A young adult mystery novel, MIXTAPE MURDER will appeal to fans of Karen M. McManus, Kara Thomas, and Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.

It’s her seventeenth birthday, and Kirby only wants one thing: the run-down car she’s been coveting for years out at the wreckers. Then she can fix it up and her dream of being a small-town mechanic, like her dad, will officially begin. Only, getting the car turns into a nightmare when Kirby hears a girl’s plea for help on the mixtape that won’t eject from the old stereo. 

Back in 1989, Susan just turned seventeen. Great. Not so great is she’s dying from the fumes of the new car she received from her controlling father. He’s the mayor of the small town she has always wanted to escape—just not like this. So, she leaves a warning on the mixtape currently in her car stereo because someone killed her best friend hours before and the fumes are not her choice. Not her choice at all.

Kirby discovers the voice on the tape is Susan, who dated her dad at the time of her suspected suicide. Kirby questions how well she knows the people in her ‘perfect’ small town, including her own family, when she learns Susan was the start of a series of mysterious deaths thirty years ago. Determined to squash her suspicions, Kirby begins to unearth the truth, and with it a dormant killer who wants to keep the past buried. If Kirby doesn’t work out her connection to Susan in time, their fates will align in the car that brought them together.

MIXTAPE MURDER is a 71,000-word young adult mystery novel with dual POVs and timelines (present and 1989), set in the twenty-four hours of both the girls’ seventeen birthdays. Susan’s narrative is told backwards, starting as she dies. 

MIXTAPE MURDER mood board (images not my own)