Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

First, I read Ally Carter’s novelette, Double Crossed, on my Kindle. It’s an intersection between her Gallagher Girls books and her Heist Society adventure novels. Macey Henry, Gallagher Girl, meets W.W. Hale the Fifth and his maybe girlfriend Katarina Bishop, the daughter of an infamous family of con men and criminals. Macey and Hale foil a gang of would-be jewel thieves at a high society charity event while Kat and Gallagher Girls’ Covert Operations teacher, Abby Cameron, provide help from the outside.

So, after getting a taste of Heist Society adventure, I remembered that I hadn’t yet found the time to read the second book in the Heist Society series, Uncommon Criminals, even though I bought it for Brown Bear Daughter for Christmas. And since said daughter is in Slovakia, I have unfettered access to her books. So, while waiting for the fireworks to start at the 4th of July celebration in Friendswood, I read about jewel thieves and con artists and the people who love them.

The book reads like a movie, a romantic adventure sort of movie, which, if one could go back in time, would suit a young Cary Grant playing opposite Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. Most of the story takes place in Monaco, which is probably why I thought of Grace Kelly. Alfred Hitchcock, of course, would direct. A young Jimmy Stewart could play the second love interest, Nick. I’m not sure who would play Katarina and Hale in a movie made with actual actors who are available nowadays.

At any rate, Ms. Carter has created a couple of fine, entertaining series for teens: The Gallagher Girls spy novels and the Heist Society crime caper novels. Try either series, but read the books in order and get ready to have some fun. Classify these as light summer (or anytime) reading when you’re in the mood for a little mind candy.

Gallagher Girls Series
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (2006)
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (2007)
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover (2009)
Only the Good Spy Young (2010)
Out of Sight, Out of Time (2012)
United We Spy(2013)

Heist Society Series
Heist Society (2010)
Uncommon Criminals (2011)
Perfect Scoundrels (2013)

Novella cross between the two series: Double-Crossed (2013)

Now, I still need to read United We Spy and Perfect Scoundrels. I’ll probably save them for my next summer event that involves waiting in a crowd or mild distractions that aren’t conducive to reading more serious tomes. Actually, these books would be just the right ones to keep on your e-reader and pull up in case of just such a reading emergency.

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