Bad Apple by Barb Morgenroth

Am halfway into Barbara Morgenroth's BAD APPLE, a YA about a girl who has tried to hide from her crazy non-relatives, ever since her father died and left her to be raised by his nutty wife, her stepmother, and her lawless, vicious, and crazy children from another marriage. Only Aunt Maude, not really her aunt, is around to give her respite from the dysfunction.

When an older friend, Paul, who taught Neal to play the fiddle, is murdered, Neal's life switches into high gear, despite her best efforts to step off the Truly music train. Read the book and you'll know what I mean. Morgenroth's writing reminds me of the best of Lisa McCann, and she's deft and sure-handed when it comes to writing teen-aged girls.  I can't wait to finish it, yet on the other hand, I don't want it to end.