Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood! Teri Bailey Black's Chasing Starlight is a historical mystery from the author of Girl at the Grave, winner 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 and gangster films at a furious pace. Everyone wants to be a star—except society girl and aspiring astronomer Kate Hildebrand. She’s already famous after a childhood tragedy turned her into a newspaper headline. What she craves now 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—or maybe even her grandfather.
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?
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More interested in astronomy than the silver screen in 1938, 17-year-old Kate Hildebrand is nevertheless packed off to Hollywood to live with her grandfather, Oliver Banks, having no idea that the legendary silent film star is a recluse in dire financial straits. Surrounded at his mansion by her grandfather's young male boarders all aspiring actors and neighbor to a glamorous singer and her ing nue daughter, Kate soon finds herself enmeshed in a film production. After one of the boarders is murdered, the clever teen dons her sleuthing cap, but doing so means facing tragic family memories, including her parents' deaths and her own brush with infamy. Black (Girl at the Grave) enlivens the novel, set in Tinseltown's Golden Age, with background about film production and history, while snappy dialogue focuses on gender imbalances found in 1930s Hollywood ("that, my friend, is why all the movies are stereotyped claptrap"). Entertainingly conveying the glitz of Kate's Hollywood life and romantic interests, this breezy whodunit is a fun historical escape with satisfactory twists. Ages 13 up.