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FOUR DEAD QUEENS by Astrid Scholte


An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

The US paperback edition includes a new cover and an exclusive short story from Queen Iris's POV with artwork!

One big lie.

Two forbidden romances.

Three days to catch a killer.


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Indie Bound



North America - Putnam (Penguin Random House)

Australia/NZ - Allen & Unwin 

The Czech Republic - Albatros

Slovakia - Slovart spol

Turkey - Yabanci Yayinlari

Russia - AST Publishers

Spain - Ediciones Kiwi

Germany - Piper Verlag

France - Casterman

Brazil - Distribuidora Record

Hungary - Alexandra Publishing​

Romanian - Editura Corint

Portugal - Grupo Leya


  • Selected for the 2022 Farniente Award
  • Winner of the West Australian Young Readers' Book Award, Older Readers (2021)
  • Shortlisted for the 2021 YABBA Award
  • Winner of the 2020 Script Pipeline TV Series Pitch Idea.
  • Runner up in the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition (2021)
  • Winner of the Davitt Award for Best Young Adult Crime Novel (2020)
  • Shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers award (2020)
  • The Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award 2020 Nominee
  • An Apple Books best YA books of the month pick (2019)
  • 2019 Semi Final nominee for Best Young Adult and
    Science Fiction Goodreads Choice Award (2019)
  • 2019 Bookshimmy nominee for Best Standalone and Best Plot Twist (2019)

Praise for Four Dead Queens:

"Astrid Scholte breaks into the fantasy genre with a triumphant, exciting debut that will keep readers guessing all the way to final chapter. Four Dead Queens is not to be missed!"

— Beth Revis, NY Times bestselling author of Give the Dark my Love

"A cinematic thrill ride brimming with murder, mayhem, and twists that will shock you, Four Dead Queens is sure to be your next obsession. Absolutely riveting."


— Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of the Reign of the Fallen series

FOUR DEAD QUEENS is a darkly delicious tale that keeps you in constant suspense. A thrilling, genre-blending book perfect for fans of both fantasy and murder mysteries. I just might be the fifth dead queen because this story--with its labyrinthine twists and turns--slayed me in every possible way.


— Kerri Maniscalco, #1 NYT and USA Today best selling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

"Scholte's stand-alone debut marks her as an author to watch."


— Kirkus

"Scholte has created an intrigue-heavy adventure in a world filled with characters whom readers will want to revisit."


— Publisher's Weekly

No one is going to be ready as they enter into the vivid world of Quadara. It was so much fun to get lost with the in-depth world building and the beautifully imperfect characters. A very fast paced mystery that takes so many twist and turns you’ll find yourself gripping the book for dear life.


— Mattie, Bookmarks Teen Advisory Council Member, Bookmarks Bookstore

The four quadrants of Quadara... are each fascinating and wholly different worlds (one focusing on art, another on technology), and Scholte has constructed intriguing back stories for not only these worlds but also the queens that ruled them. Issues of class, race, privilege, and family fealty are prominent... Clearly labeled chapters help the reader navigate intricate plotting.


— Booklist

The story takes unexpected turns, has complicated characters who develop over time, and ends unpredictably. VERDICT A recommended addition to young adult fantasy/dystopian collections, particularly where regal sagas are popular.



This was an un-put-down-able roller coaster of a read. In a fantastical world of quadrants, females reign supreme. The story is told in parts and each part is full of twists, mystery and murder. I love the protagonist as much as the doomed queens. This is a debut you do not want to miss. Four Dead Queens has every element of fantasy I need to give it a very high recommendation!


— Karen, That Bookstore

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