The sunniest places can harbor the darkest of secrets...
Santa Barbara private investigator Jaymie Zarlin has built her fledgling agency on finding missing people. Still struggling with the death of her troubled brother, who died in police custody, Jaymie is determined to help others in similar situations find their way home. Homicides are not in her repertoire.
But when Lili Molina, a local teenager chosen for the coveted role of Daphne in the annual solstice parade, is murdered, Jaymie is urged to take on the case. Reluctant at first, she soon learns police are mishandling the investigation and can’t refuse. In a town where some people are filthy rich and some are dirt poor, Jaymie finds herself slipping into the fault lines between privilege and race. Her investigation turns up an array of suspects, including con artists, spoiled rich kids, and an eccentric oil heiress. Jaymie must move fast to unravel a twisted conspiracy - before she becomes the next victim.
In Blood Orange, Karen Keskinen explores the shadowy side of sparkling Santa Barbara, a California beach town packed with secrets ripe for the picking.
"Energetically lurid...Those looking for sensation will find it all: gore, sweeping conspiracy, Gossip Girl–style teenage decadence—even a wink to Fifty Shades of Grey."
"A promising soft-boiled debut, one that definitely fits into the Sue Grafton mold. [The] fiercely independent PI meets her challenges head-on, making the pages fly by."
"An impressive debut with echoes of Sue Grafton and Ross Macdonald that features appealing characters, a twisty plot, buried family secrets, and a coastal Southern California backdrop saturated in color and light." —Denise Hamilton, author of Damage Control and editor of Akashic's Los Angeles Noir
“In the overcrowded world of private eye fiction, Blood Orange hits the reader like a fresh breeze off the Pacific Ocean—make way for Jaymie Zarlin, patron saint of lost children, lost dogs and lost causes!” —Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries, the basis of A&E’s hit series, Longmire
"Keskinen is an observant, inventive writer, and she's given us a page-turning mystery of the west . . . Her smart, tough protagonist specializes in tracking down the missing, but finds instead a town's ugly and tangled secrets." —Hector Tobar, Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist for The Los Angeles Times and author of The Barbarian Nurseries
“A sharply written debut with a warm heart. Keskinen paints her California setting in fresh and vivid colors, and gives us a book that fits squarely into the PI tradition while shining a new light. Long life to this series!” —S.J. Rozan, Edgar-winning author of Ghost Hero