Perfect for fans of Elle Cosimano and Nita Prose, when Hollywood costumer Joey Jessop stumbles across a dead body near the set of a big budget movie, she must find ways to protect her career—and herself—before it's too late.
Joey Jessop enjoys working behind the scenes. As key costumer for the next epic superhero movie, her role is to make others look good while staying out of the spotlight. That means making sure to be professional around Eli Logan, her ex and the First Assistant Director, and Courtney Lisle, Eli's newest love interest and the Second Assistant Director. But this isn't a problem for Joey—especially when the movie is shooting at a gorgeous Malibu location.
All of that changes when Joey finds Courtney's dead body on the first day of principal photography and she soon becomes the primary suspect. When the press takes hold of the story and social media begins to run with it, Joey watches her well-ordered life behind the scenes become front and center for all to see. But that isn't even the worst of it. In the midst of this newfound and unfortunate stardom, she must also contend with the reckless behavior of the movie's predatory director and producer, Marcus Pray, who seems driven to continue his practice of making another blockbuster hit while making sure his crew endures a toxic and potentially lethal work environment. As a result, Joey finds herself embattled both personally and professionally.
With tensions building on set and a murder investigation looming over her life and future, Joey takes it upon herself to clear her name. Will she be able to expose the truth before it's a wrap?
About the Author
Marjorie McCown has spent her entire professional life in the story-telling business, though she started out on the visual side of the craft. She spent more than twenty-five years in Hollywood working as a key member of the costume design teams for a string of successful movies that includes Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, The Firm, A Bronx Tale, Wag the Dog, The Aviator, Hairspray, Angels and Demons, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and X-Men Days of Future Past. McCown has a BA in Theater from the University of Virginia and an AAS in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Southern California.
Praise for Final Cut: “[A] keen sense of what it’s like to work on a Hollywood production.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Engaging, with twists and turns. A fun summer read.” —Red Carpet Crash
“A must-read movie mystery packed with juicy details from a Hollywood insider, Final Cut gets my nomination for best debut.” —Ellen Byron, Agatha and Lefty Award Winner, USA Today bestselling author
“Marjorie McCown’s Final Cut is both an insider look at what it’s like to work on Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster and a surprising, timely mystery about a murder on the set. Readers will love all the name dropping, the glamor, and the colorful cast of characters led by key costumer Joey Jessop. The story is a pop culture lover’s dream. I’m already lining up for the sequel.” —Kellye Garrett, Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty Award winning author of Like a Sister
“A sparkling debut. McCown's years spent on movie sets absolutely shine—this feels like an insider look at what goes on behind the lens of Hollywood films. The tension—and the stakes—are expertly ratcheted up for smart costume designer Joey Jessop; this will leave readers anxiously awaiting her next star-studded adventure.” —Erica Ruth Neubauer, Agatha Award winning author of the Jane Wunderly Mystery series
“This compellingly-readable mystery set in the Hollywood costuming industry kept me turning the pages well into the night, both to find out whodunnit and to vacuum up every fascinating piece of insider information about the inner workings of the movie industry. Heartily recommend!” —Barbara Ross, award winning author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries
“Marjorie McCown has expertly crafted a nifty intense mystery with a fascinating insider glimpse into the hectic life behind the scenes on a film set.” —Daniel Orlandi, award-winning costume designer of The Da Vinci Code
“An intriguing mystery featuring a film shoot in Hollywood, Final Cut by Marjorie McCown offers well-developed characters, a cleverly designed plot, and an intelligent and interesting costumer protagonist. The author’s extensive experience in the film industry provides a fascinating look into this unique world, drawing the reader into every scene. Engaging from first page to last, this book shines with definite ‘star quality.’” —Victoria Gilbert, author of the Blue Ridge Library and Hunter & Clewe mystery series
“Grab the popcorn and go behind the scenes in this star-studded murder mystery! The unique glimpse of how blockbuster movie magic is made, combined with a timely examination of the epidemic of harassment in Hollywood, makes for a fascinating read.” —Olivia Blacke, author of the Brooklyn Murder Mysteries
“Overflowing with authentic details, the behind-the-scenes peek at Hollywood filmmaking will captivate readers as much as the crimes.” —Misha Popp, author of the Pies Before Guys Mystery series
“Key costumer Joey Jessop prefers working behind the scenes, but she’s thrust into the spotlight when she stumbles over the dead body of an assistant director on the first day of shooting a big-budget superhero movie. The fact that the victim was involved with both the predatory director of the film and Joey’s ex raises the stakes. When Joey starts receiving threatening messages, she realizes she’ll have to take a leading role in finding the killer. Author McCown has spent over twenty-five years in Hollywood costume design and dishes the dirt on what really happens on a movie set. A fascinating look at how that movie magic is made, combined with a fun, fast-moving plot and plenty of red herrings.” —M.E. Hilliard, author of the Greer Hogan Mystery series
“A sparkling debut. McCown's years spent on movie sets absolutely shine—this feels like an insider look at what goes on behind the lens of Hollywood films. The tension—and the stakes—are expertly ratcheted up for smart costume designer Joey Jessop; this will leave readers anxiously awaiting her next star-studded adventure.” —Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of the Jane Wunderly Mystery series
“Smart, talented, and show-biz savvy, Joey Jessop is a Hollywood costumer with an eye for detail—and for clues—in this fast-paced and suspenseful debut. With a compelling cast of characters, a well-plotted puzzle, and fascinating industry insights, Final Cut is a guaranteed fit for movie and mystery lovers alike. I am already looking forward to Joey’s next adventure!” —Ashley Weaver, author of the Electra McDonnell series
“Perfect! Tight prose and deft plotting combine with Marjorie McCown’s insider knowledge from her career in the movies to deliver the debut of the year. Joey Jessop is a heroine we'll be cheering on for a long time to come!” —Zac Bissonnette, author of A Killing in Costumes