Kirkus Reviews first came to my attention two years ago through an author/friend who told me how rewarding her experience with Kirkus had been. I decided to buy an Indie review of my book, How To Game People Without Even Trying, to get an objective assessment of my work.

Was it worth it? You bet! I have been delighted with my book’s increased visibility and awareness as a result of the review. I’ve been able to use phrases from the review on my website – to great advantage – and I am sure that when I submitted How To Game People Without Even Trying to the Paris Book Festival this spring, the effect of the Kirkus review made it possible for it to receive an Honorable Mention for General Fiction.

Most important, the reviewer ended the piece with the line: “A surprisingly tender story of a daughter devoted to knowing her father, even posthumously.”

The surprise was on me! The author. In How To Game People Without Even Trying, I had written a character study of an extremely complex man to whom I had been married at one time. He was murdered in the bedroom of his Paris apartment under mysterious circumstances. He was the focus of my book. But the Kirkus reviewer saw another story as well, emphasizing the daughter’s “riveting journey.”

This added a whole new dimension to the book, an unexpected bonus and a revelation to me. I also was extremely pleased that the review also said: “Cooke’s narrative reads like poetry.”

Now, how rewarding is that!

I would recommend highly to any who ask that they take the opportunity to be reviewed by the prestigious Kirkus Reviews.


New York-based Elizabeth Cooke is a graduate of Brearley School, Vassar College, and the Sorbonne. She is the author of memoir, Life Savors, and a series about the Hotel Marcel in Paris, the first of which, There’s a Small Hotel, won for general fiction at the Paris Book Festival in 2015.