Meet Leslie

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned at a young age, during boisterous family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

Originally from Southern California, Leslie moved north to attend UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs), and after graduation, parlayed her degree in English literature into employment waiting tables and singing in a new wave rock band. Exciting though this life was, she eventually decided she was ready for a “real” job, and ended up at Stanford Law School.

For the next twenty years Leslie worked as the research and appellate attorney for Santa Cruz’s largest civil law firm. During this time, she rediscovered a passion for food and cooking, and so once more returned to school—this time to earn a degree in Culinary Arts.

Now retired from the law, Leslie—along with her wife and their Jack Russell mix, Ziggy—splits her time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i. When not writing, she occupies herself with cooking, reading, singing alto in the local community chorus, gardening, cycling, and observing cocktail hour promptly at five o’clock.

To learn more about Leslie and her books, visit her website at