Created by Kimberly G. Giarratano
Nothin’ else matters in this whole wide world, when you’re in love with a Jersey girl…
Okay, okay, I’m not pledging my troth or anything like that to Billie Levine, the 24-year-old walking mess of a rookie P.I. that’s the star of YA author Kimberly Giarratano’s impressive adult debut, Death of a Dancing Queen (2023). But she’s a girl who’s awful easy to like.
And one you’d just like to help out, because Lord knows the kid could use a hand. She’s recently dropped out of school and cranked up her ex-cop grandpa’s old detective agency, hoping to generate some much-needed income while trying to keep the remnants of her family together, acting like the adult in the house.
Only, as she puts it, “Adulthood was a bitch.”
Billie’s mom, Shari, has early onset Alzheimer (something Billie worries may be in store for her); her older brother David, a licensed practical nurse, is bipolar and gay, desperate to have an open relationship with his closeted boyfriend, and Gramps is drinking too much, holding court at Nagel’s deli and trotting out old war stories to anyone who’ll listen.
Her father? Took off. No help at all.
Her dreams of pursuing a Bachelor’s in English? Toast.
Her only real client? Tommy Russo, a young junkie from a wealthy family who wants her to find Jasmine Flores, his missing stripper girlfriend, a college student and true crime podcaster.
The plot slips and slides around like it was doused in olive oil, moving from family drama to mystery and back again, like an episode of the Sopranos reimagined by an over-caffeinated Janet Evanovich.
Baby-faced and 5’4,” Billie’s not exactly a badass, even in Doc Martens, but she displays some true grit and some impressive detective chops along the way; so tell those corner boys to stop making all that noise—there’s a new Jersey Girl in town.
Sing sha la la la la la, sha la la la la la la la la…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Known primarily as for her YA novels, Kimberly Giarratano is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, The Lady in Blue and the Cayo Hueso mystery series.
- Death of a Dancing Queen (2023) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
THE DICK OF THE DAY
- May 7, 2023
The Bottom Line: Baby-faced, 5’4” and all of 24, she’s not exactly a badass, even in Doc Martens, but this rookie eye displays true grit and some impressive detective chops along the way; so tell those corner boys to stop making all that noise—there’s a new Jersey Girl in town. Sha la la la la la…