Novella Review: The Trial (Women’s Murder Club #15.5)

The Trial by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro



“I’m not on trial. San Francisco is.”

An accused murderer called Kingfisher is about to go on trial for his life. Or is he? By unleashing unexpected violence on the lawyers, jurors, and police involved in the case, he has paralyzed the city. Detective Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club are caught in the eye of the storm.

Now comes a courtroom shocker you will never see coming.


I really loved this novella and I know that most people don’t think that novellas are a core part of the story but I always read them.

First I have to say that I’m glad that they actually finished the Kingfisher story line because the way that he just disappeared did not sit right with me. It seemed suspicious.

This is a very insignificant detail but this was the first time that Charlie Clapper was referred to as “Chas” and I am not a fan lol

I was really shocked when one of the jurors ended up dead but even more so when the ADA was murdered. I guess it was to prove a point but wow. And the night before the trial.

I knew that it had to be Elena that killed him. It made sense, especially after she revealed that he branded her. I was kind of surprised that she did it to regain control of the drug trade BUT it makes sense since her father was the original kingpin before Kingfisher took over.

This was a good read and I’m glad that they used it to tie up a loose end.

4.5 stars.

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Bloversary Q&A: Answers!

Alright everyone,

You’ve given me the Qs, now I’ll give you the As! There were a lot of good questions so thank you, I really appreciate all of you that participated 🙂

What’s your absolute favourite food of all time?

  • When I was in college I really fell in love with Indian food. There is one restaurant that I always order from because quite frankly they make the best chicken tikka masala. I’ve only like it from this place because no one else makes it as good.

What made you fall in love with reading?

  • That’s a good question…….um….I think for this question most people will name the book that made them fall in love with reading but that’s not the case for me. I think I love the creativity of it. My favorite part of reading a book is when an author creates a world that I wish I could be a part of or that I’m fascinated by.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?

  • It depends on what I’m blogging about I guess. For example, I started This or That? because I love talking about books. If it’s something like the Summer Spotlight Series, the inspiration for that came from the fact that we (as bloggers) are supposed to be a community rather than in a competition. And if it’s something about race, politics or something else more serious it’s pretty much my life experiences as a Black woman in America who identifies as a feminist and is bookish and everything that comes along with that.

Do you feel like blogging gets mundane after a while, especially having done it for so long?

  • I don’t think so. I mean, there are definitely times when I’m not as active or I’ve stepped away from it, but not because I was bored. I think that with everything going on in the world there’s always something to talk about and it’s a good way to get out my feelings and rant. Even with just books, there’s always new releases and book to movie adaptations. I could change my mind in another 3 years but for now I’m not bored just yet.

What is the worst book you’ve ever read?

  • Oh there’s so many. Well to be fair, I’ve DNF’d a good number, so in terms of books that I have actually finished I would say: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (main character is an asshole, secondary character is just…..bland) and everything written by John Green (most anticlimactic and pointless stories I have ever read). Not sorry.

I know you love Jodi Picoult, so which of her books would you say is your absolute favourite?

  • #1 Small Great Things – This is hands down my favorite book EVER (right now) it’s one that everyone should read.
  • #2 My Sister’s Keeper – Gives you ALL the feels.
  • #3 Leaving Time – I love a good plot twist and this one really got me. (I know you said one but she has so many!)

Is there a fictional food that you wish was real?

  • This is hard. I feel like the only books I’ve read where the food even mattered was in Harry Potter. So, I know that someone somewhere has made butterbeer and I would like to try it one day.

What is one book you think everyone should read and why?

  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult because it very accurately depicts both racism in America and experiences that almost all Black women face (even some that all women of color face). It’s also proof that white authors are capable of depicting people of color accurately instead of just feeding into harmful tropes and bullshit stereotypes *sips tea*

Do you have a blogging schedule? What’s it like? Do you stick to it?

  • Not so much anymore. This or That’s was always on Monday and Friday but I don’t do that anymore. The Summer Spotlight Series is structured to be on Tuesdays and Thursday for 2 months. But other than that I write and post when I have time and when I have something to write about.

What inspired you to start a blog?

  • At the time I had planned on starting a blog only for books. My college mentor encouraged me to and it was a good way to find other bookish people. I have very few friends that read often so with a blog there are literally hundreds of people to rant with and get good book recs from.

If you could travel to any fictional place or world, where would it be and why?

  • I feel like Hogwarts is the obvious answer because who doesn’t? Also, while I hate both the Divergent series and Veronica Roth, I was always curious about the factions and how she came up with them. I think it would have been cool to spend like one day a week with a family from each faction before choosing which one you’d join. In the books we really don’t see much of what it’s like to live as Erudite, Amity, or Candor.

What was your favourite book as a child or teenager?

  • As a child, I loved Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, which is a book about a young girl during WWII. I read it like 40 times. I actually kind of want to read it again because it’s been so long and it’s so short. I wonder if I would notice anything different now that I’m older.

Do you have a go-to book — a book that you read for comfort?

  • No, because I don’t reread often. But Jodi Picoult is my go-to author, especially if I’m falling into a slump. I’ve never read a story of hers that I don’t like and while I own most of her work, I haven’t read all of them yet.

What’s one tip you would give to a new blogger?

  • If your main priority is likes and follows…..stop. If you’re not doing this for you then there’s really no point. Don’t let older bloggers drag you into the whole “blogging is a competition” bullshit. Just have fun.
  • That’s sort of a list of things but I think they all go hand in hand.

What are your favorite things about blogging? Least favorite?

  • Favorites: The people. Y’all are pretty cool honestly. We have a lot of good conversations and I always love a good recommendations
  • Least favorite: There’s a large amount of negative/toxic behavior in the blogging community. Not just with people trying to make it competitive but certain people (typically old white dudes) have tried to give me a hard because they disagreed with me on something. While I can embrace a different opinion, I’m not obligated to “respect” someone who harasses marginalized groups and ultimately just wants to be a troll.

Do you have a blogging “process?” Where do you do your writing & how (ex. pen & paper, computer, scrawling words out with a stick in the sand on a lonely beach)

  • I always write on my computer. Sometimes if I randomly have an idea, I’ll make a note it my phone. I prefer typing up my posts on the couch with the Food Network in the background. Occasionally, I’ll take my laptop to a coffee shop and write there.

Alright friends. That is all. Thank you again to everyone who sent me questions. If you have follow up questions or want to chat about something, you know how to reach me 🙂

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Podcast Recommendations

Cannot wait to look into these!


Recently, I’ve become hooked on podcasts. I don’t just find them enjoyable … I HAVE BECOME OBSESSED.

I listen to podcasts all the time: while driving to university, while cleaning, while trying to do homework (although that last one doesn’t always work out). Podcasts are perfect for audiobook lovers.

I’ve gotten a lot of my friends into podcasts – the same type of friends who claim they don’t have enough time. The fact is, you do! You can literally listen to podcasts whenever you can! Do you take the train to work and listen to music on the ride? Listen to a podcast instead. Do you drive into work or uni? Listen to a podcast! Are you going on a road trip? Listen to a podcast!

They’re just so much fun!

So, I wanted to create a list of all my favourite podcasts so you can find your next obsession too!

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An Open Letter To DJ Khaled

Obvi, We're The Ladies

An open letter to DJ Khaled,

When you scream, “Another one!” in your song, I didn’t realize that you actually meant, “I’m another one of those misogynists reinforcing sexism!”

But I guess that doesn’t really go with a beat.

Recently I’ve watched countless promos of you serving as a judge on the new season of “The Four: Battle for Stardom”. If you’re being paid to judge performers, I think it’s only fair to judge you for your ignorant statements that resurfaced last month.

In an interview, you said you won’t go down on your wife because “there’s different rules for men, you gotta understand.”

You also said, “A woman should praise the man — the king. If you holding it down for your woman I feel like the woman should praise. And a man should praise the queen. But you know, my way of praising is called, ha-ha, ‘How was…

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Summer Spotlight Series: Melanie


Hi all,

Welcome to the first official installment of the Summer Spotlight Series.

First up is Melanie from mnbernardbooks. I asked Melanie to be first because she was actually the inspiration for this series. We were having a conversation and I just had so many questions for her. I thought that everything that I was learning from her was really cool, and thought that maybe other people would want to hear it too. So here we are!

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Let’s start by telling me about yourself.

Hi, I’m Melanie! I’m an author, blogger, ex-mad scientist, and a plethora of other things.

Tell me a bit about your blog and why you started it.

It was intended to be an author blog and then slowly switched to books and then discussions. It expanded over time to something I never would have imagined 3 years ago, but I have met so many amazing people because of it.

I personally love your discussion posts. For the bloggers who don’t know you, how would you sum up the topics you discuss?

I mainly discuss literary topics, such as books, tropes, and genres, as well as aspects of writing. Occasionally I will branch out into non-literary topics if there is something that catches my eye or lights my frustration. Many of them are controversial (because I don’t believe anything should be taboo) and they are meant to initiate conversations. They are meant to start a dialogue.

You’ve mentioned writing a couple of times so far, can you tell us more about your writing?

My writing. Uh-huh sure. Okay..

I am a published horror author (which I never intended to get into until my friend told me I should because of my particular writing style. Haha!) And I am also an aspiring science fiction novelist.

Are horror and sci-fi the only genres you write? Do your writing genres reflect the type of books that you read?

Uh… Well, I… may write some other genres in my spare time. cough

Horror and Sci-fi are the only genres I am actively writing at this time and currently looking to become published in. I may branch out in the future if I ever become an established author, but for now I will stick with what I know.

As to reading genres, absolutely not. I read almost everything and some of my favorite books actually sit in the realm of historical fiction.

Oh! I guess I do write dystopians as well, but all my dystopians have enough science fiction in them for sci-fi to be their main genre.

Since you have been published, where can we find your work?

I have a page on my author website where I list my current and future publications and include links to purchase them.

You mentioned being a scientist, does your interest/experience in the science field affect what you read and write at all?

Absolutely. There are certain scientific topics that are over or incorrectly used in fiction and it really bothers me because, for many readers, that will be their only source of knowledge. Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean you can make it all up as you go, especially when it is real-life or based off science. Personally, I strive to make my science fiction as realistic or true as possible, and I consult friends who know more than I do to do just that.

You also have a YouTube Channel. What got you into making videos?

My YouTube channel was a way to make my voice more clear. I wasn’t sure my voice was coming though in my blog discussions (and I’ve always wanted a YouTube channel) so I started making videos. Poorly. With bad lighting. And very stilted. Haha! But we all gotta start somewhere, yeah?

Looks like you have another work being published soon, can you tell us about it?

My upcoming publicaton is entitled Dirge and is part of an anthology where each of the 100 stories in only 100-words. It will be my second horror publication.

Can you give us hint to what Dirge is about?

All you need to know is in the title. A dirge is a piece of music commonly associated with a funeral.

We’ve reached the end of the interview, would you like to add anything else about yourself, your blog or….anything?

Ummm… I’m recruiting for my army?

Of mad scientists?

Hahaha! Mad Scientists don’t openly recruit, Rae. Psha! No, they must be far more secretive in their gatherings lest the officials get wind of them. 😉

On the other hand, I am actively recruiting for my reader army. Anyone who signs up for my newsletter also has the opportunity to sign up to be a beta reader for my future works of fiction. But we get more fancy than that because I’m calling my army A Murder of BetaReaders. 😎

If you would like to join Melanie’s Murder of BetaReaders click here.

You can also connect with her on the following platforms:

Twitter ¤ Instagram ¤ Facebook ¤ Goodreads ¤ LinkedIn ¤ YouTube ¤ BlogLovin’ ¤ WattPad ¤ Underlined ¤ Ko-fi

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Dear White Feminists

“Black women have built this movement and you have co-opted it and excluded us.”

Obvi, We're The Ladies

Dear White Feminists,

I am tired of being your token. If and when I’m invited to your table I am either ignored or stripped of my integrity. You demand the world of me— thinking I can solve life’s biggest problems. Even if I do provide you with my ideas and opinions, do you even listen? Do you even care?

I have been socialized to be complacent and agreeable so that I can survive in the liberal white bubble that is my hometown. I was taught that these characteristics would give me access to higher education, a career, and respect. In the process, I lost myself and sacrificed my mental wellness.

I am tired of trusting you to do the right thing. I am tired of supporting you only to have you do or say something problematic almost immediately after I voice that support. You constantly try to make me choose…

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TV Review: Evil Genius (Netflix)

This doesn’t happen often but this is going to be a spoiler free review.

Evil Genius is a 4 part Netflix documentary about a case known as the “Pizza Bomber Case”

The reason that I was so interested in it is because it took place in my hometown.

I was in 3rd grade at the time so I didn’t really pay that much attention to the news but certain clips from that day are incredibly memorable.

I don’t really want to spoil anything but I will say that there are some things that  people may find graphic. For example, although the video image is grainy, it does show when the bomb detonates. There are also images of dead bodies.

I will also give you some insight into how huge this case was at the time. In part one there is a lot of reference to Peach Street which is where they found the man with a bomb collar on. Now Erie is a small town but Peach is a major street. You can access everything from that street. It leads to most of the popular restaurants in the city as well as big shopping centers and the mall. It’s very busy, all the time. So the fact that there was a man sitting right of of Peach Street with a bomb strapped around his neck was a HUGE deal.

I moved out of Erie when I was 11 and I only go back a few times a year to visit family. Watching the documentary I can point out little things. Like when you see the shot of Texas Roadhouse in the background, that’s still there. So is Mama Mia’s Pizza.

There are a lot of moving parts to this case and it took years for most (not even all) of the pieces to come together. While overall I think that it was a job well done, I think they placed all of the blame on one person when one more person was probably equally responsible.

If you happen to watch it let me know because it is an interesting one.

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