The Dark Deception (Daphne and Velma, #2) (2024)


547 reviews235 followers

August 12, 2020

4 stars.

This was pretty good! I didn't like it as much as the first, but not enough to rate it lower.


535 reviews148 followers

July 22, 2020

Daphne and Velma are back with another mystery on their hands. This time it's the jewels that have been washing up the shore of Crystal Cove. While Crystal Cove is famous for its unsolved mysteries and a fair amount of unexplainable happenings, people of this town have always been on a look out for more.

As Daphne and Velma joined forces and try their somewhat expert sleuthing to get to the bottom of this, they are yet again pulled in a spiral of age-old mystery and a conspiracy.

This the second book in the series and to be honest I liked the first book more. This was one of my most anticipated release. I wasn't disappointed or anything, I just felt that the characters were tad out of their depth. The friendship goals that was shown in their previous adventure, seemed a little dull. The mystery of jewels was one of the best thing about the whole plot, I loved that.

The book although completes its storyline but right at the end, the beginning of a new mystery is hinted therefore I assume there will be another book which I will definitely read.


1,584 reviews90 followers

August 14, 2020

Want to see more...


Thank you Scholastic for this book in exchange for an honest review

The Dark Deception is the second book in the serious and I dare say that it was better than the first? I mean both were book but honestly this one is just as amazing!
Daphne and Velma have a new mystery on their hands. Jewels have washed up on the shore of Crystal Cove and no one is putting up their hands to find the lost jewels. Whilst Crystal Cove is known for unsolved mysteries, this was one that Daphne and Velma can’t let slide and have to solve.
I love how their friendship has strengthened since their first book and I am all for the character development which added great value to the plot. Reading these books of my favourite childhood leading ladies, is just amazing. I can’t wait to see what other mystery they face next!


121 reviews151 followers

August 8, 2020

ok but... daphne and velma girlfriends WHEN???

Jessica Fern

17 reviews6 followers

September 15, 2020

What can I say, I just enjoy these books so so much. For anyone who loves quick mysteries, and those nostalgic 70s vibes, this is honestly the perfect series. The books are always snappy, entertaining and just cryptic enough to keep you hooked without being too elaborate or too predictable - just like the original Scooby show. These books truly emanate the feeling of their origins and that’s what makes me the most happy.

Now in The Dark Deception, the second book in this series, we’re no longer investigating a murder but the location of Crystal Cove itself. Jewels keep washing up on shore and Daphne and Velma are determined to find out where they’re coming from and why. Like all good Scooby-Doo mysteries it’s not just about the initial puzzle, there are greater things constantly in the works and the mystery is not so straight forward. The entire town is riddled with oddities and questions, and there’s something strange going on with Shaggy amidst the core lot. I’m not going to expand too much more on the plot, because the true fun of a mystery is dissecting it for yourself, but I will say that all the little details in this story just help to further tie the characters of the entire Mystery Inc gang together. Once again, I truly enjoyed watching Daphne and Velma as they continued to solidify their friendship and develop as individuals with their own unique quirks and styles.

I honestly am so happy to have this series in my life, acting almost like a prequel to the Scooby show I grew up watching and loving. It gives the characters so much more depth, and their fondness for mysteries context. I think overall I enjoyed the first book a fraction more, but it was still extremely fun to read. I’m excited to see where the story will go next!

Thank you to Scholastic for providing me this copy to review.

Jamie Canaves

933 reviews278 followers

September 3, 2020

If you’re looking for a mystery to give you nostalgic feels (for those who grew up with the Scooby gang) but sans murder, this is an entertaining pick. The series takes you back to the beginning and gives you a look at how Daphne and Velma became friends again, after a fallout, and how together they start solving crimes in Crystal Cove. Think of it as the prequel to the Scooby-Doo series, where you really get to know the characters beyond the stereotypes, watch the friendships grow, them deal with family issues, navigate teen years, and of course, most importantly, solve some mysteries.

I recommend starting with the first for two reasons: it shows Daphne and Velma’s friendship being repaired; this one gives you the entire solve of the first book. However, if you want to skip the first because you only want a non-murder mystery, you won’t be confused reading this one. Now about The Dark Deception: it’s all about the jewels. The jewels that keep washing up on the Crystal Cove shore. Where are they coming from and why? But, like any good Scooby-Doo mystery there is more to solve than one thing–I mean the whole town is a mystery–but also the girls are spying on Shaggy because something is up with him and they want to know what.

Watch Daphne get an internship and Velma navigate who she is as they try and solidify their friendship, slowly build ties to their future gang, and solve some of these mysteries while being pesky kids.

--from Book Riot's Unusual Suspects newsletter:

    amateur-sleuth audio book-riot-unusual-suspects-newslett


651 reviews15 followers

December 3, 2020

Great continuation of the series! It picks up where the first left off with the girls trying to figure out what Shaggy is hiding and how they can help. But do they really know Shaggy or has he always been wearing a mask?

Velma and Daphne continue trying to rebuild their friendship and they are also struggling with that ever present teenage problem: their crushes. This book's mystery felt more sinister and adult this time around which definitely kept me turning the pages. (I read this in 2 sittings in one day.) I want the next one now!

Tabby {Genie in a Novel}

272 reviews57 followers

August 4, 2020

*First thoughts: 4.5 stars because I want more Fred*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Dark Deception picks up where we left Daphne and Velma, which is to solve a mystery that’s going on with their friend Shaggy. He pretty much keeps to himself, but the warning they got from Marcy (the vanished girl in the previous book) has them a bit worried, so they tail him. Then something really weird happens at Crystal Cove… a ton of jewels wash up on their beach.

So now this sleuthing duo has two mysteries to solve, but it turns out they might be connected.

There wasn’t as much about the history of Daphne and Velma’s friendship in this book as the last one, but you can see how they’re on the mend and falling back into their old groove. Of course, this book was more about solving the mystery, not about the previously broken friendship, but we still do get to see how the girls are becoming close to each other once again, which brings up some cute moments. Girl friendships are the best when they’re genuine.

On another note, this one proved to me why Velma is my favorite character of the Scooby gang, because she is such a sass ball and I loved every second of it. We do get to see more of Shaggy this time around, which is awesome because I also love Shaggy, but I do wish we had more Fred. Maybe in the next book we’ll get more of him.

And yes, there is a third book coming! The author herself said so.

So if you haven’t picked up either of the Daphne and Velma books yet, what are you waiting for? It’s definitely a must-read if you’re a Scooby-Doo fan!


1,621 reviews39 followers

August 18, 2020

Time spent with the Scooby Gang is always a delight. I especially like this series in which they are more grown up than in the cartoon with all the teen problems and drama. I didn't find the mystery in this one as compelling as the one in the first book but it was still pretty interesting. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was very good although I sometimes couldn't easily distinguish between Daphne and Velma. This was a fun, quick listen and a perfect palate cleaner from the darker more murdery books I usually choose.



336 reviews

July 29, 2020

It is more like 3.5, the first book was much better. I do really enjoy listening to these story. I look forward in more stories to come and hopefully more of the whole Scooby Group.

K Whatsherface

960 reviews6 followers

November 8, 2020

This is a fun series. Fred showed up more in this one. But I still don't have a good read on his character. Still not a main character and the only reason I'm so curious about fred is because I'm a scooby doo fan. It story works without him Being a major character and I don't think he needs to be.

WARNING! This is random Babbling!
Also why do these book have different authors? They still fit together but this story has a overlining plot. Who wrote the outline for that? This isn't a complaint. They story flows fine. I'm just that person that thinks of these things. I don't see this series going to far but why not use 1 author? Once again, I enjoy both books. They fit find together. And I know they use multiple authors for many pop culture stories such as stories but it's just as common for shorter ya pop culture series with linking plots to use 1 author. Like with Valentino Disney villains series which all the books link. vs the Disney twisted tales which all have different authors but without a linking plot. I'm just blabbing now.

    favorites novels reading-challenge-2020


231 reviews14 followers

November 4, 2020

We join Daphne and Velma on their next mystery!
Copius amounts of jewles are washed up on the shore of Crystal Cove and no one knows where theyve come from! Are they from the "Vanished"?! Why is that new girl always hanging around Shaggy?
There has been so much character development between Daphne and Velma since the first book and it has been awesome to read!
Daphne and Velma work together to crack this mystery and restore calm to Crystal Cove... well... at least for now.
I am absolutly loving this series so far and cannot wait to see what their next mystery is!
Thank you so much Scholastic for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


83 reviews

August 24, 2021

i had trouble getting into this at the beginning, but the last half was a breeze! i started with the 2nd book instead of the 1st, so it made things a bit more complicated but nothing too bad!

spoilers: wasn’t really a fan of how the book hinted at pairing daphne with shaggy and fred with velma, it was fresh though! (if we had to switch it up i’d prefer pairing daphne and velma together but a girl can dream)

    mystery not-in-my-library


126 reviews12 followers

September 27, 2020

Thank you to @scholastic_au for sending me a copy of this one for review. This one is the second book about Daphne and Velma and we again follow them as they solve another mystery in Crystal Cove. Again it was told from Daphne and Velmas POV, alternating each chapter. I love the friendship that Daphne and Velma have, they don't always get along but they always figure things out when they don't. They again have some different views on things but still manage to work together to solve rhe mystery. Shaggy and Scooby are featured a bit more in this one and we learn a bit more about Shaggy and his family. We of course have the mystery to be solved which I never can figure out before the end, I always have an idea but not the whole answer. It was an enjoyable read that still has the same vibe as the movie and shows that I remember 😊



76 reviews3 followers

January 2, 2023

3.5 it would be higher if the romantic pairing wasn’t Fred+Velma and Daphne+Shaggy. I just can’t. Not much happened romantically between anybody, but just the hint that they have crushes on each other is enough.

Kristin Whitehouse

1,421 reviews46 followers

August 2, 2020

This is a cute YA series that brings back nostalgia being that it's based on the Scooby-Doo cartoons. I really like the friendship between Daphne and Velma and the mysteries are right out of the cartoons.

    contemporary mystery series


224 reviews14 followers

August 12, 2020

I hate Ram. I'm sorry I do hate him. And I wanna cry for Shaggy. DON'T DO THAT TO MY FAVORITE CHARACTER JUST DON'T

    mystery ya-reads


720 reviews13 followers

January 27, 2022

TBH I feel like these are queer-bating.

    coming-of-age mystery retellings


310 reviews4 followers

September 15, 2020

I liked the first one better. Velma didn’t read as gay in this one, which I was REALLY disappointed in. She read as hella gay for Daphne in The Vanishing Girl, I was hoping for more. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re written by different authors.

The Daphne/Shaggy angle is different, I guess. There’s only so many ways you can mix and match the four of them, haha. I hate Velma/Fred. 😵 Plus there’s the gay Hex Girl, I think Luna? GIVE ME MORE OF HER GIVE ME MORE HEX GIRLS 🗣🗣🗣

My one complaint is the characters don’t read as typical 21st century teenagers. However I don’t currently know any, but I don’t think they talk like this. Oh and Daphne’s crush on Ram was a bit icky to me. I guess these books aren’t 100% ~wholesome~ what with breaking and entering and knives being held to throats and kidnapped teens, ahaha but it didn’t feel genuine or true to the character.

Also also, Velma does sometimes read as kind of salty and bitter, which is tiresome. Like okay we get it you were bullied and alone the past six years with no friends. Move on already. 😂 Same with Daphne, they’re writing her like it’s a novel idea that she’s not the damsel, “Danger Prone” girl of the cartoons. She has depth like a real teenager but we keep being reminded. Just show it to me, instead of having her repeat it constantly.

That being said, I do really enjoy the small town mysteries, and I wonder if the next one is the last one, where we’ll learn the truth of “The Vanishing?” Can’t wait to read it next year. I hope there’s more of the whole gang. 😁


2 reviews

August 15, 2021

Not much happened in this book. Too much time was spent on a lot of stretched out inner monologues mainly about a pseudo Romance that was never developed beyond just young raging hormones.

In the end the Mystery/Case was small and took a back seat to a non-romance and more set up for future books.

I think Josephine Ruby, the author of book 1, captured more of what I wanted from this series.

Erin Kymes

14 reviews

August 14, 2020

Can’t get enough!!!

I am a 32 year old woman reading a YA novel about my favorite childhood cartoon, and I can’t get enough. 🤣🤣🤣


3 reviews

July 12, 2021

"let the adults handle this" "because you're all doing such a great job at it?"

"and I was perfectly happy, for maybe the first time I could remember, to be me"

In the second instalment of this series, Daphne and Velma find a new mystery to solve. Daphne's friend Marcy had asked them to find out what secret Shaggy is trying to protect but when they start investigating, hundreds of precious gems wash ashore. People are quick to come up with supernatural theories and many believe it is the Lady Vampire of the Bay come to haunt Crystal Cove again. The girls reason with logic but will it be easy to solve this mystery when everyone has a secret to hide, especially those who profit from the towns mysterious and tragic past?

I really enjoyed this book and I think I enjoyed the plot a lot more than the first novel. I miss the drama between Daphne and Velma when they were being incredibly hostile to one another but it was great to see such a genuine friendship that they don't seem to have with other people. Also, Fred had more of an involvement this time around. He actually had dialogue. However, nothing really said to me that this guy is Fred Jones, he probably could have been any typical athletic blond guy.

In the last book there was the mystery of who was behind to disappearances but this novel brought an aspect of classic Scooby Doo which I liked where there is a villain parading around and scaring the town out of their wits to hide the fact that criminals are getting up to some serious business.

I used to watch Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated on CITV when I was younger so I'm kind of used to the romantic pairings of that show. There was Fred x Daphne, and some weird long triangle between Shaggy, Velma and Scooby because he couldn't choose between the dog or the girl (not that he should have had to). This novel introduced some new pairings which I'm not used to but I'm kind of invested already.

I'm not quite sure what is happening with the third novel, I was looking forward to it but it seems to have been cancelled? sigh. Never mind, eh?

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473 reviews14 followers

January 25, 2021

This one was a bit darker than the last one, especially regarding how things are left at the end. (The next book should be quite the doozy when it comes out and I absolutely CANNOT.WAIT.) Daphne and Velma's friendship is a lot more solid this go around, though there are still moments when their previous fallout weighs on their partnership.

The reason why this rating is 4 stars -- a knockdown from the previous book's five stars -- is two reasons. The first and far less subjective reason is that the book spends way too much time rehashing what happened in the first book and the history behind Velma and Daphne's friendship. The books were not released very far apart and when read back to back as I did the remedial course felt too constant. The second reason is that my heart just kept breaking for Shaggy. (Yes, this is a very subjective reason, but Shaggy is my fave and always has been and I want only good things for him always.) He just wants to take care of everyone he knows and spend quality time eating pizza with his dog, and yet the world is so very awful to him. I just want to lock him in a tv den with a lifetime supply of pizza and his dog for company and wrap his otherwise empty house in bubblewrap.

And thank you, Baden, for giving us more Fred in this book. Now, if the last book could officially have him involved in solving a mystery with the other three again, then I will be completely happy.

I'm saving my thoughts about the romances being set up in this book series for later. I kind of want to see how they all pan out. I'm seriously weirded out by how they've switched it up, but maybe if it's done well enough then I won't feel as strange about it. We'll have to see.

    mystery-fiction tv-related


122 reviews1 follower

November 15, 2020

I was delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed this spin off book. Though I haven't read the first one yet (and was slightly spoiled by it in this one), I really liked how things were handled. It's clear that the author loves Scooby and the gang (not just Daphne and Velma) and give them great personalities. There seems to be plenty of references to different shows and comics such as A Pup Named Scooby Doo, the adventures Shaggy and Daphne go on in the 80s, and incorporating Crystal Cove (instead of Coolsville) from Mystery Incorporated.

I love how grounded in reality the book is. Scooby doesn't speak, but he is undeniably loyal to Shaggy. Right now, the Scooby Gang has drifted apart due to a fight back when they were ten. Velma and Daphne have made up, but Freddy only gets a couple of scenes (with the promise of more development) and Shaggy has so many tough things going on that he doesn't seem like the goofier versions the cartoons typically go for.

I'd recommend for mid-grade readers to anyone who loves Scooby Doo. The mystery itself isn't too difficult, but that's not what I found compelling about the story. It was the relationships and how everyone fit together in the story. Daphne especially had a few hard lessons to learn.

I can't wait to read the first book and I look forward to the third one.


Ashley (Red-Haired Ash Reads)

2,741 reviews166 followers

October 30, 2021

Series: Daphne and Velma #2
Rating:4 stars - It was really good

After solving the previous mystery, Daphne and Velma are now trying to figure out what is going on with Shaggy. But before they find anything, a new mystery arrives that might involve the original settlers' disappearances.

This was another wonderful mystery with Daphne and Velma. They have finally mended their friendship and have reinstated Mystery Inc.. These two overcame a lot of family problems in the previous book but we see that it is still a work in progress. I really enjoy the friendship these two have. They understood each other's looks and facial expressions, which really helped make them a great team when solving mysteries.

The mystery in this one revolved around Shaggy and some gemstones. I enjoyed it. We got to learn more about Shaggy and his dysfunctional family. The drama with his family doesn’t end in this book though so I am really interested in reading the next book now.

Overall, this was another wonderful mystery for Daphne and Velma. I love all the growth we have seen between these two and look forward to seeing even more in the next book, which hopefully will come out soon.

Content Warnings: brief references to parent with depression

You can also find my reviews at Red-Haired Ash Reads.

    2021 audiobooks borrowed-from-library


220 reviews1 follower

May 25, 2021

I started reading this series on a whim, and honestly wasn't expecting much, but I'm really enjoying them! I like how the authors take the Scooby Doo we all know and love, and throw in both Easter eggs for the OG fans and change ups to keep readers guessing. I found myself getting super invested in the relationships between the characters, which are more in-depth and complex than in the cartoon (which is probably not surprising). I also like that these books particularly focus on Daphne and Velma, who don't necessarily get as much focus or characterization in other iterations of Scooby Doo. The only reason I gave this one four stars instead of five is because I didn't feel like the ending/reveal was as strong as in the first book-the culprit in this case was kind of obvious and the girls pretty much figured it out early on-no big twist here, and I missed that from the first book. Still, I'm excited to read the next one and to continue reading the developing dynamic between the characters!


77 reviews

June 22, 2021

Writing wise? This book was great. It’s more so content wise that’s it’s only getting three stars.

Don’t get me wrong, the mystery was fun, exciting, always keeping me going. It was the lowkey queerbaiting that ruined it for me. I remember picking up this book and buying in hopes that Velma and Daphne would be in a relationship at some point. There were many, many signs throughout each book (so far) that pointed to “hey, maybe they like each other” but now all of the heterosexual relationships? They seem somewhat forced. There are even queer characters in these books, but they’re side characters. Even if it not Velma and Daphne being in a relationship, I think it would be refreshing to see some of my favorite characters growing up represent me and my friends in a book.

If you are looking for fun and interesting mysteries you can try to solve as you read, this is a great book to pick up. If you are looking for some queer representation, not as much of a great book.


587 reviews

November 5, 2020

Actually 3 1/2 stars

I saw this book at Target and my interest was piqued. i'm a huge Scooby-Doo fan, so I thought I'd give it a try. I grew up with the original Scooby-Doo series and have enjoyed the many incarnations. I love the Mystery Inc crew and the friendship they have. That being said, I was not thrilled with the idea that the gang did their mystery solving together at age 10 not high school. I was also not thrilled that the gang broke up and that Daphne became a mean girl for a time.

That being said, I liked the lay out of the book getting the alternate chapter point of views from Velma and Daphne. I liked how they worked together for the good of the town and for their friendship. The author crafted a nice mystery with a good surrounding story. After pushing aside my personal doubts, I really enjoyed this read.


40 reviews1 follower

July 19, 2020

Although I didn’t like this one as much as the first, I still loved it. The mystery wasn’t as thrilling and there wasn’t as much of Daphne and Velma’s relationship in this book. I would have liked the unveiling of the story to be a little more clear and concise. The clues were weird and innocuous to me.

What I did love about book no. 2 is that we get more Shaggy! It’s nice to learn more about him and his family’s history. I hope the series continues because I am really enjoying Crystal Cove’s setting and the development of the characters. Plus we see someone great female empowerment.

If you like Scooby Doo and want a guilty pleasure read, this youthful mystery (and hopefully the third) is probably for you!


1,858 reviews1 follower

November 6, 2020

In the second book of the Daphne and Velma series, Velma is noticeably darker on the cover. Daphne gets an intern position at the paper and crushes hard on her annoying co-worker, who frankly doesn't sound very attractive. 😹 In the meantime, the author sets up weird romance starters by flip flopping our usual couples. We are supposed to believe that Fred might be interested in Velma, who is crushing on him...and that Daphne is a little hot for Shaggy. Shaggy has been given an interesting new persona as a surfer. I actually dig his character. Fred has been written completely surface level and a romance between he and Velma just doesn't mesh. The mystery is sort of interesting, but a little pat. Hopefully book #3 is better.

As an expert in the field of young adult mystery novels and a devoted fan of the Scooby-Doo franchise, I can confidently provide insights into the concepts used in the following article. The article discusses various reviews of the book "The Dark Deception," the second installment in the "Daphne and Velma" series, which follows the adventures of the iconic characters from the Scooby-Doo universe.

The reviews highlight several key concepts related to the book, including:

  1. Character Development and Relationships: The readers express appreciation for the character development of Daphne and Velma, emphasizing their evolving friendship and the depth of their partnership. The dynamics between the characters, including Daphne's crush on Shaggy and the exploration of potential romantic pairings, are noted as central elements of the plot.

  2. Mystery and Suspense: The book's central mystery, involving the discovery of jewels washing up on the shore of Crystal Cove, is praised for its intrigue and the incorporation of classic Scooby-Doo elements. The reviews also mention the darker and more sinister tone of the mystery, which adds depth to the storytelling.

  3. Nostalgia and Homage to Original Series: Many reviewers appreciate the nostalgic elements and references to the original Scooby-Doo cartoons. The book is lauded for capturing the essence of the beloved characters while providing a fresh perspective on their adventures.

  4. Representation and Diversity: Some readers express mixed feelings about the romantic pairings and character representations in the book. There are discussions surrounding queer representation, character relationships, and the portrayal of the main characters' personal struggles and growth.

  5. Writing Style and Narrative Structure: The alternating points of view between Daphne and Velma, as well as the book's pacing and narrative structure, are highlighted as effective storytelling techniques. The writing style is commended for its ability to engage readers and maintain a sense of mystery throughout the plot.

  6. Expectations for Future Installments: Several reviews express anticipation for the next book in the series and speculate on the potential direction of the ongoing storylines, particularly in relation to unresolved mysteries and character arcs.

Overall, the "Daphne and Velma" series resonates with readers for its blend of nostalgia, compelling mysteries, and character-driven storytelling. The book successfully captures the spirit of the original Scooby-Doo franchise while offering a contemporary and engaging narrative for fans of all ages.

The Dark Deception (Daphne and Velma, #2) (2024)
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