The Fallen Angels Book Club

The Fallen Angels Book Club
R. Franklin James
Camel Press, May 1 2013, $14.95
ISBN: 9781603819176

In the San Francisco Bay area, the Fallen Angels Book Club meets at the San Lucian Library. To become a member, a person must be a “book lover” and a “white-collar ex-felon”. Hollis Morgan hosts this month’s event on World at Midnight. She meets the requirement as she served half of her three years sentence in prison for insurance fraud; a crime her ex-husband Bill committed but he cut a deal with the DA that sent his ex-wife behind bars.

Hollis’ lawyer Clay Boone arranges a meeting for her with the court to pardon her so she can return to law school. Instead, San Lucien police detectives Faber and Lincoln question her about the murder of club member Rory Norris following a book club meeting with the M.O. right out of the World at Midnight (the killer in the novel being a cop). Other killings follow that emulate books. Because of coffee after meetings and no more with the first victim, the cops look at Hollis as the suspect. This time Hollis refuses to sit idly by while the cops (or the DA) use her as the fall gal to close the homicide. Instead she investigates the murder.

The first Fallen Angels Book Club amateur sleuth is an engaging whodunit due to a refreshing protagonist who refuses to be a victim though she knows she could be next on the killer’s list. Fast-paced, readers will enjoy Hollis’ investigation as she has two advantages over the cops: she read the books and she knows she is innocent; though she also knows the latter does not matter to the justice system that is measured by convictions.

Harriet Klausner

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