- This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink
As the descendant of legendary voodoo queen Marie Laveau and with her parents and boyfriend major players in New Orleans voodoo society, seventeen-year-old Claire Kincaid should at least be interested in the magical art, but she can’t help thinking it’s all a bunch of nonsense. She may not believe in “doll babies” or hexes, but Claire takes threats to her family very seriously, and when a string of thefts and the appearance of a violent, mysterious man threaten all she holds dear, she puts her sleuthing skills and a few newly discovered psychic abilities to the test as she tries put a stop to a dark curse. Dressed up with a New Orleans setting and a bit of magic, this is basically a Nancy Drew mystery, and it follows a similarly predictable trajectory that has our heroine conveniently finding knowledgeable allies in unfamiliar places, getting kidnapped just as she’s closing in on the bad guys, and then subsequently being rescued by pals but only after the villains reveal the details of their dastardly plot. The descriptions of the Garden District and Louisiana backwaters liven things up a bit, but the exploration of voodoo never reaches beyond the superficial. The mention of curses and blood magic might be enough to attract fans of supernatural thrillers, however, and Nancy Drew in NOLA makes for a pretty easy booktalk.