about the stories you tell
Release date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Minotaur Books
The Stories You Tell is Shamus Award-winning and Anthony and Macavity award-nominated author Kristen Lepionka’s heart-pounding third novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats with her signature twists and mile-high stakes.
A late-night phone call is never good news, especially when you’re Roxane Weary. This one is from her brother Andrew whose evening was interrupted by a visit from Addison, a hip young DJ he knows from the hotel bar where he works. She was drunk, bloody, and hysterical, but she wouldn’t say what was wrong. After using his phone, she left as quickly as she appeared, and Andrew is worried. That’s when he calls Roxane.
But another late-night call occurs as well: Addison’s father calls the police after getting a panicked voicemail from his daughter. The only thing he could understand is the address she gave in the message―Andrew’s. Before long, the police are asking Andrew all about why there’s blood in his apartment and what he did to Addison. Meanwhile, another cop is found dead on the opposite side of town, leading to a swirl of questions surrounding a dance club whose staff―which includes Addison―has suddenly gone AWOL.
about what you want to see
Release date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
The thrilling follow up to The Last Place You Look, starring troubled and determined private investigator, Roxane Weary.
Marin Strasser has a secret. Her fiancé thinks her secret is that she’s having an affair, and he hires P.I. Roxane Weary to prove it.Then, just days into the case, Marin is shot to death on a side street in an apparent mugging. But soon enough the police begin to focus on Roxane's client for Marin’s death, so she starts to dig deeper into Marin’s life―discovering that the elegant woman she’s been following has a past and a half, including two previous marriages, an adult son fresh out of prison, and a criminal record of her own. The trail leads to a crew of con artists, an ugly real estate scam that defrauds unsuspecting elderly homeowners out of their property, and the suspicious accident of a wealthy older woman who lives just down the street from where Marin was killed.
With Roxane’s client facing a murder indictment, the scammers hit close to home to force Roxane to drop the case, and it becomes clear that the stakes are as high as the secrets run deep.
about the last place you look
Release date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Nobody knows what happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton―black and from the wrong side of the tracks―was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he’s maintained his innocence all along, the clock is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.
Brad might be in a bad way, but private investigator Roxane Weary isn’t doing so hot herself. Still reeling from the recent death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn in to the story of Sarah's vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl.
The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blonde teenagers who’ve turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case―hers included.
Kristen Lepionka is the author of the Roxane Weary mystery series. Her debut, The Last Place You Look, won the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. novel and was also nominated for Anthony and Macavity Awards. She grew up mostly in a public library and could often be found in the adult mystery section well before she was out of middle school. Her writing has been selected for Shotgun Honey, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats.
Praise for What You Want to See
“That rare and precious thing ― a sequel as good as ― or even better than ― the outstanding first in the series. It’s wise, knowing, propulsive, and perfectly pitched. Lepionka is a major new talent.” ― Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE reminds me of everything that made me fall in love with PI fiction. A great character, a vivid setting, a twisty, timely story that happens to be beautifully written. Kristen Lepionka and Roxane Weary are the best things to happen to the genre in years." ―Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author
“What You Want to See is a fresh, smart, edgy update of the best in classic detective fiction. Get used to the names Roxane Weary and Kristen Lepionka, because you’ll be hearing about them both for a long time."―Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife
"Lepionka is setting a high standard for crime fiction with the complex Roxane Weary at its heart."―Booklist (starred review)
"Twisty...That Roxane has an alarming habit of diving headfirst into dangerous situations only makes her more fascinating. Fans will no doubt look forward to her next case."―Publishers Weekly
praise for the last place you look
"Lepionka reboots the thriller genre with her troubled hero, Roxane Weary, a private eye with little concern for her own safety (or the gender of her shifting sexual partners.) The Last Place You Look riffs off Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane but finds a way to make detective fiction relevant again, in 2017. I have never read a more confident debut."―James Renner, author of True Crime Addict and The Man From Primrose Lane
"In The Last Place You Look, a talented new voice in crime fiction gives us the seedier side of a Midwestern community―and a character worth following anywhere she trespasses. A wonderful debut."―Lori Rader-Day, Mary Higgins Clark Award- and Anthony Award-winning author of The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things
"The Last Place You Look is a sharp, timely, and assured debut. Lepionka’s got a real knack for character. Her protagonist, private eye Roxane Weary, manages to honor her literary predecessors while still crackling with originality and life."―Chris Holm, Anthony Award-winning author of The Killing Kind and Red Right Hand
"Just when you think the PI novel is dead, Kristen Lepionka brings it roaring back to life. Roxie Weary is a richly-drawn protagonist who proves that 'hardboiled' and 'feminine' aren't mutually exclusive. This book is so good it makes me jealous."―Rob Hart, author of New Yorked and City of Rose, associate publisher at Mysterious Press
"The Last Place You Look is a beautifully written mystery, one I devoured in a single sitting, late into the night. I’ll now follow detective Roxane Weary anywhere: into her hopes and fears, into her past, and--especially--into danger. An extraordinary debut novel."―Christopher Coake, author of You Came Back
“The P.I. at the heart of The Last Place You Look may be troubled and still green, but Kristen Lepionka’s debut mystery is as confident and deft as they come. A moving, arresting novel.”―Michael Kardos, author of Before He Finds Her
"In her daring debut, Kristen Lepionka blends traditional mystery with heart-stopping thriller elements to create something plenty original. The down-on-her-luck PI Roxane Weary battles her emotional demons to track down a human one, stumbling into plenty of trouble along the way. But she overcomes doubt in all its ugly forms, succeeding where others have failed. Lepionka exceeds expectations, as well, in this ambitious novel. With its memorable characters and surprising twists, The Last Place You Look will stay with readers long after they turn the last page."―Erica Wright, author of The Granite Moth and The Red Chameleon
social media links
For press inquiries: Kayla Janas, kayla.janas (at) stmartins (dot) com
For agent/rights inquiries: Jill Marsal, jill (at) marsallyonliteraryagency (dot) com
Author email: kristen (at) kristenlepionka (dot) com