July 30, 2023

Short Story Sunday: 23 1/2 Lies

(Women's Murder Club #23 1/2)

Short Story Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read a short story.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"I knew he was dirty before I knew what dirty was." ~ 6%

Well this is something new...and I like it! 23 1/2 Lies features three (3) short stories. The first story (self-titled) is part of the Women's Murder Club series with author Maxine Paetro. Lindsey's estranged father is gunned down execution style and her investigation leads to life-altering truths.

Far as Linsdsey knew, her father died years ago. Yet she is called to the scene and discovers the victim is none other than Marty Boxer. Now she questions everything from why he was murdered to how everyone but his oldest daughter knew he was alive all this time.

23 1/2 was straight to the point yet predictable. I pegged the killer upon first mention which is usually not Patterson's/Paetro's style for WMC books. Yet the personal aspect of Lindsey, her childhood and relationship with sister was in the forefront. It's always nice to read about the personal lives of main characters in a series. So worth the read!

"You've been a Texas Ranger long enough to know there's no such thing as coincidence." ~ 33%

The second short story is titled Fallen Ranger with author Andrew Bourelle. A Texas Ranger named Rory Yates is loyal to the badge. He's put to the test when an armored car robbery suspect might be an ex-Ranger breaking the law to do good. Through days of duplicitousness, Rory determines whether his longtime friend is the man behind the crimes. 

The scenery descriptions make it very easy to imagine the story. I like how Rory relayed his thoughts out loud to the reader. Especially because his reasoning made sense as the mystery was revealed.

"I've had my fill of intrigue." ~ 85%

Watch Your Back is the third short story written with author Loren D. Estleman. An artist is paid to expose his client's cheating wife. He is tasked with painting the picture to save his own life. I was hoping this short story collection would be 3 out of 3 but nope. Watch Your Back was a dud. It started off that way and unfortunately never picked up speed or my interest.

All three (3) short stories can be read as a standalone. Perfect for reading-on-the-go!

Happy Early Pub Day, James Patterson! 23 1/2 Lies will be available Tuesday, September 12.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.
Author: James Patterson
Published: September 2023
Pages: 448
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Keeping Up with Patterson
Genre: Mystery
23 1/2 Lies Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 
Fallen Ranger Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤
Watch Your Back Rating: 🖤

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