Young Adult fiction writer Maureen Johnson has a new series set in London (hence the series title of “Shades of London”). The first book, The Name of the Star, has been nominated for an Edgar Award.

What I found interesting about both The Name of the Star and its sequel The Madness Underneath were that they are set in England, but are from the point of view of an American. In fact, the main character, Rory, is from Louisiana, and suffers a lot of culture shock when she decides to try an English boarding school for a year.

The main conflict of the first book, The Name of the Star is that what seems to be a Jack the Ripper copycat is on the loose in London, and Rory gets drawn into trying to solve the mystery surrounding the murderer.

Although I found parts of the plot to be quite predictable, the characters were interesting, and the books were well-written. Both books in the series are worth reading, especially for younger readers.