The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements: the members must love books and have a white-collar criminal record. Hollis Morgan fits the bill. Left holding the bag in an insurance fraud scheme concocted by her now ex-husband, she served her time and is trying to rebuild her life. All she wants is for the court to pardon her conviction so she can return to law school. After one of her fellow members is murdered in a scenario straight out of a club selection, Hollis is once again the subject of police scrutiny. Refusing to get stuck with another bad rap, she sets out to investigate her fellow club members. Is one of them really blackmailing the others? As a second member dies in yet another book-inspired murder, Hollis realizes that time is running out. Everything rides on her finding the killer--not just her career aspirations. She must identify the killer before she herself becomes the next victim. Everyone is convinced she knows more than she lets on. But what is it, exactly, that is she supposed to know? The Fallen Angels Book Club is the first book in an exciting new mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Hollis Morgan.
About the Author
R. Franklin James grew up in the San Francisco East Bay Area and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She and her husband currently live in northern California. The Fallen Angels Book Club is her first novel and the first book in the Hollis Morgan Mystery series. You can find R. Franklin on the Web at rfranklinjames.com.
Read an Excerpt
I had hoped the meeting would give me a clue as to Bill's connection to Rory. Possibilities raced around in my head, but so far there just seemed to be a lot of rattled cages. "If Rory was … say, blackmailing one of us," I went on, "there's nothing we can do now. It's over."
"Over my ass," Miller said. "There's a killer in the room."
"Wait a second," Rena jumped in. "It's doesn't have to be one of us. Maybe somebody out there had it in for Rory and knew he read this book, and … and then copied the murder."
"We're still going in circles," Abby said.
Gene checked his watch. "I don't know about you guys, but I'm done. I have no intention of going back to prison. I'm going to tell the truth." He picked up his jacket. "Hollis, the police haven't confirmed the blackmail. He wasn't blackmailing me. No need for anyone to share their story. I'm not going to ask, so you don't have to tell me."
"Gene, no one is sharing their story. Miller, I don't think the killer is necessarily in this room. I want to know if anyone had any clue about him, something he might have said, or--"
"I'd hate to think one of you guys might have done it," Rena said.
I formed a T with my hands for time out. "Look, Rena, we'd hate to think that you did it, too." She opened her mouth to protest. "What I'm saying is that we all might have been set up. Maybe Rory told someone about the club, and we became easy suspects."
"So where is this going?" Abby asked.
"Maybe there's something one of us knows that the rest don't know we know. We could try to figure out--"
Miller spoke slowly. "This isn't television. We can't afford to play detective."
I caught myself glaring at the stress cracks in the ceiling.
Could Bill have set this up?
"Okay then, let's just let the police do their job," Abby said. "I think we should all agree to stick to our rules: we don't know anything about anybody."
Gene nodded. "Yeah, I'm with Abby."
The others nodded. Richard was the only one who looked over at me. I shrugged.
Abby picked up her purse. "I think we should suspend our meetings until further notice. In time I'll … I'll contact everyone to come up with a date for our next meeting."
Everybody got up as if a bell had rung. I helped put the table and chairs in the storage area. I was taking a last look around the room when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I jumped.
"Want to go to Starbucks?" Richard asked.
I gave him a small smile. "I drink tea."
"They have tea, too." He placed the last chair on the stack and guided me by my elbow toward the door. "There's something I want to tell you."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Being a book lover, I thought it would be fun to read a book about a book club. Even though once I started reading the book, I discovered that there wasn't a lot of time spent "with" the book club, it was still a really good book. I liked Hollis right away. The fact that she was set up to take a rap by her 'then' husband was horrible. But I am sure that stuff like that happens far more often that what I would like to believe. She has served her time and has been working really hard to recreate her life. The book club was set in motion by her parole officer. He is the one that put all of them together. It was a way to try to make them feel like they fit in again. Being in the book club though, they had all agreed that they would not ask questions about why they had served time or what their personal lives were like now. That all changed, of course, the minute one of them was killed. Hollis not only wanted to clear herself, but I think she wanted to make sure that the people she had been discussing books with weren't killers either. Someone was sure making it look like it was one of them though. Being a paralegal also helped Hollis to know what to look for and the means to start some surreptitious background checks on her fellow members. She didn't really want to, but she also didn't want to be left in the dark. The book moves along at a fast pace and Hollis finds herself wrapped up in a couple of different mysteries. I started to have my suspicions about people, but hadn't quite wrapped it all up when the author started to spill the beans about how everything fit together. I was quite surprised by some of the things I found out in the end, about someone who was close to Hollis. It was a nice surprise. This is the first book in a series featuring Hollis Morgan, and I will be happy to tell you I would definitely read another one!
"The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements. Members must be 1) book lovers and 2) white collar ex-felons." This debut novel set in the San Francisco Bay area is a first-person account told by amateur sleuth, Hollis Morgan. This is a very intriguing murder mystery with a startling cast of characters. This book allows the reader to take part in the investigation; I felt my suspicions sift as each new clue was revealed. This is a remarkable well-rounded mystery and I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who enjoys crime fiction. Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge by Partners In Crime Tours for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.
I received this book for a fair and honest review. This book is book 1 in a series. This book had a mini mystery storyline within the main one. Hollis was trying to help out some elderly residents in a nursing home. She was able to figure that mystery out eventually though. The main mystery however was the murders of two book club members. For me, it was a real twist who the murder was. I didn't see that one coming at all. Hollis sure hasn't had an easy life. She was trying to get her life back and on the right track when these murders happened. She should of just let the police do their job and keep her nose clean but her personality wouldn't allow for that. I highly enjoyed this book and will be looking for the other books in the series when they come available.
This book is full of murder, mystery and of course mayhem. Thoroughly entertaining and a fast read, I can’t wait for the next book in the series. This is also the first book in what will become the Hollis Morgan Mystery series. The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements. Members must be 1 - book lovers and 2 - white collar ex-felons. The story line jumps right into the book club and introduces all members. Each character is so unique and quirky, you immediately get a feel for the group dynamics. This book is narrated from the perspective of Hollis Morgan. Hollis was framed by her ex-husband, Bill, in an insurance fraud scheme. She served her time and has been a model citizen for the past five years. She currently works in a law firm as a paralegal and hopes to one day finish law school and become an attorney. Now in the process of obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation (or a pardon), she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. One of the book club members has been found brutally murdered, only it doesn’t end there. The murder is a reenactment of a scene from the most recent book club selection. Suddenly everyone is a suspect and Hollis has to find a way to clear herself from the suspect list before her chance for a pardon expires. There are multiple story lines going and I love how the book jumps back and forth between them without confusing the reader. Hollis volunteers at San Lucian Senior Residence & Community Center where she helps the residents complete Social Security forms, write complaint letters, work on legal/estate matters and of course, wills. Not only does Hollis find herself in the middle of a murder investigation, but something fishy is going on with the medications at the center and she takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of it. Did I mention the ex-husband (yes, the one that framed her and sent her to jail for his crime) is trying to contact her about the murder?This book is full of murder, mystery and of course mayhem. Thoroughly entertaining and a fast read, I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
R. Franklin James in her new book, “The Fallen Angels Book Club” Book One in the A Hollis Morgan Mystery series published by Camel Press brings us into the life of Hollis Morgan. From the back cover: The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements: the members must love books and have a white-collar criminal record. Hollis Morgan fits the bill. Left holding the bag in an insurance fraud scheme concocted by her now ex-husband, she served her time and is trying to rebuild her life. All she wants is for the court to pardon her conviction so she can return to law school. After one of her fellow members is murdered in a scenario straight out of a club selection, Hollis is once again the subject of police scrutiny. Refusing to get stuck with another bad rap, she sets out to investigate her fellow club members. Is one of them really blackmailing the others? As a second member dies in yet another book-inspired murder, Hollis realizes that time is running out. Everything rides on her finding the killer—not just her career aspirations. She must identify the killer before she herself becomes the next victim. Everyone is convinced she knows more than she lets on. But what is it, exactly, that is she supposed to know? The Fallen Angels Book Club is the first book in an exciting new mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Hollis Morgan. “The Fallen Angels Book Club” is very clever. It has a murder by the book club which, I feel, is highly inventive. The killer is following the plot of a book which is being used by The Fallen Angels book club. Hollis was the moderator and the cops now think that she did it. Hollis has been to jail already, due to being framed by her ex-husband, and didn’t appreciate the stay. So she certainly does not want to go back again when she knows she didn’t do it. So to make sure the cops get the proper person Hollis sets out to find the killer. Problem is the body count is rising and now her life is in great danger. ”The Fallen Angels Book Club” is a wonderful thriller as the tension mounts as Hollis becomes the target of the killer putting her life in great peril. ”The Fallen Angels Book Club” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. When you finish this book you will heave a hugely satisfying sigh because you have enjoyed yourself immensely. Ms. Franklin James has provided us with a great new character in Hollis Morgan. I am already looking forward to the next book in this series from this very talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”