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1st to Die (Women's Murder Club) Paperback – May 20, 2005

1,508 customer reviews
Book 1 of 14 in the Women's Murder Club Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

The Women's Murder Club pits four San Francisco women professionals against a serial killer who's stalking and murdering newlyweds in bestselling author James Patterson's newest thriller. Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector who's just gotten some very bad news. She deals with it by immersing herself in her newest case and soliciting the personal as well as professional support of her closest friend, who happens to be the city's medical examiner. The two women, along with an ambitious and sympathetic reporter and an assistant DA, form an unlikely alliance, pooling their information and bypassing the chain of command in an engaging, suspenseful story whose gruesome setup is vintage Patterson.

"What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?" the killer muses to himself early in the narrative. "Am I capable of doing it? Do I have what it takes?" Answering his own question, he embarks on a murderous spree that takes him from the bridal suite in a Nob Hill hotel to a honeymoon destination in the Napa Valley and thence to a wedding reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Dispatching his victims on the happiest day of their lives, he purposefully leaves enough clues for his distaff trackers to discover his identity and put him behind bars. But just when the women think they've got the case all wrapped up, the killer turns the tables on them in a bloody denouement that even the most discerning reader won't see coming. Patterson, author of the popular Alex Cross mysteries, promises future adventures for the Women's Murder Club, which may give him an opportunity to develop his heroines' characters more completely and win new fans among those who prefer their detectives in high heels and lipstick. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Fans of Patterson (Along Came a Spider) will not be disappointed with his latest effort. A killer is murdering recently married couples, and police detective Lindsay is stumped. Off duty, she forms a murder club comprising three of her friends: an assistant district attorney, a newspaper reporter, and a coroner. The four women use everything at their disposal to figure out who the killer is before he can strike again. Their lead suspect is a world-famous writer whose plots resemble the murders. Deploying Patterson's usual short chapters, the book is exciting to the last page. One hopes that it is the first installment in what deserves to be a new series; Patterson should give Alex Cross a rest and concentrate on these four women instead. 1st to Die will air as a miniseries on NBC in May, so expect demand. For all public libraries.
- Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Women's Murder Club (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Women's Murder Club edition (May 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446696617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446696616
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,508 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Dean Redfern VINE VOICE on April 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Author James Patterson gives book series psychologist cop Alex Cross a breather and lets four professional women, dubbed the 'Women's Murder Club,' track down a psycho killer of newlyweds. Led by homicide inspector Lindsay Boxer, the women (a reporter, a medical examiner and an assistant district attorney) leverage their respective expertise to decipher the clues of the gruesome nuptial slayings. The ad hoc women's club also becomes a support group for each other on issues of work, family, romance and illness. Lindsay Boxer, in particular, battles to balance a blood illness, a new beau, and her passion to solve the murders.
When the case is finally nailed down to the Club's satisfaction, it becomes unglued as Lindsay becomes unsure as to the real killer. Another search for the truth leads to a surprise ending, as well as to the meaning of the novel's title.
The author's risk to try something new seems to have succeeded in this novel. The 'Club' characters are likeable, enduring and memorable, just as those in the Alex Cross episodes. Maybe a strong '2cd' book series from James Patterson will benefit the '1st' series by keeping it fresh and novel.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 18, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After being terribly disappointed with James Patterson's Beach House, I immediately begin his First to Die. I'm happy to report that this book is more of what we should expect from a best-selling author. First to Die is the first book in his Women's Murder Club series, of which there are now four.

First to Die is written mainly in the voice of Lindsey Boxer. Boxer is a homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department. When a newlywed couple is found brutally murdered just hours after their wedding (still attired in wedding regalia), Boxer is put on the case. Two other couples are also murdered, but one is in Napa and the other in Cleveland. Boxer is unsure whether there is a serial killer at work as even the methods of murder are different. But it is up to her to try to find the common denominator.

Boxer's best friend is San Francisco medical examiner Claire Washburn. The two of them befriend a crime reporter from the Chronicle, Cindy Thomas, and an assistant DA, Jill Bernhardt. Together, they dub themselves the Women's Murder Club. When the case seems to be going nowhere, the various women use their skills to crack open the case, a little at a time.

This book will take you on a roller coaster ride from start to finish. And even when it seems that Boxer has the case all wrapped up, there is still one more twisting turn at the very end. My only regret is that I started this series with book three, Third Degree.
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75 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on March 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The killer wonders "What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?", as he sets out to do worse.
San Francisco homicide investigator, Lindsay Boxer, is called to the most disturbing crime scene, a young couple has been murdered on their wedding night, the bride still in her wedding gown. This horrifying scene lays heavy in Lindsay's mind.
As the investigation begins, another murder is committed, again another young couple on their wedding night. Lindsay knows she is up against a sick serial killer preying on newlyweds.
As the official investigation is leading nowhere, Lindsay teams up with the medical examiner on the case, who also happens to be her friend, to begin their own investigation of these murders. The two women enlist the help of an investigative reporter, and the assistant D.A. to form the women's murder club. The women will meet and discuss how they are going to stop this killer, using the information obtained through the official investigation.
The search brings the women to their first, and only suspect...a bestselling author whose first un-published novel depicts each of the murders in detail.
With no concrete evidence to pin the murders on the author, the women will be lead on a wild chase to find the killer.
Twist and turns keep things spinning out of control, until the final shocking realization of who the killer is!
"1st To Die" is the first novel in a brand new series, and what a great novel it is. The plot races along, combining the murders, devistating health issues for Lindsay, and some romance, twisting and turning all the way to the shocking the conclusion.
James Patterson uses all the key elements used in his Alex Cross series, so fans of that series will not be disappointed with this new book.
Read more ›
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mama Jen on October 31, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All I can say is wow. I read this book over the course of two days this summer, and I was more disappointed about it than any book I have read in a long time.
Now, I normally really enjoy James Patterson. I've read quite a few of his novels, and usually enjoy them immensely. So when I started reading this book, I did not immediately put it down, as I would have if it were an author I was unfamiliar with. I kept reading, knowing that it would get better.
Boy, was I wrong.
This book reads like a first draft by a high school creative writing student who is taking the class simply because it is required to graduate. Yes, it is that bad.
While there are a few good plot twists, and I like the general idea of the story, perhaps Mr. Patterson should have spent a little more time developing it. The characters are thin, the story is at best highly unbelievable in several aspects, and characters die that have no reason to. OK, fine, I can handle it when a few main characters die. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, an author guaranteed not to let everyone out alive. But at some point you have to say to yourself, "ok, this is going a little too far." Even if you suspend reality enough to accept that parts of the plot could occur, you will probably want to throw the book across the room when you get to the last pages. I know I did.
You're probably saying to yourself "it can't be all that bad, right?" Well, let me tell you exactly how disappointed I was: this is probably the last James Patterson novel I will ever read.
Take my advice and go for a really good cop book like Plum Island or The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille. I think you'll be glad you did.
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