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Meet Kellye Garrett, author behind "Missing White Woman"
Meet Kellye Garrett, author behind "Missing White Woman" 03:07

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Thousands of votes cast for the latest book for Club Calvi 

After several days of voting, you selected "Missing White Woman" by Kellye Garrett as the next read for the CBS New York Book Club. 

Garrett is from New Jersey and sets the book's story in her home state.  In a video about her novel, Garrett told readers that she got the idea while staying by herself at a friend's four-story row house. "I went to bed thinking that I could wake up in the morning, find a dead body in the foyer, and have no clue how it got there."

Read along with Club Calvi over the next four weeks, leading up to our Book Club meetup. Find out more about "Missing White Woman" below. 

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"Missing White Woman" by Kellye Garrett

Mulholland Books

From the publisher: It was supposed to be a romantic getaway weekend in New York City. Breanna's new boyfriend, Ty, took care of everything-the train tickets, the dinner reservations, the rented four-story luxury rowhouse in Jersey City with a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline. But when Bree comes downstairs their final morning, she's shocked. There's a stranger laying dead in the foyer, and Ty is nowhere to be found.

A Black woman alone in a new city, Bree is stranded and out of her depth-especially when it becomes clear the dead woman is none other than Janelle Beckett, the missing woman the entire Internet has become obsessed with. There's only one person Bree can turn to: her ex-best friend, a lawyer with whom she shares a very complicated past. As the police and a social media mob close in, all looking for #JusticeForJanelle, Bree realizes that the only way she can help Ty-or herself-is to figure out what really happened that last night.

Kellye Garrett is a New Jersey native. 

"Missing White Woman" by Kellye Garrett (Hardcover) $29

"Missing White Woman" by Kellye Garrett (Kindle) $15

Excerpt: "Missing White Woman" by Kellye Garrett 


I was going to jail.

I knew it. She knew it too. I could tell by the way she looked over at me—or rather didn't. We were the only two people on this block of fancy-schmancy row houses. A thin sliver of grass and a fence at half-mast separating the two of us.

When she came through the wrought-iron front gate, I was already feeling as lost as Dorothy in Oz and ready to give anything to snap my ASICS together to get back to Maryland. So I was excited when I first heard the gate slam the next house over. I'd even smiled initially when I looked back at her, convinced her sudden appearance was a good thing. That finally there was someone who could help me. My Glinda.

I couldn't see much of her. Not at first with the sun being long gone and the darkness turning her into just a skinny blob. She didn't take human form until she passed through the remnants of the floodlight from the house attached to the other side. And even then, I couldn't make out more than a square inch of her face. Blame a face mask as red and sparkly as a pair of ruby slippers. But I didn't need to make out a nose, a pair of eyes, perfectly contoured cheekbones, blond hair, to tell she was pretty. The accessories filled in the blanks. Black jumpsuit. Rose-gold hardback suitcase. Stilettos. She even somehow managed to not look ridiculous wearing sunglasses at night.

She looked like she belonged there. Like she was the one taking a long weekend jaunt with her new boyfriend to a city she'd never been to, with keyless door locks, four-story row houses, and unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline.

I, on the other hand, looked like someone standing in the dark outside a place I didn't belong, trying to get in without a key. It was exactly who I was and what I was doing. My outfit was wrong. Target. Suitcase was wrong. Amazon. Skin was wrong. Brown. Hair—kinky and get- ting bigger by the second—was definitely wrong too. The most expensive things on me were my sneakers.

She didn't look in my direction for more than a second, pulling her oversized purse closer to her, quickening her step up the stairs to her pitch-black stoop—or whatever they called it in fancy-ass neighbor- hoods like this one. But a nanosecond was probably all she needed.

Good thing I was already about to cry.

Blame the damn door and my inability to get it open. I'd tried three times already. Put in the code Ty had given me. Hit the Key button. Jiggled the knob like it needed some complicated handshake. I did it a fourth time, only to yield the same result. The only change, the new audience of one, looking like she wanted to boo me off the stage like this was the Apollo.

I braved another glance over. I was quick, but she was quicker, turning her head away so fast the crystals on her protective mask looked like sparklers as they caught the light. She'd been watching the latest attempt. Even from a distance—even in the dark—I could make out the pale white manicured hand gripping her cell phone like the weapon it could be in these situations. At least for people who looked like me.

I pulled my own phone out—this one a lifeline. Ty picked up on the second ring.

"Be there in fifteen," he said.

"You're in the Uber?"

"Not yet, but I will be. Packing up now."

My phone said it was already 10:46. He'd sworn he'd pick me up from the train station. Then sworn he'd meet me at the house. He'd been wrong on both counts.

"Oh." It was just a syllable. One I didn't even say that loud, yet he still heard it.

"Everything okay, Bree?"

I glanced over. She was still there standing with the screen door open. Pretending not to watch as she took her own time going inside. "Yeah." I wiped my eye as I spoke. It wasn't the first time I'd lied to him. "It's the code. It doesn't work."

"Really? It worked this morning when I checked in—1018."

"It's 1019." That was the one in the text. The one I'd plugged in four times.

"I'm pretty sure it's 1018. Let me check."

But I didn't wait for him to answer. Just tried the door again, but 1018 this time. It buzzed practically before I hit the Key button. The knob turned as he spoke again, realizing. "I sent you the wrong code."

"It's fine." Another lie.

I glanced over, hoping to catch her watching me again. Nodding as she realized she was wrong. That I wasn't some thief in the night. That I did belong here. That my boyfriend had given me the wrong code. But of course she'd finally disappeared inside.

I shook off the unease and turned my attention back to Ty. "I'll make it up to you," he said.

He'd been saying that a lot since he'd come up to New Jersey on Monday for work, the routine we'd established over the past three months immediately shot to hell. No nightly FaceTimes. No long-winded responses to my texts. And when he did respond, it was just hitting the Heart button or one-word replies sent so late that I'd damn near forgot what he was responding to.


Always work. Some intense finance job that took a lot of time but also paid a lot of money. Some new project that was dominating most of his working hours and almost as many out of the office as well. It was only after I suggested maybe this weekend wasn't a good time to come that he'd called. Said he still wanted me to take the train up.

Lucky for him, I wasn't one to make a big deal.

"It's fine," I said again as I finally opened the door. It was cold enough inside to give me goose bumps if they hadn't already been there. "I blame those big-ass hands of yours." I was proud of how I sounded. More teasing than annoyed.

He laughed then, the first time I'd heard him do that all week. I was glad too because I loved how it sounded. "Oh, now you have a problem with my big-ass hands. Last week it was—"

I laughed too. "I'm hanging up now."


"Bye, Ty." I tried to stifle a yawn. 

"You're gonna wait up for me, right?"

"Bye, Ty."


"Guess you'll have to get here and see."

But we both knew I would—in no makeup but also no bonnet. Happy to see him. Like always.

We both said goodbye and I finally stepped inside, thanking the heavens there wasn't an alarm and that snoop of a neighbor hadn't dialed 911. The cold air felt better than any jail cell I'd been in.

Excerpted from the book MISSING WHITE WOMAN by Kellye Garrett. Copyright © 2024 by Kellye Garrett. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved.  

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