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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Like A Sister

ISBN: 978-0316256704

Publisher: Mulholland Books

Publication Date: 03/08/2022

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

When the body of disgraced reality TV star Desiree Pierce is found on a playground in the Bronx the morning after her 25th birthday party, the police and the media are quick to declare her death an overdose. It’s a tragedy, certainly, but not a crime.

But Desiree’s half-sister Lena Scott knows that can’t be the case. A graduate student at Columbia, Lena has spent the past decade forging her own path far from the spotlight, but some facts about Desiree just couldn’t have changed since their childhood. And Desiree would travel above 125th Street.

So why is no one listening to her? Despite the bitter truth that the two haven’t spoken in two years, torn apart by Desiree’s partying and by their father, Mel, a wealthy and influential hip-hop mogul, Lena becomes determined to find justice for her sister, even if it means untangling her family’s darkest secrets—or ending up dead herself.


"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

"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

“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.”


“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

“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

My Review

If you want someone in your back pocket to look out for you, you need Lena Scott. She is tenacious, sassy, witty, and whip-smart!

LIKE A SISTER by Kellye Garrett is character-driven, suspenseful, and propulsive—a Black woman in New York City trying desperately to solve why her estranged sister was found dead of an overdose in the Bronx. The cops want to dismiss it as an overdose, but Lena knows it is more.

Edgy and gritty, a riveting crime thriller that keeps you turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning.

When Lena's estranged younger half-sister, Desiree Pierce —former reality TV star is found dead in lingerie in the Bronx with cocaine and no shoes, she is shocked, especially when she discovered this bit of info from the New York Daily News. She earlier found out her sister was back in NY from Instagram.

Lena hated this. She knew her sister liked to party, drank too much, did drugs, and hung out with a fast crowd, but she does not believe her sister died of an overdose. She was too vain and did not like needles or track marks.

But no one seems to care about a dead Black woman.

But Desiree Pierce wasn't just any Black woman.

She was Mel Pierce's (hip-hop producer star) prized daughter.

How did a woman like Desiree Pierce end up dead in a park alone the morning after her 25th birthday party?

Lena will do anything to get justice for her sister. Even though they had been estranged, she must find answers. She has to get in touch with her family in the process, not something she is looking forward to. Lena had distanced herself from the high-profile lavish word of her mogul father and chose to live with her aunt in the Bronx.

Now she wonders if Desiree was coming to see her.

She needed her and she was going to find out why.

But the cops of course like to leave it as an overdose.

That does not work for Lena.

She immediately reaches out to her sister's friends through her social media account. Who can she trust?

Lena will stop at nothing until she has answers from postings leading up to the death. Who would want her sister dead?

RAZOR-SHARP! I enjoy a strong, flawed Black woman heroine and the sarcastic first-person narrative was superb. What a sleuth and complex wild ride!

The author knows how to create an entertaining read, from mystery, suspense, danger, family dynamics, class, race, discrimination, racial, self-discovery, and privilege— incorporating social media and pop-culture, and best of all, HUMOR!

She is too good to end. Please bring Lena back. My first book by the author and I cannot wait to see what comes next!

While reading I thought of my black best friend Wesley (beautiful, smart, and sassy) with numerous PhDs. She has kept me in stitches laughing for over twenty years, no matter where we live, we will never lose this friendship.

A special thank you to #MulhollandBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pub Date: 08 March 2022

About the Author

Photo Credit: Carucha L. Meuse

Kellye Garrett is the acclaimed author of Hollywood Homicide, which won the Agatha, Anthony, Lefty and Independent Publisher “IPPY” awards for best first novel and was named one of BookBub’s Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time, as well as Hollywood Ending, which was featured on the TODAY show’s Best Summer Reads of 2019 and was nominated for both Anthony and Lefty awards. Prior to writing novels, Kellye spent eight years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for Cold Case. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sisters in Crime and is a co-founder of Crime Writers of Color. WEBSITE



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