Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco


Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco
by Richie Narvaez

About Holly Hernandez and
the Death of Disco

Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
Grade Level: 10 – 12
1st in Series
Publisher: Pinata Books (May 31, 2020)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1558859020
ISBN-13: 978-1558859029
Digital Publisher: Arte P├║blico Press (June 22, 2020)
Print Length: 255 pages

Holly Hernandez, voted “Miss Bright of ’79” and valedictorian at her previous school, is excited to start fresh at Flatbush Technical High School, one of the most competitive public schools in New York City. She’ll be one of thousands; anonymous. But her dreams of a normal school life disappear when her mother, a homicide detective, has to investigate the murder of Mr. Friedman, the social studies teacher.

One of her classmates, Xander Herrera, quickly becomes the primary suspect. The tall, awkward boy is socially inept, but Holly doesn’t think he’s a murderer. She is intent on exonerating him—but he wants nothing to do with her. To Xander, Holly is the overly enthusiastic student who always sits in the front row and answers all the teachers’ questions—correctly. He hates perky people!

Eventually cleared of the crime, Xander is determined to find the killer before Holly. As they race to solve the case, their separate investigations lead to a slew of suspects, including another teacher seen arguing with Friedman and a mysterious person named Steve who met with him several times before his death. Could it have been a disgruntled student? Ultimately, a trophy for a disco-dancing contest leads the intrepid young detectives to the Mission Venus nightclub and a murderer intent on killing again!

An Afternoon with Xander Herrera, Co-Star of HOLLY HERNANDEZ AND THE DEATH OF DISCO

by Richie Narvaez

The Technical Drawing teacher was a buffoon. But he was Xander’s favorite teacher. Because in this season of confusion, calumny, and pre-calculus at Flatbush Technical High School, a season in which he had been falsely, flagrantly, and fragrantly accused of the murder of Social Studies teacher Mr. Friedman by Mr. Friedman’s star pupil and strawberry-shampoo-prone Holly Hernandez, now, for once, here in the class, he was finally learning something.

Xander did not claim to have any particular artistic talent, but he knew how draw to a satisfactory sea creature, a creditable canine, and a decent dragon (which, he had to admit, looked very much like a combination of the sea creature and the dog). But Mr. Lagano was giving him the magic gift of Perspective.

The lanky, gray haired Lagano had already taught them — and Xander has already mastered — orthographic, isometric, and oblique drawings. But Perspective was the one area that fascinated him the most, that seemed the most useful. 

The entire class was copying out examples of block letters Lagano had placed on the board. It was the next-to last class of the day, the energy was low, the students quiet. 

With his T-square, 6B pencil, sandpaper block, and gum eraser as well as his trusty 30-60-90 and 45-degree triangles, no landscape could escape Xander. Now his sea creature could be seen about to consume a container ship that drew ever closer. Now his canine could canter in a cityscape that vanished into the horizon. Now his drago—

“What are you doing?” It was Mr. Lagano, looming large above Xander’s desk, his thick-lensed, horn-rimmed glasses very much like Xander’s own. 


“Sharpen that pencil,” the teacher said, and he took the pencil from Xander’s hand and picked up the sandpaper block and showed him, once again, how to keep a pencil razor sharp. “Sharp pencils, sharp minds.”

“Yes, of course,” Xander said.

Mr. Lagano put the pencil and block down. Then he said, without looking at Xander and in a voice very different than his usual military staccato. “When I was in school, long time ago, I got accused of hurting someone. This kid, Vinnie Boombatz, he had bullied me, everyone knew. Everyone saw. And one day they found Vinnie beaten up badly behind the bleachers. I wasn’t anywhere near school that day. I was home. Asthma attack. But I was the strange boy, nobody liked me. Had to change schools because of it. My father never let me forget.” Finally, he turned to Xander. “Don’t let them get to you and you’ll be okay. You’ll get through.”

Xander nodded, and very quickly completed the assignment. He used his erasing shield to scrub away every imperfection.

“Ten more minutes,” grumbled Mr. Lagano from the front of the classroom, from the desk he had never left, where he combed through the sports pages of the Daily News line by line every class.

His daydream over, Xander looked up to see everyone else’s heads bent to their work, hurrying to finish.



About Richie Narvaez

Richie Narvaez is author of the award-winning collection Roachkiller and Other Stories and the gentrification thriller Hipster Death Rattle. His latest novel is the historical YA mystery Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco.

Author Links

Website – https://www.richienarvaez.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RichieNarvaezAuthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/richie_narvaez
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rnz1000/
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4530759.Richie_Narvaez

Purchase Links – AmazonBookshopIndieBoundB&N

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  1. Sounds like a great start to a new YA Cozy Mystery series! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I like the cover. It sounds like a good book for young adults. Thanks for the chance.


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