Cover image for Running girl
Running girl
Mason, Simon, 1962- , author.
First [American] edition.
Publication Information:
New York : David Fickling Books/Scholastic Inc., 2016.

Physical Description:
420 pages ; 22 cm
Garvie Smith is a sixteen-year-old with a genius level IQ, who can not be bothered with school, smokes cannabis, and hangs out with the bad boys--but when fifteen-year-old Chloe Dow is murdered he comes up against the ambitious Detective Inspector Singh, and both of them are determined to solve the case.
General Note:
"First published in the United Kingdom in 2014 by David Fickling Books"--Copyright page.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



A smart, engaging murder mystery filled with unexpected twists and turns perfect for Sherlock and CSI fans.

Garvie Smith has the highest IQ ever recorded at Marsh Academy. And the lowest grades. His philosophy: What's the point? Life sucks. Nothing surprising ever happens. Until his ex-girlfriend's body is pulled from a pond and the facts surrounding her disappearance don't add up. Ambitious, uptight, methodical Detective Singh is on the case and he's determined to solve the mystery and get promoted. He doesn't need any help from a notorious slacker. Or does he?

Author Notes

Simon Mason has written both children's and adult books. His first adult novel, a black comedy entitled The Great English Nude , won a Betty Trask Award, and a book for children, Moon Pie , was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the United Kingdom. Running Girl was the first in a new series starring Garvie Smith. Simon lives in Oxford, England, with his wife and their two children.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Garvie Smith is a genius slacker with a knack for solving mysteries. When his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dow is found dead in a pond, Garvie crosses paths with Inspector Singh, who is determined to catch the killer and who doesn't appreciate Garvie meddling in police business. But while Singh's investigations keep hitting dead ends, Garvie's turn up details pointing to a dark secret Chloe was keeping. Mason's first teen novel is a rather dense whodunit filled with enough red herrings to keep most readers engaged. Readers who look for identifiable characters may be disappointed, as Mason opts to focus more on plot than character study. But the mystery surrounding Chloe's death is realistically gritty, as is the poverty-stricken area where Garvie lives. Singh, for his part, faces scrutiny because of his Sikh religion, which adds another layer to the tale. Offer this one alongside the older Sammy Keyes mysteries, by Wendelin Van Draanen, for teens who want mysteries that force them, as well as the characters, to think.--Wildsmith, Snow Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Garvie Smith, unmotivated high school genius, and Raminder Singh, a Sikh detective inspector, make for an oddly matched but highly entertaining detecting duo in Mason's darkly comic whodunit. Despite his enviable brain and test scores, Garvie, 16, has the worst grades at Marsh Academy-he'd rather skip class and smoke with his friends, to the consternation of his mother. Then his former girlfriend Chloe Dow, the popular girl who everyone seemed to dislike, is pulled dead from a local pond, strangled. It's a headline-grabbing case for Singh, who methodically explores all avenues, from Chloe's strained family life to her not-so-secret partying. Garvie pursues his own investigation: he's positive that, like everything else in his life, Chloe's death is simply one big puzzle waiting to be solved with logic and reason, despite Singh repeatedly telling him to keep out of police business. Mason (Moon Pie) grounds the story in reality as Garvie grows to better understand that actions have real and sometimes permanent consequences, seamlessly melding British teen drama with a believable and suspenseful plot full of well-executed twists. Ages 14-up. Agent: Anthony Goff, David Higham Associates. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This sly British murder mystery weaves in elements of both hard-boiled detective tales (think Raymond Chandler) and buddy-cop mismatch (think 48 Hours). Garvie Smith is a whip-smart and drolly cool high school slacker who spends his free time mulling over mathematical riddles and solving imaginary crimes. When the town's difficult It Girl, Chloe Dow, is found murdered, Garvie applies his skills to solving a real-life homicide. As the teen's long-suffering Bajan mother hits the limit of her patience, Garvie forges a strained partnership with the detective on the case, an observant Sikh named Raminder Singh. Detective Singh has pressures of his own-this might be his last case if he can't solve this complex crime. The story leads Garvie into squatter shacks, dark underpasses, sleek casinos, and a fair bit of danger. The main strength of this well-written and smoothly paced novel is its diverse and believable male characters. Garvie is exceptionally well drawn-he is fully realized as the town's genius charmer-and Singh is similarly fleshed out as a crisp perfectionist wearing at the seams. One misstep is the female characters, who, perhaps because of the genre's tropes, rarely emerge beyond their pat characterizations as vixens, icy beauties, and pathetic housewives. VERDICT This hip urban revamp of the mystery genre will win over strong readers, especially those looking for diverse genre fiction.-Sara Scribner, Athens Academy, GA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



"Garvie," his mother said, but mildly, "try to answer the inspector's questions." "What's the point? They're the wrong questions." He sat up and leaned forward, and looked directly at Singh. "How do you know she went jogging at all?" "We know." "How?" "She left a note." "How do you know she didn't just leave it to throw people like you off the scent?" Singh said nothing. But his face tightened. Garvie went on. "How do you know she left it? How do you know she left when you think she did? How do you know she didn't leave the note then change her mind?" Singh remained impassive, but a muscle jumped in his left cheek. " They're the right sort of questions," Garvie said. "Seems to me." Excerpted from Running Girl by Simon Mason All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.