A 2023 Edgar Award Nominee

Seaview High’s homecoming queen is dead . . . and she’s not the first. From the critically acclaimed author of The Ivies comes a nonstop thriller about a decades-old mystery, a copycat killing, and the teen who won’t stop until she discovers the truth.

After the death of her mom (screw cancer), seventeen-year-old Cecelia Ellis goes to live with her estranged grandmother, a celebrated author whose Victorian mansion is as creepy as the murder mysteries she writes. On the surface, life is utterly ordinary in the California coastal town . . . until the homecoming queen is murdered. And she’s not Seaview’s first pretty dead queen.
With a copycat killer on the loose, Cecelia throws herself into the investigation, determined to crack the case like the heroines in her grandmother’s books. But the more Cecelia digs into the town’s secrets, the more she worries that her own mystery might not have a storybook ending. 

Advance Praise for Pretty Dead Queens

“Sharp as a knife and utterly savage, Pretty Dead Queens has an ending that will shock even the most astute mystery buffs.”

Jessica Goodman

New York Times bestselling author of They Wish They Were Us and They'll Never Catch Us

“A brain-bending, twisty tale in a picturesque, coastal town bursting with secrets, lies, and ultimate betrayals. The perfect blend of Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, and Jessica Fletcher—all brought to life with the deftness of Donne’s razor-sharp insight into the dark side of human nature.”

Jennieke Cohen

author of My Fine Fellow and Dangerous Alliance

“Twisty, imaginative, and highly addictive, Pretty Dead Queens is Alexa Donne at her devious best. Packed with small-town secrets, family mysteries, and intrigue: be prepared to stay up well past your bedtime.

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

author of All Eyes On Her and The Girls Are All So Nice Here

“Compulsively readable and methodically plotted, Pretty Dead Queens is smart, twisted, and cozy—everything I love in a mystery.”

J. Elle

New York Times bestselling author of Wings of Ebony

“Pretty Dead Queens crackles with wit, romance, and atmosphere! Set in a small town full of big lies and unsolved murders, this fast-paced whodunnit will keep you guessing as Cecelia, a whip-smart teen turned amateur investigator, risks everything to stop the killer and bring justice to the victims. A thriller to die for!”

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

author of Lies Like Wildfire and Friends Like These

“Trust no one: Mulder’s motto has never applied more. Donne has written a wicked, twisted high school horrorshow that will keep you guessing until the very last page.”

Brenna Ehrlich

author of Killing Time.