Tuesday 4 June 2013

Book ~ "The Fallen Angels' Bookclub" (2013) R. Franklin James

From Goodreads ~ The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements: the members must love books and have a white-collar criminal record. Hollis Morgan fits the bill. Left holding the bag in an insurance fraud scheme concocted by her now ex-husband, she served her time and is trying to rebuild her life. All she wants is for the court to pardon her conviction so she can return to law school.

After one of her fellow members is murdered in a scenario straight out of a club selection, Hollis is once again the subject of police scrutiny. Refusing to get stuck with another bad rap, she sets out to investigate her fellow club members. Is one of them really blackmailing the others? As a second member dies in yet another book-inspired murder, Hollis realizes that time is running out. Everything rides on her finding the killer - not just her career aspirations. She must identify the killer before she herself becomes the next victim. Everyone is convinced she knows more than she lets on. But what is it, exactly, that is she supposed to know?

The Fallen Angels Book Club is the first book in an exciting new mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Hollis Morgan.

A few years ago, Rebecca Lynley was a law student and happily married to Bill.  He was in the insurance business and had asked her to sign a couple documents.  She did ... and the next thing she knew she was heading to prison with Bill letting her take the rap for fraud.

When she gets out of prison, she starts her life over.  She goes back to school to become a paralegal, gets a job in a large law firm and changes her name to Hollis Morgan (her second name and maiden name).  Hollis' goal is to have her conviction pardoned so she can go back to law school. This gets sidetracked when members of the book club she is in (which is made up of ex-felons) are murdered.  It's in Hollis' best interest to have the murderer caught ASAP because (1) she may be the next victim and (2) since she is a suspect, there is no way her conviction will be pardoned.

This is the first book by this author and I enjoyed it.

I liked the writing style and found it was well-paced.  The editing could have been better (there were some grammatical errors and the character's names were mixed up at one point [Richard got up but Rory, who was dead, came back]).

I thought the story was interesting.  I've been in a couple bookclubs so could relate to the discussions.  The whudunnit wasn't a big surprise but it was fun to have the author takes us there and find out why.  I could have done without the side story of Hollis investigating whether Lily at the seniors home was getting the wrong medicine.  Yes, we needed Lily but I thought far too much time was spent on her situation and the outcome (it didn't add anything to the main story).

I liked the characters.  Despite being a loner, Hollis was caring towards the few friends she let into her life and the seniors home where she volunteered.  There was a nice cop and his partner, a not as nice cop ... I can see Hollis eventually getting together with the nice cop in future books (I sensed a spark).  Bill, Hollis' husband, is still a slimy dog who tries to get back into her life.  She has the support and friendship of her boss, Avery, who gave her a job (despite being an ex-felon).

It sounds like this is the first in the Hollis Morgan series and I look forward to reading future ones.


CMash said...

So glad you enjoyed this title and look forward to the subsequent books in this series. Nice review and post. Thank you for sharing your insight on this book.

Masshole Mommy said...

grammatical errors? Doesn't someone proof read these books before they go to print?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your review.

As a debut author I tried to make sure it was perfect copy, but it seems I let a couple of errors slip past. I'm glad it won't discourage you from reading Sticks & Stones the next in the series coming in 2013/2014. There won't be any errors, I promise.

R.Franklin James

Teena in Toronto said...

I'm just really anal about grammar, Ms. James.

Anonymous said...

I also read this book. It was a good book and worthy of a read, even if there are a few errors (I didn't pick up on them myself). It does not interfere with the story. Just stating a fact here. Thanks for sharing your review, Tessa :)