When each new Swift is born, the ancient family dictionary is brought out of its glass case to select a name for the newest member of the family—names they’re supposed to live up to. It’s seen as perfectly natural when Phenomena discovers an interest in science. No one bats an eyelash at Candor’s scrupulous honesty.
And Shenanigan Swift? Well, no one expects her to be anything short of a troublemaker.
Which she usually is, of course. But right now, Shenanigan isn’t thinking about her various shortcomings—she’s focused on the upcoming Swift family reunion, during which she’s determined to be the first Swift to find Great-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure.
But her plans go awry when there’s a murder attempt on the family Matriarch. Surrounded by Swifts she’s never met and their bevy of enigmatic names, Shenanigan now must train her skills on finding the murderer—before the next victim doesn’t survive.
The Swifts was a brilliant read. I love books with lots of wordplay and quirky humor, and this one was spectacular on both counts, weaving a story so full of cleverness and excitement that I didn’t want it to end. The Swifts are one of the most outrageous and yet utterly believable families I’ve come across in fiction; Shenanigan’s various relatives were all vastly different but eccentric and hilarious in their own ways, and the dynamic between them felt like it perfectly captured the chaotic reality of a gigantic and unusual family. I really loved the characters. Shenanigan was certainly a favorite, with her clever mystery solving and attempts to figure out whether she’s defined by her name, but I truly loved the entire cast; Erf, Maelstrom, and Flora/Fauna were probably my other favorites. Although not central to the storyline and Shenanigan, I also really appreciated how the larger Swift family quietly included queer and nonbinary/trans characters without making a big deal out of it—the normalization truly made me fall even harder for this entire story and family. Lincoln’s writing and the plot is twisty and zany, so full of clever vocabulary and the absolute unexpected that this book was an absolute pleasure to read. This will definitely be one I’ll be rereading in the future—I can’t wait to read the sequel! I highly recommend The Swifts to readers ages ten and up, particularly to anyone who loved The Mysterious Benedict Society but wished it included a murder.