Killer Content

Small-town Louisiana girl Odessa Dean is enjoying her summer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, cat-sitting for her aunt and waitressing at a local bookstore-cum-cafe. But when her co-worker Bethany ends up dead (coinciding with a flash mob in a nearby park), Odessa can't believe it was an accident. In Olivia Blacke's charming debut mystery, Killer Content, Odessa roams Williamsburg in her signature cowboy boots, looking for clues and getting into plenty of trouble. 

A dedicated true-crime podcast listener, Odessa soon discovers that real-life sleuthing is hot, boring, even grungy work (as when she digs through the garbage in search of Bethany's cell phone). Her co-workers--an eclectic bunch--are mostly helpful and kind, though most of them don't share her suspicions of foul play. (A handsome NYPD detective seems to be equal parts frustrated and amused by Odessa's crime-solving attempts.) Odessa's amateur investigation leads her to multiple Brooklyn tropes, such as consignment shops, the local soap-making scene, the nearby dog park and a chef who moonlights as a beekeeper (with 3D printed hives). Blacke gently skewers the stereotypes while writing about the city and her characters with real affection. Odessa is an appealing narrator, though she's perhaps a bit too trusting for her own good. When many of the slightly zany characters visit her building for an informal wake in Bethany's honor, the details of the crime may finally come to light.

Fast-paced and funny, with a vivid setting and plenty of sass, Blacke's first mystery is as engaging as its heroine. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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