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The Big Lead, A Stella Reynolds Mystery
Libby Kirsch, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Stella Reynolds is new to the job, new to the state, and new to making mistakes in front of thousands of people, but that’s exactly what she signs up for when she takes a reporting job in Bozeman, Montana. Being on live TV in a small town has never been so funny, until Stella covers the towns first murders in years. When the prime suspect’s girlfriend enlists Stella to help clear his name, she uncovers another shocking crime that could expose a handful of powerful insiders. Who is honest, who can’t be trusted and who committed the murders? Stella is on a tight deadline to find out. Can she help free an innocent man, or will the real culprit get away with murder?
Reviews
Novice reporter Stella Reynolds, the endearingly human heroine of Kirsch’s fiction debut, finds her first job in the TV industry with the Fox affiliate in sleepy Bozeman, Mont. Stella’s appreciative of the opportunity, but she can’t help having second thoughts when she learns how small the staff and resources of her station are. Stella’s first achievement of significance is interviewing river guide Bill James following his arrest for burglarizing a house and trying on the owner’s underwear. After learning that James has an alibi, Stella manages to get the sheriff to agree to dismiss the charges, but that proves to be just a temporary victory when James becomes the prime suspect in the stabbing murders of the burglary victim and her mother. The truth, Stella suspects, is much more complex, and she holds nothing back in pursuing it. The author does a good job of eliciting sympathy for Stella by depicting her embarrassing stumbles on her first days. (BookLife)
Kirkus Reviews

A rookie reporter delves into a small town’s big secrets in Kirsch’s debut mystery novel.

Stella Reynolds is desperate. She needs a job, and her only option is a tiny TV station in Bozeman, Montana, far away from the glamorous life of a big-city reporter. The hours are long, the equipment is ancient, and newsworthy stories are few and far between. As she begins to learn the ropes of her new job, she chases a story that has the potential to launch her to bigger and better things. While her colleagues cover animal adoptions at the Humane Society and the buffalo situation in Yellowstone National Park, she manages to stumble across an unexpectedly juicy story involving a double murder. It’s big news, but the sheriff’s case against the prime murder suspect is weak, and there’s something fishy going on with the investigation. It soon becomes apparent that the deaths are only the tip of the iceberg; there’s an even bigger story out there involving a conspiracy that could bring down local, state, and federal authorities. Stella follows the trail, assisted by her co-workers and a potential love interest from a competing network. Kirsch’s novel is full of humor, mystery, and romantic tension. The story is well-paced, deftly balancing action with moments of suspense and discovery. Stella is a wonderfully relatable protagonist who spills coffee with startling regularity yet manages to maintain an air of composure when covering stories. Kirsch’s own journalistic background lends an authenticity to the tale, and Stella’s on-screen flubs, embarrassing moments, and small-town reporting feel legitimate. Solid supporting characters offer additional interest, especially Stella’s acerbic co-worker Vindi. Although readers will appreciate the presence of John, the handsome love interest, the rapport between Vindi and Stella brings a little girl power to the classic Holmes/Watson–style relationship.

A light, enjoyable murder mystery that marks the beginning of a promising new series.

Reader's Favorite

Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

The Big Lead (A Stella Reynolds Mystery Book 1) by Libby Kirsch is a newsworthy story of intrigue. Stella Reynolds arrives in Montana late at night, ready to start a new job at a tiny news station. Starting work in Bozeman as a new TV reporter is not quite how she envisioned her life, but it’s the only news station where she can get work for now. Mayhem ensues as Stella gets to grip with ancient equipment that weighs a ton and works when it wants to. Nothing ever happens in Bozeman – until Stella stumbles across a murder. Together with her co-workers and the girlfriend of the accused, she works to uncover the truth and ends up uncovering a world of corruption. She doesn’t know whom she can trust, who might be involved, and what it will cost her to uncover the truth.

The Big Lead (A Stella Reynolds Mystery Book 1) by Libby Kirsch was hilarious from start to finish, with some definite laugh out loud moments. I can see that Ms. Kirsch has drawn on her years of experience to write this story and she has come up with a masterful plot with some very likeable characters. The story followed a natural path with a lot of twists and turns in it and came to a natural conclusion; it was written in a way that drew me in from the very first page and kept me reading right to the end. And when it ended, it left me wanting to read the next book in the series. Very enjoyable, very funny and full of insight, and a nice twist to it as well.

News
03/21/2016
Author Libby Kirsch's New Book

Author Libby Kirsch stops by to talk about her wonderful and well-reviewed Stella Reynolds mystery series and her latest entry, The Big Interview, about a television reporter who moves to Bristol and gets entangled in a murder plot.  For more information, check out Libby’s website.

11/04/2015
Former Dayton News Anchor Pens First Book

A former Dayton TV anchor is now a published book author.

And what do you know — it is about a TV reporter.

“The Big Lead,” the first book in a three-part Stella Reynolds Mysteryseries penned by formed WDTN anchor and reporter Libby Kirsch, was just released through Sunnyside Press.

The murder mystery follows reporter Stella Reynolds on her first TV news job in a small town in Montana.

“I am so excited to launch into a new career with a really fun book. Mystery readers will love the pacing, and I hope that everyone will really enjoy the story,” Kirsch said in a press release.

Originally from Worthington, Kirsch worked for WDTN from 2002 to 2010.

She and her family lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is a freelance writer and mother to three young kids.

The family moved to Michigan six years ago for her husband’s job at the University of Michigan.

Kirsch’s book is available now in paperback ($12.99) and eBook ($2.99) on Amazon.com.

Here is a description:

The Big Lead, a Stella Reynolds mystery, is Libby Kirsch’s first book.

“In The Big Lead, new TV reporter Stella Reynolds takes her first on air job in the tiny town of Bozeman, Montana. A strange coincidence during her first week on the job has her delving deep into the town’s first murders in years. Stella relies on an unlikely group of friends, colleagues and neighbors to go undercover and solve the crime, before she becomes the next victim. With laugh out loud on air mistakes, a dreamy love interest, a trio of possible suspects, and a truly momentum building finish, The Big Lead will leave mystery fans guessing until the last chapter.”

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03/21/2016
Former reporter turned author releases new book

BRISTOL, VA - 

A former reporter at WCYB has decided to put her writing skills to test in a new way as an author.

Libby Kirsch is set to debut her latest mystery book "The Big Interview" at the end of March.

The books tells the story of a reporter moving up the ranks from Montana to Bristol.
Kirsch says this book incorporates NASCAR, a love interest and a murder twist.

"They say write what you know, so i had this great idea for a new reporter starting out in the business," said Kirsch.  She gets to move from town to town as her career moves up and gets a murder mystery in each book along the way"

Pre-sales are on Amazon now and Kindle will run around $3 and paper back is $13.

A third book is already in the works and will be out sometime in November.  
Her first book came out in October of 2015.

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