Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble:
(Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
by Kelly Brady Channick
About Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble
Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing (February 1, 2020)
Paperback: 260 pages
Digital ASIN: B0845LBTQC
Asbury, although a haven to shoobies (tourists) in the summer, is a divided coastal town. With the rich half living in the East, and the rest living in the West, most friendships stay within their boundaries. Luckily for a spunky-smart tomboy, a clever billionaire athlete, a gossipy-in-the-know cheerleader, and a wrong side of the tracks technological genius, boundaries are a foreign concept. In fact, Maddie, Cornelious, Carly and Pilot have been Asbury’s strongest quartet for years, despite their vast differences.
Nevertheless, after a few weeks of starting high school, the foursome’s friendship is tested.
After a string of burglaries in East Asbury, the gang decides to solve the crime as a reason to make time for each other. The further they investigate, the more they find themselves constantly side-stepping tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum-like policemen, outsmarting local bully JB and his gang of misfits, and dealing with Cornelious’ billionaire father and Governor—who has disapproved of his son’s choice of friends for years. In addition to these obstacles, the foursome must also adapt to their evolving friendship with each other and their peers.
With upperclassmen, teachers, and teammates vying for their attention, the gang must work even harder to root out the red-herrings from the true thief. Aided by Carly’s gossip, Maddie’s boldness, Cornelious’ quick-wit, and Pilot’s knack for technology, the gang soon discovers its edge over the local police department.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kelly and I’m from South Jersey, where I currently live with my handsome husband, funny nine-month-old, one sneaky cat and two overactive dogs. I’m a lifelong athlete, so I enjoy being active, running, and playing & watching sports. After high school, I worked hard and was fortunate to get a scholarship to play basketball at Holy Family University in Philly. Upon graduating, I taught fifth through eighth grade math and science for three years and LOVED teaching middle school way more than I thought I would. It was around this point that my husband and I got married and moved back to South Jersey from Philly (he’s from Philly).
Moving back home, I taught first grade for two years, before having my big, little man and choosing to stay at home with him. It was during these past few months that my amazing husband finally convinced me to get my YA Mystery series, Asbury High, published. I have fully committed myself and am excited to say by the end of this year the first three books, of the seven-book series, will be published.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
- I’ve flown a plane before, because my friend in grade school had a small, private plane and her dad let me fly it—with him right next to me of course.
- I was voted class clown of my graduating class at Ocean City High School—without attending any parties or ever drinking 🙂
- I’ve actually only had one boyfriend, and I married him!
What is the first book you remember reading?
The first book I remember reading by myself was ‘Three Cheers for Tacky’, I was young too, about four. I think if your parents read to you every day AND you have an older sibling who loves reading, then you’re more apt to start reading at a younger age.
What are you reading now?
I’m one of those people who read two books at once. I just finished Lisa Matthews’ Death by Curiosity–which is a hilarious, adult mystery book that I highly recommend, and am halfway through the Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen.
What books have most inspired you?
Without a doubt, the Harry Potter series. Anyone who knows me from grade school will tell you I’m an obsessed Potterhead—but really I’m a JK Rowling fan. All of her stories are extremely well-written and I can’t put them down once I crack them open. If you haven’t read her Cormoran Strike novels, you’re missing out.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
Honestly, mysteries are my favorite genre, and I’ve always loved problem-solving. I constantly find myself asking questions throughout the day, and sometimes those questions become stories themselves.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
Not really, and nowadays with a baby, I bring my laptop and notebook wherever I can, whenever I can!
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
I once heard that the best writers write what they know. Therefore, although I can’t exactly say where the crimes or mysteries come from (I guess that’s just my imagination), a lot of the characters and places in my books are rooted in my experiences. Basically, if you treated me kindly, I probably based a character off you, or used your name… but the opposite is true too though!
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Just making the time to write! There seriously aren’t enough hours in the day.
What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters, set in a well-described scene or setting, with an unpredictable plot. I don’t want to know exactly where the book is heading after the first few pages.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
I like to think each of my characters have a little bit of me inside of them (whether it’s the good traits or the not so good ones), but a lot of people close to me have pointed out that (or asked me point blank), that Maddie is a lot like me. I take that as a compliment seeing as she’s the class valedictorian, and best female athlete in town— not to mention pretty fearless.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I wrote this book and the series outline when I was 18. At the time there were a lot of paranormal or overly romanticized books out there. I wanted to write a good, old-fashioned sleuthing novel—with four main characters instead of one, so everyone can have a chance to relate.
Honestly, I feel like a lot of YA novels have pretty graphic scenes in them, or are trying to make a political statement with dystopian futures and real-life issues many face every day—which is fine because I truly like reading those types of books too— BUT I wrote my series to take a break from all of that, and help the reader forget about scary, real-world issues. In fact, my series is more of a cozy mystery series, in which you can read with friends and family, and discuss the whole book without feeling awkward. And, seeing as I love JK Rowling, I made sure to sprinkle clues and little pieces of seemingly insignificant information throughout each of my books. Therefore, the reader might not even know something is important until a few books later! Basically, I set out to create the small, but believable town of Asbury, and I honestly think readers of all ages and preferences will enjoy this.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble was published in February, with the next two books in the series coming out in May and September respectively. After that, the final four books will be published 2021, and possibly 2022 (the fifth book is currently underway as we speak). I’ve also written an adult crime novel, and will be editing and redrafting that this year as well.
Thank you, Kelly, for visiting today!
More About Kelly Brady Channick
For as long as she could remember, Kelly Brady Channick loved making up stories and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.
Perhaps that’s why she always managed to talk herself out of trouble…
After graduating from NJ’s own Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. As a lifelong athlete, Kelly understands the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, something she hopes translates into her books.
Before writing page-turners, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show.
Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boy, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat.
Great Escape Book Tours Praise for Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble:
(Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
by Kelly Brady Channick
The final twist at the end was fun and I enjoyed how the group put the pieces together to solve the full mystery. I recommend this book to young mystery lovers, but I also enjoyed this story as it brought back some great memories.
~Carla Loves To Read
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