MYSTERY

Killer Content

Berkley Prime Crime. (Brooklyn Murder Mystery, Bk. 1). Feb. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780593197882. pap. $16. M
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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 & Café. 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 café’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.

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