YMMV: Sammy Keyes
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Again Heather. Is she really just a spiteful, manipulative brat or is she an emotionally damaged girl desperate for the attention and approval of her family and peers. Sammy can't seem to figure her out.
- Sammy can be viewed as either a plucky amateur sleuth, or a nosy girl who causes trouble for all her friends.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Heather seems to have shades of this for most fans, especially in later books.
- Growing the Beard: The series was good to begin with, but as time has gone on, the books have combined episodic mystery with arc-based character drama, thoroughly averting Status Quo Is God.
- Nightmare Fuel: Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy. And in Dead Giveaway, it turns out that the abusive husband has been dead for a while, and his wife has been posing as him and hiding his body in her compost pile.
- Stoic Woobie: Good Lord, Holly. Her parents are dead, she's lived in eight abusive foster homes, and when Sammy finds her, she's living in a cardboard refrigerator box down by the river.
- Toy Ship: Sammy/Casey. Marissa/Danny is not a Beta Couple, since they have roughly the same amount of trouble getting together.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Mocked thoroughly in Art of Deception.