Created by Kristen Lepionka
“Be nice but not too fucking nice.”
— Roxane’s dad leaves her some final advice
Along with the usual angles to dangle (mommy issues, daddy issues, sibling issues, substance abuse issues, dubious diet issues, etc.), rookie author Lepionka tosses in a decidedly more modern one: sexual preference issues. It may be (but probably isn’t) a coldly calculated move on the author’s part, but Roxane’s bisexual version of torn between two lovers, while not the main attraction, adds a welcome spritz of freshness to the proceedings.
Lepionka does this by making Roxane, despite her numerous flaws (she drinks too much, she’s a slob, she’s pig-headed, she’s impulsive and contrary and obsessive and she rubs people like sandpaper), somehow likable and maybe even *GASP!* identifiable.
We WANT her to clean up her life.
We WANT her to crack the case.
Her first appearance, The Last Place You Look (2017), was a pleasant surprise — one of the more promising debuts I’ve read lately, and if the author’s not breaking as much new ground as some of her devotees believe (Jesus Chris, folks! Have you never heard of Joseph Hansen?) in this one at least she’s paving the road with some sharp writing and good intentions, picking at the scabs of familial discord, small-town secrets and old prejudices of class and race, bringing them all home with a solid emotional thump.
Raise a glass of Crown Royal (Roxane’s tipple of choice) to the new kid in town. She’s one to watch.
- “… reminds me of everything that made me fall in love with PI fiction. A great character, a vivid setting, a twisty, timely story that happens to be beautifully written. Kristen Lepionka and Roxane Weary are the best things to happen to the genre in years.”
— Laura Lippman on What You Want to See
- “Kristen Lepionka isn’t afraid to take her extremely hard, incredibly smart, and undeniably resilient private investigator Roxane Weary to the limit.”
— Matthew Turbeville (BookRiot, April 2019)
STRAIGHT FROM THE AUTHOR’S MOUTH
- “I wrote The Last Place You Look before the devastating 2016 election here in the U.S.—oh, the good old days!—and, honestly, I think the election changed the way I think about Roxane a little bit. She was never just “a character” to me, but writing a queer, difficult woman now feels like a small act of resistance.”
— Kristen Lepionka in Crime Time (May 2018)
- “I just Googled “queer crime writers” to see if there was an organization or group of, well, queer crime writers already. The 5th Google result is SOMETHING THAT I WROTE. So I created a Twitter for sharing info and news about queer crime writers:
— — Kristen Lepionka on Twitter (January 2019)
- The Last Place You Look (2017) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
- What You Want to See (2018) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
- The Stories You Tell (2019) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
- Once You Go This Far (2020) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
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