Leslie Karst

Introducing Leslie: Our Newest Chick!

We’re as excited as baby goats in springtime to announce the latest Chick to join us here at Chicks on the Case: Leslie Karst! Cheep cheep, whoo hoo!

Leslie graphic

Leslie writes the Sally Solari Mysteries. She’ll be blogging on Fridays.We couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s joining the nest, and for her inaugural post, we asked her some questions so you can get to know her a little better.


CHICKS: So, who is Leslie Karst?

LESLIE: I have to begin by saying how honored and thrilled I am to be initiated into the fabulous Chicks on the Case. (Is there a secret handshake? Oh, I hope there’s a secret hand…or, er…claw-shake.) Over the years, I’ve followed this blog and have hung out with the Chicks at mystery writer conventions, and to now be a part of the group is truly wonderful. So, thank you!

Okay, on to my bio:

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, I learned early—during boisterous family dinner conversations—the value of both careful analysis and the arts. Little did I know that one day these would prove ideal ingredients for writing a mystery series!

Being an “academic brat,” I lived in different places growing up: Columbus, Ohio; South America and Mexico; Oxford, England; and Santa Monica, California. And as a result, I acquired the taste for pretty much any kind of food, from barbecue to burritos to bubble and squeak.

I majored in English lit at UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs) and after graduation, parlayed my degree into employment waiting tables and ringing up sales as a cashier. Finally deciding I was ready for a “real” job, however, I ended up at Stanford Law School and, for the next twenty years, worked as the research and appellate attorney in Santa Cruz.


CHICKS: Share a little about your life

LESLIE: I’m now retired from the law, and my wife, Robin, and I—along with our rambunctious Jack Russell mix (and what other kind is there?)—split our time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Of course, having taken on a second career as a mystery author, I now work almost as much as I ever did as an attorney. But it’s way more fun! When not writing or spending far too much time on Facebook, I occupy myself with cooking, singing alto in my local community chorus, gardening, cycling, and observing cocktail hour with Robin and Ziggy and whomever else happens along at five o’clock on any given evening.


CHICKS: Tell us about your Sally Solari Mysteries

leslies book photo-01

LESLIE: Sally Solari is descended from one of the original Italian fishermen who arrived in Santa Cruz in the 1890s, and her dad is fiercely proud of the family’s traditional Italian seafood restaurant out on the historic wharf. But when Sally inherits her aunt’s trendy restaurant, Gauguin, her father—hurt that Sally no longer wants to work at Solari’s—becomes convinced she now looks down on her family heritage.

This dynamic between the old and the new provides the backdrop for my culinary mystery series, in which Sally finds herself solving murders, while at the same time juggling work at both family restaurants and trying to figure out her relationship with her ex-boyfriend/current bestie, Eric.

There are three Sally Solari Mysteries so far: Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder, and Death al Fresco (published by Crooked Lane Books). And an as-yet unnamed fourth in the series will be released next spring.


CHICKS: What are three things about you that people would be surprised to know?

LESLIE: One: I was the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist for a new wave band called Enigma back in the early 1980s. (Yes, I had spiked hair and wore red Converse hightop sneakers.)

Two: I have a degree in culinary arts, which I earned while working as an attorney.

Three: I once cooked dinner for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her husband Marty, and the five federal marshals who accompanied them for the evening.


READERS, please help us welcome our  newest Chick in the comments below! Or ask Leslie your own question! And if you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s a great time to start. Just click the button on the top right side of this page and let the fun begin!

49 thoughts on “Introducing Leslie: Our Newest Chick!

  1. Yay, Leslie! Welcome to the coop — so glad to have you onboard! So, the official Chicks’ handshake goes like this… wait, I’ll have to tell you later. 🙂 BTW, if no one’s told you yet, you’re in charge of sing-a-longs from now on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Welcome, leslie as a real live Chick…from an honorary chick. You were there in Reno drinking wine when I was honored..
    Going to read your books immediately. I’m grew up in Santa Clara valley and went to the Santa Cruz pier many times..

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good seeing you here as a new chick. I’ve seen you at Malice, but never had a chance to chat. Next year at Malice, I hope we can find time to change that. In the meantime, I look forward to reading your posts.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Welcome, welcome, welcome, Leslie!!! So glad you’ve joined us Chicks and can’t wait for your posts. Wish I could help on the handshake, but I’m kind of uncoordinated, so I just kind of flap my feathers. And in addition to being a distinguished author, you are an honest-to-Murgatroyd chef!! Ellen, we loved them, but move over, cheese plates at our next Chicks soirée!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Welcome, Leslie! Your books have been on my radar for a long
    time, and now I must put them on my “check into this immediately” list!

    What can you tell us about RBG? I’m in awe of her!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Deb! One thing I can tell you about RBG is that she has the metabolism of a hummingbird. She drank at least six glasses of wine during the dinner I cooked for her and, notwithstanding her tiny frame, remained–shall we say–sober as a judge, lol.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Sally Solari no. 4 will release sometime next spring (just finishing up the edits this week). We’re in Santa Cruz now, but the folks staying in our Hilo home say it’s soggy in the neighborhood but everything is just fine!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Welcome, Leslie! I am familiar with your series, and most of your bio I’ve seen before. I did not know the “three things” about you though, and I have to wonder if it was wise to reveal your culinary arts degree. From my understanding, the Chicks aren’t big on cooking. I fear they may now delay revealing that secret handshake until after they’ve gotten a few gourmet meals out of you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great! Fabulous! Stupendous! Awesome! Terrific!
    I am so happy for you Leslie. Welcome to the special group we all wish we could join.
    I knew about the culinary degree. But one justice with 5 Marshalls? Were they assuming you would poison her for authorship research?
    Can’t wait to start seeing your posts.

    Liked by 3 people

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