Tuesday, June 2, 2020

ARC Review: The Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman

The Girls Weekend
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (June 9, 2020)

Description: For fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley, a riveting locked-room mystery about five college friends eager to reunite after years apart--only to be ripped apart again when their host's disappearance unearths dark secrets and old grudges.

Their reunion just became a crime scene . . .

June Moody, a thirty-something English professor, just wants to get away from her recent breakup and reunite with girlfriends over summer break. Her old friend and longtime nemesis, Sadie MacTavish, a mega-successful author, invites June and her college friends to a baby shower at her sprawling estate in the San Juan Islands. June is less than thrilled to spend time with Sadie--and her husband, June's former crush--but agrees to go.

The party gets off to a shaky start when old grudges resurface, but when they wake the next morning, they find something worse: Sadie is missing, the house is in shambles, and bloodstains mar the staircase. None of them has any memory of the night before; they wonder if they were drugged. Everyone's a suspect. Since June had a secret rendezvous with Sadie's husband, she has plenty of reason to suspect herself. Apparently, so do the cops.

A Celtic knot of suspense and surprise, this brooding, atmospheric novel will keep you guessing as each twist reveals a new possibility. It will remind you of friendships hidden in the depths of your own past, and make you wonder how well you really know the people you've loved the longest.

My Thoughts: June Moody is a thirty-something college professor when she is invited to go to the San Juan Islands for a girls weekend with her closest college friends. At first, she not interested. Sure, she likes her friend Em and enjoys keeping up with Kimiko. But she really doesn't want to see Sadie McTavish who was her rival in all things in college and who seems to have a much more successful life than her own. She even married Ethan who had proposed to June first.

But when June's boyfriend dumps her for another woman via a text message, June decides to go to the reunion. She walks into a situation filled with tension and resentment. Amy, their fifth friend and Sadie's cousin, is pregnant. She has always had mental issues and Sadie has taken care of her and controlled her life.

Sadie is a master manipulator who wants to control everyone around her - her husband, her daugher, her cousin, even the gardener. June can see that but is still sort of envious of the life Sadie has created in her lush estate because she happened to write a book that had success similar to the Harry Potter books. June's own single novel is long out of print.

A long evening of drinking ends with memory loss for all of the girls and with Sadie having gone missing. Each of the girls has a reason to be resentful of Sadie as do Ethan and his daughter Dakota. All of them fear that their issues with Sadie will make them wonderful suspects for the police and decide to cover up what little they remember of the past evening.

But suspicions grow among the girls about each other and June spends a lot of time and imagination coming up with various scenarios about the lost time and about what happened to Sadie.

This was a tensely written locked room mystery filled with all sorts of twists and turns. Fans of that sort of thriller will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
The gorgeous, voluptuous curves of her life made my own existence look malnourished and scraggly.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. The cover is perfect for the title and synopsis. I'd love to read this!


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