A promising, poignant whodunit.


A debut murder mystery focuses on complicated relationships.

The novel’s opening scene lays out the crisis Betty-Jean Garrett must endure when the narrative builds to its denouement. She awakens with a premonition that something bad has happened, and a phone call from her father saying there’s a family emergency confirms it. The story revolves around Betty-Jean and her older sister, Margaret. The two are best friends, with Betty-Jean being the impulsive one and Margaret, the levelheaded, responsible sister. The narrative meanders slowly back through the recent past, detailing the lives of the sisters, their friends, and especially their lovers—Tim Harrison, Betty-Jean’s handsome fitness-trainer husband, and Sherry Larson, Margaret’s secret lesbian girlfriend, a highly successful but deeply troubled ad executive. Sherry, who grew up in an orphanage, has a violent backstory. Repeatedly raped by the orphanage’s janitor, she bonded with Priscilla, a fellow orphan. Misinterpreting their friendship, Sherry propositioned her only to have an angry Priscilla embarrass her “in front of some of the girls…. ‘I thought you was a queer. You stay away from me, you freak.’ ” Margaret meets Sherry in a gay bar while on a business trip. A mystery man has been sending Sherry bouquets of roses. Then a crank caller becomes more threatening and begins murdering people Sherry knows, including her therapist. In this engaging mystery, Plummer offers several likely suspects, such as Gilbert Daggett, Sherry’s homophobic account executive who tells lesbian jokes when she is within earshot. Readers are kept guessing right up to the surprise conclusion. Although the dialogue has its snappy moments, as when Betty-Jean explains why she is shopping—“I needed some retail therapy”—it suffers from an overusage of “he said”/“she said” when it is obvious who is speaking. But the author deftly articulates many gay people’s fear of being out when Margaret tells Sherry: “We’re still being ridiculed, and even getting killed for being gay....some kids are still being bullied to the point of suicide.”

A promising, poignant whodunit.

Pub Date: May 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4809-2044-6

Page Count: 758

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2018

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.


Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...


An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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