Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Review: 16th Seduction by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Women's Murder Club #16)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong plot keeps the pages turning
Cons: Pacing is very uneven
The Bottom Line:
This explosive book
Will keep you glued to story
Better than the last

Did Lindsay Just Solve Her Easiest Case?

I made no secret of how disappointed I was by the previous book in the Women’s Murder Club series.  But after investing this far, I wasn’t quite ready to give up on them yet.  It does help that I get them from the library and they are fast reads.  But it was with some trepidation that I sat down to read 16th Seduction.  I’m glad I gave the series another chance because I really enjoyed this one.

The main action of this book opens six months after the previous book ends.  San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer is still separated from her husband Joe, but she has agreed to go to dinner with him on their wedding anniversary.  The two are enjoying their meal on one of the many piers in the city when there is an explosion at a neighboring pier.  When Lindsay and Joe rush over to investigate, Lindsay finds a man standing watching the destruction.  Something about him seems off, so she heads over to talk to him, and he confesses to setting the bomb.

Naturally, after a night in jail, the suspect has not only recanted his confession, but he’s denying it ever happened.  While Lindsay and Joe both witnessed the confession, neither one of them recorded it.  As Lindsay leads the investigation to find evidence to convict their suspect, he demands a speedy trial.  Will he be convicted?  Is he even guilty?

And just like that we are off and running on another compelling read.  I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on, so I was hanging on for every twist and turn of the case.

My biggest complaint about the previous book was Lindsay and Joe’s split.  I’m glad to report that things happen here that make Lindsay think through her feelings, and we got to see some growth in her as a result.

What about the rest of the women in the Women’s Murder Club?  Claire finds a dead body she thinks fits the pattern of a serial killer that has been flying under the radar.  Yuki returns to the DA’s office in order to try the bombing case.  And Cindy gets the least amount of page time here although she does get more time near the end.  The friendships are strong here, and what little conflict these friends have is resolved in an adult manner.

My typical complaint with the series holds true here – pacing issues.  In this case, it was pretty bad with the case Claire brings up not really getting any page time until the second half of the novel, which it takes over, sidelining the bombing case until the end.  There are a few other hiccups in the storytelling, but all told this is a compelling read from start to finish.

I wish this series weren’t so uneven, but when the books are good, they are well worth reading.  That is certainly the case with 16th Seduction.  Any fan of the series will be happy they read it.

Check out the rest of these lady's cases with the Women's Murder Club series in order.


  1. My major complaint with all of these books are the constant unflattering descriptions of Claire Washburn. I believe the term “bossomy” was used in this one. Constantly recreating the Minstrel Show Mammy is disgraceful. Every other member of the group is described as atheletic, petite, etc. but Claire is the obese, bosomy one, Time to update your stereotypes. Claire may wear scrubs most of the time, but you could deprive her skin tone, her hair style, or eye color. You do not need to keep the same Black femal stereotypes alive. Let Claire be a person not a body type.

  2. I definitely concur regarding the caricature image of Claire. It's unfortunate that Patterson and Paetro aren't the only authors who rely on presenting African American women as bosomy and what ever euphemism means large. African American men are consistently portrayed as "big, black men (read scary).