The Rules for Lying by L.A. Kelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
New Jersey orphan Peter Whistler lives in a private group home, operated by Mrs Lucy Hart. It’s the 1930s, and everyone is suffering through the Great Depression. Everyone except, so far as he can tell, the Grimaldi family … and they’re running booze during Prohibition. Fifteen-year-old Peter can’t wait to get out of town.
Mrs. Hart tells Peter that when he turns 18, he will receive $500 to help him make his way in the world. So, he starts planning ways to make himself sound more important, wherever he lands. These become the initial Rules for Lying … which will become more important to him than he can imagine.
When the Grimaldis are murdered and their blind ward, Esther, is abducted, Peter is determined to help find her … but it soon becomes apparent that dark magic is afoot — and only his rules for lying will be able to save the day.
Peter’s journey takes him to Atlanta, and then to New Orleans where, with the help of both Creole and Cajun locals, he learns how best to harness his abilities and save his friend forever.
This was an entertaining, well-written piece of historical fantasy. There were some misspellings/incorrect usage in the few French phrases used (“n’est pas” where “n’est ce pas” would have been correct, for example), but I wasn’t yanked out of the story by the mistakes. Overall, Peter and his friends were likable and believable — even in unbelievable situations — and I enjoyed the book very much.
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