Off the Air

A Mystery

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Pub Date 26 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 09 Apr 2024
St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books

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Equal parts thought-provoking and entertaining, Off the Air introduces Jolene Garcia in Emmy Award–winning reporter Christina Estes's Tony Hillerman Prize–winning debut.

Jolene Garcia is a local TV reporter in Phoenix, Arizona, splitting her time between covering general assignments—anything from a monsoon storm to a newborn giraffe at the zoo—and special projects. Stories that take more time to research and produce. Stories that Jolene wants to tell.

When word gets out about a death at a radio station, Jolene and other journalists swarm the scene, intent on reporting the facts first. The body is soon identified as Larry Lemmon, a controversial talk show host, who died under suspicious circumstances. Jolene conducted his final interview, giving her and her station an advantage. But not for long.

As the story heats up, so does the competition. Jolene is determined to solve this murder. It’s an investigation that could make or break her career—if it doesn't break her first.

Equal parts thought-provoking and entertaining, Off the Air introduces Jolene Garcia in Emmy Award–winning reporter Christina Estes's Tony Hillerman Prize–winning debut.

Jolene Garcia is a local TV...

A Note From the Publisher

Please nominate for Indie Next by 1/29!

Please nominate for Indie Next by 1/29!

Advance Praise

“Best is Jolene’s relentlessness and endurance of whatever it takes to get the story… fans of [J.A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds series and Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Jane Ryland series] are a natural fit for this.” –First Clue

"In Off the Air, prize-winning Estes's debut novel deftly takes us into the world of local news broadcasting with a tale that demonstrates how, behind the smiling faces of TV anchors, covering a big story is a dog-eat-dog world." –J. A. Jance

“A full-throttle fun mystery with all the dangerous undercurrents readers expect and love. . . once you start this fun and thrilling debut, you will not put it down until the end—guaranteed!" –Linda Castillo

"Standing ovation for this wonderful debut! The oh-so-talented Christina Estes reveals her storytelling skills in this timely and propulsive page-turner. Off The Air is a terrific solid mystery with authentic insights into the intriguing world of local TV journalism—but always coupled with compassion and heart. Estes's ear for dialogue and understanding of human nature makes this a must-read—and the perfect beginning for a series. A winner in every way!" –Hank Phillippi Ryan

"A reporter herself, Estes rips open a vein to bring her hard-charging heroine to life, giving this fast-moving crime novel the satisfying snap of realism." –Lee Goldberg

“Jolene Garcia is persistence personified–this is a woman who will get that next big scoop, come hell or high water. If you love investigative reporter stories and are looking for one that’s clearly written by a pro, Off the Air is your new favorite read!” –Mia P. Manansala

“In her exhilarating debut Off the Air, Christina Estes uses her years of experience as a broadcast journalist to make us feel like we’re side by side with Phoenix reporter Jolene Garcia as she doggedly investigates the death of a controversial talk show host. Chock full of insider info about TV news, the story is as timely as it is fun. I couldn’t stop reading!” –Kellye Garrett

“Best is Jolene’s relentlessness and endurance of whatever it takes to get the story… fans of [J.A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds series and Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Jane Ryland series] are a natural fit for...

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Featured Reviews

What a great novel! As a former reporter and a current Public Information Officer, I can vouch that Christina Estes shares an accurate (while fictionalized) insider look at newsrooms, the news industry, reporters and everything that goes into 'getting the story.' I recognized many of the characters as types of people I've worked with - past and present - and a good number of the newsroom conversations depicted are ones I've heard myself.

References to national news of the day give readers a look at our country, consumers of media, celebs and reporters who wish they were celebs.

This book will be beloved by those in the industry as well as readers who love a good page turner. It's funny, thoughtful and a great read. I can't wait for the next book!

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Another great mystery book. A fun whodunit which follows the journalism profession. A great storyline with lots of red herrings.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

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If you’re writing about a journalist, the writing better be good…and it is! The whole story was well written from relatable characters to a solid mystery that makes you want more, more more! Looking forward to more in this new series.

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This was a great debut with a lot of red herrings. Yes it was a whodunit story, but it was also so much more and delved into how newsroom stories are conducted. This didn’t add anything to the story for me, as when I first requested it, I just figured I would be reading a cozy mystery, but it was also done well so it didn’t bother me either. I’ll definitely be interested to see what happens in the next book.

Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for the arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Whodunit featuring a local TV reporter in Phoenix, Arizona, investigating the murder of a controversial radio talk show host.

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Any current journalist, former journalist, future journalist, desert dweller, dog lover, PIO, LEO or anyone with a nosy neighbor should read this novel. Christina Estes captures so perfectly what it's like to work in broadcast news and the quirks that make Phoenix such a unique media market. There's story tension not just in the "whodunit" of the murder but in the career-driven journalist versus her job, which is very relatable.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an advance e-book of Off the Air by Christina Estes.

"Off the Air" by Christina Estes is a captivating debut novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey into the world of news reporting. One of the standout features of this book is its clever incorporation of modern news items and real-life personalities, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the story. Through this unique approach, Estes creates a narrative that feels grounded in reality, making the events of the novel even more enthralling.

While the concept is intriguing, some readers may find themselves wanting more from the protagonist, Jolene. Although she is at the center of the action and has access to valuable sources, there were instances where she appeared to passively wait for information to come to her, rather than actively pursuing leads. This aspect of her character could have been developed further to showcase her determination and resourcefulness.

That being said, "Off the Air" offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the often unseen aspects of news reporting. The book delves into the behind-the-scenes challenges and pressures faced by journalists as they navigate a world filled with hidden agendas, tangled relationships, and ethical dilemmas. Estes skillfully captures the fast-paced, high-stakes nature of the industry, keeping the reader hooked with its twists and turns.

The narrative of "Off the Air" is well-written, allowing the story to unfold seamlessly while maintaining a sense of tension and suspense. The wide range of suspects keeps readers guessing until the very end, as they piece together clues alongside Jolene in an effort to uncover the truth. The author's ability to craft an intricate mystery adds further depth and intrigue to the novel.

Overall, "Off the Air" is an interesting and engaging read, offering a fresh perspective on the world of news reporting. Christina Estes showcases her talent for storytelling, infusing the book with a realistic and immersive atmosphere. Although there are areas for improvement, especially in terms of character development, the book's unique concept and well-crafted narrative make it a compelling debut. Fans of suspenseful mysteries will find themselves turning pages late into the night, eager to uncover the secrets hidden within the pages of "Off the Air."

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Jolene Garcia shines as an experienced, tenacious Phoenix television reporter who can't seem get a break covering a national news story in her hometown: the suspicious death of Larry Lemon, a loved and reviled conservative radio host. The cast of quirky characters quickly come to life, particularly Norma, the inquisitive neighbor (whom I can see Jolene partnering with in her next sleuthing adventure). Fans of local news will enjoy the behind-the-scenes narratives that reveal both the positive and cynical aspects of the news business. This page-turning cozy mystery is an exciting and fun read. I anxiously await the next book!

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Emmy Award-winning reporter Christina Estes tackles two subjects she knows in her mystery debut; TV journalism and Phoenix. Her Tony Hillerman Prize-winning debut is Off the Air.

Phoenix TV reporter Jolene Garcia is always trying to top her last story and beat the other networks for coverage, especially the one that features her competitor, Jessica “JJ” Jackson. Everyone turns up, though, when there is a report of a death at radio station KFRK. It’s the radio home of controversial talk show host, Larry Lemmon who started the original “Build the Wall” movement in southern Arizona, and opposes immigration. When Lemmon is identified as the deceased, Jolene’s TV station has a coup. She interviewed him just a week earlier, so Jolene has the last interview with the dead man.

One scoop does not make or keep a career in the competitive world of TV news, though. As she struggles to keep up with the competition, or ahead of the national reporters, Jolene has to juggle the station’s emphasis on social media, Tweeting and putting everything on Facebook or Instagram before the actual story. She has a hard time with that because she made a major mistake with a story in the past, and learned to get it right, not just first.

As she tries to uncover the truth about Larry Lemmon’s death, Jolene covers the entire Phoenix area. Threatening notes, and threats at work to remove her from the story, only make her push harder. But, she just might push herself into the attention of a killer.

Estes skillfully incorporates her knowledge of news coverage into her debut. Comparisons with Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Jane Ryland stories will certainly be appropriate. But, as the Hillerman Prize-winning author, she also incorporates Phoenix history and background into the atmospheric mystery. Hopefully, she can continue to juggle both atmosphere and news coverage in future books.

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I really enjoyed reading this book, it had a unique concept for a mystery novel and the characters worked overall in this plot. I was invested in the mystery and thought this was a great debut overall. Christina Estes has a great style for this type of book.

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This was a well-written and fast-paced drama that I could not put down. The author knows how to tell a story that immediately pulled you in and there was no chance of getting off this roller coaster ride. The mystery was nicely executed with a pool of suspects, and a few strategically placed twists that kept me both intrigued and in suspense as I tried to figure out who did what to whom. With visually descriptive narrative, I felt I was part of the action and was rooting Jolene on as each clue led to another and finally the one piece that led to the apprehension of the killer. Overall, this was an enjoyable whodunit and hope to read more works by this author.

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Finally—a story written about local news by someone who has actually worked in local news! By default, I was already sold on this novel of local news-meets-murder mystery, but as the story continued and I kept laughing at every line that hit home, I was hooked.

OFF THE AIR follows a local news crew in Phoenix, following the investigation into the death of a well-known Conservative radio talk show host. Reporter Jolene Garcia is always in search of that next great story but when working in a newsroom always wanting everything to be one-upped of the competition and being in every show while staying on top of digital & other duties, it can be tough. When a conservative radio host dies under suspicious circumstances, everyone wants the scoop. And in her own search for that exclusive interview, Jolene may be closer to the suspect than she realizes.

As a local tv reporter, I loved this story. In fact, I read much of the first half between my own live reports, constantly nudging the photojournalist I was working with to share tidbits I knew he’d appreciate. Christine Estes brought life to a field/career that often gets misrepresented in pop culture, but whether you’re a journalist or not, anyone could enjoy reading this. I do think the story could’ve done without the random history lessons sprinkled throughout that didn’t really add anything to the plot or background.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. OFF THE AIR comes out 3/26/24, so set your calendars!

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Jolene is a local TV reporter living in Phoenix who is tired of being assigned mundane news stories. When Larry Lemmon, a controversial talk show host, is found dead Jolene has a chance at a breaking story. She is determined to beat her competition and takes on the task of trying to solve the murder for a chance at getting the story of a lifetime.

I really enjoyed reading this one! I live in Phoenix and this book initially caught my attention because it's set in Phoenix. I appreciated the facts about the city that were intertwined into this fictional story. I actually learned a few things about the history of Phoenix. I was beyond excited that my neighborhood of Laveen was mentioned and incorporated into the story. You can tell that the author is very knowledgable about the area. I enjoyed the plot and the behind the scenes look at local TV news. There were not many twists to this story, I would classify it more as a mystery rather than thriller although the ending is quite suspenseful. I highly recommend picking this one up!

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for a digital ARC one exchange for my honest review.

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4 stars for Phoenix local news person Christina Estes" debut novel "Off the Air"!! It's a breath of fresh air (see what I did there? LOL). As a southwesterner, I really appreciated this tale of a Phoenix reporter, Jolene, who gets more than she bargained for while reporting & investigating a local celebrity's murder. Refreshing, engaging & often fun, I can see why it won the Tony Hillerman award. Recommend to all mystery fans. My sincere thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the complimentary DRC, my sincere pleasure to review it.

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Off The Air is more than just a murder mystery, it's also a look into the behind the scenes life of a TV journalist trying to do a responsible job in a cutthroat competitive business. I kept reading because I was as frustrated as Jolene by the corporate insistence on ratings before reliable fact. This debut gets a 4 star because the Phoenix trivia while interesting, is more Wikipedia footnote than organic to the story. Thank you NatGalley and Minaotaur for the ARC.

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I loved this cozy mystery and it made me want to read more cozy mysteries moving forward. I loved the delightful characters and the low-stakes nature of the plot. An easy yes from me!

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"Off the Air" by Christina Estes is an enthralling and captivating debut novel that seamlessly blends thought-provoking elements with a thrilling narrative. This Tony Hillerman Prize-winning book introduces readers to Jolene Garcia, a local TV reporter in Phoenix, Arizona, who finds herself at the heart of a murder investigation that could make or break her career.

Estes skillfully draws readers into Jolene's world, where she expertly navigates between covering general assignments and investing time into special projects. Jolene's determination and tenacity practically leap off the pages, propelling the story forward as she seeks to uncover the truth behind the suspicious death of Larry Lemmon, a controversial talk show host. The fact that Jolene conducted his final interview adds an intriguing and personal aspect to the investigation, further intensifying the stakes.

One of the standout aspects of "Off the Air" is its portrayal of the cutthroat nature of the journalism industry. Estes captures the ruthless competition and pressures faced by reporters vying to break news first, giving readers an authentic glimpse into the challenges that arise in the pursuit of truth. This element adds an extra layer of urgency and excitement to the narrative, keeping readers hooked as Jolene encounters obstacles and unforeseen twists along the way.

Estes' writing style is engaging and polished, weaving together the intricacies of the murder investigation and Jolene's personal and professional struggles seamlessly. The pacing is well-managed, ensuring a steady flow of suspense and surprises that will keep readers eagerly turning the pages. Furthermore, the author's background as an Emmy Award-winning reporter shines through, lending an air of authenticity and credibility to the journalism aspects within the story.

While "Off the Air" provides an exhilarating reading experience, there are moments where further exploration and depth could enhance certain elements. Some plot threads or character relationships may have benefited from additional attention, adding even more nuance and satisfaction to the overall story.

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I really liked this book. It’s not your typical journalist book. I liked Jolene a lot. It’s more a mystery type book. There’s a mix of characters. Some come off goofy, some you just don’t like, others are just doing the best they can. Just like in any profession. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

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This was a little slow for me. I don’t typically read books like this but I’m glad I did. Thanks for the opportunity to read this book early!

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This book was very entertaining. The story of a reporter who tries to outwit her nemesis. Of course a comedy of errors while trying to figure out "who dun it".

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Have you ever wondered what a reporter does? If you have, this story ("Off the Air"} follows Jolene Garcia who is a TV reporter in Phoenix, AZ. She is assigned many different types of stories but, like many of her colleagues, is always looking for the "big" story to help make her career truly outstanding.

The sudden death of a conservative radio talk host brings a swarm of reporters sniffing for the story of whether it was just an untimely death or worse, a murder. Jolene is fortunate in that she had previously gotten a scoop in having what may become the last interview with Larry Lemmon, the deceased radio host. This leg-up should give her an edge in the scrum of reporters including network-types -- note the word "SHOULD"! Jolene's nemesis is one of those types that has a sneaky, often underhanded, way of getting inside any investigation or story and reporting on it first. This woman also flaunts her femininity to the greatest degree. She definitely dresses the part!

The competition for facts and research is fierce and Jolene knows this story could maker or break her career. She seems to be getting scooped with regularity and is becoming frustrated. Will she solve the mystery of death/suicide; will she out maneuver the competition; or will she stay true to real journalism? All these questions swirl through the story and make for a very entertaining read, especially if you like a lot of twists and turns.

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I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I appreciated the author's knowledge about the local TV news business -- I grew up with my father as an anchorman. However, I really, really, really didn't like Jolene - she was snarky (without being funny), unprofessional, and showed huge lapses in judgement. I didn't grow to like her either as the book went on - I continued not to like her.

The descriptions of Phoenix and Arizona were very interesting, and I appreciated the historical info about different areas and neighborhoods.

All in all this was a pretty successful novel. I don't need to like a character to enjoy the story. Well done.

I received a complimentary copy of the novel from the publisher and NetGalley, and my review is being left freely.

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I really enjoyed this novel! I don't know the first thing about reporting or the news cycle so this was a lot of great information for me without it being too much. I feel like I actually learned something which is not what I was anticipating. I love a fun whodunit novel. It was super quick, easy, and just overall a great time. I can't believe this is a debut novel!

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Oh my gosh, this is such a captivating book. I had no idea how fast paced and cutthroat the world of reporting is!! I love that Christina Estes was inspired to write, Off The Air, by her many years as a professional reporter. It made me feel like I was behind the scenes watching it all happen.

At the beginning of the book, when a murder is announced it seemed like Jolene, the main character would easily be the first to report the story. I was amazed at how easily the story slipped away from her. All the reporters were trying to be the first to get an interview from a witness or anyone who had a clue to who the murderer was. It was like a room full of squirrels fighting for one nut!!

Jolene is a tough character though and she relentlessly chases her story. That was one of the most interesting parts of the book, all of the different ways that Jolene would go about trying to get new information before anyone else could. She is pretty creative and daring.

Throughout the whole story I could not guess who the murderer was, and I was very surprised at the ending which is always nice.

This is a fun, quick book.

There is a content advisory in the back of the book which lists references to abandonment, ageism animal cruelty, child neglect, classism, homelessness, racism, sexism, sexual coercion, and substance abuse. They are referenced , but none in detail.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and Christina Estes for the free arc provided by NetGalley!

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“Off the Air” is a debut novel by Christina Estes. For a debut novel with a mystery twist, I found this book’s overall storyline a good one. It held my attention and I managed to carve out a few hours in which to read the entire book. The author notes in the beginning that there are trigger warnings so one may wish to flip to the back of the book to see the list. I found the sections relating to journalism/reporting to be the most realistic -which is great since they were built upon the author’s past experience in that field. I could feel the love/hate instances of social media in this book - and the “rush to be first” sometimes does overweigh the “rush to be accurate” in our modern times. Where I found this book lacking was that I really didn’t like the main character - she whines a lot. She also seems to have a lack of a social radar - confronting someone at a funeral is not a good move (reporting or not). I also found her constant complaints about her rival to be annoying - prove it, do something - and why Jim continues to support her (bless him!) I found a bit bewildering. Ms. Estes creates a back-story for the main character that I felt was a set-up for a follow-up book - I’m not sure it added much to the story. And while I’m one who likes little tidbits of history thrown into books, I did wonder why there were so many of those asides - and, again, I’m not sure it added anything to the overall story (for instance, a discussion about Native American schools was interesting, but the story came to a complete halt during those two pages). Again, this wasn’t a bad story - but I feel it could’ve been much tighter with a lot of editing. Overall story - 4 stars. Issues - 3 stars - so 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

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Jolene is a very determined news reporter in Phoenix, Arizona. When a well known and controversial radio host is found dead at his studio, Jolene rushes to the scene. Having done his last interview she wants to be first with the story. However, the competition is fierce and the stakes are high. This book was wonderful! It was fast paced, descriptive and filled with quick dialogue. There were many characters yet all were well defined; they were so realistic they jumped off the page. The author is clearly experienced and knowledgeable in news reporting and created a fictional yet very real atmosphere in which to immerse the reader. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it! With thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC. My opinions are my own. susanh_bookreviews

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Thank you to #NetGalley, Minotaur Books Imprint of St. Marin’s Publishing Group and Christina Estes for the opportunity to read an advance copy of Off the Air, to be published 26 March 2024. 4/5 Stars for this detail-oriented mystery about a journalist who lives and works in Phoenix. Since I usually read psychological thrillers, this novel was delightfully different. It made me glad I did not follow one of my dreams — to become an investigative reporter! The competition is brutal as outlined in this narrative. I especially enjoyed the descriptions and historical comments as well as cultural events because I live near Phoenix, in the Sonoran Desert, so it felt comfortable to read about my homeland. This novel would be lapped up by anyone interested in journalism. Highly recommended. #NetGalley #ChristinaEstes #MinotaurBooksImprintofSt.Martin’sPublishing Group #OfftheAir

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This book was so fun to read and I loved every part of it. I cannot wait to read what the other comes out with next.

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Thank you @netgalley and @stmartinspress for an invitation to read this amazing book!

How excited was I that this is set in my current hometown?! How fun to read about familiar places. I really enjoyed this story! As someone who is not familiar with the inner workings of the news sector, this book was super informative while still telling an interesting fictional story.. also a very relatable story! The main character is down to earth and loveable. There was just enough suspense in this book to keep the pages turning! 4⭐️, a solid read!

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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin Publishing imprint Minotaur Books for an advanced readers copy for review. All opinions are my own and will not contain spoilers.

There is a number of positives that makes a book a compelling read in my opinion and the first one is the cover. Christina Estes debut novel cover does not disappoint in peaking your interest. Another positive is that there is a content warning that lets the reader know what to expect when reading the book, which can be useful for some readers prior to reading.

Estes has crafted an original story that draws on her years as an Emmy-winning reporter and it shows. It feels as if the author is telling a story that has been lived personally. Off the script is an easy read that is fun for those who want to just read for fun and not solve the mystery. I will admit this is not my favorite genre but I would recommend this book to you if you enjoy mystery thrillers or having a behind the scenes look at local newsrooms. Kudos to Christina Estes for her accomplishments in media and making her debut as an author.

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The entertaining world of local news!

I loved everything about this one. It’s full of competition, drama, and more humor than I thought it would have. There’s plenty of entertaining suspects to keep this murder mystery moving along. I did feel like it was obvious who did it, but I still couldn’t stop myself from reading this in one sitting,

I had to stop myself from cringing over the political moments because I typically stay away from it in books. I liked that the views were shared without going back and forth on anything - it was just part of the characters. It may not be for everyone, but thankfully it was for me!

Thank you, NetGalley, Christina Estes, and Minotaur books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review! It’s definitely one I’ll be recommending next year and I can’t wait to see what Christina comes up with next!

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Off the Air is soooo cute/good! I really enjoyed this one. Won't surprise me at all to see it be very very popular with book clubs.

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This is a debut murder mystery. I overall enjoyed this book. It gives cozy (almost) mystery vibes. I am not sure if this will be a series, but I felt as so. Jolene Garcia is a reporter who gets word of a murder at a local radio station. The victim turns out to be a very controversial host. Turns out Garcia was the last to interview the victim. She is determined to solve this mystery, but it will not be easy. This was a fun time, and great introduction to our main character.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book, in exchange for a honest review.

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Phoenix TV reporter Jolene Garcia knows that reporting is more about getting social media attention than actual facts. So when a controversial radio talk show host she just interviewed dies suddenly, Jolene sees it as her big chance to scoop the other stations by finding his killer.
But will she be able to beat the national networks and local backstabbing reporters?

This first novel mystery won the Tony Hillerman Award and offers a candid look at media manipulation for ratings as well a solid mystery.

“No one cares about covering issues that impact the community. It’s just a memory for us old-timers to cherish. Now, it’s all about posting cat videos or whatever the hell the digital department thinks will generate clicks.”

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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In the novel “Off the Air,” Larry Lemmon, the controversial host of a Phoenix radio program dies suddenly at his studio. Jolene Garcia, a reporter for a local newspaper tries to chase leads to get the scoop on how Larry died, and if he was murdered, who wanted Larry dead and why. The suspects are limitless since Larry angered a lot of people with his obnoxious personality and very vocal conservative “pro border wall” and anti-immigration stances. While seeking interviews from reluctant witnesses and suspects, Jolene has to remind herself of her own humanity while she uses whatever opportunity she can get to corner defensive interviewees.

While the reporter as criminal investigator provided a unique perspective on the murder mystery genre, the book mostly depicted the day to day activities of a news reporter which could become somewhat boring at times. However, the characters’ personalities were vividly drawn, the dialog was entertaining and the descriptions of various locations in Phoenix were interesting. In addition, the book had an exciting conclusion, which made up for the otherwise slow burn aspects of the book. I recommend the book to anyone looking for a unique take on the murder mystery genre.

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for providing me an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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What a fun group of folks. I love that it is set in a City I once lived in. Jolene, a news reporter, seems to be struggling to get a break for getting to air the "first" on the death of a TV personality. A personality that a lot of folks didn't like much so there are a number of possible murders. The story kept me going and the end had the right amount of twists for me. I hope that there will be more of these characters in future books.

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This is the debut novel from Christina Estes and I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels in the future!

Off the Air follows Jolene Garcia who is a reporter in Phoenix, AZ. Jolene covers a vast variety of assignments. Jolene is persistent and likes to have all the facts verified before she reports.

When a controversial radio station host, Larry Lemmon dies under suspicious circumstances, local reporters, such as JJ, swarm to the scene to be the first to deliver the news. Jolene is determined to find out what happened and to be the first reporter to do so, no matter what the consequences.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and it was a quick read. The novel was action-packed and suspenseful. Every chapter kept me wanting more .You could tell this book was inspired by Estes’ experience working as a journalist. I was unaware of the rapid pace and intense competitiveness within the realm of journalism. I also appreciated how the author included content warnings for the book.

A massive thank you to Christina Estes, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warnings include abandonment, ageism animal cruelty, child neglect, classism, homelessness, racism, sexism, sexual coercion, and substance abuse.

Be sure to pick up this book when it is published on 3/26/2024!

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This was a new author to me. I enjoyed the characters and the story line. Glad i was given the chance to read this and will definitely recommend

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"Off the Air" by Christina Estes is a poignant and timely exploration of the complexities of mental health. Through the lens of protagonist Lucy Stanton, a radio talk show host, Estes skillfully addresses the challenges of navigating the emotional landscape in the public eye. The narrative unfolds with authenticity and empathy, shedding light on the impact of societal expectations and personal struggles. Estes' prose is evocative, capturing the nuances of human emotions with grace. "Off the Air" is a compelling journey that tackles the stigma surrounding mental health, offering readers a thought-provoking and compassionate perspective on the importance of self-discovery and understanding.

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Overall I enjoyed this book. Throughout reading, I found myself eager to continue to find out what was going to happen next in Jolene’s quest in getting the scoop first. However, I do think the beginning dragged a bit. Jolene was finding herself in the same position of having obtained this information for her story from her police source after having an agreement with him but wasn’t able to use it until she could find a way to have another source confirm what she knows. This occurred multiple times and instead of Jolene really digging deep to find another way she was continuously beat out on the scoop. I personally was still intrigued about the story but I also felt that there was a lot of filler points and going in depth on certain things that maybe we, the reader, did not need all that information. One instance I can recall is towards the end of the book when older Native American school systems were discussed and dissected and I found that it had no correlation to what was happening at that point in the story. The author shows they are extremely knowledgable in not only this but in news reporting as well, being a former reporter, but I found myself skimming when certain aspects were over elaborated on in the work place. Additionally, the side plot with the new neighbor I think could’ve been left out of the book entirely. I don’t think it served any real purpose in supporting the plot.

The last 100 or so pages were probably my favorite part. Of course, we got all our answers we have been dying for but I really liked how everything unfolded and felt that it all tied together quite nicely and although Jolene made some decisions that might have been questionable, I do believe that many reporters would have more than likely done the same thing she did especially in that spotlight and under the amount of pressure as she was.

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Well, well, well! A debut author catapults readers into the highly competitive and morally charged universe of reporters in this heart-pounding, race-against-time novel. The story unfolds in a realistic fiction setting reminiscent of iconic works like Newsroom meets Morning Show, centering around the mysterious death of controversial talk show host Larry Lemmon. Enter the ambitious reporter, Jolene Garcia, determined to uncover the truth behind Lemmon's demise and secure the coveted Emmy she dreams of.

From the get-go, the narrative maintains a high tempo, building pressure, and delivering ongoing action that immerses readers in the thrilling world of television reporting. The author skillfully portrays the evolving landscape of news reporting, where objectivity gives way to social media voyeurism and unabashed subjectivity under the guise of free speech. This transformation poses a challenge, blurring the lines between news delivery and manipulation, a dangerous road explored within the pages of this engaging mystery.

The debut is a testament to the author's writing prowess, executing the characters' moral dilemmas as they navigate the cutthroat world of journalism. The tension-filled whodunnit mystery will keep readers on the edge of their seats, ensuring an exciting and immersive experience.

The outcome is thoroughly satisfying, marking the arrival of a brilliant new voice in the literary world. I eagerly anticipate delving into the author's future works, as this debut promises a captivating storytelling journey. A heartfelt thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this captivating and thought-provoking read in exchange for my honest review and for introducing Christina Estes as a promising new author.

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Jolene Garcia is a local news reporter in Phoenix, Arizona who jumps on a breaking news story that famous and controversial radio talkshow host Larry Lemmon has been found dead. The book is a fast paced, inside baseball look from the moment a story breaks throughout reporting until it slows down (it’s never really over…), showing what the audience sees but also the many many things that audiences don’t.

The behind-the-scenes of news journalism was incredibly interesting. In particular, understanding the fluidity of teams in the field and having clarity into the hierarchy of who decides what gets airtime was fun to learn about.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get over the heavy handedness of the novel; there were many occasions where concepts were explained to the reader in what felt like a very elementary-school, unnecessary way. And many of the characters were so exaggerated with such heavy handed stereotypes that it was sometimes hard to tell whether we were intended to take them seriously or treat them as a farce.

The pacing of the book was excellent and I finished it in just over a day, so certainly worthwhile for a speedy read!

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I liked the premise of the story and overall it was a good read . It fell flat in some areas but it was engaging enough to keep you reading.

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Not what I was expecting, but so much better. Fun story to really give the inside of what the shoe journalism world is like. I would highly recommend.

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“Off the Air” is a well-written and fast-paced murder mystery that manages to suck you in and keep on reading! This book offers us a fascinating glimpse into the news reporting world. Estes did an amazing job with this debut novel. I can’t wait to read her next book.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I received an ARC of this upcoming novel, due out in March of 2024, through NetGalley.

This is sort of two books in one. It is a murder mystery, an investigation into the murder of a radio talk show host, a staunch conservative remindful of the late Rush Limbaugh. Was it a murder? If so, who did it and why? It is also a TV reporter's quest to be the best investigative journalist on this case. Will Jolene, the narrator of this book, succeed in getting one or more scoops during the murder investigation? Will her work possibly lead to the solution to the case?

The author is a veteran TV news reporter, so the trials and tribulations that Jolene went through in her daily work on this case is quite authentic. The mystery part of the book isn't bad either, as several possible perpetrators, each with motives, are presented for the reader's consideration.

All in all, quite a lively read, one that had me in suspense on both aspects of this book.

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No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending was so creative. Could not put down and I was truly amazed with the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers and I'm certainly going to continue reading the author's books.

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for providing me with this ARC to review.

Local TV reporter Jolene Garcia is one of several looking to be the first to break the facts on the murder of controversial radio host Larry Lemmon. As Jolene was the last person to interview Larry, she should have a leg up, but all her attempts to uncover new details keep getting thwarted. As more details are revealed, Jolene finds herself locked in competition with other reporters, and more than just her job is on the line.

The characters in the book have nice development. Jolene’s favorite cameraman Nate serves as the voice of reason and her friends Gina and Elena are the kind of friends everyone should have (supportive but also honest). Jolene, however, is a bit more frustrating. She tends to take on a defeatist attitude throughout the book, and her lack of accountability makes her a challenging main character to support.

This is a fun read for fans of slower-paced mysteries with minimal violence. It also provides interesting insight into TV reporting and how the changing ways news is delivered impact the medium. Ultimately, the book's most interesting form of tension lies in the competitive rush to get the story.

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Cute banter and main characters. Not overly entertaining, but I love books about the news industry and tv and film. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Three stars.

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I received this book as an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author and publisher for this opportunity.

Because of the authors years of experience as a broadcast journalist…this mystery is written with attention to detail in this profession.

Lots of funny and snarky dialogue make this murder mystery a fun and entertaining read.

#NetGalley #goodreads #OffTheAirBook

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This book wouldn't normally be my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it! It was super interesting learning about how the news cycle/reporting works... I had no idea about so much of it! The main character was likeable and the story was easy to follow. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

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"Off the Air" by Christina Estates is a captivating mystery novel that delves into the world of journalism and the pursuit of truth. Set in Phoenix, Arizona, the story follows Jolene Garcia, a dedicated local TV reporter, who finds herself in the midst of a high-stakes investigation after the suspicious death of controversial talk show host, Larry Lemmon. The narrative begins with Jolene and her fellow journalists rushing to cover the breaking news of a death at a radio station. With her determination to be the first to report the facts, Jolene soon discovers that she had conducted Larry Lemmon's final interview, giving her station a competitive edge. However, as the investigation gains momentum, so does the fierce competition among the journalists. Jolene's character is compellingly portrayed as a determined and ambitious reporter with a burning desire to solve the murder case. It becomes evident that this investigation has the potential to either elevate her career or shatter it completely. As the plot unravels, Jolene's resilience and unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth keep readers glued to the pages. Estates skillfully navigates the intricacies of the journalism world, providing readers with a fascinating glimpse into the challenges faced by reporters, as well as the cutthroat nature of the industry. The author's attention to detail and well-researched portrayal of the investigative process add authenticity to the narrative, making it all the more engrossing. The pacing of the story is expertly crafted, with a perfect balance between suspenseful moments and character development. The twists and turns keep readers guessing, as Jolene's determination to solve the murder uncovers unexpected secrets and hidden connections. Furthermore, Estates excels in building a vivid and atmospheric setting, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the hustle and bustle of the newsroom and the city of Phoenix. The vibrant descriptions of the Arizona landscape and the various locations add depth to the story, creating a rich backdrop against which the events unfold. "Off the Air" is not only a thrilling murder mystery but also a commentary on the power of the media and the lengths journalists are willing to go to in pursuit of the truth. It explores the ethical dilemmas faced by reporters and the potential consequences that arise when personal ambition clashes with integrity. Overall, "Off the Air" is an enthralling and well-crafted novel that will keep readers captivated from beginning to end. Christina Estates's ability to create relatable characters, maintain suspense, and explore relevant themes make this book a must-read for fans of the mystery genre.

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Jolene is a journalist who thinks she finally caught a break. The recent death of a radio personality made her interview the last given. First she has to navigate the cut throat world of on air talent, avoid the new neighbor/love interest, and get her police sources to release information. Along the way there is laughter, chaos and lots of mystery.

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A fun debut by real life journalist Christina Estes, who brings authenticity to this cozy mystery featuring TV news reporter Jolene Garcia, under pressure to beat out the competition in coverage of a celebrity's murder. The pace is too slow at times, and I ground my teeth every time Jolene refuses to air breakthroughs in the case whenever her police contact tells her to wait.

That said, I'd still love to see book 2 in the series because Estes is a fine writer (she won the Tony Hillerman Prize for this debut.) And how about a love interest for Jolene next time, adding more richness to her life?

Recommended for readers who adore mysteries, especially those set in the spectacular American West.

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This was an engaging mystery debut. Following Jolene as she tried to unravel the mystery of who killed Larry Lemmon. The behind the scenes of local news and the fact that Jolene was trying to uphold journalistic rules made this very interesting. Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I found this to be a fun read, in spite of my growing dislike for the main character. The process followed the typical path of dead ends and red herrings but when the killer was unmasked, I was surprised to hear the reason for the murder.

I found the main character to be immature and inconsiderate, which I believe was deliberate. She also had a tiresome habit of lecturing about various topics along the way... the Tylenol Murders, government schools for Native American children, the history of various Arizona communities, the Casey Anthony murder case, etc. I eventually started skimming over those bits in order to get on with the actual plot. I did enjoy her habit of nicknaming her coworkers... it made it easier to keep track of the various men that served as side characters in the story.

I appreciate NetGalley and the publisher for providing a digital ARC. My honest review is my own opinion.

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This book was just outstanding. I just had so much fun reading this story. I’m really excited to see what’s next from this author.

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I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the unusual angle about the news reporting industry. The characters were great and I was surprised with the whodunnit. The only criticism I had was that the author ran on about certain things where it could have been described in shorter sentences. Overall, did like the story and would recommend reading it.

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Larry Lemmon, a predominant and controversial TV personality, is dead. Jolene Garcia is a local TV reporter who is trying to get her big break while covering this story.

This book was an enjoyable, easy, quick read. Thank you Net Galley, Minotaur Books and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC.

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A fast-paced insight into newscasting, Off the Air is a light read that introduces you to the behind the scenes, and sometimes cut-throat, of what it's like to be a reporter. I was pleased to find out that Christina Estes was herself a reporter and I trust that she used her lived experience to give us an accurate portrayal of what it's like to be behind the camera.

I really enjoyed this! I haven't read a book from a reporter's perspective and appreciated the real-life relatableness of Jolene. I was rooting for her (and hoping for the demise of JJ) and was pleased that the book had a storyline that was both not predictable and felt realistic. I also liked that the book gave a content advisory related to the subject matter. I haven't seen this in a book before and I think it is helpful in case there are readers sensitive to certain topics. Estes really covered a lot of challenging topics in a succinct way.

I hope you can also get to know the Channel 4 news team and I look forward to future work by Christina Estes.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Minotaur Books for this ARC!

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One thing I appreciate more than anything is when an author has personal experience and connects it to the story. There are such little details in here that make it so enjoyable and overall I liked the story. Pacing was great, I see a lot of people say that “oh it was slow” but when you put into context that this is HOW IT WORKS I liked it. Pretty generic at times but generic isn’t bad at all. Solid debut, nice pacing and was fun to read!

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Off the Air by Christina Estes was a quick fast read. A storyline I haven’t read about yet. It did seem at times I lost track where the story was going with the misc facts she put in the story.

Overall a good book by a good author.

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Jolene Garcia works for a local new station and a top story broke of a local radio station host. Every reporter is out there trying to get the story before the other. What ends will Jolene go to solve the murder?

I enjoyed the story but at times Jolene irritated me because she never put any one else in mind.

Thank you #NetGalley for the advance copy

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Review of Uncorrected Digital Galley

Reporter Jolene Garcia covers both general and special assignments for the local television station in Phoenix, Arizona. The latter is the result of her success with a report on the dangers faced by Phoenix park rangers; now she is investigating scofflaws who use out-of-state addresses to register their automobiles [and avoid the state’s high registration fees].

Jolene’s lunch with cameraman Nate Thompson is interrupted by a message that someone has been murdered at the radio station. It turns out that Jolene had recently interviewed the victim, controversial talk show host Larry Lemmon.

Who murdered Larry? Or could it be that he wasn’t murdered at all? Can Jolene find the answers?


Filled with interesting details and insider information about broadcasting, this book draws readers into the telling of the tale as Jolene sets out to solve the murder. Although Jolene is often insufferable, her doggedness is commendable; nevertheless, some of her actions make her less than likable to readers.

The back-stabbing and story-stealing that went on in the mostly cutthroat newsroom was disconcerting and difficult to read. In addition, readers who do not spend their days glued to social media or who find politically charged agendas out of place in a mystery story may feel rather frustrated. However, the focus on media does explain how the media can create difficulties as it involves itself in a story.

Anchored by a strong sense of place, the unfolding story twists and turns and keeps readers guessing right up to the surprising denouement.


I received a free copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
#OffTheAirBook #NetGalley

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I was invited to review this debut by St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books. This book is a little different than my usual genres, but it was good. It's a bit on the lighter side, but had me guessing who did it up until it was revealed. I would recommend this to anyone who likes lighter, funny, mystery books.

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Off the Air is a whole lot of fun! Christina Estes takes us behind the curtain of local TV news with this engaging read. The dog-eat-dog world of television journalism is portrayed in living color as rival reporters race to report breaking news about the death of a controversial radio personality. The war over soundbites and click bait headlines leads to some questionable behaviors, but the mystery is well conceived. The fact there is no shortage of suspects keeps you glued to the page. It's a fast and entertaining read. Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, & NetGalley for the advance reading copy in exchange for my honest opinion. #OffTheAirBook #NetGalley.

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An entertaining read that takes you behind the scenes of an investigative reporter’s big case. I loved how fast paced and action packed the story was and was glued to the pages. This was unlike any book I’ve read recently with its unique story line and thought provoking characters. I’m excited to read more from the author’s future works.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for the advanced e copy in exchange for my honest review.

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I loved this my husband was kind of a reporter so it was fun reading about it. The murder was a fun plot point to bring all the reporters in and to report on everything. I liked that it was almost like a treasure hunt for clues

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A TV reporter who usually has mediocre stories finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.

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Author Christina Estes writes to show us the lengths human nature will go to for an exclusive story.

You know those ‘take your kid to work’ days? Well, I felt like Estes had taken me to work and shown me behind the scenes of life as a broadcaster in a busy newsroom. What a cutthroat business!

I was rooting for Jolene Garcia (I know, I had the earworm all day, too) to grab control of the situation and report on the story. Countless times my husband looked over as I yelled ‘No way’ or gasped at the methods Jolene used to bring a different angle to the report on the celebrity talk show host's murder. The wonderful characters in addition to the cat and mouse and oneupmanship held my attention. It was interesting how the politics and sexism played out in Jolene taking control of her story. I was unable to predict the murderer and appreciated the red herrings, the ending, and the advance trigger warnings.

For a debut novel, this one feels authentic and hopeful.

There may be a suitcase full of warnings about references to …
✔️animal cruelty
✔️child neglect
✔️sexism and sexual coercion
✔️substance abuse

And it may be a work of fiction, but it still contains real references to Phonenix businesses and locations. Regardless, like Jolene, I promise you’ll get more than you bargained for with this cozy mystery centered around investigative reporting.

I was gifted this book by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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I can’t believe this is a debut! It was a very exciting thriller written in the form of investigative journalism. The mystery of a murder kept me hooked but I really enjoyed the behind the scenes reporting aspects that go into writing the news.

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This book is different than my usual thriller read, but a good mystery! Throughout the book you follow the main character as she tries to get ahead reporting on a homicide. The book is written with lots of detail and what I would call fun facts scattered into the book. I feel like this book would also really appeal to people who live in Arizona because I feel like they would enjoy the local things mentioned. I liked the main character being a strong female reporter going after her goals! On the flip side I thought the character who was killed was not at all a likable character or good person and for that reason I was a little less concerned with who killed him, but overall I still wanted to solve the mystery. I am going to be on the lookout for this author’s books in the future.

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4/5 stars! I enjoyed this book and thought that it was a quick read. This book is about a TV reporter Jolene who finds out about a death at the local radio station where the person died under suspicious circumstances. Coincidently the person who gave Jolene there last interview before their untimely demise. Jolene is invested in the story and wants to solve the mystery of the murder. This book is released March 26,2024. Thank you to St. Marrin’s Press, Christina Estes and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

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I love this cover! This was a good mystery but i wouldn't classify as a thriller. The main character of the book i really liked following her as she was trying to get ahead of reporting a homicide.

This was a well written book and there were definitely fun aspects of this book that made you want to keep reading. While reading i would stop and try to solve it as well.

I enjoyed most of the characters, loved the writing and will read more from the author.

Thanks NetGalley for letting me read and review.

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Off the Air is a debut novel that follows a local reporter as she tries to cover and solve a murder mystery.

As this book was written by a reporter, the reader gets a very detailed and inside look into newsrooms and what it takes to get a story. I am shocked at how vicious reporters can be and was kind of turned off by the behavior of our main character- not taking no for an answer, interviewing at funerals/memorial services, and pestering law enforcement. This really seems like a cutthroat industry!

I think how our main character treated others to try and get her story wasn't the best. She excused her behavior by stating "don't know the pressure I'm under " - this character definitely had a lot of stress and pressure on her but I don't know if that excuses horrible behavior.

The writing was good and I think the story flowed just fine ( I finished in a couple of days) . I don't know if the story was for me but I do feel that there are people that will absolutely love this book!

Please check content warnings before going into this read- the author does give a detail list . Some things to note was the strong political views, racism, and animal cruelty.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery and people who like journalism/reporting stories.

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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this Advanced Reader Copy, in exchange for my honest review.

This was an interesting debut novel by Christina Estes.

The story centers on a group of reports who are trying to break the story of a local media figure. The main character is Jolene, a report who is relatable and obviously has morals.
The deceased is a questionable talk show host, and the mystery of who killed him ensues.
A colorful cast of supporting characters and competing news stations.

I enjoyed the "true-crime" aspect of the story and the look into the world of local news was certainly intriguing.

The writing was bright and flowed well.
Overall, an enjoyable book. The author has a real talent.
Rated 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

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Jolene Garcia, a reporter for a local TV station in Phoenix, Arizona, is assigned to cover the death of a talk radio host at a radio station. She is ambitious and eager to break the story. However, when another reporter beats her to an interview with a key person and reveals the possibility of poison being involved, Jolene becomes even more determined to be the first to report the news. As the story unfolds, Jolene's ambition leads her to behave unkindly and rudely towards her colleagues and friends, making her a dislikeable character. Despite this, the book offers an intriguing mystery, with numerous suspects and twists. The book follows the typical detective novel tropes, including the annoyed detective friend and the amateur sleuth's bone-headed moves. Overall, the story is enjoyable, but it would have been better if the protagonist were more pleasant and less jealous and unkind.

Off The Air by Christina Estes is a captivating book that provides a fast-paced and cutthroat glimpse into the world of journalism. Inspired by the author's own experience as a professional reporter, the book offers an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the intensity of reporting.The plot keeps readers guessing until the surprising ending, making it an enjoyable and quick read. The book also includes a content advisory listing various sensitive topics, though they are mentioned without excessive detail.

Overall, Off The Air provides an engaging and thrilling story set in the world of journalism. While Jolene's character flaws may make her less likeable, the book still offers a well-rounded mystery with a satisfying conclusion. Readers will appreciate the authenticity and fast pace of the narrative, as well as the behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of reporting.

Thank you the publisher and NetGalley for the advance review copy in exchange for my honest review.

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A reporter interviews a controversial radio host whose death soon thereafter could just make her career.

Working as a reporter in Phoenix AZ is not terribly glamorous for Jolene (yup, named for the Dolly Parton song) Garcia. In a business that lately values being first more than being right and where social media clicks have become increasingly important, reporters like Jolene who were taught that ethics matter are regularly scooped by counterparts who use their looks, higher visibility and/or moral “flexibility” in pursuit of a news scoop. When local Limbaugh-esque radio talk show host Larry Lemmon drops dead in his studio one day, (possibly poisoned) not long after Jolene had interviewed him, it looks like for once she has an edge on the competition. Not for long, though….she needs to keep fresh new information flowing in if she wants to keep her bosses happy, yet she is being scooped by her local nemesis JJ and even by reporters from her network’s national roster. Her best police source won’t give Jolene any good information on the record, and her frustration at seeing tidbits that she knew but held off from reporting until she could get official confirmation pop up on other news sites coupled with the continual pressure from her superiors to produce new material leads her to be a bit pushier in her approach and to dip her toes into morally ambiguous waters, alienating both her police source and some of her station colleagues. With two ex-wives, a vocal fan base, possible professional rivals and some notable adversaries to his political views, Larry has more than a few people in his life who might have wanted him dead. Can Jolene regain the lead on this story, establish herself as the reporter to beat, and figure out who killed Larry Lemon? Or will the story of a lifetime slip through her fingers?
In this, her first novel, author Christina Estes uses her more than 20 years of experience as a reporter in Arizona to portray the daily realities (good, bad and smelly) of life behind the scenes at a local tv network in the rapidly evolving landscape of news in the social media age. Jolene is a relatable character, dedicated to her job but not the flashiest in the bunch, with some baggage from her past and only a nosy neighbor and a judge-y goldfish waiting for her when she gets home from work. I enjoyed the many snippets of Phoenix that were woven into the story; the background of different neighborhoods’ origins, the quirks of a city that has so many people transplanted from other parts of the country, and more than a few local food references that made me hungry (carne asada fries? Yes, please!). While I had my suspicions as to who killed Larry, the why was a surprise for me when it was revealed. This is not a dark, gritty police procedural; it is instead a story that will appeal to readers of authors like Hank Phillippi Ryan, J. A. Jance and Linda Barnes. It is also a promising start to what could become a series, and I look forward to seeing where Jolene and her circle of friends and sources might go next. Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for allowing me access to an advanced reader’ copy of Off the Air.

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