Monday, February 20, 2012

James Patterson - A 4-in-1 Review Spree

7th Heaven, The 8th Confession, The 9th Judgement, and 10th Anniversary by James Patterson
Women's Murder Club Novels

Reason for Reading: Catch-up in the series.
Date Completed: February, 2012
Lindsay Boxer, Cindy Thomas, Claire Washburn and Jill Bernhardt, the stars of 1st to Die and 2nd Chance, are the founding members of the Women's Murder Club. Later, in 4th of July, Yuki Castellano joins the Club. Together, they solve crimes in their home city of San Francisco, and often meet up to talk about clues and life over Mexican food and drinks at Susie's.
I don't think I have ever managed to read a series one right after another like this. It is not even my favourite series out there, but they are quick reads and I was very excited when I finished book 10 and could consider myself caught-up in one of my many series. I am not going to write a review of all four of them, but I thought I would share my random thoughts about these four books and the series as a whole. If you have any plans to read this series be warned that there will likely be spoilers for the series as a whole and for these individual books.

  • My biggest pet peeve about this series is Claire Washburn. She is a fun, vibrant, loving character but I think way too much of a big deal is made of the fact that she is overweight. Actually, they take it one step further and tell you several times that she is a Size 16. I have no idea what size clothes the other women wear, or the men for that matter, but over and over again there are little comments about her size. Even when Lindsey is thinking about Claire there are mentions of how her clothes strain or how she hasn't lost all of her weight from her latest baby. I just think WAY too much attention is given to this. She is also black, which I actually forget about because her size is the more important piece of information. So, I think it is great to have characters that are not toothpicks in books, but don't shove that info down people's throats.(That being said... Did you see the show? There is no way the person cast to play Claire is overweight. (see picture above) We have issues in this world, people.)
  • Another thing that baffles me is throughout these books there are mentions of great losses. They never once mention the death of founding member Jill Bernhardt. I would think considering how close they were to her and how she died it would be mentioned once in a while. It is like she never even existed.
  • I was a bit sad when they introduced a transgendered character and went on about how a relationship would not be possible between him and Yuki because he used to be a girl. I know there are lots of misgivings about this in society, but it is up to media to try and put a different spin on it. I think there was a great opportunity in a very popular series and it was missed out on. It doesn't help that she is now with a cop who is 'perfect' for her. So, I have some mixed feelings about how this was handled.
  • I don't want anyone to think that I hate this series. I obviously have read 10 books from it, so that is saying something. I do enjoy that it is a series about women working in what is predominately considered a man's world. Lindsey is a cop, Claire is a forensic anthropologist, Yuki is an ADA, and Cindy is a newspaper reporter. It is nice to see a series about women.
  • I am rather iffy about the fact that Lindsey HAD to have a baby. I am trying to figure out how that will work for the series. I almost feel that it is sexist in thinking that children are so vital to women, but that could be because I have no plans to have children myself. I am pretty sure that I read some where that when Eve Dallas has children that will be the end of J.D. Robb's series, but I could be imagining things. I suppose that is why I am a bit hesitant about how this series is going to work now that there will be a baby in the mix.
  • I wish the book was told from Claire's point-of-view once in a while. It might have been in previous books and I just don't remember, but not once in these four books do we see things from her. Lindsey's point-of-view is the predominant one, but Yuki and Cindy also have their time.
  • That being said, I really enjoy seeing the world from the point-of-view of a female cop, ADA, and reporter. That is a view-point that is not shown very often.
  • Overall, I do enjoy this series and look forward to book 11. It is not perfect, but it is a good diversion when you don't want to have to think too much.
(Don't mind the picture. I was having formatting issues and just gave up.)

The Series:
1st to Die (Not Reviewed)
5th Horsemen (Not Reviewed)
6th Target (Not Reviewed)
7th Heaven
The 8th Confession
The 9th Judgement
10th Anniversary


  1. I've yet to read one of Patterson's books. I think I'm sorta prejudiced against them considering how many he publishes in a year. And I seem to recall reading that he doesn't write a whole book anymore. He has turned it into an industry, he does a two or three page draft and then hands that on to someone else to finish. That puts me off, but I've heard they are really good page turners so maybe at some point I'll investigate what the fuss is all about :)

    1. Yeah, his weird writing style is a bit off-putting, but they are good when you need something quick.

  2. I listened to the first three books a few years ago and enjoyed them but I typically don't read books from a series (I know, total weirdo). I LOVED the TV series, though, and was so sad when it got cancelled. SO sad!

    Great points about Claire. It is frustrating the image that the world has of "normal" women.

    1. I haven't seen the show. I wanted to when it was on, but it just didn't happen. It should have been great, so I am sad it was cancelled.

  3. Anonymous12:04 AM

    kailana, i was struck by how almost all of your comments are negative and i see this series differently. i think all of the women are gutsy, and claire, in particular is very nurturing. i think her size is mentioned because readers pick up these books in no particular order and so, in each book there is a little snapshot of each; claire, a big woman, older than the rest, married with several children, yuki and her glossy hair and speedy speech, unlucky in love or maybe this is changing, cindy with her blond curls and bulldog tenacity and lindsay, a big-boned, tall woman who plays hardball with murderers on the streets of san francisco. the series is told through lindsay's voice because this is her story, she's the main character, and her friends complete a larger point of view. this is imho, of course. i loved her wedding in 10th, and cannot wait for 11th to see how the addition to her family goes for her and joe.


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