John Hobson is a London P.I. trying to improve his business. Actually, trying to create business. He accepts an intern, or what they call there a ‘work experience’ student, Angelina Choi, all of 16 years old, for a two week waddyacallit, I don’t think internship is exactly the right word.
Her first day on the job, he gives her a task.
“I’ve noticed this social Twitter internet media thing seems to be taking off,” he said, gesturing widely at the computer on her desk, as if that explained everything, “Could you create an account for me and get me some of those … followers? You know, I’ve just repainted my office, I want to be modern, and your lot seem to be familiar with this kind of thing.”
And he leaves.
Angelina, being all of sixteen and wise in the ways of the Digital Age, whereas P.I. Hobson is wise in the ways of the Dinosaur Age, gets to work. When her initial efforts produce few followers, she comes up with an idea. She (as Hobson) writes that if he gets enough followers, he would solve a current high profile murder case for free.
“So Choi,” Hobson said, (on his return), “am I …trending yet?” He pronounced trending like it was the name of an alien planet.
So, yeah, he is trending, with 353 following. So she had gone a bit further and promised that if he got 400 followers he would fight a wolf. So now he is REALLY trending.
He loses his sh*t, has Angelina explain to him all about social media and marketing and what produces engaging topics, and she works hard to drag Hobson into the world of Today.
“So, real people can see your tweeting?”
“Real real people? Like Will downstairs? Real people as opposed to internet people and trolls and whatnot?”
“Yes, Mister Hobson, the people on the internet are definitely real.”
Well, with that assurance, off they go to solve a murder, which was a pretty gruesome one. Two, actually, no make that three. A young man is attacked by a dog and killed, as well as the dog’s owner next door, found chewed up in his living room. The house of the young man shows signs of human involvement in the dog attack, and it becomes a really interesting case.
I really enjoyed this comic crime caper, but here are my concerns: a sixteen year old is permitted, actually sent by her school, to work in an investigative agency? WTF? Sixteen? And it had a kind of pervy feel, only because he is this much older guy and she is just a female kid. But there was nothing in the book to suggest pervy. That was just me.
Angelina contributes quite a bit to the investigation, so the book has one foot in the YA genre, and one foot in the Regular Murder Mystery genre. The author apparently is planning additional books for what is to become a series, and I look forward to them. The writing was good, characters were fun, and the mystery was first rate.
I’m still smiling.