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The Tip Line: New Thriller

The Tip Line: A Novel, by Vanessa Cuti

Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner!

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The Tip Line

The Tip LInePerfect for fans of Hannah Morrissey and May Cobb, Vanessa Cuti’s debut is an unsettling thriller that asks just how far you should go to find love.

Eager to get married, thirty-year-old Virginia Carey lands a job as an operator at a police tip line, where she thinks finding a husband will be easy. There’s Charlie Ford, a surprisingly sweet homicide detective, and charming police chief Declan “Deck” Brady. But just as Virginia’s plans begin to fall into place and she can almost picture a ring on her finger, she answers a call from Verona—a mysterious woman who provides a tip about four bodies on a remote local beach.

Verona, a sex worker, also gives Virginia details on sordid and raucous parties attended by law enforcement officers, and on the strange fetishes of cops she has been involved with. Then comes an explosive tip: Verona thinks it’s a police officer who is responsible for the killings.

But it can’t be true—the cops Virginia works with are marriage material, even if they are a little rough around the edges. While Verona trusts that her tips are being heard because she and Virginia have formed an unusual connection, Virginia realizes that the key to solving the case is ultimately in her hands.

The tip line will reveal the truth about those murders. So long as Virginia is willing to hear it.

To purchase The Tip Line, click on the following link: Amazon, Penguin Random House, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble.

Interview with Vanessa Cuti — Author of The Tip Line

The Tip Line has been called an erotic thriller. What does that description mean to you?

I actually wanted to look up the term erotic thriller before I answered this because the definition was a bit hazy to me.

I came across a really interesting story in Jezebel and though it’s focused on film, it has this perfect definition: “Bodily danger and pleasure must remain in close proximity and equally important to the plot.”

The Tip Line centers on Virginia Carey. What would you like readers to know about her?

I think Virginia is complicated. She’s not 100% good or likable, the same way that people in real life tend not to be.

She’s confused and obsessive. She definitely has flaws. But I think flawed characters make for interesting characters. 

Law enforcement officers are part of Virginia’s focus as she works to solve four murders in The Tip Line. What drew you to that theme? 

I worked as an operator at an anonymous tip line and it was so fascinating to me. It’s just such a taut and intimate exchange. I knew I wanted it to make its way into a novel in some way.

You also write short stories. How does writing short stories compare to writing a novel?

I think the whole idea of the weight of time is different in a short story. A short story can focus on one hour of a day or the most minute look exchanged between two people and can sustain that momentum for its entirety. I think that’s really tough to do well in a novel.

What are you working on now?

I just went out on submission with a new novel. Here we go again!

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

Just keep writing what you like—I think you really have to make yourself happy with it first. And try to become comfortable with rejection, at least to some degree, because it never ends.

Author Pet Corner!


Teddie is our three year old Pomeranian.

She barks.

A lot.


Vanessa Cuti — Author of The Tip Line

The Tip Line


Vanessa Cuti’s fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2021, The Kenyon Review, AGNI, West Branch, Indiana Review, Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, Shenandoah, The Rumpus and others.

She received her MFA from Stony Brook University and lives in the suburbs of New York. The Tip Line, her debut novel, is forthcoming from Crooked Lane Books in April 2023

To learn more about Vanessa Cuti, click on any of the following links: Website, Instagram, Twitter & TikTok


Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio.

Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery



The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) guidebook. Amazon #1 bestseller

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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