Title: Chasing Starlight
Author: Teri Bailey Black
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Murder Mystery
Release Date: August 11th 2020 from Tor Teen
Synopsis: Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood! Teri Bailey Black’s Chasing Starlight is a historical mystery from the award-winning author of the Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel.
1938. The Golden Age of Hollywood. Palm trees and movie stars. Film studios pumping out musicals, westerns, and gangster films at a furious pace. Everyone wants to be a star―except society girl and aspiring astronomer Kate Hildebrand, who’d rather study them in the night sky. She’s already famous after a childhood tragedy turned her into a newspaper headline. What she craves is stability.
But when Kate has to move to Hollywood to live with her washed-up silent film star grandfather, she walks into a murder scene and finds herself on the front page again. She suspects one of the young men boarding in her grandfather’s run-down mansion is the killer―maybe even her grandfather. She searches for clues.
Now, Kate must discover the killer while working on the set of a musical―and falling in love. Will her stars align so she can catch the murderer and live the dream in Old Hollywood? Or will she find that she’s just chasing starlight?
Praise for Chasing Starlight
“Chasing Starlight dazzles with richly drawn characters, a breathtaking mystery, and a vivid 1930s Hollywood setting. Black masterfully evokes the glamour and darkness of a mesmerizing era steeped in secrets, lies, and dreams.” ―Cat Winters author of The Raven’s Tale
“Miss Fisher meets Tinseltown in this addictive mystery full of Old Hollywood glamour and slow-burn secrets. Chasing Starlight is the journey of aspiring-astronomer-turned-reluctant-sleuth Kate as she works not only to solve a murder but find her place in the world after a tumultuous past. Come for the gossipy glam of old Hollywood; stay for a cast of charmingly quirky characters and a mystery that will have you guessing until the end.” ―McKelle George, author of Speak Easy, Speak Love
“Chasing Starlight is a mystery as alluring as old Hollywood itself―and fun! Teri Bailey Black’s story has a historical-yet-modern feel, and the setting is so creative and cinematic you’ll feel as if you’re sitting on a film set. With a cast of dream-chasers who showcase both the glamour and the grit, Chasing Starlight is delightful from the first scene to the last.” ―Jodie Lynn Zdrok, author of Spectacle
“Black delivers an atmospheric mystery with cinematic flair that’s chock full of period detail, highlighting women’s roles in front of, and behind, the camera during Hollywood’s golden age. A captivating crowd pleaser.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“This complex tale featuring blossoming romance, an edge-of-your-seat murder, and a host of characters to love and hate is recommended for collections where mysteries are popular.” ―School Library Journal
“Entertainingly conveying the glitz of Kate’s Hollywood life and romantic interests, this breezy whodunit is a fun historical escape with satisfactory twists.” ― Publishers Weekly
“A thrillingly romantic dive into Old Hollywood that will appeal to cinema and history buffs alike.” ―Booklist
About the Author
Teri Bailey Black is happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. Her debut novel, Girl at the Grave, won the Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and the Whitney Award for Best Debut and Best Young Adult Novel. Her second novel, Chasing Starlight, will be published June 2020. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.
Ever since I read Black’s debut novel Girl at the Grave, I knew she was an author to watch. I was really excited for this book new book when I first heard about it. I love the fact that it’s set in 1938 Hollywood with a murder mystery! This book really gave me those old movie vibes with how Black describes the clothes, the setting and the dialogue. The first chapter when Kate arrives in Hollywood and walks into a murder scene at her grandfather’s mansion house, I knew I was in for a good and entertaining story. What I also got was a sweet story about a girl who wanted to be an astronomer and made lists, but ends up finding herself along the way.
One of the biggest highlights for me was the blunt observations of Hollywood at the time. Kate’s grandfather Oliver, a retired silent film actor was also a wonderful character and he really reflected the real life scrutiny that many actors faced when silent films went to talking pictures. Many were out of a job because they weren’t deemed a “good fit” for talking pictures. Also, when Kate sees more of Hollywood on film sets and talks to people in the industry, she sees how many of the film producers don’t respect women or people of color. She sees how its ridiculous for girls to skip meals so they don’t gain weight or other potentially dangerous things. The way Kate expresses these things was so bluntly honest but she wasn’t doing it to be mean. I like that the way she approached it made people honestly think about those problems. Those problems even apply in Hollywood today which makes it even more relevant. I really liked that Kate spoke her mind and wasn’t afraid to.
The next highlight was of course Kate herself. This girl is smart, has dreams of being an astronomer and isn’t really like the other girls of the time. She doesn’t get boy crazy, doesn’t care much for parties and knows that she’s smarter than most boys. Shes likes learning calculus and gets excited about college. She also speaks her mind like I mentioned, not being afraid to point out the truth when no one will and also being there for others. While she doesn’t trust some of the boarders living in her grandfather’s house, she doesn’t treat them like villains or no good people. She does give people a chance if she thinks she can trust them. Her personality was so honest and down to earth that characters like her are rare to see. I saw some of myself in her and I really grew to care about her.
Next, I’ll talk about the plot. The way the actual murder mystery takes place was unexpected in a good way. I felt like it came out of nowhere and I liked seeing Kate and her love interest Hugo flirt with each other, as well as play detectives together. The way the murder itself unfolded was really well done and while I had theories of who the killer was, I had no definite idea and that’s such an awesome thing! The mystery was handled so well and had more depth and details that made it even better. I liked that this book was a historical murder mystery with some romance and a coming of age story for a girl who doesn’t completely know where she’ll end up. Plus her relationship with her grandfather was so sweet and something I want to see more of in YA. If you need a great YA mystery that’s a page turner and also full of fun and heart, please check out this book. I’m excited for whatever Teri Bailey Black writes next!
This is an international giveaway where 5 winners will receive a copy of the book and 1 winner will receive a Chasing Starlight t shirt. You must be 13 or older to enter and the giveaway ends on August 31st, 2020.
Thank you to Jean BookNerd for letting me be apart of this tour and I hope you all check out this book and enjoy it!