Book Review: Mortal Friends – Jane Stanton Hitchcock [TSS]

Title: Mortal Friends: A Novel
Author: Jane Stanton Hitchcock
ISBN: 9780061173707
Pages: 352
Release Date: June 30, 2009
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Reven Lynch is an antiques dealer who is on the fringes of Washington, DC high society thanks to her best friend, Violet Bolton.  She’s as interested in the lifestyles of the rich (which she is most definitely not) as she is scared of the “Beltway Basher” – the serial killer who has been killing women and dumping them in her neighborhood.  When Detective Gunner approaches Reven about the murders, convinced the killer is someone in DC high society, she begins to uncover secrets that she never wanted to know.

Review:

When I first heard about Mortal Friends, I must admit that I was skeptical.  I’m not really a fan of reading about “high society,” but the mystery part and Washington, DC setting (where I currently live) did definitely pique my interest.  I decided to give it a try, and am really glad I did! It was a fun novel that was both funny and intriguing.

I’ll admit, a big part of why I enjoyed the book is because it takes place in Washington, DC.  Knowing the places Reven was talking about and being able to visualize them in my mind really made the book fun to read.  Additionally, it was nice to read a “high society” novel that doesn’t take place in New York – it’s a very different crowd.

The mystery in Mortal Friends had some pretty shocking turns that I didn’t expect.  Hitchcock did a wonderful job keeping the book suspenseful.  There’s also a great mix between the social aspects of the book and the mystery.  Every time I felt like it was focusing a little too much on what was going on in DC society, Hitchcock would bring it back to the mystery.  It was a delicate balance, and the author accomplished it well.

I admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of Reven at the beginning of the book, but she really grew on me as the story progressed.  I didn’t love her attitude towards (and obvious jealousy of) her best friend, Violet.  While refreshingly honest, it makes her seem a bit catty.  However, as the novel moves forward, Reven softens as a character and becomes very appealing.

I enjoyed Mortal Friends – it’s a fun and engrossing mystery that I definitely recommend if you’re looking for something light, yet gripping.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for this author’s future books.

Comments

  1. I don’t know that I would have been drawn to this one either, but the DC setting makes me curious. Glad to see you enjoyed it.

  2. I don’t know that I would have been drawn to this one either, but the DC setting makes me curious. Glad to see you enjoyed it.

  3. Yes, the slinky dress with the gun behind the back would not have prompted me to pick up this book, even though I do really like crime thrillers. It is always a nice surprise when a book exceeds expectations!

  4. Yes, the slinky dress with the gun behind the back would not have prompted me to pick up this book, even though I do really like crime thrillers. It is always a nice surprise when a book exceeds expectations!

  5. I know what you mean – I love to read books that are set in places that are familiar to me.

  6. I know what you mean – I love to read books that are set in places that are familiar to me.

  7. I’d not heard of this book (or author) before your review. Very intriguing. Think I’ll check into this one. While I won’t be able to make the DC connections, I understand that affinity for books in your geographical area. One of the (many) reasons I love Michael Koryta’s Lincoln Perry series.

  8. I’d not heard of this book (or author) before your review. Very intriguing. Think I’ll check into this one. While I won’t be able to make the DC connections, I understand that affinity for books in your geographical area. One of the (many) reasons I love Michael Koryta’s Lincoln Perry series.

  9. Yep, me too — love books set in places I’m familiar with. I’ll keep this one in mind (even though I don’t really know DC)

  10. Yep, me too — love books set in places I’m familiar with. I’ll keep this one in mind (even though I don’t really know DC)

  11. Oh, this definitely sounds like the book for me! I love to read about high society and I think that, coupled with a really interesting mystery would be excellent. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review. I had not heard of this book before, and now I am eager to read it!!

  12. Oh, this definitely sounds like the book for me! I love to read about high society and I think that, coupled with a really interesting mystery would be excellent. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review. I had not heard of this book before, and now I am eager to read it!!

  13. Oooh! Yes, you had me at D.C. 🙂 A “high society” book set in the nation’s capital — and our backyards! — definitely appeals to me!

  14. Oooh! Yes, you had me at D.C. 🙂 A “high society” book set in the nation’s capital — and our backyards! — definitely appeals to me!

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