This lighthearted, fast-paced mystery, set in a small town in Australia, features a teen heroine named Rosie and several interesting characters in their 80s. Rosie describes her granddad, Paddy, as “a nice crook [who] wouldn’t hurt a mouse.” When Paddy is caught with hot property and sent to jail for six months, he gives Rosie temporary custody of his Mercedes and his cell phone, but both come with strings attached. Rosie agrees to chauffeur her granddad’s many friends around town, which turns out to be more demanding than she expected. She also receives increasingly sinister calls about a stolen diamond ring that Paddy knows nothing about.
The juxtaposition of Paddy’s friends against Rosie’s typical teen interests (boys, clothes, cars) adds a unique and often comic element to this story. The Eisenberg sisters, aged 82 and 84, love to argue in gentle voices about absolutely everything, including driving directions. Mrs. Foat is a widow who needs rides to visit her sister. Eric and Janice Duval, a married couple, don’t always go where they tell each other they’re going.
Rosie learns that people in their 80s aren’t as emotionally different from teenagers as she thought. After overhearing a conversation between Rosie and her best friend, Mrs. Foat advises Rosie to go out with an attractive but dangerous boy: “Don’t let your friend talk you out of it, Rosie. There’s plenty of time to be safe, and it’s a long life to live without a bit of passion to remember on those lonely nights.”
Suspenseful and romantic, with lots of humor, this is a fun romp for teen girls.