“Crimes Against A Book Club” by Kathy Cooperman

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I have mixed feelings about “Crimes Against A Book Club”. It made me laugh. It made me like some of the characters. The plot is clever in a modern-day Restoration Comedy way. The women are strong and the men, particularly the old, arrogant, rich men, get what they deserve. Smart references are made to books I’ve read and enjoyed and everyone lives happily ever after.

So what’s not to like?

The basic premise of the book, without giving too much away, is that two women who have child-related problems they lack the funds to address, set out to sell a bunch of rich, apparently superficial, women, over-priced face cream with a special, illegal ingredient.

Our two heroines are, by and large, nice people, one of whom is capable of being very charming. Yet, what they set out to do and how they do it, turns them into predators, abusing the trust of the women that they meet for personal gain.

This is never properly confronted. It is glossed over in a way that tainted the book for me.

In a way, this taint was strengthened when the author showed the rich women to be real people in desperate need of the friendship that our heroines only appear to be offering.

I thought the strongest parts of the book were the ones dealing with how the women in the Book Club reassessed their lives and got their acts together.

It’s clear to me that, behind the slick humour, Kathy Cooperman has a good understanding of people and the things that make them betray or redeem themselves. I wish she’d made this the main focus of the book.

What I got was slick plotting and facile humour but the avoidance of real consequences.

This is a fun, light read if you don’t let yourself think about it too much. Still, lots of things can be fun if you don’t think about them too much. It doesn’t make them worthwhile.

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