Hollywood Homicide, Kellye Garrett‘s debut with the series Detective by Day, is an entertaining piece of a cozy mystery with a damsel under a lot of stress who takes matters into her hands instead of playing the easier role of a damsel in distress.
Dayna Anderson is a superb character. A ‘retired’ Hollywood actress who is almost famous for one commercial and a line (what a line!) is at her lowest of the low when her father faces eviction due to mortgage, and she has failed to secure a single job no matter how demeaning it is.
She charms you into her world right from the first line, and you won’t even know when you have started rooting for her to win against all adversities and become the star she is. Not a Hollywood star, but a bright beam of hope in her near and dear one’s life.
Kellye, an author with real life experience in the Hollywood and an impressive background in writing, uses her knowledge well. The characters feel real with their fashion passion and girly troubles, even to an introvert and fashion-disaster like me. Shoe-lovers are something I can always relate to, so, yeah, I love Sienna, Dayna, and her bloset (read the book, seriously).
The main storyline is utterly believable. I did not expect that. I mean, an ex-Hollywood-starlet struggling for every cent playing detective, come on! But Dayna isn’t a dumb damsel. She couldn’t finish her business degree for money or the lack of it. Being a responsible and generous daughter, she goes out of her way to assist her parents with their financial troubles.
She is in love with a man and too scared to deal with her feelings. She loves her friends and accepts their help but not because she feels entitled. Dayna’s self-respect, integrity, and inner strength are infused into the stories of her crazy, at times dumb actions, with great humor and sarcasm.
The book never gets heavy. You don’t feel the need to run from a tragic heroine with a sob story. Dayna is fun and hilarious, complete entertainment in every possible way. Her issues are a source of humor. Her tragedies make us laugh and cross our fingers at the same time, praying she gets through it.
Ms. Garrett has done everything right in her debut.
She writes the drama and humor with a panache that makes you laugh and shake your head and maybe, fall a little in love with the writer’s voice before you know.
She has created a fantastic amateur sleuth slash protagonist out of a character who should have been impossible to believe considering the background story and her ‘calling’ but makes you fall in love with her before she solves her first case. The supporting cast is perfect (wish this was a movie). The Abram sisters give us a thrilling action scene with a little goof and a little emotion (perfectly done).
There is drama, suspense, the relationship between friends, sisters, parents and child, that gently tug at your heart.
The crime itself is intriguing as the victim’s background, and motive is revealed gradually in a humorous first-person narration. Dayna keeps us on our toes for a long time as she fishes in troubled waters, hitting the wall against one suspect after another. Our amateur but determined detective gives us a lot of theories before she can pick one. Her uninvited partner Aubrey S. Adams-Parker (love the name) is a character I am going to watch for, in the next book in the series.
Oh, I want more. I want to see how Dayna grows as a detective, how her relationship with Omari develops, how Sienna and Emma fare.
Thank you, Midnight Ink and NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Meet the author
Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder. Her first novel, Hollywood Homicide, will be released by Midnight Ink in 2017.
-taken from the author’s website.
Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.
But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her.
And there are no second takes in real life.
Review copy: Kindle
Expected publication: August 8th, 2017 by Midnight Ink