Guest Chick: Olivia Blacke

Hi, it’s Jennifer here. I’m so excited to introduce Olivia Blacke today. Olivia has written a fabulous debut cozy, Killer Content–I know because I got to read an early copy! Happy release week, and thanks so much for joining us today, Olivia!

First and foremost, thank you for having me on Chicks on the Case!

I’m Olivia Blacke and my debut cozy mystery—Killer Content (A Brooklyn Murder Mystery)—came out on Groundhog Day (Feb 2, 2021). I love cozies. Then again, I think we probably all do, or we wouldn’t be here reading this! I love the structure of cozies. The quirky characters. The escape from reality. But when I was writing Killer Content, I wanted something a little bit different. I wanted an urban cozy set in NYC.

I’ve moved around a lot, and I do mean a lot. In one particularly restless decade, I had eleven different addresses in seven different states. I’ve lived in cities with populations over eight million and tiny towns with barely a thousand residents so rural that the streets literally had no names. In all my travels, the one place that instantly felt like home was New York City, so it makes sense that I would set my debut cozy there. Since I’ll never skip an opportunity to flip a trope on its head (if I think I can get away with it – my brand is “Quirky, Unconventional, Character-Driven Cozy Mysteries” after all!), contrary to the traditional cozy structure, in Killer Content, my main character Odessa Dean moves away from the tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Piney Island, Louisiana to NYC.

One of the many things I love about cozies is that the location is every bit as integral to the story as any of the townspeople, and Killer Content is no exception. Williamsburg (Brooklyn, not Colonial Virginia) is more than my setting, it’s a very real character in and of itself. It might not have the quaint charm of the Maine seashore or the tight-knit community of a rural Texas town, but Williamsburg has a vibrant personality all of its own.

At first glance, New York City might not be the “coziest” of destinations. However, each individual neighborhood has its own identity. Its own charisma. Its own allure. The trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg is certainly no exception. Odessa sees Williamsburg through the optimistic eyes of a young woman experiencing the Big City for the first time. To her, the streets aren’t dirty and overcrowded—they’re an excellent opportunity to people watch. Through her point of view, graffiti becomes street art. Hustle and bustle becomes energy. Even a mundane trip on the Staten Island ferry is as much an adventure as exploring a quaint seaside town.

In a lot of ways, the Brooklyn Murder Mysteries are a love letter to New York. If you’ve lived or worked in NYC for any period of time, you probably developed a complicated relationship with the city. Odessa hasn’t gotten jaded yet. She’s fascinated and eager to explore everything the city has to offer. Everything is new and shiny and—yes—cozy.

What do you think? Is there room in the cozy mystery genre for urban cozies? Do you feel that a neighborhood—even one as metropolitan as Williamsburg—can have its own quaint, quirky charm?


Bio:

Brooklyn Murder Mysteries author Olivia Blacke writes quirky, unconventional, character-driven cozy mysteries. After shuffling around the U.S.A. from Hawaii to Maine, she currently resides with her husband and their roly-poly rescue puggle, but is forever homesick for NYC. In addition to writing, disappearing into a good book, and spending way too much time on social media, she enjoys SCUBA diving, crocheting, collecting tattoos, and baking dog cookies.

Website: https://OliviaBlacke.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/oliviablacke
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20268426.Olivia_Blacke

Synopsis:

It’s Murder Most Viral in this Brooklyn Mystery! Bayou transplant Odessa Dean has a lot to learn about life in Brooklyn. So far she’s scored a rent-free apartment in one of the nicest neighborhoods around by cat-sitting, and has a new job working at Untapped Books & Café. Hand-selling books and craft beers is easy for Odessa, but making new friends and learning how to ride the subway? Well, that might take her a little extra time.

But things turn more sour than an IPA when the death of a fellow waitress goes viral, caught on camera in the background of a couple’s flash-mob proposal video. Nothing about Bethany’s death feels right to Odessa–neither her sudden departure mid-shift nor the clues that only Odessa seems to catch. As an up-and-coming YouTube star, Bethany had more than one viewer waiting for her to fall from grace.

Determined to prove there’s a killer on the loose, Odessa takes matters into her own hands. But can she pin down Bethany’s killer before they take Odessa offline for good?

BUY LINK for Killer Content:
https://www.amazon.com/Killer-Content-Brooklyn-Murder-Mystery/dp/0593197887

27 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Olivia Blacke

  1. I think there is and NY is a perfect example. Like Pittsburgh, where I live, there are so many neighborhoods and each one has a different “personality,” not unlike small towns.

    Congrats on your debut!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Olivia, huge congrats on KILLER CONTENT!!! I just ordered my copy–you had me at Brooklyn, and Odessa sounds like a character to love. (Many) years ago, I lived with a friend on N. 6th St. Things have changed just a bit, lol. My daughter was married in Williamsburg 2 yrs ago and my son lives on Wythe Ave. Congrats again, and can’t wait to read your debut! Thanks so much for joining us on Chicks today.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I adore NYC, and my wife and I have traded houses with folks in Manhattan several times. It’s so true about the neighborhoods each being like a separate little town–a perfect setting for a cozy mystery, in my mind!

    Your new book sounds wonderful–congrats! And thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, Olivia!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Cozy is more about mindset than location. I love to see books like yours expanding the locations used. By focusing on a neighborhood, you can still have the cozy vibe. I’m reading one set in a Chicago neighborhood right now, in fact.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Olivia, welcome! Guess what? I’m from NY and write an urban cozy set in Astoria (Catering Hall Mysteries) AND having gone to college in New Orleans, my other series is set in Louisiana! So your book is totally up my alley. I can’t wait to read it. And as a native NYer, I can tell you that any neighborhood in the city is a self-contained community perfect for a cozy series. Hmm… note to self: future series set in my old Upper Westside neighborhood???

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I agree with Mark! Mindset, for sure.

    I love the idea of a NYC cozy. I think in my past life I must have been a New Yorker. Whenever I’m there, my laid-back Colorado politeness disappears and I become all elbows and speed.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Olivia! Welcome, congrats and happy release week!

    I definitely think there’s room for urban cozies, and I agree that neighborhoods are communities with their own charms. I’m looking forward to reading your book and joining Odessa on her explorations!

    Liked by 2 people

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