Dead to Me by Mary McCoy #BookReview #Dreamcast #Playlist #Giveaway

Dead to Me
by Mary McCoy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: March 3rd 2015

LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

"Don't believe anything they say."

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her--and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets--and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars--if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.


Dead to Me by Mary McCoy is obviously a YA but it reads like an old crime novel. Which Alice actually references quite a bit. I think even if you didn’t normally read YA you would enjoy this because of the mystery involved. Of course Alice is limited to her age of how much she can do but she still manages to be her own PI. Plus I loved the setting of the old late 1940s Hollywood. Alice even references the Black Dahlia murder.

That phrase “the heir and the spare” comes to mind when I think of Alice. Unfortunately she lives in her sister Annie’s shadow. The one that was pretty, the one that could sing. However there are advantages to Alice being in the shadows. Being ignored and invisible has taught her to be an impeccable people watcher and much more observant of her surroundings. People also underestimate her, so still thinking of her as a child. Alice is actually intelligent and clever. After her sister's disappearance she became a bit of recluse, which makes her have this very dry way of talking. She is more matter of fact and to the point. She’s managed to close herself off but after Annie is found beaten, she starts to change as she searches for her attacker.

There is really no romance in the book but it’s not necessary at all. In fact even Alice bond with Annie is analysed. It’s interesting to see how Alice really comes into her own, discovering that she is her own person. She also has a really great friend who she sadly ends up neglecting but is still there if Alice needs her. I loved that aspect as well because I hope we all have that friend, I know I do.

So the plot was really addicting. There were things that I figured out early on and some things I did not. It was engaging the entire time because even though there was a big mystery to solve it involved all of these smaller pieces that fit together to make the big picture. I couldn’t put it down, I read it in about a day. I had to know what was going to happen next and how each person played into it. It was exposing this hidden underbelly of Hollywood at that time. Drug addicted movie stars, dirty cops, has it all.

I really loved the book and the setting (I’m thinking about 1948-49ish). Such a great read, especially if you're looking for something different and does revolve around a romance.

Side Note: I really love the cover, it's hard to see how cool it is from just a picutre.

I decided to do a little something for this dream cast and pick 1940s actresses/actors in spirit of the book.

Jennifer Jones

Rita Hayworth

Anne Baxtor

Ava Gardner

Howard Duff (okay it's because he played Sam Spade on the radio)

Gary Cooper

So te playlist was tough this time. Normally I listen to music while I'm reading and songs hit me but I read this book so fast that I didn't listen much. I actually spent a couple days listening to 40s music (I know I'm all about the theme) So it's mix of both. Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald are both mentioned in the book.


Mary McCoy is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles's notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her debut novel, Dead To Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.