Goeglein, T.M. Cold Fury (Cold Fury #1)
24 July 2012, Putnam Juvenile
Sara Jane Rispoli has a fairly calm life in Chicago-- her father and grandfather have a bakery, she goes to a private school, boxes, and is in a movie club with a couple of good friends. All that changes when she comes home from a school dance to find her family missing, the house covered in blood, and someone who wants to attack her as well. She gets further drawn into the family's mysteries, and finds that her grandfather was more than a baker-- he was a huge part of the Outfit, an underworld group that controlled alcohol sales during Prohibition. Her family's bakery was a front for moving huge quantities of molasses to bootleggers, and her grandfather didn't object to being in "the business", but her father wanted to keep it from Sarah Jane and her brother, and try to get out of it. Sara Jane finds a notebook and a case filled with emergency supplies that her father left her, and is able to trust a few people with her secrets. She meets others in the Outfit and starts to realize that if she wants to get her family back, she may have to take her father's place in the organization.
Strengths: For some reason, students are still enthralled with information about the Mafia, and this certainly fulfills that desire. Lots of dirty dealing and vicious thug types as well as the stereotype shattering grandfather. For some reason, this was like reading an Adriana Trigiani book written by Anthony Horowitz. I was really surprised as how much I liked it.
Weaknesses: I understand why the main character is a girl, but I wish that it had been a boy. This was a little more violent than the spy books my female readers like.
I'm looking forward to the sequel, which comes out 13 August 2013!