Rules of the Scam Mysteries is a YA mystery series by Aimee Gilchrist, featuring Tallulah "Talia" Jones, the daughter of two con artists, and Harrison Poe, the son of a famous movie director.
In the first novel, The Tell-Tale Con, Talia gets roped into helping Harrison figure out who is trying to convince him that he's being haunted by a demon. But what starts off as investigating a childish prank becomes much more serious when somebody gets murdered and Harrison becomes suspect number one. Now, they'll have to deal with an annoying Good Cop/Bad Cop duo, a person who looks like Mick Jagger in drag who's trying to kill them, and the fact that they have absolutely no idea what they're doing.
Examples That Appear in The Tell-Tale Con:
- Amateur Sleuth: Talia and Harrison, as the former often states.
- Eagle-Eye Detection: Years of being raised by con artist parents has given Talia the ability to read people fairly well.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Harrison cringes at the name 'Harry', and Talia makes it clear from page one that she hates being called 'Tallulah'.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: The two police officers who constantly harass Harrison and Talia throughout the novel. Talia lampshades this by nicknaming them that.
- Monochrome Casting: Averted to an extent. Harrison is half-white, half Indian, his stepmother is Japanese, his mother's side of the family is Indian, two minor characters are Hispanic, and the Bad Cop of the Good Cop/Bad Cop duo is black.
- Parental Neglect: Talia's mother really doesn't seem to care what she does or where she goes, as long as it doesn't involve murder, and Harrison's parents are too busy with their latest film to really pay attention to him. However, in Harrison's case, it's implied that his stepmother and biological mother do care about him; it's just that his mother is India and isn't in regular contact with him, and his stepmother has a rather crappy way of showing it.
- Police Are Useless: The two cops in the novel are hellbent on blaming Harrison for Nate's murder, even though there's evidence that proves that he isn't the culprit.
- Satellite Character: Hector and Sam, who help with the investigation, but don't pop up too often throughout the novel.
- Ship Tease: Between Talia and Harrison; not only do quite a few characters assume that they're dating, but they pose as a couple when interrogating two of the suspects, and there is even one scene where they get into two awkward positions that Talia compares to a romance novel cover.
- Starting a New Life: Played with in regards to Talia: she's not interested in helping with her parents' cons anymore.