cover image Like a Sister

Like a Sister

Kellye Garrett. Mulholland, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-25670-4

Agatha winner Garrett (the Detective by Day series) delves into the vagaries of families, fame, and wealth in this insightful, briskly plotted novel. Columbia graduate student Lena Scott, who’s working on her master’s in nonprofit management, has been estranged for years from her younger half-sister, Desiree Pierce, a former reality TV star turned Instagram darling. When Desiree’s body is found in a Bronx playground the morning after her 25th birthday party, the authorities attribute her death to an overdose. Despite their differences, Lena, who knows Desiree was terrified of needles, begins her own investigation. In her search for answers, Lena gets back in touch with her famous hip-hop producer father (whose financial support she refused), forcing her to reevaluate her childhood and the choices she’s made. Lena regrets having been alienated from Desiree and is jealous of the friends who became Desiree’s substitute sisters. Garrett explores racism and sexism with aplomb, as shown by the sarcasm Lena displays when others underestimate her because she’s a young Black woman. This talented author has upped her game with this one. Agent: Michelle Richter, Fuse Literary. (Mar.)