Friday, June 26, 2015

DEAD TO ME is a Fabulous Forties old Hollywood Mystery by Mary McCoy

DEAD TO ME is fabulous! It's set in 1940's old Hollywood. I can't remember ever reading a YA novel set there, so right away, it felt new to me.  Alice's sister has been missing for four years, so when she gets a call from the hospital, she's relieved to finally see her. But her sister has been badly beaten and she hasn't woken up.

Soon after Alice realizes how badly hurt her sister is, private detective Jerry Shaffer walks into the hospital room questioning Alice. Little does he know, Alice isn't the meek sixteen-year-old she may appear to be. She turns it around and begins questioning him. Then she proceeds to begin her own investigation to uncover the brute who pummeled her sister into a coma.

Although the author takes familiar elements (young girls fleeing to Hollywood to become the next famous starlet, cops owned by thugs, actors owned by major studios), the story has a freshness that I truly enjoyed. After hearing about the cryptographers during the war, Alice and her sister Annie learned to create their own secret codes using ciphers. This skill comes in handy when certain clues are unearthed that only Annie can decrypt.

Annie is a feisty, determined sister. Even when unsavory facts are uncovered about her family, she doesn't let anything stand in her way of getting to the bottom of the whole sordid situation.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of the story, as well as the characters.

Happy reading!