Credit: Adam Rose/ABC Family

IN STORES NOW

Us Rating: *** 1/2

Few mysteries start out as eerie as this hit. A year after their trouble-stirring pal Alison is found dead, four girls (breakouts: Lucy Hale as earnest Aria and Ashley Benson as sardonic Hanna) get malevolent texts from an unknown stalker -- who signs off as "A" -- threatening to expose their secrets. For starters, were they complicit in Alison's murder? That premise holds up all the way through these 22 smart tales. (Warner, $60)

-- JOHN GRIFFITHS