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
Eager to prove she's up to the challenge of solving the case, Jaymie investigates and uncovers an array of suspects. But when information begins to surface about her own brother, who died three years ago in the downtown jail, Jaymie is torn between doing right by her clients and exposing the truth about a mystery that lies much closer to home.
Set in a seaside city splashed in sunshine and laced with poisonous secrets, Karen Keskinen's Black Current is a riveting story about the treacherous secrets we keep and the costly sacrifices we make - all to hold on to the people we love.