It would be fair to call my review of Kellye Garrett’s debut, Hollywood Homicide, downright glowing and I may have been heard on more than one occasion predicting the novel’s potential for winning awards (which it has in fact done), so to say that my anticipation of and expectations for Hollywood Ending were excessively high would not be unjustified. However, Kellye Garrett still managed to excel beyond my lofty desires – Hollywood Ending is another massive hit from one of the freshest voices in crime fiction.
In Hollywood Homicide, Kellye Garrett introduced the spirited Dayna Anderson to crime fiction readers everywhere and she quickly stole our hearts – not to mention providing much laughter along the way. With Hollywood Ending, she cements Dayna’s standing as a classic character for the ages. Dayna’s rise to stardom may have stalled like a dilapidated hooptie within the world of the novel, but outside in the real world she remains a superstar diva to her legion of reader-fans.
Hollywood Ending starts with a seemingly random ATM robbery that results in the death of Lyla Davis, publicist to Hollywood’s elite. The fact that her boyfriend, Omari Grant, was at the same ATM just moments before feels just a bit too close for comfort for Dayna. Looking to jump-start a career as a private investigator, Dayna gathers a team – AKA her gang of friends – to help her begin to investigate this senseless crime.
Little does she know, but Dayna’s investigation is going to lead to more questions than answers. Lyla may not have been completely on the up-and-up and many members of the glitzy and glamorous world of Hollywood may have had a reason to wish for her demise. Placing all of this within the backdrop of award season is an inspired choice that allows Kellye Garrett to show off her extensive knowledge of the behind-the-scenes machinations within Hollywood.
Never taking itself too seriously, Hollywood Ending features many of reader’s favorite characters from the first novel in the series. In particular, Dayna’s interactions with her girlfriends feel utterly authentic. Giving readers a chance to eavesdrop on these private conversations allows them feel like one of the cool kids – for just a moment. Kellye Garrett has a keen ear for the rhythms of dialogue and knows when to throw in a well-thought-out pop culture reference to help short-hand something for the reading public.
So much of the success of a series relies on fleshing out the environment in which the main character resides, surrounding that main character with friends, family, and foes who all free just as alive, and crafting crime cases that push the boundaries and contain genuine surprises book after book. Kellye Garrett clearly got that memo, as the “Detective By Day Mystery Series” has enough grist for the mill to fill countless future escapades for Dayna Anderson.
Devoted fans like myself will follow wherever this author wants to take us in the future, but I sure hope that Dayna remains my friend for a long time to come.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.