Dear Ms. Agent,
Solving the murder of your drug-dealing best friend can be difficult, especially when you’re only sixteen.
Blake Farmer’s suburban neighborhood in North Carolina has always bored him. The only crime the neighbors knew of was a cat hit and run. But one summer night after the tenth grade, Blake’s father is murdered following a car jacking. A suspect is never found, and despite his mom’s efforts to get Blake to see a counselor, he buries his emotions by working at a skateboarding park and getting high with best friend, high school drug dealer Kyle.
But when Kyle misses too many days of school without letting Blake know, Blake becomes suspicious. At first, he believes the text messages from Kyle--he’s just under the weather and he even trusts the updates that Kyle’s boyfriend gives him. Eventually, responsible Kyle doesn’t show up for too many commitments and Blake knows something is wrong. With help from an unlikely source, Margo--the target of Blake and Kyle’s teasing in middle school--Blake tries to figure out what’s happened to his best friend.
Not wanting to rely on the police who let him down before, Blake and Margo start their own investigation. They both become entangled in a long-standing drug war that Blake had no clue was happening right under his nose. Confused about new feelings for Margo and the real reason for his best friend’s death, Blake becomes overwhelmed as he uncovers an entire underground drug ring and makes enemies out of people he never thought twice about before.
THE BLUES is a contemporary young adult mystery about the violence, drugs, and betrayal that ensues when trying to get to the bottom of a small town crime.
I am currently a secondary history teacher and a member of SCBWI and AWP. I am working toward my MFA at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) and I read for the FDU Literary Review Magazine. I have included the first 250 words below per the contest guidelines. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Henry Knight was found bludgeoned to death early this morning.
I’m pretty sure I was whacking off to one of those phone sex commercials at the same moment that someone bashed his head in. The worst part about all of this…I mean, worst than his parents losing their kid, is the fact that it sucks he won’t be around to get high with me. Henry was a good smoking partner. I’d light up with him and we’d try to name all of the members of the Avengers, or the order of the people kicked off of that karaoke singing competition on TV. Who would I do those things with now? And who is gonna help Kyle make all of his money?
“We will watch a video on the beginnings of World War Two.” Mr. Kim grits his teeth as he pushes buttons on his laptop. His loud booming voice pulls me out of my trance.
“We always watch videos!” someone calls out.
Me, Mr. Kim, and everyone else looks around. There are only ten of us in the class but Mr. Kim is nearly deaf and blind so he’ll never find the culprit.
“Who said that? Blake?” Mr. Kim has his eyes all squinty as he glares at me.
I lift my hands in defense and Mr. Kim fixes his eyes on my classmates, looking for someone to verbally murder. The image of Henry Knight’s yearbook picture from the news this morning flashes in my mind. Who would kill poor, defenseless, Henry?