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Like a Sister
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In this "crackling domestic suspense" filled with "wry humor and deft pacing" (Alyssa Cole), no one bats an eye when a Black reality TV star is found dead—except her estranged half-sister, whose refusal to believe the official story leads her on a dangerous search for the truth.
Edgar Award Finalist for Best Novel • Lefty Award Winner for Best Mystery Novel • A Book of the Month Club Pick • An Oxygen Book Club Pick • A Today Show Spring Fiction Pick • A New York Post Best New Book of the Week • A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year • A South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Mystery of the Year • A CrimeReads Best Psychological Thriller of the Year
“A mystery that has everything I love most: an intriguing set up; an absorbing storyline that kept me guessing; a satisfying ending; and, most of all, incredibly well-developed characters I kept thinking about long after I finished the book.” ―Jasmine Guillory, Today Show
“I found out my sister was back in New York from Instagram. I found out she’d died from the New York Daily News.”
When the body of reality TV star Desiree Pierce is found on a playground in the Bronx the morning after her twenty-fifth birthday party, the police and the media are quick to declare her death an overdose. A tragedy, certainly, but not a crime.
Yet Columbia grad student Lena—principled, headstrong, and allergic to the spotlight—knows that can’t be the case. Despite the bitter truth that the two hadn’t spoken in two years, they were half-sisters. Lena knew Desiree. And Desiree would never travel above 125th Street. Something is very wrong with the facts. So why is no one listening?
While the two sisters had been torn apart by Desiree’s partying and by their difficult father, Lena becomes determined to find justice for Desiree. Even if that means untangling her family’s darkest secrets—or ending up dead herself.
“A briskly plotted, socially astute thriller.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Equal parts charm and heartbreak, with razor-sharp insights on class, race, and family.” —Laura Lippman
“Dishes up the glitz of the haves and the struggles of the have-nots, infusing classic noir storytelling with Big Apple glamour—#pageturner.” —Oprah Daily
“A twisty murder mystery with nuance and heart.” ―BookPage
“Noir for the media-struck generation…Original and witty.” ―National Public Radio
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I found out my sister was back in New York from Instagram. I found out she’d died from the New York Daily News.
Her post was just as attention seeking as their headline. Hers came at midnight. Look back at it. #birthday #25 #grownfolksbusiness #home #nyc—all over a behind-the-back shot of her in nothing more than a black slip dress and no bra.
The article came less than twelve hours later. FORMER REALITY STAR DESIREE PIERCE FOUND DEAD IN LINGERIE IN BRONX WITH COCAINE AND NO SHOES.
I’d come straight here—to where they found her—as soon as I’d seen it.
Why? I don’t know. Maybe to confirm it was real. Maybe to hope it was not. Maybe to get one last glimpse of her even though I knew her body was long gone. Whatever the reason, I’d arrived at this particular playground in the Bronx on autopilot. The place my sister had come just hours before. It looked how I felt—all reds and blues and worn down. It would never be accused of being the happiest place on Earth.
FORMER REALITY STAR DESIREE PIERCE FOUND DEAD IN LINGERIE IN BRONX WITH COCAINE AND NO SHOES.
I hated it. For what it said. For what it represented. For what it really meant.
My left wrist itched. I rubbed it, desperate for the feeling—my feelings—to go away.
The voice was male, melodic, and a stark reminder I only felt alone. I was not, surrounded by police and gawkers and at least one TV reporter—all standing on opposite sides of the crime tape like it was an eighth-grade dance.
Was I okay? Not in the slightest. I hadn’t seen my little sister in two years. Now I never would. I wanted to ignore the question, just like I ignored the trickle of sweat rolling down my cheek. It felt better than tears.
“I’m fine,” I finally said automatically, not even giving the man a glance.
FORMER REALITY STAR DESIREE PIERCE FOUND DEAD IN LINGERIE IN BRONX WITH COCAINE AND NO SHOES.
Desiree would have hated the headline too, the use of the word “former” as much as the use of the word “dead.” And the mention of what she wore, but not who, would’ve annoyed her more than calling out the cocaine, though last time we’d actually spoken she claimed she’d stopped using. I hadn’t believed her. This was probably the first time I wasn’t happy to be proven right.
“You sure you’re okay?” The same voice again. I finally looked up from my phone to see who was talking. He was Black. Tall. Smiling like he knew the effect his face had on women. Not me. At least not today, or for the last couple of years if I was being honest.
I nodded. Unfortunately, he took it as a sign to continue. “You know her?”
Only well enough to have predicted this scenario. Both in nightmares (“You’re gonna overdose one day”) and in daydreams (“You’re gonna overdose one day—I’ll be there when you wake up to say I told you so”). I’d played it out dozens of times, in dozens of ways, for years before I’d cut her off. And yet, despite telling her this was going to happen, I still wasn’t the least bit prepared. Did I know her?
“Not as well as I should have.”
“She was famous,” he said. “Well, kinda. Mel Pierce’s prized daughter. You know him? Notorious music exec. I’m sure you heard the story about the window.”
I sure had.
I nodded again but didn’t say anything, hoping he’d get the hint. Prized daughter. He looked just as out of place in this neighborhood as Desiree must’ve been, wearing a black-on-black suit in 90-degree weather while standing next to a jungle gym. “They found her about five a.m. Cops think it’s an—”
“Overdose. I know.” Cutting him off, I gestured to my phone. “I read the Daily News.”
Five times, in fact. Once at the bodega. I’d stopped by on my way to class for a Snapple and instead got a Google Alert. Three more times on the trip over. Twice on the 1. Once more after my bike and I got off at 168th to finish the trip. The final time right before he’d interrupted me.
“You kinda look like her, you know,” he said, then abruptly closed his mouth as if realizing his faux pas, comparing a stranger to someone who’d just died. “Maybe it’s the freckles.”
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard it, but I never saw it myself. We were technically half sisters, after all. If anything, I was the barefaced Before to her perfectly made-over After. I didn’t respond, just let him stare at me as a woman with box braids pushed past us, anxious to gawk and report back to her friends like an NBC 4 reporter. The crowd was surprising. A dead Black woman wasn’t normally anything to crow about. Not here. Not anywhere, really. Except Desiree Pierce wasn’t just any Black woman. She was Mel Pierce’s prized daughter. Just like the man had said.
The man who now stuck out his hand. “Stuart Jones.”
He’d said his name like I should recognize it. When I didn’t respond, he spoke again. “I’m the crime reporter. For the News.”
He gestured to my phone. And just like that, I wanted to talk to him. “Aww,” I said. Then, raising both brows, “You write headlines as well as articles?”
His hazel eyes widened. “No. That one…was a bit much.”
My phone rang. I recognized the number and ignored it.
“Yeah. Just a bit.” I gave him a tight smile. “Wonder if they would have went the ‘bit much’ route if it was a Kardashian. Any white girl, really.”
“I doubt it,” he said, and for the first time his smile seemed genuine. “Can I quote you on that? For an article, Miss…”
I shook my head. He tried to step closer, but my Schwinn blocked his path. “Don’t tell me you’re a Mrs.…”
I was not. But still. I didn’t answer the question, instead opting for “Lena. Lena Scott.”
It was my turn to see if he recognized the name. He didn’t. Thank God.
I smiled in relief, but he didn’t know that. He assumed it was for him. “Ms. Scott”—another grin—“wondering if you can help me out. It’s for a follow-up. I’m interested in what the natives have to say.”
“I’m not native.” I’d grown up in Jersey and only moved to the city a year ago, when I’d started classes at Columbia.
“That’s okay.” He flashed that smile again. “I’m still interested.”
I pulled my bike closer, then crossed my arms to cover the hot-pink I USED TO BE A PEOPLE PERSON…THEN PEOPLE RUINED IT FOR ME written on my fitted black T-shirt. A double barrier. “I’m not.”
Box Braids returned, practically pushing me out of the way. “You can talk to me, cutie. I’m Toni White. That’s with an i.”
“I’d love to, Miss White.” Guess he wasn’t as concerned about her marital status as he’d been about mine. “Did you know Desiree Pierce?”
“Of course! I loved her. I watched her every week on that girl’s show,” Toni said. “NYZ. She didn’t have any goddamn sense.”
Editing. It’s called editing, Toni with an i. But I swallowed my flip retort.
Toni continued. “But I loved that about her.”
I’d loved other things: her humor, her ability to talk to anyone, her glass-half-full attitude. The problem was that it was usually a glass half full of vodka. It was why I had decided to love it all from a distance.
“She had so much potential,” Toni said, and at least that was true. She sucked in a breath, as if trying to keep it together, and started sniffling. I looked up to see if she’d actually cry. Her eyes were as dry as my sex life. I looked back down. “She was beautiful. Too beautiful to die,” Toni finally said through attempted sobs. As if ugly people got first dibs on tragedy. “Too beautiful to be assaulted like that.”
My eyes jumped to Stuart, the throbbing in my wrist back with a vengeance. “She was raped?” I could barely get the words out.
Stuart shook his head and the throbbing stopped. “No signs of sexual trauma.”
“No rape?” Toni sounded disappointed. “But I heard she didn’t have on any panties.”
I wasn’t surprised. Desiree had been known to go commando, considering it a lifestyle choice.
“She didn’t,” Stuart said, casually, like he was discussing the weather. “My source at the precinct is saying there was bruising on her legs but nothing to indicate foul play. They don’t know how she got here, but they’re working on it. So am I.”
He watched me as he spoke, his chest puffed out like he was Superman sent to save the day. But it was too late. My sister was already gone.
“She musta been really needing a hit to come all the way up here.” That was Toni again, working my nerves like a street corner.
“You know that’s some bullshit.” I shook my head as I cut in. “There are better places to get coke in the city. So I’ve heard.” From Desiree, in fact. “She didn’t come up here to score drugs. Not if she had been in Manhattan.”
I stared her down like a bully in fifth grade, and she didn’t say anything. Just looked away. And for the first time that day, I wanted to smile. So I kept at it. “She was last seen in Manhattan?”
Stuart nodded. “SoHo. Omni hotel rooftop.”
“Latest hot spot?” I said.
“Yeah. You haven’t been?”
“As a rule, I don’t travel below 110th. Look, if a reality star”—I made sure not to use the word “former”—“with a rich father is going to get her hands on some coke, it would be at the hottest spot in Manhattan. Right?”
A miffed Toni grabbed Stuart’s arm. “Police said she overdosed,” she said. “If she didn’t come up here for drugs, then why? A girl like that don’t belong in the Bronx.”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” said Stuart, star reporter. “How did a woman like Desiree Pierce end up dead in a park above the Major Deegan Expressway?”
I could have told them both. I’d known from the moment I saw the headline.
She’d been coming to see me.
POSTED JUNE 4, 2019,
11:08 p.m. Eastern @TheDesireePierce212
The cell’s camera turns on to find Desiree Pierce in selfie position, left arm fully extended and raised just enough to make her look up at the screen. She turns her face slightly to the left. Pauses, then faces right. All in search of the perfect light.
Her brown face is beautiful and freckled. Her hair is long and pitch-black, in the kind of beach waves that most Black women get from Bantu knots. Her diamond necklace catches the light.
Behind her are the tasteful yet stark decorations of a hotel suite that’s littered with clothes, shoes, and cups. Desiree turns again, stops, then moves a few centimeters to the left.
She smiles, showing off perfectly aligned white teeth.
Someone unseen takes in a long sniffle. Desiree’s too busy smiling to notice.
“Freck, can you get your beautiful-ass face out of the camera for once?” The voice is female and teasing. It’s impossible to tell where it comes from.
Desiree pretends to roll her eyes. “Let the record show the birthday girl is the first one ready.”
The voice again. “That’s ’cause you don’t have to do all the shit I do! Your skin is perfect.”
Desiree shrugs, pretends to look demure. “Black don’t crack.”
A second later she’s finally joined by Erin Ambrose. Blond hair. Blue eyes. Surgically enhanced lips. She crowds into the frame. “I don’t crack either.”
“Yeah, you just do everything else.”
“No comment.” Erin holds up a white mug with OMNI printed on it in thick black letters. She raises it in mock salute. “To Desiree Pierce on the occasion of her twenty-fifth birthday. A toast.”
Desiree does the same with her free arm, holding another hotel mug. She tips it just enough to show what’s inside. It’s filled with a clear liquid. “A toast…with water.”
Erin nods. “That’s definitely water.”
“Right.” Erin nods double time. “We’re good clean girls who don’t drink, don’t do drugs, and sure as hell don’t fucking curse. So that is definitely not vodka.”
“It’s not.” Desiree chugs it, then flashes the empty mug. “See!”
It takes just a moment for Erin to roll her eyes. “Like you’ve never done that with vodka.”
They both laugh as Desiree speaks. “My family might be watching this!”
“I thought I was your family!”
“You are. Just like a sister.”
They finally clink mugs. Erin talks to Desiree while looking dead at the lens. “Happy birthday, bitch.”
Gram died five years ago in February, a stroke as sudden as it was painful—for her and everyone who loved her. And that truly was everyone. Gram always lit up the room. Especially for me, as she was the only grandparent I knew. My mom’s parents died when I was a baby, and my paternal grandfather was never in the picture.
But if you could have only one grandparent, Phyllis Pierce was perfect. I wouldn’t have gotten through her funeral without Desiree. We moved in tandem all day, only separating to go to the bathroom and even then just long enough to flush. I remember her doing my makeup, loading us both up on waterproof mascara and a healthy dose of setting spray.
My mother, on the other hand, had let me cry for half a day before informing me I needed to get it together. Phyllis Pierce and Olivia Scott had never been close, but that wasn’t why she told me that. It was just my mother’s way. We’d even joke about it, say she was putting on the Super Black Woman cape. You handle your business, and only then do you turn back into the ordinary girl who’s allowed to cry. And there was indeed work to be done, a funeral to help plan.
So when my mom lost her battle with breast cancer three months later, I knew what to do, how to behave.
My mom had known her diagnosis for a whole year but hadn’t told me. She knew I was enjoying my first job—as a project coordinator in DC—and she didn’t want her diagnosis to be the end of my new life. She planned to survive cancer like she’d survived everything else, waiting until she was on her literal deathbed to tell me.
Even once she passed, the tears didn’t come right away. Scotts weren’t criers. I hated it, how it made me feel, how it made me look, turning my nose as red as Rudolph’s. Besides, I was too busy with arrangements.
I’d been surprised when Desiree told me Mel planned to pay for everything. He’d left my mom and me going on twenty years at that point. We hadn’t even been in the same room since before I graduated high school. My mom hadn’t wanted his money when she was alive and she sure as hell wouldn’t want it now. So I politely begged off, pointing at her insurance, and hid behind my Super Black Woman cape.
Unlike the Angry Black Woman label so many tried to make us wear, Strong or Super Black Woman was one we often gave ourselves. We wore it as proudly as a designer brand. It protected us from a lot of shit—earning sixty-three cents for every dollar that went to our white, male counterparts, or raising children not able to step outside without risking their lives. I don’t know if it was always a good thing, but it was most certainly our thing, passed down by both nurture and nature from generation to generation, like a recipe for sweet potato pie.
And I wore it proudly—until the night after my mom’s funeral. I insisted I was okay, sent everyone home so I could barricade myself in the house where I grew up in South Orange. But Desiree refused to leave. I cried so hard and so long my sister almost called an ambulance. Instead, she held me as I got snot on her Chanel dress, wiped my red nose, and swore it would be okay.
And now she was gone too, leaving me nothing but questions.
Research depends on the five w’s. I had the who, what, and when of Desiree’s death since I’d figured out we had very different definitions of casual drug use. It was the where that had me so shocked.
The Bronx was my home. Not hers. She hadn’t liked coming here even when Gram was still alive. And yet she’d come up here in the middle of the night.
I needed to find out. Like my mother had said, there was work to do.
I left the playground with Stuart’s question banging around in my head. My neighborhood is deceptively hilly so I walked home, pulling my bike next to me like a cranky toddler. I’d been well past drinking age before I knew this area had a name. Highbridge. Washington Heights was just across the Harlem River, and the Yankees played less than a mile south. Cushioned in between was everything I loved—bodegas and buildings and brown people.
Gram had left me the house when she died, but I still thought of it as hers, especially since Aunt E kept on living there. It actually was the first place I’d called home as a baby, before Mel left my mom when I was four and she moved us to the Jersey suburbs. But I didn’t move back into Highbridge until I realized it was just a hop, skip, and a bridge away from Columbia, way closer than my place in Jersey City and my childhood home in South Orange, which my mom had left to me free and clear. I’d been renting it out since she died. Between that and what I’d saved from the three years I worked for an engineering company in Newark, I was able to go back to school full-time. It helped I was cheap. Another way I was more Scott than Pierce.
I’d been playing with starting a nonprofit to help Black families cope with cancer since my mom died but had only decided to get my master’s in Nonprofit Management two years ago. I didn’t want anyone to have to go through what we did.
So I’d come to Highbridge for the convenience and instead found a community. When I’d first moved back to the Bronx, it was hard to distinguish one building from the next. On the surface they all looked the same. Six-ish stories. Beige paint. Fire escapes and NO LOITERING signs that everyone ignored. But those were the things nonresidents noticed when they raced through, protected by locked car doors and a sense of entitlement. Now I saw the details that made this neighborhood so beautiful.
Like how one building had its fire escape painted a hot pink. Or how another’s super was meticulous in placing their city-issued trash bins. Or the apartments with the Superman mural. According to urban legend, the landlord paid a graffiti artist to spray-paint it after getting fed up with his tagging.
The side streets were mostly one-ways. Just narrow enough that if someone double-parked—and someone always double-parked—you’d have to hold your breath and maneuver your car like a Cirque du Soleil performer.
I’d just passed Plimpton Avenue when my phone rang. An unsaved number. I was tempted to ignore it like I had the previous four times. But instead, I hit the red phone icon and brought it to my ear.
“Hey, Tam,” I said.
There was a pause. “It’s me.”
Me was definitely not Tam yet still a voice that registered as automatically as the number. I’d heard it all through my childhood—in music videos and radio interviews and award acceptance speeches way more than I’d ever heard it in my house.
I didn’t respond, which caused him to speak again. “Your father.”
As if I didn’t know. I finally exhaled the breath I’d been cradling like a baby. Which is how I felt, like I was still the kid waiting for Daddy to come back home. Luckily for me, we didn’t talk often. “Hi, Mel.”
“You heard?” His voice was rich, as he was. And he had a standing reservation on Forbes’s wealthiest in hip-hop list.
Another awkward pause. This one even longer. He was the first family member I’d heard from since finding out about Desiree—the fact he’d called proof it was already a different world without her in it. I broke the silence nervously. “How’s Veronika?”
His wife. Desiree’s mother. My mother’s mortal enemy.
My parents had been childhood sweethearts, but according to my mom, Mel had always claimed he wasn’t the “marrying type.” Until Veronika had proved that wrong. My mom had never forgiven him—or them, since Veronika had been her friend. My mom’d even gotten her the receptionist job at Mel’s first record label.
After my parents split, I saw Gram often. Mel technically had custody every other weekend and for a month in the summer, but you couldn’t take a six-year-old to a video set. And there was no way in hell my mother would let me stay with “that heifer” Veronika. So my time was usually spent at Gram’s.
If my mother’s parenting philosophy was Tough Love, then Mel’s was No Love. Over the years, his visits became phone calls. Phone calls became nothing at all. I extended an olive branch when I invited him to my high school graduation. He didn’t show up. So I didn’t invite him to my University of Pennsylvania one. It wasn’t until after my mom died that he made any effort to come back into my life, throwing money at me like a rapper at his first album-release party. But by then I had no interest in being bought back.
“She’s been in bed since we got the call this morning.”
Despite what my mother would want me to believe, Veronika had always been more fun aunt than evil stepmother. I liked her—often more than both my birth parents, which made me feel guilty. So I always tried to steer clear. That didn’t stop Veronika from trying, more for Mel’s sake than mine, because that’s what Veronika always did.
“Ahh.” I drew the h out as I crossed smack-dab in the middle of the street, not even bothering to look both ways. I reached the sidewalk still searching for something else to say. Something more appropriate. I had nothing.
Mel and I barely knew how to talk to each other on a normal day, much less this one. We communicated best when not communicating at all. Our relationship had always been conducted through one intermediary after another. My mom had first taken up the role. Then, once they were no longer on speaking terms, it was Gram. After she died, it became Desiree. And two years ago, we’d switched to Mel’s executive assistant, Tam.
When you never really have to speak to someone, you never learn how. Normally that suited me fine. Just not today, not when there were so many things I wanted to ask.
Did you too know this was going to happen? Does it still feel like someone sucked the air out of your lungs? Are you also kinda relieved you don’t have to worry about her anymore? Do you feel guilty about it too?
And things I needed to ask. The why.
Why had she been coming to see me?
But I didn’t say any of that, just waited for him to take the lead, as usual. There was a voice in the background and then he spoke. “Look, I gotta get to the office. The police are stopping by at two. I want you there.”
He hung up before I could tell him no thank you. I was not in the right mental space. He’d barely registered when Desiree and I had stopped talking, so I knew he couldn’t tell me what I really wanted to know: if she’d been ready to make amends.
“Hey, mamí,” a voice called. Wally, the stock guy at the market on the corner where I always turned to get home.
- “Kellye Garrett is impressive on paper and, in conversation, a force of nature… [Like a Sister is a] briskly plotted, socially astute new thriller.”—The Los Angeles Times
- "A mystery that has everything I love most about the genre: an intriguing set up; an absorbing storyline that kept me guessing; a satisfying ending; and most of all, incredibly well developed characters that I kept thinking about long after I finished the book. I want everyone I know to read it so we can talk about it.’”—Jasmine Guillory, The Today Show
- "Kellye Garrett, a break-out star in crime fiction since her debut, has upped the ante with her latest, Like a Sister. A traditional mystery set in the world of reality television and Instagram influencers, it is equal parts charm and heartbreak, with razor-sharp insights on class, race, and family. I'm happy to know that Kellye Garrett is just getting started. I can't wait to see what she does next."—Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake
"This juicy and twisty mystery will be impossible to put down whether you read it while lounging on the sand or curling up in an air-conditioned room this summer.”
—Oxygen, July Book Club Pick
- "Lights, camera, corpse . . . Garrett’s taut novel dishes up the glitz of the haves and the struggles of the have-nots in a New York cleaved along lines of race and class, infusing classic noir storytelling with Big Apple glamor and buzzy texts and tweets—#pageturner."—Oprah Daily
- “Noir for the media-struck generation . . . Character and voice mesh with Like a Sister's explorations of race, class and family in an arresting combination.”—NPR.org
- “Delivers a heady mixture of secrets, red herrings and shadows, told by a narrator who instantly becomes a friend you root for…Though this is a dark, thriller-adjacent tale, spending time with Lena is a pleasure.”—The Seattle Times
"While the plot has its fair share of twists and turns, Lena’s voice makes the novel shine. She alternates between interrogating suspects in her 'Super Black Woman Cape,' and making funny observations about music, reality TV, and more. Lena’s wit plus a packed plot will grab and hold your attention."
- "Brimming with suspense and wit, Like a Sister is a tense, twisting mystery that explores the complex bonds within family and the elusive nature of truth. Smart, sharp, and completely engrossing—an absolutely can’t-put-it-down read!"—Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and Such a Quiet Place
- “In addition to creating a satisfying, twisty mystery and eloquently depicting the complexity of family relationships, Garrett explores racial identity, privilege, and discrimination as an organic part of the novel, with a deft, often funny touch. Here’s hoping to see more of Lena.”—Library Journal (starred review)
- “A crackling domestic suspense that has you turning the pages to see what happens next. . . . The novel explores difficult family dynamics, interrogates class and race, dismantles the 'Strong Black Woman' fallacy, and highlights a search for justice that Black women are often denied. These elements are carefully layered into a suspenseful and voicey narrative with a heroine you're rooting for from page one. Garrett's wry humor, attention to detail, and deft pacing are a tension wire pulled taut against the compelling mystery driving the novel; Like A Sister is one of those books that's best prepared for ahead of time, because once you pick it up, it will be difficult to put down.”—Alyssa Cole, Entertainment Weekly
- “Like a Sister is one of those reads whose tight plotting and suspenseful pacing might tempt you to rush to its twisty end, but take your time and enjoy the ride as Kellye Garrett fills these pages with humor, heart, and whip-smart insights into class, race, family, and our contemporary media culture. Garrett deserves every bit of praise Like a Sister is certain to earn.”—Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Sister
- “Set in New York’s seductively glamorous world of hip hop billionaires and dazzling reality stars, Like a Sister is a riveting, read-through-the-night thriller by a masterful storyteller. From the very first page to the jaw dropping finish, this is one you need to put at the top of your reading list.”—Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
- “Arresting . . . this family-oriented thriller is anything but ordinary . . . A twisty murder mystery with nuance and heart.”—BookPage
- “Insightful, briskly plotted ... Garrett explores racism and sexism with aplomb.”—Publishes Weekly (starred review)
- “I can’t say enough good things about Kellye Garrett’s highly anticipated new novel. Like A Sister is a smart, twisty, timely thriller that kept me guessing the whole way through. Garrett is a rising star, and a refreshing, standout voice in crime fiction.” —Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of Jar of Hearts and Little Secrets
“A murder mystery that tests all the boundaries of family love, friendship, and the ephemeral trap of social media fame. Smart with twists you never see coming, Garrett's novel delivers all that you want in a read you can't put down.”
—Walter Mosley, New York Times bestselling author of Blood Grove
- "Sharp, smart, and heartbreaking."—Reader's Digest
- “Terrific . . Like A Sister is a superb, twisty domestic noir. . . . It pulses with a rich vein of sarcastic humor and explores ideas around fame, race, and celebrity."—Mystery Scene
- “Like a Sister is a marvel and a must-read story for the current moment. Garrett, with deft humor and perfect eye for the blurred lines of social media and reality TV, has crafted a gripping narrative of domestic suspense which delivers hard, essential truths about race, class, and makes us question why some women's stories are too often disbelieved.”—Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women
- “Like a Sister combines the voice and humor Kellye Garrett fans have always loved with a twisting and surprising story sure to attract new readers. Domestic suspense for the Instagram gen. #lovedit.”—Lori Rader-Day, Edgar-nominated author of The Lucky One
- "Kellye Garrett is a fantastic new voice in crime fiction, and Like a Sister is her best book yet. A twisty mystery that takes a deep dive into celebrity, social media—and the dangerously false perceptions they can create—Garrett's latest is razor-sharp and utterly absorbing. I dare you to try and put it down."—Alison Gaylin, author of If I Die Tonight
- “The writing is sharp, the commentary wry, and Lena is irresistible . . . [a] whip-smart, heart-hurt, very entertaining heroine."—Kirkus Reviews
- “Like A Sister is a wholly captivating novel, one that grows more complicated—and tense—as the story unfolds. Loaded with twists and turns, this book will keep you guessing, and reading, until the last shocking page.”—Samantha Downing, bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It
- "With utterly convincing family relationships, a deft eye for the slippery nature of trust, and a red-hot take on right now, Like a Sister sees multi-award-winning cozy author Kellye Garrett laying down a very different beat to bring us a sure-fire hit. Magic!”—Catriona McPherson, award-winning author of Strangers at the Gate
- “A tour-de-force by one of crime fiction’s best, Kellye Garrett delivers a knock-out in Like A Sister. Garrett’s incredible range and depth of storytelling bring New York City to life as this thriller unfolds layer-by-gripping-layer. Through the inevitable media boil surrounding celebrity death, a powerful family keeping secrets of their own, and a grieving sister’s relentless quest for answers, Garrett clarifies an important truth about the voicelessness of the dead: When they’ve left a sister behind, they often aren’t.”—PJ Vernon, author of Bath Haus
- On Sale
- Feb 7, 2023
- Page Count
- 320 pages
- Mulholland Books