In the Key of Dead: A Miami Music Mystery
by Zaida Alfar

About In the Key of Dead

In the Key of Dead: A Miami Music Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Cozy Cat Press (July 17, 2023)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 206 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 195257966X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952579660
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CDHHNMBP

Killer songs and a killer voice land Vy in yet another melodic murder mystery. Interlude Records has signed Vy to a long-anticipated record deal after years of rejections, but she never thought that murder would be part of the deal. Now, Vy finds herself, yet again, at the center of a murder investigation that may change the course of her music career.

It seems that someone doesn’t want Vy to record her album, and is doing everything to sabotage the release date, including murdering a key member of the production team. So Vy and her sister, Alexia, are back at it again—detecting in their own way. This time they’re using their quick-witted banter, and super sleuthing skills to ensure that Vy’s record makes it to the Billboard Top 100 list before the murderer makes it to the Miami Beach Police Department’s most wanted list.

They say the music industry is cutthroat, but Vy has never taken that statement literally. Could this be the strum of Vy’s guitar playing her last note IN THE KEY OF DEAD?


An affirmation that’s meaningful to me is “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West, whose entertainment career consisted of being an actress, singer, comedian, and a sex symbol in her day, defines life, down to the tee.  My mother, since I was very young, also instilled in me that similar frame of mind.  I believe that we all are faulted for thinking ‘we have time.’ I came to realize that we do not.  So, if you want to succeed in your dreams, attempt to accomplish that without hesitation.  Luckily, I was raised surrounded by a supportive family.  When I first approached my parents about my music career, I was eighteen at that time, I told my parents that I wanted to take one year off from college to pursue my dreams of being a musician. I remember my mom’s wide, beautiful smile, along with a nod that spoke words, even though she had not uttered a single one, and my father simply saying, “as long as you eventually graduate from college.” And that was the fire that sparked my music career; that was my version of “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” My first album “Train Ride” officially started my musical journey.  Through all my trials and tribulations, musically, I kept reminding myself to keep going. I only did have one life to live, and limited time, so I had to do it with intensity, and a strong belief in myself.

So, I continued my journey.  As an independent artist, I have released an EP called “Little Box of Secrets.” My latest self-produced singles, Stay, Savannah and Bulletproof Queen, a Grammy Considered song, takes one on a journey from one extreme to the other.  In addition to being a singer/songwriter, I am also a published author.  I decided to take my musical experiences and put it on paper.  I published my first novel, through Cozy Cat Press, The Last Note: A Miami Music Mystery.  Thanks to the success of my debut novel, I have once again, brought my characters back to life, in the sequel, In the Key of Dead: A Miami Music Mystery.  I have currently started the third novel to the series.  So, I am definitely living by the words of Mae West. I continue to pursue my music and my writing, voraciously, even intertwining them from time to time.  Music and writing is my life, and I intend to live it right.

I love escaping to other worlds and dimensions by reading.  Honestly, I spend my time reading a lot of psychological thrillers.  But one book that has helped me lately is, Know the Truth by Gordana Biernat.  It’s about knowing who you are and being okay with it. It is very motivational.

Readers often ask if the Miami I portray in my novels, is fact.  Yes!  I was born and raised in Miami.  I love my culture.  I love doing local activities and supporting local restaurants.  Miami has many historical sites, like Key Biscayne.  There is an unforgettable scenic route to the light house that’s located on the beach.  Coconut Grove has a plethora of restaurants.  One of my favorite restaurants in that area is Lokal.  It’s not often you can have a turkey burger with glazed donuts as your bun!  Little Havana is an introduction to my Latin roots.  There is so much going on at once, a cigar roller at the cigar shop, a 3-piece band playing unplugged on the corner, and of course, if you need a shot of energy, a cafecito at Versailles would do the trick.   I hope that I have shown the readers of my novels, the love I have for Miami, the Cuban culture, my family, and music.

The most rewarding aspect about being an artist is when I see an audience member sing along with my songs. More specifically, when I recently released my song Stay, which is a song about a daughter who lost her father and wished he could have stayed a little longer, a friend called me and thanked me for saying the words she could not find to say, when her father passed away. In that moment, I knew that I succeeded as a songwriter.  Because my worlds intertwine, the most rewarding aspect about being an author is when I receive text messages saying that they didn’t figure it out the ending.  Or, most recently, one of the characters based off a great friend of mine said, “I knew you mentioned that I was going to be in the book, but I didn’t think it was going to be like this.  Thank you.  It means a lot.”  That made my heart smile.

About Zaida Alfaro

The Miami Music Mystery series’ main backdrop, the amazing city of Miami, Florida, is beloved and well-known to me. I was born and raised in Miami, and like the novel’s main character Vy, I am a singer/songwriter, Grammy-considered, independent artist. All things relating to music or literature are my passion.

Many years ago, I became an avid reader of cozy mysteries. The storylines were intriguing, engaging, and funny at the same time. I was so inspired by the authors, that I then decided to take my musical experiences, and put it on paper. I published my first novel, The Last Note, a Miami Music Mystery. Now, I have brought my characters back to life, in the sequel, In the Key of Dead, a Miami Music Mystery. The phobias, the dream sequences, and the quirkiness of the main characters, are all based on facts. I hope that I was able to, once again, show the readers of my novels, the love I have for Miami, the Cuban culture, my family, and music. For more information, visit

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By KellyATX

I'm a Blogger, Reader, Reviewer & Bookstrammer. Die Hard TX Native & Rangers Fan.