Review

The Debut Books of Friends and Fiction Authors

Do you ever go back to the debut books of authors who are already well established and their new books are usually read by you?

book cover

Mary Kay Andrews first book was written as Kathy Hogan Trocheck. She went on to write a number of books in this series. I only read the first one as these are cozy mysteries and I wasn’t really into that genre then.

Callahan Garrity is the owner of house mouse, a cleaning service that tidies up after Atlanta’s elite. She’s also a former cop and a part-time sleuth. She and her coterie of devoted helpers can ransack a house for clues faster than it takes a fingerprint to set.

As it happens I have read this book back in 2015.  I say… Enjoyed this older story published in the ’90’s in it’s first edition. Callahan is the head of a cleaning company along with her mother Edna. Callahan is also a part time PI and finds herself caught up in a murder and some shady business dealings. Full of quirky characters, and humour.

book cover This is Patti Callahan Henry’s debut novel. Amy Reynolds is stunned when her first, great love suddenly reappears. A happily married mother of two, she wants nothing to do with him. But then-needing to know why he was ripped from her life without explanation-Amy becomes obsessed with the idea that maybe they really were meant to be together…

I haven’t read this one published in 2004. I don’t know if I will but there are others of her backlist I do want to catch up on. Readers who reviewed this one mention the bittersweet – cry your eyes out ending. So not so sure I want something like that at present.

book cover Mary Alice Monroe‘s debut novel published in 1995. Still reeling from the shock of her estranged husband’s suicide, Nora MacKenzie is hit with the news of the Wall Street power broker’s debts. Left only with a small farmhouse in Vermont and his secret journals, Nora begins to sort things out–until a ruggedly handsome farmhand shows up to greet her.

As it happens I listened to this on audiobook in 2014 and it was my first introduction to this author. It was narrated by Sandra Burr and I actually really enjoyed it. I remember very little about it now, but I do remember being deeply satisfied by it. Maybe a re-listen could be on the agenda. I’ve gone on to read quite a few of her books.

book cover Kristy Woodson Harvey had her first book published in 2015. One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…

4.5 stars. I first noticed this book when I read a review by Kristin at Always With a Book, I made a note of it to read sometime in the future. When I was browsing our local library shelves there sitting facing me was a pristine copy of the book, so I felt the time had come to read it. The library rose a few more degrees in my esteem, for already having it on its shelves here in New Zealand! Published 2015 and read in 2015! I’ve gone on to read everyone of her books since.

Jodi Thomas says on the cover – “Characters with rich, complicated lives…. Beautifully shows how a family comes to be”. As Jodi Thomas is a favourite author of mine, I needed no further incentive to read.

book cover Kristin Harmel is an author I have not read – yet. She now writes historical fiction which I real less of than contemporary fiction. She is probably best known for her recent The Book Of Lost Names.

When Claire lands the plum assignment of interviewing Hollywood’s #1 hottie, she knows better than to mix business with pleasure, yet the next morning she wakes up in his bed–without her clothes. The tabloids pick up the story, and she learns that not everything printed is true.

I probably won’t read her debut novel but I think I will sample her writing with the book The Sweetness of Forgetting which I had already marked to read. It does sound sad and seems to have a dual time line but I’ll give it a go.

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12 thoughts on “The Debut Books of Friends and Fiction Authors”

  1. Good choices here. I’ve been dipping into the The Black Dagger Brotherhood which can be intense at times. I am loving the Virgin River series and have book seven on my Kindle.

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  2. Oh, wow! I am so excited about that you found Dear Carolina in New Zealand. That is amazing!! Thank you so, so much for reading and for this awesome post ❤️❤️

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  3. These are all authors I’d really like to read but somehow I haven’t read anything by them. I do go back and read authors’ older books sometimes though it can be a little risky! I love Nora Roberts but her early books are mostly terrible.

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    1. Ha you made me chuckle over Nora Roberts. There are some of her earlier – don’t know how early though, that I found whimsical. But on the whole yes, later ones are better.

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  4. I don’t often get the chance to go back and read the debut novel of authors these days, but it’s always in my plans to do so for many authors whose later work I loved. Sometimes I prefer to read an author’s work in order–even when not a series.

    I haven’t read any of these you’ve mentioned here, although they sound good. Especially Every Crooked Nanny!

    I hope you have a great weekend, Kathryn! Thank you for hosting.

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  5. I knew about MKA’s writer alter-ego – haven’t read many of her KHT books but I would! I have a few Pattie Callahan and Kristin Harmel earlier books on my shelf – I really should move them up the TBR list… I’ve read all of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books – she’s an auto-read author at this point!

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  6. Hi Kathryn! I had no idea that Mary Kay Andrews used to write as Kathy Hogan Trocheck, I read her as KHT and as MKA. Fascinating! I’m going to go revisit some of her older books. ~smile~ Roseanne

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