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Follow Her Home (Juniper Song #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  457 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
A stunning, edgy debut introducing Juniper Song, an amateur sleuth taking on the darkness in the veins of L.A. with razor-sharp wit and a breaking heart.

Juniper Song knows secrets–how to keep them and how to search them out.  As a girl, noir fiction was her favorite escape, and Philip Marlowe has always been her literary idol. So when her friend Luke asks her to investigat
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Jul 20, 2013 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is the best book I've ever written. I hope you guys like it okay and don't judge me for rating my own book. I waited until I had 100 ratings in, like maybe that would make it better? I don't know, man. Social media is hard.
Feb 09, 2013 Naomi rated it really liked it
Read my full review:

My opinion: What a fun little read this book was! I had numerous review books going at the same time so it took me a bit longer to get it reviewed, but it wasn't by my choice. I had to force myself to put it down! I loved the main character Juniper Song, who fancied herself a female Phillip Marlowe...that should say it all!! She was sarcastic, but an intelligent sarcasm. The storyline was laid out with a lot of quirky characters that fed beautifully into
Patrice Hoffman
This is the debut novel by Steph Cha featuring amateur sleuth Juniper Song. Song is unable to turn down a request from her best friend Luke to investigate whether or not his father has been having an affair on a young, very attractive woman from his firm. Having been a fan of crime mysteries and Philip Marlowe, she's more than happy to put all that she's learned into action. She just wasn't anticipating the action she'd get or how it makes her handle issues with her own past.

Steph Cha did a grea
Follow Her Home by Steph Cha
*Made possible by Netgalley! Thank you very much!

Juniper Song loves the fictional stories of hardboiled noir detective Philip Marlowe, and while not a detective herself, she fancies herself capable of solving a mystery or two. Her friend Luke gives her an investigation-he believes that his father is having an affair-and she applies herself dutifully. Until she is hit on the head during the investigation and she finds the dead body of a stranger in her car. She becom
Aug 25, 2014 Daisy rated it liked it
Shelves: la-hollywood
Enjoyable. Both melancholy and tense. It takes place all in one weekend, all in my part of town, or areas I know well. That makes it even more accessible. I wonder how it reads to someone who doesn't know Los Angeles at all. The city and its street corners play a big part in this Noir novel.
I look forward to reading more in the Juniper Song series. She cracks her knuckles and drives a stick-shift. (Next one: Beware Beware: A Juniper Song Mystery)

3.8 stars
Dec 20, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This had everything. Intense drama, homage to Philip Marlowe, the use of a high heel as a deadly weapon, and the bad ass Juniper Song. Loooooooved it.
Jun 05, 2013 L rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read noir fiction--my only experience with that world comes from a film studies class I took on the subject that included "Double Indemnity" and "Sunset Boulevard" along with other classics. I'd always worried that noir would be too grim a journey to take in a novel, but Cha's novel skillfully walks the line between harrowing twists and a sense of gallows humor that actually made me laugh out loud at certain points.

Juniper Song, the protagonist of the tale, is in her mid twentie
Jul 16, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it
This is a sharply-written detective novel. It's taut and fast moving but Cha never throws in random violence just to move things along. It's engrossing but has been given room to breathe. And the main case dovetails beautifully with the back-story of her main character.

Juniper Song is tough, smart, witty, often disgruntled, but always completely sympathetic. She has something of a bad attitude but you realize it comes from being wounded. And teasing out, chapter by chapter, what exactly makes he
Diane S ☔
Apr 10, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
3.5 New series, new author and it shows early promise of being a very good one. Song is a Korean American, her hero is Chandler's Marlowe, which she quotes in various places throughout the novel, which I found to be great fun. Song is a character that is both flawed and heartbroken, which we find out the reason for while reading the book. There are many quirky and fun characters that fit perfectly in the story-line. The author has updated the darkness of Marlowe's LA, filled his mystery with won ...more
Talia Kubiak
Jan 28, 2013 Talia Kubiak rated it really liked it
I received this book as part of the GoodReads Giveaway.

Reading other reviews, I realized that people had several complaints about how the two stories weaved in and out of each other. However, I felt it was appropriate for the story line. Songs life with her sister helped make up the back story as to her emotions and events that were occurring with the current situation she was going through.

My only complaint with the book is that, although it was nice to have the overly described scenarios to g
Jim C
Feb 01, 2013 Jim C rated it liked it
I won this book via a goodreads giveaway. Juniper Song, who likes noir fiction characters like Philip Marlowe, is asked to follow her friend's father to see if he is cheating. As a result, Song gets in more trouble than she bargained for. This book has a noir feeling which like I said, the main character favors. It is two short stories woven into one. The case she is working on resembles an important event in her past. The story has plenty of twists and turns and keeps you guessing where it is g ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it
Very good story by another first-time author. That's two for me this week! Plenty of twists and turns in this book to keep you interested.
Jan 24, 2017 Eleanore rated it really liked it
While it took a second try to get past the first couple chapters (not because I wasn't liking it, but rather I went through a period of a few weeks where I couldn't focus on reading ANYTHING), I ended up devouring the book. The mystery was good, and I hadn't figured out all the nooks and crannies by the end (which is always nice), but my primary interest was in following the protagonist's two-part story (present, and past). I'm not entirely sure I bought Song's reasoning for following up on the ...more
Diane Mcclure
Nov 29, 2016 Diane Mcclure rated it it was amazing
LA Noir
Craig Pittman
Dec 18, 2016 Craig Pittman rated it liked it
I grew up in a family of thriller fans, and went through the hard-boiled masters -- Hammett, Chandler & McDonald -- about the same time I went through puberty. So that's something I share with the heroine of Steph Cha's debut thriller novel, Juniper Song, a Korean-American woman living in LA. She keeps well-thumbed paperbacks like "Red Harvest" around and smokes and drinks like her hero, lonely knight-errant Philip Marlowe. But when she pokes her nose into a real-life mystery, she finds out ...more
Aaron Poorman
Jun 28, 2013 Aaron Poorman rated it really liked it
Shelves: subliminalmaybe
Follow Her Home is the first offering from L.A. native Steph Cha. Cha quite clearly loves the noir masters like Chandler and Hammett – a love she passes on to her protagonist Juniper Song. By embracing these influences she is able to create a likeable heroine and connect with readers all in the same introductory space and get the story moving quickly. In a way Song's experiences mirror the author's possible apprehensions. Writing a first novel is a lot like having your first case as a private e ...more
A work of art.

Review originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on MAR 27, 2013:

Yes, you saw that right. This is 2013's first Bomy Award of Excellence and I'm thoroughly delighted to say so. This is one of the first books I've read this year and if my first reads are any indication, 2013 will be a freaking amazing bookish year. But enough about my fangirling, let's get back to the book.

A contemporary mystery, noir and thrilling through and through, the novel features one of the most charismat
Wendy Kendall
Nov 02, 2014 Wendy Kendall rated it really liked it
Juniper Song would love to be a detective. Now her dear friend asks her for help in a private, family investigation. That’s irresistible. It’s especially irresistible when the investigation quickly turns into a mystery.
Her friends call her Song, and she’s been a Phillip Marlowe fan since her 20-something self had first read “The Big Sleep” at 13. As she says, “I savored his words, studied his manners, and methods. I carried him with me like an idol.” And now she had her own job and client. “He
Ray Palen
Mar 28, 2013 Ray Palen rated it really liked it
‘I thought about the word hard-boiled. Marlowe was hard-boiled. Spade was hard-boiled. Was I? Maybe they were scared, too, then, these heroes of mine, scared, but with their fear kept separate and suspended from everything else.’

This is just a sample of the stream-of-consciousness inner monologue that plagues the protagonist of FOLLOW HER HOME. Her name is Juniper Song. Part Korean but all-American she inhabits a persona that is well-read in the classic noir novels of Raymond Chandler and Ross M
Dec 04, 2015 Christyn rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
So, plenty of mixed feelings for Follow Her Home. There are still some questions I have about everything that happened, and I'm still kind of left floundering at the ending. If you're looking for a mystery with a nice, neat wrap-up and a happy tone/ending - this is not for you.

This book follows amateur sleuth, Juniper Song as she investigates an alleged affair which quickly turns into much more. I wasn't particularly blown away by the mystery or the investigation - she admittedly is unqualifi
Dec 24, 2016 Siobhan rated it really liked it
Diverting enough. Uneven.
Jul 30, 2013 Nancy added it
A stunning, edgy debut introducing Juniper Song, an amateur sleuth taking on the darkness in the veins of L.A. with razor-sharp wit and a breaking heart.

Juniper Song knows secrets–how to keep them and how to search them out. As a girl, noir fiction was her favorite escape, and Philip Marlowe has always been her literary idol. So when her friend Luke asks her to investigate a possible affair between his father and a young employee, Lori, Juniper (or "Song" as her friends call her) finds an opport
John McKenna
Sep 10, 2013 John McKenna rated it really liked it
Mysterious Book Report No. 117
by John Dwaine McKenna
As regular readers of the Mysterious Book Report, know we work to search out and find debut mysteries written by first-time authors and grow as fans with them, rather than bowing and scraping at the feet of the mega-writers with seven or eight figure publishing contracts from the giants of the industry—although we do admit to occasionally genuflecting near them, by occasionally reviewing the masters in order to serve the entire reading public.
May 08, 2013 Kris rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise this was! The writer Steph Cha is a second generation Korean-American, and is a recent Yale law graduate. She decided to become a full-time writer instead of being a full-time attorney, and boy did she make the right decision! Considering this is her first published novel and she's only in her mid-20's, this is a marvelous accomplishment for such a young writer.

The protagonist of the story is Juniper Song, a twenty-something recent college graduate who's still struggling
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Post-modern pulp mystery perhaps? I'm not exactly sure how to describe Steph Cha's debut novel, Follow Her Home. It introduces Juniper Song, a Gen Y, Korean/American with little ambition and an obsession with Raymond Chandler's hard boiled PI, Phillip Marlowe. When her best friend, Luke, asks her to follow the woman he suspects is having an affair with his father home from a party she is eager to emulate her idol's investigative success. But when Song gets too curious during her stakeout she is
Linda Doyle
Mar 05, 2016 Linda Doyle rated it really liked it
"... I'd drifted away from the mystery genre. It seemed too shiny, fake and cardboard, with implausible plots and ciphers for people." So says Juniper Song, protagonist and amateur private detective, who models herself after Philip Marlowe. I sort of feel the same way about mysteries. I cling to a few favorite authors (Tana French is one) who add meat to their characters to enrich sometimes flimsy mystery plots. I decided to try Steph Cha after reading a favorable review. I like stories set in L ...more
Starr Gardinier
Jun 09, 2013 Starr Gardinier rated it really liked it
“Follow Her Home” by Steph Cha

Cha is a debut author and she kept me reading until the very end. Using literary giant Raymond Chandler’s character Philip Marlowe as her guide, Juniper Song becomes entangled in a mystery that is sordid, harrowing, and very deadly. Song is not an investigator in any way, but having read enough—at least she thinks—of Marlowe’s escapades, she attempts to draw on those situations to finagle staying alive.

Her best friend Luke needs help in finding out if his father is
Jan 15, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
The review is the result of winning a GoodReads giveaway.

I liked this book. Although the setting and the characters were contemporary, the feel was very noir. The heroine is asked to find out if the client’s father is having an affair with one of the women at work. That’s a pretty basic assignment for a classic hardboiled detective. But Juniper Song isn’t really a detective and it shows. She does manage to uncover what’s going on in the end. But the ending is bittersweet just the way it would be
Aug 23, 2014 Mehnaz rated it really liked it
I recently saw Steph Cha read at Skylight Books, promoting her new novel, Beware Beware. This inspired me to read her first book, Follow Her Home. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. As an L.A.-o-phile & fan of the mystery genre, I love reading noir stories set in Los Angeles. The book is wonderfully written, and a good balance of contemporary women's lit and noir. I liked the book's narrator, and the slick, gritty writing. My favorite parts were the flashbacks scenes involving the narrato ...more
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