Pretty Dead Queens

Pretty Dead Queens
Age Range
Release Date
October 04, 2022
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After the death of her mom (screw cancer), seventeen-year-old Cecelia Ellis goes to live with her estranged grandmother, a celebrated author whose Victorian mansion is as creepy as the murder mysteries she writes. On the surface, life is utterly ordinary in the California coastal town . . . until the homecoming queen is murdered. And she’s not Seaview’s first pretty dead queen.

With a copycat killer on the loose, Cecelia throws herself into the investigation, determined to crack the case like the heroines in her grandmother’s books. But the more Cecelia digs into the town’s secrets, the more she worries that her own mystery might not have a storybook ending.

Editor review

1 review
Pretty Dead Queens
(Updated: September 08, 2022)
Overall rating
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Seventeen-year-old Cecelia ends up living with her famous mystery writer grandmother Maura after the death of her mother. The seaside town had a whole Veronica Mars vibe going for it. The teens at the local high school also had their own group of Mean Girls. The real mystery happens when one of the girls dies the exact same way as Maura's first mystery novel which was based on the real story of a Homecoming queen's death.

What worked: Fast-paced murder mystery with a dash of Mean Girls. There's lots of action throughout with twists and turns plus a shout-out to Murder She Wrote.

Great pacing with more than a few red herrings thrown at readers. The trail to the actual killer is filled with references to the real 1970 murder and to some very shady locals.

Murder She Wrote YA style with a cast of high school characters solving their own murder mystery.
Good Points
1. Fast-paced murder mystery
2. Murder She Wrote YA style
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