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Killer Content
Cover of Killer Content
Killer Content
A Brooklyn Murder Mystery Series, Book 1
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It's murder most viral in this debut mystery by Olivia Blacke.
Bayou transplant Odessa Dean has a lot to learn about life in Brooklyn. So far she's scored a rent free apartment in one of the nicest neighborhoods around by cat-sitting, and has a new job working at Untapped Books & Café. Hand-selling books and craft beers is easy for Odessa, but making new friends and learning how to ride the subway? Well, that might take her a little extra time.
But things turn more sour than an IPA when the death of a fellow waitress goes viral, caught on camera in the background of a couple's flash-mob proposal video. Nothing about Bethany's death feels right to Odessa—neither her sudden departure mid-shift nor the clues that only Odessa seems to catch. As an up-and-coming YouTube star, Bethany had more than one viewer waiting for her to fall from grace.
Determined to prove there's a killer on the loose, Odessa takes matters into her own hands. But can she pin down Bethany's killer before they take Odessa offline for good?
It's murder most viral in this debut mystery by Olivia Blacke.
Bayou transplant Odessa Dean has a lot to learn about life in Brooklyn. So far she's scored a rent free apartment in one of the nicest neighborhoods around by cat-sitting, and has a new job working at Untapped Books & Café. Hand-selling books and craft beers is easy for Odessa, but making new friends and learning how to ride the subway? Well, that might take her a little extra time.
But things turn more sour than an IPA when the death of a fellow waitress goes viral, caught on camera in the background of a couple's flash-mob proposal video. Nothing about Bethany's death feels right to Odessa—neither her sudden departure mid-shift nor the clues that only Odessa seems to catch. As an up-and-coming YouTube star, Bethany had more than one viewer waiting for her to fall from grace.
Determined to prove there's a killer on the loose, Odessa takes matters into her own hands. But can she pin down Bethany's killer before they take Odessa offline for good?
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    1

     

    Odessa Dean @OdessaWaiting  June 24

     

    I did a thing, y'all. Williamsburg, here I come! #adventure #NYC

    #Williamsburg #blessed

     

    Brooklyn, NY

     

    I almost died on my way to work today.

     

    Dodging between two enormous food trucks, each racing for the single open spot along Brooklyn's Metropolitan Avenue, I didn't notice an oncoming biker weaving around a jagged pothole roughly the size of my head-until he slammed into me, knocking me backward. As I stumbled into the path of the oncoming behemoths-focused intently on each other instead of the out-of-control, petite brunette in a neon green polo shirt, homemade floral skirt, and well-worn cowboy boots-my life flashed before my eyes.

     

    And I have to admit it was as boring as a fence post.

     

    I spent the first twenty-three years of my life in tiny Piney Island, Louisiana, just outside of Shreveport. Calling my hometown a one-horse town would vastly exaggerate the number of horses. There were no pine trees in Piney Island, nor was it an island-it was a chunk of dry land surrounded by more dry land, or at least as dry as it gets in the swampy bayou state I call home. According to the sign demarking Piney Island city limits, there were 2,014 residents, which, as far as I could tell, was at least a hundred thousand less than the population of my new neighborhood.

     

    Ever since I could remember, I dreamed of seeing the world, but that was never in the cards. Not for me. That is, until my aunt, Melanie, asked me to pet-sit her cat for three months. Taking a much-needed break from the obligations of my marshy hometown, I packed a bag and boarded the next Greyhound bus to Williamsburg.

     

    Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York. It's quite a mouthful. It's also extraordinary. And fascinating. And terrifying, especially when I was inches away from becoming a grill ornament for the Lucky Stan's Stuffed Croissants truck, the trendy neighborhood's latest craze.

     

    I bounced off the food truck's bumper, tripped into the same pothole that had started this whole mess, and landed face-first onto the hot sidewalk. As I tried to catch my breath, I couldn't help but notice that the passing pedestrians steered clear of me in a wide arc instead of offering a helping hand. I guess it could have been worse. They could have trampled me.

     

    "No, no, I'm just ducky. Don't worry about me," I said, panting loudly as I got to my feet, dusting off my skirt. With its wide elastic waistband, long length, and flowy cut, it was one of my favorite skirt patterns-one I'd made in a variety of colors. "Thanks for the offer, though." The passersby continued to ignore me. Luckily, I wasn't too much worse for the wear. There was a mysterious new stain on my messenger bag that I absolutely did not want to know the origin of, but I was in one piece. More or less.

     

    "Hey!" I glanced over my shoulder at the speaker. The Lucky Stan's Stuffed Croissants truck driver, the one who had bullied his way into the coveted spot, was hanging halfway out the window shouting at me.

     

    I'd never seen food trucks in real life before leaving Louisiana, but they were a staple here in Brooklyn. In my hometown, I'd had the choice between eating free lunch at the Crawdad Shack on my break or running across the street to the Dairy Queen. Piney Island wasn't big enough to warrant a Sonic, much less a McDonald's. Now, I had seemingly unlimited choices from a dozen new mobile restaurants a day as enterprising young chefs converted trucks into rolling kitchens serving...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 30, 2020
    Blacke’s sprightly debut and series launch introduces Odessa Dean, a naive 20-something from Louisiana who loves true crime podcasts. Odessa is thrilled to be apartment and cat sitting for her world-traveling aunt in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and working at Untapped Books and Cafe. While posting an online ad for the cafe, Odessa watches a livestream video of a flash mob dancing at nearby Domino Park. The crowd is having a great time—until a woman on an overhead walkway suddenly falls to her death on camera. Odessa is horrified to recognize the woman as her coworker, Bethany Kostolus. The police rule the death an accident, but Odessa is sure Bethany was murdered. Cozy fans will enjoy seeing Brooklyn (and Brooklynites) through spunky outsider Odessa’s eyes as she gathers the evidence to prove it. Distinctive characters enhance the lively plot. Blacke is off to a promising start. Agent: James McGowan, Bookends Literary.

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2020
    A Louisiana belle adjusts to life in Brooklyn. Odessa Dean might have been content to live life as a waitress at the Crawdad Shack in the minuscule town of Piney Island, which, according to her, is neither an actual island nor particularly filled with conifers. Instead, she's rescued by that linchpin of cozies everywhere: her maiden aunt. Instead of dying, Odessa's Aunt Melanie simply goes off to Europe for three months, leaving her niece to housesit a Williamsburg apartment that would be large even by Piney Island standards but is positively palatial compared to the efficiencies and squats her Brooklyn co-workers cram themselves into. Because yes, Odessa trades her Crawdad Shack apron for the neon green T-shirt that's the uniform of the waitstaff at Untapped Books & Caf�, where instead of shrimp po'boys she offers hummus and microbrews to local hipsters. The Untapped crew is a varied bunch. Izzy Wilson is bright and energetic, happy to spend her days making customers happy. Chef Parker Reed does his best to accommodate carnivores and vegans alike. But Bethany Kostolus aspires to more than serving the sandwich of the day. She hopes that her YouTube videos will propel her to fame as a nationally recognized maker of artisanal soap. Unfortunately, her dreams end in a fall from the elevated pedestrian walkway in Domino Park. Detective Vincent Castillo assures Odessa that Bethany's death was an accident, but Odessa isn't convinced. In lieu of the standard cute cop-vs.-talented amateur standoff, Blacke's quirky characters and offbeat plot twists allow her debut to work some pleasing variations on the theme. Refreshing fare.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2021

    DEBUT Odessa Dean, fresh off the Greyhound bus from small-town Louisiana to Brooklyn may be tiny, but she's intrepid. She's pet-sitting for her Aunt Melanie's cat for three months, living in her Williamsburg apartment. It didn't take Odessa long to realize she can't afford New York City, so she's waitressing at Untapped Books & Caf�. She's not happy when another waitress, Bethany, asks her to cover for her one day, but she's horrified when she sees a flash mob proposal at Domino Park and recognizes the caf�'s uniform as a body falls off the elevated walkway. Odessa rushes to the park, only to see Bethany taken away. The inquisitive Odessa realizes, though, that Bethany is missing a medical bracelet she always wore, and her cell phone. Even with Odessa's news, the police detective is convinced the death was accidental. Odessa takes all the knowledge she's gained from true-crime podcasts to prove that Bethany was murdered, pushed off that walkway. VERDICT This debut mystery introduces a spirited amateur sleuth with a unique voice in an atmospheric, upbeat mystery with a strong social media emphasis. Unconventional characters and two charming animals mark the launch of a series with great possibilities.--Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2021
    Louisiana native Odessa Dean has agreed to cat-sit for her aunt in Brooklyn. With a swanky apartment at her disposal and a new job working at Untapped Books & Caf�, her outlook is bright. But when a fellow waitress' death is caught on a viral flash-mob video, Odessa's time in Brooklyn suddenly takes a more challenging turn. As an avid true-crime-podcast listener, Odessa takes it upon herself to investigate her friend's death. The police are calling it an accident, but she is convinced otherwise, much to the chagrin of the detective on the case. Blacke's debut novel is straightforward and entertaining. Her descriptions of the Brooklyn landscape and way of life are vivid, providing the reader with an intimate viewpoint of Odessa's experiences. The story line drags a bit, and the mystery itself is solved a little too easily, but ultimately readers will be satisfied with the inevitable conclusion. Fans of Louise Penny's idyllic Three Pines, Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse series, or Agatha Christie's underestimated heroine, Miss Marple, might enjoy this one.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A Brooklyn Murder Mystery Series, Book 1
Olivia Blacke
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