There is something so classic about the reimagining and revamping of a classic story. One we rarely see revamped is The Hardy Boys until now with Wander in the Dark by Jumata Emill.
As mentioned, this book is a Black Southern take on The Hardy Boys and follows half-brothers: Amir and Marcel. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, this page-turner is sure to intrigue all of my fellow mystery readers.
Plus let’s be real: A lot of us are still getting over the cancellation of Nancy Drew and we’re looking for something to fill that void. Thankfully, that’s why you need to preorder Wander in the Dark before its release date which is January 30th, 2024.
Enough teasing though but I’d like to thank both Delacorte Press and Jumata Emill for sharing this excerpt with me so everyone could get a sneak preview ahead of release.
Read this excerpt before the release of Wander in the Dark by Jumata Emill.
As I said, this one releases on January 30th so there’s plenty of time to read The Black Queen or even, read some Hardy Boys. Either way, let’s get into the excerpt!
"3AmirChloe hasn’t said a word since she kicked off her heels and plopped down in the passenger seat of her BMW 440i,a car my mother would never let me drive even if she could afford it. Her quietly staring out the window doesn’t create the opportunity I was hoping for to get to the truth about why she hit me up tonight out of the blue. I’m kind of thinking it had more to do with her meddling between me and Marcel and less to do with her really wanting to get to know me. She could have asked me to show up to make Trey jealous. Either way, I don’t know how to feel about her.The Hello Kitty charm dangling from her key chain keeps knocking against my knee as I cruise down Jackson Avenue toward South Claiborne Avenue. I don’t know where she lives. I’m assuming it’s in Lakeview, like a lot of the other white kids who go to Truman. Guess I’ll be catching a Lyft home from there. Didn’t think this one through.“You good?” I ask while we wait at a red light. Her shoulders twitch, which I take as a shrug.What happened between Marcel’s party and us getting to her car? She was talking up a storm, flirting her ass off ten minutes ago. That was most definitely her wanting to get under Trey’s skin. And that’s cool. Half the reason I agreed to this was to ruffle his feathers. That dude really deserves a beatdown.I keep my head pointed forward and shift my gaze to the right to trace the irregular hem of the champagne-colored off- the-shoulder dress she’s wearing. Her slender, exposed thighs spark a tingle between my legs.“You gonna go, or what?” she says, jolting me from my thoughts.The light is green. And Chloe has this impatient scowl on her face. The tingling sensation is now crawling up the back of my neck, warming my face. I’m betting she caught me checking her out.“Sorry, I know I’m all over the place tonight,” she says after I mash the accelerator.“Yeah, what’s up with that?” She sighs. “I’m exhausted.” “Care to elaborate?”There’s a brief silence before she says, “Not really.” “A’ight. How ’bout you tell me where you live,” I say. “I don’t wanna go home,” she replies.I take my eyes off the road for a second to see that she’s staring out the window again, now with her hands folded in her lap.“Then where we going?” I say after silence drags on one, two, three blocks.“Take me someplace you think I’ve never been,” she says.That flirtatious glint she had back at the party is brightening her gray eyes again.“Huh?” I respond with a nervous grin.“Take me somewhere you think I’ve never been,” she repeats, this time with more authority.“How am I supposed to know that?” I say. “I don’t really know you like that. Tonight is the most words we’ve ever spoken to one another.”She tucks a few strands of her fluffy blond hair behind her ear. “Marcel says you’re pretty smart. I have faith you can surprise me.”I resist the urge to ask why my half brother would say that about me. “Yeah, all over the place is the perfect description for you.”“Shut up and drive.” “Yes, ma’am,” I tease.My phone buzzes in my pocket as I’m turning onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. I wait until we’re stopped at another red light before I pull it out. It’s a text from Buster.Broooooooooo, you smashing 2nite? it says.I start grinning. Then another text alert balloons across the top of the screen. It’s from Marcel. What it says makes me frown.Watch yourself with Chloe. She’s nothing but drama.Cover and excerpt from WANDER IN THE DARK by Jumata Emill. Text copyright © 2024 by Jumata Emill. Reprinted by permission of Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. All Rights Reserved."
If that isn’t enough to get intrigued about this one, I don’t know what is. Personally, I’m incredibly excited to pick this one up as this just sounds like it’s going to be suspenseful and impactful. Plus the title just feels so spooky and perfect for a chilly winter night.
Wander in the Dark by Jumata Emill is set for release on January 30th, 2024.
Will you be picking up a copy of Wander in the Dark upon its release? Let us know in the comments!