Four dead queens by Astrid Scholte
Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760524418. 418p; p/b.
In a divided world where citizens of each quadrant must conform to strict societal expectations, outcast pickpocket Keralie accidentally uncovers a plot to assassinate the queens of the realms and must try to stop it. Scholte does an expert job of keeping the reader engaged, with compelling pacing and clever little tricks, for example a unique use of chapter titles.
As characters deal with the burden of upholding and enforcing outdated traditions, struggle to keep their secrets and hide their regrets, there's plenty for readers to relate to, especially younger readers dealing with expectations they're born into. The novel is appropriate for a variety of ages, with the only potentially worrisome content being mildly graphic depictions of violence. This does not mean more mature readers will be bored however, with a complex political plot to get absorbed into.
Fans of crime and suspense novels will find this one intriguing. It has new twists and turns leaving the reader hooked to the very end.