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Deadly Cool Paperback – October 11, 2011

61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Merry and often suspenseful. A pleasant, funny, chick-lit mystery.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Halliday has her finger on the pulse of high-schoolers, whether goth, jock, prude, or computer nerd. With red herrings aplenty and a wicked pace, this relentlessly pulls the reader along to anexplosive conclusion.” (Booklist)

“This fun and outrageous mystery is a perfect mix of humor and horror that will have readers laughing while they try to figure out ‘whodunit.’ ” (School Library Journal)

“Halliday effectively combines a murder mystery with daily high school drama. Sharp humor is layered throughout the novel (fans of Veronica Mars will likely appreciate this one).” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“Gemma Halliday delivers a fun, sassy read that has you turning pages so fast, you’ll be breathless.” (C.C. Hunter, author of Born at Midnight)

About the Author

When Gemma Halliday was sixteen she wanted to be either a rock star or Marilyn Monroe. Instead, she ended up working as a film extra, a teddy bear importer, a department store administrator, a preschool teacher, a temporary-tattoo artist, and a 900-number psychic before settling on the career of author. Since then, her books have been published in several countries, optioned for television, and have won lots of cool, shiny trophies, including a National Readers' Choice Award and three RITA nominations. Gemma now lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she loves watching reality TV shows, eating takeout pizza, and shoe shopping. She is also the author of Deadly Cool.


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Product Details

  • Series: Deadly Cool (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Original edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062003313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062003317
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gemma Halliday is the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Kindle bestselling author of the High Heels Mysteries, the Hollywood Headlines Mysteries, the Jamie Bond Mysteries, the Tahoe Tessie Mysteries, as well as several other works. Gemma's books have received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, two National Reader's Choice awards, and three RITA nominations. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her boyfriend, Jackson Stein, who writes vampire thrillers, and their three children, who are adorably distracting on a daily basis.

Never miss a High Heels Mysteries release! Text: HIGHHEELS to 66866 to sign up for my newsletter and get an email alert for new releases!

To learn more about Gemma, visit her online at
Connect with Gemma on Facebook at:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrea T on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm smiling right now. I know, you can't see me. But trust me, I am. The reason for the big smile? This book, Deadly Cool. Based on the cover, which I adore, and the synopsis, you might think Deadly Cool to be a dark, serious book. And I'll admit, there are aspects to the book that are dark and serious. Such as, cheating boyfriends, murder, and a killer on the loose. But author Gemma Halliday told the story with a droll, quick-witted tone that absolutely knocked the ball out of the park.

I'll admit, it helps that Deadly Cool was exactly the type of book I was in the mood for. Young Adult, contemporary, non-paranormal was what the reading-doctor ordered. I knew I was in for a delicious treat when I read the opening lines:

"There are three things you never want to find in your boyfriend's locker: a sweaty jockstrap,a D
minus on last week's history test, and an empty condom wrapper. Lucky me, I'd hit the trifecta."

And, thankfully, the entire book was able to maintain that tone. It was packed full with witty dialogue and laugh-out-loud situations.

Deadly Cool has an easy to read, conversational tone. I felt like I was a participant in the action. Halliday did an immense job of lending main character, Hartley, and the other teens, non-irritating, engaging voices. Well, except for a couple of the girls. But they were supposed to be irritating! There wasn't a single character in the story that wasn't spot-on, well written. The cheating boyfriend, Josh, is shockingly likeable. Like Hartley, I knew I should despise him, but I couldn't help feeling sorry for the poor guy. I suppose it helps that he is descibed as looking very much like Zac Efron. And as much as I adore Josh, I have a thing for unconventional book guys.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
320 pages of pure fun and entertainment - Deadly Cool is a pretty cool book indeed. It's a teen murder mystery told with a surprising lightness and sprinkled with some seriously hilarious teenage humor. Fast-paced and riveting, this book will both chill you and make you laugh out loud!

The story kicks-off with Hartley discovering a condom wrapper in her boyfriend's locker (FYI, Hart is still a virgin). And I know what you're thinking, but well, it's not for the school project about reproduction ;) All of a sudden the rumors about Josh hooking up with the president of the Chastity club (Courtney Cline) are starting to make sense. Sorry to burst your bubble, Hart! Denial aside, she decides to confront her boyfriend and find out what the hell is going on. Together with her best friend, Sam, Hartley heads over to Josh's house, but instead of answers, she finds Courtney's dead body. Now, Josh might not be an exemplary boyfriend, but Harley's convinced that he's not a killer. A lying scumbag - yes, but he just doesn't have it in him to strangle someone with the cord of her iPod earbuds. But if Josh didn't kill the staying-a-virgin queen, then who did? And why?

I had a lot of fun reading this book. In fact, it took me just a few hours to finish it and these were hours well invested. It was a relaxing and enjoyable read. Now, I know this might sound weird. After all it's a murder mystery, there are dead bodies involved, a killer on the loose and at least a couple of really dangerous situations. But at the same time, the MC's narrative voice was extremely amusing and I was often cracking up at all the silly things she said/thought. It was so high-school-drama at times, it felt like reading some sort of dark and twisted version of Gossip Girl. And I do enjoy Gossip Girl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Darling on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reading Deadly Cool is like eating a bowl of ice cream. It's a refreshing treat following the afterburn of reading so many mopey and middling young adult novels, and it's one that goes down smoothly and will leave you craving more more more! I didn't expect for a murder mystery to keep me laughing throughout the entire story, but this one totally did. Hartley observations are hilarious, and so are her interactions with everyone around her. At one point, an anonymous note demands a meeting with her on the football field at midnight, and she rolls her eyes and says,

"Seriously? Am I living in an episode of CSI: Silicon Valley?"

And when Josh tells her he's created a new account to chat with her, she says,

"My Space? No one is on that anymore."

"Exactly. What better way to hide out?"

This book feels very current and modern in a way that I'm not sure I've seen in any other YA novel, but the contemporary details are seamlessly interwoven and feel like a natural part of the story. There are also tons of funny pop culture references (sympathetic head tilts, etc.), Hartley's believably exasperated but loving relationship with her health-nut mom, and adults who aren't just props and actually try to help her. (Even if one of them does smell like Fancy Feast.) I also appreciated that Hartley absolutely confirms that Josh has been cheating on her and dumps him, but she decides immediately that she will help him anyway. Besides, how can you not love a girl who hides Ben & Jerry's in the back of the freezer, who says "eff you" to her crappy mood by putting on sparkly flats, and admits to eating two slices of lasagna in one sitting? It's gluten-free tofu lasagna, but still.
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