Who did it? The murder mystery game

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Olivia Kalb, A&E Editor

What’s a better combination than peanut butter and jelly?

The hilarious Kathleen Hale with a computer and a murder mystery idea.

Kippy Bushman, our horrifically awkward and yet totally adorable heroine, is on the case to find the real culprit of her best friend’s murder.

And watch out — Hale will get you thinking it’s everyone but who it actually is.

Faced with a prejudiced and lazy police captain, a wannabe therapist father, and only one other person who believes her – and who may not be the most-clear headed or trusted member of town, – she discovers the truth behind the facade.

At once, “No One Else Can Have You,” is so real and yet so very imagined. The seriousness of the gruesome murder and other tragedies, plus Kippy’s awkward teen struggles of who she is, what she wants, and should she kiss the boy or not, keep the book centered.

But what I truly adore about this book is that Halemakes it so very unreal. She takes a tragedy and has me laughing throughout the entire story.

Hale turns hard truths, such as finding out your best friend may not actually like you all that much, into an event that had me giggling madly to myself.

The juxtaposition of a juvenile tone with some really serious topics makes for an odd, and yet perfect, story.

And now, an interview from the lovely author of “No One Else Can Have You,” Kathleen Hale.

What are five fun facts about you?

1. When I was little, I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up, because I thought being a farmer meant owning a lot of dogs.

2. I have two tattoos on my head.

3. My favorite book of all time is “Harriet the Spy.”

4. I once got chased by an alligator.

5. I made all my real friends after high school.

I was surprised by how much I laughed throughout your novel. It’s hilarious and yet deals with such a dark and difficult topic. How was it combining humor and death?

Thank you! I actually think that uncomfortable subject matter creates a lot of natural opportunities for humor. When you’re uncomfortable, you want to laugh. You want release from that feeling.

Kippy has become one of my all time favorite heroines. She is truly awkward and completely lovable. What inspired her character?

That makes me so happy, thank you for saying that. Honestly, I pulled a lot from my own experiences. Kippy and I both have the tendency to blurt out inappropriate things. Like her, I also got my arm stuck in a tampon dispenser in middle school (which happens in the book).

What were Ruth and Kippy’s plan for when they left Friendship? It kept being mentioned, but you never tell. Especially knowing Ruth’s feelings, I wonder what would have happened and now what has changed for Kippy’s future?

Honestly, I don’t think they had a plan, I think they just wanted to get out. Now that Ruth is gone, I feel like Kippy will have to think for herself more; wherever she goes next will depend on who she is, and not who Ruth wants her to be.

In most books, I can generally guess the murderer, but with No one Else can Have You I truly had no idea until it was revealed. Did you have the murderer, and motive, in mind the entire time?

Yay! I’m glad it surprised you. I knew who had killed Ruth when I started writing. But the motive changed throughout the writing process.

And, last of all, what do you have coming next? I can’t wait to read it!

Thank you so much! The sequel to “No one else can have you” will be coming out in 2015.