Coming Spring 2021 from Tordotcom Publishing, this novella is the story of the WyldBoyZ™️ and a murder that rocks the world—at least the world of preteen girls. It’s the year 2000, and the WyldBoyZ are the second-hottest boy band in the world, and definitely the hottest genetically engineered human-animal-hybrid vocal group rescued from a secret science barge. On the last night of their biggest tour, their producer, Dr. M (not a real doctor), is found clawed to death in his penthouse hotel room. Adding to the mystery, the “groundbreaking” demo CD Dr. M was bragging about has gone missing.
Bobby, the drug-addled, part-ocelot “bad boy” of the group, is the leading suspect, primarily because he was discovered in the penthouse covered in Dr. M’s. blood. But every member of the band had a reason to want the doctor dead. Was the murderer Devin the bonobo (“the romantic one”), Tim the pangolin (“the shy one”), Matt the megabat (“the funny one”), or Tusk the elephant boy (“the smart one”)? There are more mysteries, as well, going back to the boys’ origins on that floating lab—and the clues may be on that missing CD.
Las Vegas police detective Luce Delgado–ex-stage-magician and current single mom to a daughter who’s inconveniently a WyldBoyZ superfan–is on the case.
On a personal note: I witnessed the terrible power of boy bands first hand, when my daughter narrowly survived a pre-teen addiction to the Backstreet Boys. (She’s fine now, though she can still shout-sing every word of “I Want it That Way.”) But back then I was a new parent and too embarrassed to admit that I, too, had spent a year of my childhood listening to one record over and over—the Beach Boys double album, Endless Summer. I’ve finally found the strength to write my truth, a story that bravely answers the question, what if H.G. Wells and Agatha Christie snorted a ton of cocaine while watching This is Spinal Tap? I would like to offer advance apologies to Brian Wilson, Joey Fatone, and everyone who’s ever appeared on VH1’s Behind the Music.
My thanks to my editor Jonathan Strahan for his enthusiasm for this ridiculous idea, and to the Irene Gallo and the folks at Tordotcom Publishing who somehow went along with it.