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A series about Olivia Simon, a teenage girl who gets roped into a murder case after following her detective brother to the crime scene. With the help of her friends, Justin, Mae, and Chuck, she must find the killer before someone else ends up dead.

This story provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adventure Duo: Landon and Cassie, Olivia and Justin
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Chuck and Olivia both count as this.
  • Badass: Larson. He doesn't get drunk, has punched a rhino in the face, and didn't realize when he got shot in the shoulder.
    • In the fourth book, Olivia and Chuck find a rhino 'tied to a parking meter', and bring it to his office for him to punch, which he doesn't do.
  • Beauty Contest: One of the sideplots in the fifth book is Mae and Chuck going undercover at a beauty pageant where one of the contestants is thought to be the next target.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Olivia and Mae use one per book, first time to get out of Mae's house to go on a rogue investigation, the second time to break out of house arrest from Detective Madison's apartment, the third time to go to the crime scene in the middle of the night, the fourth time to go see the body in the middle of the night. Apparently, Olivia keeps one on standby.
  • Benevolent Boss: Chief Gibbs
  • Berserk Button: Detective Madison does NOT like being kicked off murder cases. And she likes knowing her daughter is in danger even less.
  • Beta Couple: Even though they're the main couple, Justin and Olivia took far less time getting together than any other couple did and is far more sane than any other couple.
  • The Big Board: Olivia has one covering her entire bedroom wall in the third book, which she keeps hidden behind a tarp.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Olivia speaks Russian. In the fifth book, this exchange comes up:

 Benny the Shopkeeper (About getting a key to unlock the bondage cuffs linking Liam and Olivia together) It might take a few days. Maybe a few weeks. Sorry.

Liam A few weeks?

Olivia (speaks Russian.)

Liam What'd you just say?

Olivia Really bad curse words in Russian.

    • If you translate what she says, the phrase she's literally saying in Russian is 'really bad curse words in Russian.'
  • Black Best Friend: Sam to everyone.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Mae (blonde), Detective Madison (brunette), and Chuck/Olivia (Redhead)
  • Broken Bird: Detective Madison eloped with her boyfriend, got knocked up, found out he was cheating on her, kicked him out, and is now a single mother. Mae's little sister was killed, the first victim of the serial killer, and she never knew why her sister died.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Detective Madison is said to only be allowed to do the things she does because she does what she's supposed to do so well. Heyrovsky, Olivia and Liam's English teacher, is a much straighter example. He's barefoot, a hippie, old, probably stoned or drunk, and only allowed to teach because he has a doctorate in English literature.
  • Butt Monkey: Detective Larson always ends up listening to people's relationship rants, much to his dismay. Chuck steals his credit card, Olivia steals his breakfast, and nobody particurally likes him.
  • Chained Heat: Olivia and Liam in the fifth book. With probably used bondage cuffs.
  • Cheerful Child: Kate Madison.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Justin and Landon about their feelings for Olivia and Detective Madison, respectively.
  • Da Chief: Gibbs
  • Darker and Edgier: The chapter where a five-year-old girl is stabbed 36 times.
  • Dead Little Sister: Mae's got one.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Detective Madison and Landon take this to an extreme, sneaking off to pretend having sex when undercover at a party and being followed by bad guys. Olivia's reaction is hilarious:

  "As much as I enjoy the idea that you two have put your differences aside and fell in love, you couldn't have chosen a worse time to do so."

  Me, in a comment: "Kate defies death for the sole purpose that she's cute. I can't kill cute. I can kidnap cute, I can drug cute, I can hang cute upside down from a tree, but I cannot kill cute."

  • Intrepid Reporter: Mandi Reede, less so in her first appearance, but much more in other appearances.
  • Kid Appeal Character: Any character younger than 15 is this.
  • Kid Detective: Justin, Mae, Olivia, and Chuck.
  • Last-Name Basis: Olivia calls all of the adults by their last names, with the exceptions of Landon and Samantha
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Not only is Cassie supposedly infertile, but she and Landon didn't try getting pregnant from their one-night stand.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: There's not really another way to explain the character's actions sometimes.
  • Mama Bear: Detective Madison
  • Manipulative Bastard: Most of the characters, at one point or another, show signs of this. Most prominently Olivia, Chuck, and Detective Madison.
  • Megaton Punch: When Landon quits his job as a cop, Detective Madison punches him in the face.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Justin and Olivia
  • Papa Wolf: Landon to Chuck and Olivia, despite being their brother.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Detective Larson
  • Poor Communication Skills: Landon and Cassie. Half of their major relationship problems could be avoided if Landon listend and Cassie communicated.
  • Pregnant Badass: Detective Madison in the third book. And fourth book. And fith book.
  • Promotion to Parent: Landon Simon, after he, Olivia, and Chuck's mother passed away and their father ran away.
  • Screaming Birth: Played straight by Detective Madison (though justified since she was shot in the ovary, which induced labor), and averted HARD by Sam, who was calm enough to talk Chuck through how to help her give birth.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Justin to Olivia, right before she is about to go meet the killer.
  • Something They Would Never Say: Detective Madison first says 'I love you' to Landon after being kidnapped. Landon's response: Something is horribly wrong.
  • Tagalong Kid: Technically, all of the main characters under the age of 15, but Kate and Chuck tagalong the tagalongs.
  • Tomboyish Name: Chuck
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Chuck and Mae, respectively, with Olivia between them.
  • Two First Names: Landon Simon, Cassie Madison, and Kate Madison.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Olivia, Mae,and Justin
  • We Need a Distraction: Mae and Chuck's 'asthma attack' in the third book to help Olivia get past guards and sneak onto a crime scene in an animal habitat at the zoo.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone but Gibbs' reaction to Landon leaving his job at the station.
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