Madison Kelly

Created by Elizabeth Breck

San Diego private investigator MADISON KELLY works mostly insurance fraud cases, but she’s at a personal and professional crossroads of sorts right now, letting things slide, not taking any new cases and spending way more time than she should on the internet, tweeting about Crawlspace, a true crime podcast that she’s become addicted to, while trying to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

So it’s all the more perplexing when she comes home one day to her La Jolla apartment (near the beach, of course) to discover a  threatening note “speared to her front door with a rusty nail”:

“Stop investigating me, or I will hunt you down and kill you. BITCH. No police.”

That’s the kick-off to one of 2020’s more impressive series launches, the aptly titled Anonymous. Madison’s suitably tough and savvy, the author’s got a lock on the La Jolla setting, and the plot barrels along, zigging and zagging and taking some fresh, original turns. Of course, it may help that the author, Elizabeth Breck, is an actual private detective, licensed in the state of California, but what really seals the deal is more impressive, and certainly more rare–she’s a terrific writer.


A native Californian, Harriet-the-Spy-obsessed Elizabeth Breck has worked mainly in the field of insurance investigations, making her the real-life version of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. In 2013, she decided to go back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in writing, summa cum laude, from the University of California San Diego. She lives with a black Labrador named Hubert who is her best friend.


  • Anonymous is an emotionally-wrought, angst-riddled, drop-dead terrific tale cut squarely from the cloth of Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben. Elizabeth Breck introduces us to savvy and seasoned private detective Madison Kelly… mystery/thriller writing of the highest order, as riveting as it is relentless.”
    — Jon Land
  • Anonymous has suspense, action, and investigation that’s believable, carried out by an appealing and very human female investigator in one of the most beautiful towns in the country. This will be the start of a terrific series.”
    — Thomas Perry
  • “A smart, tough female protagonist, a unique plot, fast-moving prose written with a steady hand and a startling conclusion make this superb debut novel from real-life PI Elizabeth Breck a must read.”
    — David Housewright on Anonymous
  • “Elizabeth Breck’s praiseworthy debut novel is unrelenting, like her dogged, smart protagonist, Madison Kelly.”
    — David Swinson on Anonymous




  • September 2, 2023
    The Bottom Line:Written by a real-life PI, ANONYMOUS (2020) was just a kick ass intro to a tough, determined and all-too-human La Jolla P.I., a modern-day Kinsey. And the sequel wasn’t too shabby, either. More please.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply