she stumbles too close to uncovering the truth. Catching a glimpse into Death’s mirror and seeing her own reflection, Jessica must now call on more than her wits to stay alive.

The murder mystery notwithstanding, Jessica must pass all of her classes and avoid another Saturday detention if she is to graduate.


Feeling like an outcast in her own home for not having inherited the family power of Necromancy, Jess jumps at the chance to help her detective brother solve the case of the serial killer who seems to be targeting girls of a similar description as herself. With the help of her shape-shifting and witch best friends, Onyx and Pru, the three girls desperately try to juggle a murder investigation, high school and their own family problems.

Death and Detention was a quick read, very well paced and due to the comical personalities of Onyx and Pru it gives the reader some relief from the heavy drama surrounding the girls. Despite the paranormal activity of the town, the characters actions managed to stay realistic and grounded (well, except Pru’s little sister, Gracie, who has the tendency to climb the walls…literally) 

Some parts seemed to go off track, however, and a feeling of inconsistency made it hard to concentrate. It would go from serious to girly and happy in a matter of pages, with no real reason. There was a small amount of romance involved, but it wasn’t exactly the main point of the story,

Despite all this, because of the language used in this, I can’t really give it a higher rating. I found the phrases and wordings the author used were jarring and  it often took me out of the book, therefore made it incredibly difficult for me to get through.

For example, “I felt like poop, warmed over poop, which I assumed wasn’t a very good feeling at all” and I felt the text speak “mayb u wrk eith me 4 a while?” in the first chapter set the tone for me.

All in all it wasn’t the worst book I’d ever read, and it certainly has an audience, although I’d suspect a younger audience than what you’d initially think. It’ll be interesting to see what the author comes up with for a sequel. This was a good attempt, and given it was self-published, even more so. I admire anyone who can get their work out on their own, and this is no exception.

I’d like to thank the author for sending us a copy to review.


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