James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club Series books are fast reads with likeable characters. The premise is that Lindsay Boxer, lead homicide inspector for San Francisco Police Department, organizes a group of friends - a reporter, a medical examiner, and a prosecutor - to help her solve the homicides in her department. Subsequently, the club is scheduled to meet about once a month at a restaurant where they have drinks and brainstorm about Lindsay’s open cases. The women are so successful solving the first group of murders, the club becomes a permanent thing. The first book, 1st to Die is written solely by James Patterson. Subsequent books are written by him as well as two co-authors, Andrew Gross (the second and third), and Maxine Paetro (the remainder). The Women’s Murder Club consists of the following characters:
Lindsay Boxer:Lindsay is in her early thirties, divorced, and driven. She lives alone with her border collie, Sweet Martha, and hasn’t had much luck in her personal relationships during the two years after her divorce. Of course she is tall (5’10), thin and attractive, so she is not always taken seriously by co-workers in the San Francisco police department where she works, but of course she is smarter than those officers, which makes for some interesting interaction. Her partner is generally Warren Jacobi, who doesn’t always perform up to Lindsay’s expectations, and Lindsay is his boss.
Claire Washburn:Claire has been Lindsay’s best friend and confidante for many years; she is the medical examiner, and Lindsay is able to learn pertinent facts about murder cases quickly because of their friendship and a good professional working relationship. Claire is black, happily married to Edmund, a musician with the San Francisco Orchestra, and has kids – she is also about 40 pounds overweight and isn’t uncomfortable with it. She is very accomplished and smart.
Cindy Thomas:Cindy is a news reporter who meets Lindsay when she pushes her way up to a murder scene that she has no business being around. She will do almost anything for a story, since she is fairly new at the Chronicle and is trying to break into the big time. She is attractive, but tough and gutsy. Cindy knows where to find important information, and some of her sources at the Chronicle are instrumental in solving cases.
Jill Bernhardt:Jill is an assistant district attorney, 34 years old, having graduated from Stanford Law, and is married to Steve, who runs a venture fund. She has no children, lives in a very affluent area, and is an over-achiever almost to the extreme. She is also “disarmingly attractive. Curly jet-black hair framed a narrow, oval face.” Lindsay had worked with her on a few murder cases previously, and when she became the main prosecutor on the Bride and Groom case in 1st to Die, Lindsay invited her into the group.
The Women's Murder Club Books in Order of Publication:
1st to Die – 2001
2nd Chance – 2002
3rd Degree – 2004
4th of July – 2005
The 5th Horseman – 2006
The 6th Target – 2007
7th Heaven – 2008
8th Confession – 2009
The 9th Judgment – 2010
10th Anniversary – 2011
11th Hour – 2012
12th of Never - 2013