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Follow Her Home (Juniper Song, #1)
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Follow Her Home

(Juniper Song #1)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  594 ratings  ·  137 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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3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  594 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Jul 20, 2013 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 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
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Juniper Song -- generally called just Song -- is a young single woman of Korean extraction living in LA and with a lifelong addiction to the works of Raymond Chandler, specifically the Marlowe novels. The opening few lines of this novel sold me on it, vibrant as they are with the timbre Marlowe's voice:

It was about ten o'clock on a Friday in mid-July, the Los Angeles night warm and dry, the only wind rising from the whoosh and zoom of traffic on Rossmore. I was wearing a slinky black dress, blac
Jessica Woodbury
Mystery novels are one of the whitest genres around, so when I heard about Steph Cha's Juniper Song series I was very ready to have a different point of view. And sure enough this sent me to the kinds of places you don't see too much in mystery novels. Cha is able to explore the fetishization of Asian women in a way that is natural to the story instead of just using that fetishization as a plot point.

This is a solid amateur-detective novel, with flashbacks tying us to Juniper's past and persona
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-author
2.5 stars

See me discuss it in my August wrap up:
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
Ephemera Pie
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
Toni Moore
Wow! I just finished "Follow Her Home" by Steph Cha and loved it. I read half of it at one sitting. Amateur sleuth Juniper Song (a 20-something Los Angeles Korean-American at loose ends after college) is such a real, believable character, and her past family trauma makes her insane determination to confront convoluted evil understandable. Song is fixated on Philip Marlowe and uses his methods as a template in her sleuthing.

I enjoyed all the Marlow references; now I want to reread "The Big Sleep"
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I’m usually graceful when I review first time novelists, so while there was a lot that annoyed me about Steph Cha’s debut, I generally enjoyed it and am going to lean mostly on the positives.

I love hard boiled/noir fiction. Apparently, so does Steph Cha and her main character (and author ancillary) Junipero Song. The book is littered with references to Chandler, Macdonald and Hammett, three of the greats (Macdondald is my personal favorite). I’m not sure it made the book great but it appealed to
Aug 25, 2014 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
A solid modern noir with a specific point of view that sets it apart. Juniper Song is a twenty-six-year-old woman from a Korean American family, living in LA, holding tightly to her good friends from college and nursing her painful family history. She has a deep love of Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe, name-checking the detective often and considered how he would respond to the increasingly noir-ish events that Song finds herself involved in, starting with her best friend asking her to keep an eye on ...more
Geoff Smith
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, novels
This week I finished 'Follow her Home' by Steph Cha.

It's a really good book, kind of a homage to Chandler. Much of it based in a building called The Marlowe. The main character is Juniper Song an American of South Korean descent, and a Marlowe fan to boot. Asked to check on her friend's dad, to see if he is having an affair.

But in true Marlowe style one case leads to complications and multiple murders. Cha does a great job of controlling the plot and it was fun to read, Chandlerian but with eno
Stefan Fergus
Plenty to like, even if some things related to plot and characterization didn't work for me. Liked it enough to read the rest of the series (two other books), but will read the author's latest, stand-alone novel first.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fun and promising start to a mystery series featuring a young Korean-American protagonist who's read a lot of Raymond Chandler and gets through problematic situations by asking herself what Marlowe would do. Juniper Song is a likable heroine with a complex backstory and just the right amount of moxie. There are three books in the series a fourth one on the drawing boards. Given the strength of Cha's writing and her relatively high profile on the mystery/literature scene (she writes fre ...more
Jun 05, 2013 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
I usually have a pretty good grasp on a book's rating halfway through it (at the very latest). So when I'd almost hit the 3/4 mark for Follow Her Home and it remained at a middling three stars, I was pretty sure this was it.

Except… I was wrong. This book became so much more than its premise or its protagonist. It is unbearably raw and elegiac at times—saturated with grief, desperation, violence, bloodshed, irrevocable hurt. All of it ultimately eclipsed by death.

I picked up this book from my loc
Jul 16, 2013 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
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I heard the author speak (and she is an excellent speaker) at a woman's literary festival. She talked about being a young Korean/American from LA who loved noir detective books, but found none with a hero that she could identify with, so she wrote this book, which is the first of a series. It held my interest, the lead is yes, a young (20's) Korean/American who loves Philip Marlowe, and sets out to solve a mystery about her best friend's father. While rather implausible ...more
Diane S ☔
Apr 10, 2013 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 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 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 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.
Dec 20, 2016 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.
Margaret Bessai
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I learned about this book from the annotated "The Big Sleep" as Cha's opening mirrors the opening of Chandler's Big Sleep. Her main character Song begins with, “It was about ten'o'clock on a Friday night in mid-July, the Los Angeles night warm and dry...I was wearing a slinky black dress, black patent leather platform pumps, silver cascade earrings, and a black lambskin Clutch. I was perfumed, manicured and impeccably coiffed. I was everything a half-employed twentysomething should be on the sob ...more
Sir Nicho
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a good first novel. I enjoyed it, it's a fun entertaining read. It's been a long time since I've read any noir, it hit all the right notes and had some great homages to Chandler. I especially liked that the main character mentioned that Doyle owes a debt to Edgar Allen Poe. I've been trying to tell people for years that Holmes is a direct descendant of Dupin, but with little success, so it was nice to see that reaffirmed in this book.

I didn't like that Juniper seem fell into the cliche
Jan 24, 2017 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
Victoria Moore
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-books
"Follow Her Home' by Steph Cha is a mystery I had a roller coaster relationship with because of the pacing, the uneven voice of the protagonist Juniper Song, and the story line. One minute she was the stereotypical smart Asian the next a detective wannabe. Was she really one or the other? I couldn't tell. The lowest point of the book was the belabored issue of Asian and White interracial relationships that clearly had little to do with me as a reader. Was it necessary to add such a significant ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely terrific Debut novel. TY Steph for this wonderfully written novel!! Once I grew up I stopped being a fan of Noir Fiction because I realized how demeaning most of it was to women, from the book covers to the idea that a beautiful woman is solely responsible for men making fools of them selves over her. I am so glad that Steph addressed the issue about the beautiful women. It was fun reading the witty references to Chandler's character Marlowe and the old time gumshoe language that S ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Three very good friends, Juniper aka Song, Diego and Luke have stuck together like glue and, supposedly, know each other‘s secrets. Luke believes his father is having an affair, and he asks Song to spy on his father and let Luke know the results. Of course, this leads Song to being knocked out and waking up on a park bench in the wee hours. that is the beginning of her delving into unknown territory which causes more murders closer to home. Power, greed and fetishes are all part of this story.
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Juniper Song (3 books)
  • Beware Beware (Juniper Song, #2)
  • Dead Soon Enough (Juniper Song, #3)