By Anna, 1 August 2022
Upper middle-grade/young adult mystery/crime thriller, Win Lose Kill Die by Cynthia Murphy (ages 13+) opens at the beginning of a new school year at Morton Academy, a school where students are selected based on academic excellence. It’s the first day back at school, and protagonist/teen student Liz and her best friend, Taylor, are at a memorial assembly for Morgan, the head girl of the Academy. The past summer, Morgan and Liz were in a boat that flipped, resulting in Morgan’s death from drowning and Liz sustaining a bad head injury that leaves her hospitalised for most of the summer break. Morgan’s death is declared an accident, until the replacement head girl Jameela receives a chilling note threatening her life. Liz and Taylor, along with their friends, Kat, Marcus, and Cole, set out to find who is behind the terrible fates that have befallen their classmates, and how to protect other students from succumbing to the same deadly end.
The dark, creepy story is told mainly from the perspective of Liz, one of Morton’s top students. In between these chapters, the narrative switches to the perspective of the person behind the mystery; chilling disclosures from the murderer, telling readers how the killing actions were planned and committed. The descriptive writing, believable characters and unpredictable plot line make Win Lose Kill Die an absorbing page-turner that will appeal to fans of the series, Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.