Women on a Role

By Leslie Zemeckis   |   July 11, 2023

It is time for the annual Memorial Day party in an elite cul-de-sac in Jamie Day’s The Block Party. The group of close friends and neighbors gather as they always do, only this year’s party will end with gunfire and someone dead. Revenge is the name of the game, a game seemingly played by all the neighbors. Alex struggles with her wine consumption, while her teen goth daughter Lettie struggles with her obsession over the new neighbor boy who promises to help her right some wrongs. Their alliance will set off a chain of events that culminate in a party where the fireworks aren’t the only thing blazing. A meticulous plot and humor events do much to make this domestic thriller a page turner. 

Speaking of revenge, the four high school friends in Leesa Cross Smith’s Goodbye Earl reunite in a small Southern town 15 years after graduation for a wedding celebration. Kasey has a buried secret from their last summer together, one that forced her to move away and disconnect from her friends. This summer she won’t let an abusive situation harm one of her friends. The women come together to protect and confront the “Earls” in their world who think they can get away with anything. Well, not this summer, they can’t. A charming celebration of enduring sisterhood.

You will ask yourself, “How have I never heard of Dickey Chapelle?” after reading Santa Barbara author Lorissa Rinehart’s First to the Front, The Untold Story of Dickey Chapelle. Dickey was a trailblazing female war correspondent who spent two decades as a combat reporter from WWII through Vietnam. She went where very few reporters, let alone women reporters, ever did, marching through the jungles of Vietnam, in the mountains of Cuba with Castro, jumping out of planes, ducking bullets, and a jail sentence in a communist jail. For every adventure, Dickey sent back explosive stories and shot photographs of the conflicts and the unprecedented access she strove for and was given. 

Kate Mosse gives us an unconventional love story in The Ghost Ship. Women were supposed to know their place in 1600 France… and Amsterdam… and the Canary Islands and all places in between. Meet Louise, who defies the conventions of her day as a Capitana of her own ship. A ship that rules the seas hunting pirates. Murders past and present entwine as Louise protects and falls in love with a lower-class member of the crew. When their secret is betrayed, it could mean death to one or both. 

Fear the Silence is a creepy, atmospheric thriller by Robert Bryndza. When Maggie’s husband, Will, is slain in their London home, she thinks he is the victim of a burglary until the police tell her Will was the one who pulled the trigger. She escapes to their Croatia home on a nearly deserted island, only to discover someone is now trying to kill her – all the proof she needs that Will was killed and she must find the murderer before it is too late. 

Kelly has built a career as a tough, winning attorney, defending men accused of sex crimes. After another victory for a client accused of rape, Kelly is in for the shock and humiliation of her life when she becomes his next victim. Determined to seek justice, Kelly finds the man’s past victims to enlist their help to bring him down. Naturally they view her as the enemy, but when one of the women is found dead, they have no choice but to align forces in Bonnie Kistler’s addictive thriller Her, Too.  


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