Thursday, October 21, 2021





Seventeen-year-old aspiring reporter Katelyn Elms is saddened and shocked by the sudden suicide of her friend Marnie Overton in her Santa Barbara home. But after the initial police investigation, Katelyn notices multiple inconsistencies that the cops overlooked—and begins to believe that Marnie was actually killed by a clever and elusive murderer.

Prompted by the insistence of Marnie’s young daughter, Katelyn launches her own investigation and quickly uncovers a disturbing number of buried secrets and lies surrounding Marnie’s final days, including mysterious relationships with a shady district attorney and a womanizing and temperamental boss. Stonewalled by a police force determined to look no deeper into Marnie’s case and unwilling to let a child relitigate the matter, Katelyn presses on with the covert assistance of the Police Chief’s son—who also happens to be the one boy whose affections she has silently pursued for the past three years.

But when her efforts turn up a second questionable suicide, a book of suspects, and a motive to kill with dark ties to a massive underground conspiracy, Katelyn finds that she herself is fast becoming a target for premature death.

Book Details 

Title: The Lethal List

Author: Fred Tippett, II

Genre: YA mystery

Series: Katelyn Elms Mysteries
, book 1
Publisher: Trinity Power Productions LLC (August 24, 2021)

Print length: 325 pages


Things you need in order to write: my desk and chair, either my laptop or a good pen and paper, free time, and (relatively) absolute silence.
Things that hamper your writing: loud noises, a lack of free time, a lack of inspiration, and writer’s block.
Things you love about writing: the ability to build worlds, histories, and even change lives with the simple power of the page. The power to elevate others, right wrongs, or just make people think twice or think differently about the world in which we’re all living.
Things you hate about writing: definitely the revision process. A book idea is beautiful—and bearing it out on the page is often a pure exercise in catharsis. But once that’s done, any good writer—and I am—can expect to spend probably months revising and editing the work, killing darlings and second-guessing the usefulness of almost every word that’s been written.

Easiest thing about being a writer: ideas for books come to me from everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The news, day-to-day life, discussions with friends and family, things that I watch or read, and even things that I write! I already have so many ideas for future books that I really could be writing interesting stories forever, and they just keep coming.

Hardest thing about being a writer: just about everything that comes after the “ideas” part. Hahaha! An idea must be outlined—then written into a first draft. That first draft must be edited probably at least another two times (optimistically with the help of a good proofreader and/or editor the second time around) before it’s anywhere close to ready. Even once the book is ready to be published, an effective author still has tons of work to do with properly advertising it and choosing the best way to do that.

Things you love about where you live: the clean air and the relatively peaceful and quiet nature of the southern suburbs.

Things that make you want to move: I’m really not a fan of the way in which many people where I live—some even in leadership—have chosen to handle, or mishandle, the recent pandemic and the safety measures that have been prescribed to ensure everyone’s best end. This is as opposed to the better ways that the pandemic has been handled in other environments.

Favorite foods: fried salmon, savory herb cauliflower rice, chicken and wild rice soup, spicy shrimp pizza, sautéed spinach, red velvet cake.

Things that make you want to throw up: baked salmon, green beans, plain baked chicken, pineapple upside down cake.

Favorite beverage: eggnog milkshake.

Something that gives you a pickle face: grapefruit.

Favorite smell: blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup.

Something that makes you hold your nose: pork rinds.

Something you’re really good at: writing. LOL.

Something you’re really bad at: probably football.

Something you like to do: long, quiet walks—usually in scenic parts of the cities that I visit.

Something you wish you’d never done: picked up a Netflix subscription. (I did not have it for long, but still. It really was time that I could’ve spent being far more productive than I was back then.)

Last best thing you ate: blueberry waffles with salmon croquettes.

Last thing you regret eating: oatmeal without honey.

Things you’d walk a mile for: exercise (hahaha), WiFi reception, the latest novel in my favorite series.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: bad reality television, bad singing.

Things you always put in your books: at least one important life lesson. It may be subtly pass-coded, but it’s there in each of my books for someone who’s willing to search it out. I tend to think that when a person reads a book—even just a fiction novel—s/he should learn something.

Things you never put in your books: foul language. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m a big fan of the style of timeless authors like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Erle Stanley Gardner. I believe that a novel can be great—classic, even—without including a noticeable amount of profanity.

Things to say to an author: “I loved your book!” “I can’t wait for the next one!” “So-and-so is my new favorite character!” “I feel so inspired by your work!”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “You really didn’t handle such-and-such situation the way that I would have.” “I really think you could’ve done a better job handling so-and-so’s character arc.” “Your new book really doesn’t stand up to the quality of your best work.” “I’m so jealous because you have such an easy career.”

Favorite places you’ve been: New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta.

Places you never want to go to again: Zimbabwe, Cullman, Bryn Mawr.

Favorite things to do: endurance running, walking, biking, cooking, writing.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: dusting, fence setting.

Proudest moment: the day that I embraced fully the nature of my Christian faith.

Most embarrassing moment: announcing to others the name of my childhood crush.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: braving a literal hurricane one night to go to the store and get groceries for my brother and parents.

Something you chickened out from doing: bungee jumping from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

The last thing you did for the first time: the last major one that I can recall was becoming a certified attorney almost a year ago now. I passed the Washington, D.C., bar exam and went through quite a strenuous set of trials to become a properly registered lawyer in Washington, D.C.

Something you’ll never do again: “Test” expired milk. That one’s a no-brainer.


Fred Tippett, II, is the author of the Young Adult Mystery novels The Women in White and The Lethal List. Fred currently lives in Alabama, though he is a Washington-DC-barred attorney. He holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Pennsylvania—and primarily uses his legal education to bolster the credibility of police procedural elements for his novels.

Connect with Fred:

Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

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