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The Company You Keep (Kendra Clayton Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Angela Henry
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Hard as she tried, twenty-eight-year-old Kendra Clayton never quite broke out of her hometown of Willow, Ohio. Now she works part-time as a GED instructor and beefs up her income by hostessing at her uncle’s restaurant, soaking up the local gossip. It’s a quiet life, but Kendra hasn’t given up hope that one day Mr. Right will walk through the door. In the meantime, her sleepy hollow is about to get a rude awakening, and Kendra is about to get some excitement—though it’s not quite what she had in mind.

When her friend Bernie's boyfriend, a notorious womanizer, is brutally murdered, both she and Kendra are implicated in the crime. The only way Kendra can save herself—and the friend she believes is innocent—is by doing some investigating of her own. And the closer she looks, the more suspects she finds.

Jordan was a man that women loved and hated—usually at the same time. Now one of them has crossed that thin line. But between Jordan’s past and present conquests—and a chain of emptied wallets and vengeful hearts—which one could be a killer? As Kendra’s curiosity draws her deeper into the case, she also gets into an unexpected attraction to a man who may hold the missing piece of the puzzle—if she can survive long enough to put it together.

Editorial Reviews


"Highly recommended."
   --Library Journal

"With so many plot twists, Henry's mystery is anything but predictable. Colorful characters and a strong plot drives this novel, which is pleasantly accented by light humor."
   --Romantic Times

"A tightly woven mystery..."
   --Ebony Magazine

"A rock 'em-sock 'em novel full of humor, thrills and criminal intent."
   --SaVoy Magazine

About the Author

Angela Henry is the founder of the MystNoir Website, which promotes African-American mystery writers. She lives in Ohio.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2275 KB
  • Print Length: 327 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Boulevard West Press; 2 edition (December 21, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FDWD6K6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,531 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE COMPANY YOU KEEP... An Excellent "Whodunit" !! August 30, 2005
The Company You Keep is the story of Kendra Clayton, a 28-year-old part-time Hostess and GED instructor who lives in the sleepy college town of Willow, Ohio. Her life is nice and quiet (even a bit boring). Her best friend Bernie is involved with a shady ladies man by the name of Jordan Wallace. Bernie confides to Kendra that she is sick of Jordan's cheating ways, and is ready to get rid of him. (This makes Kendra happy). Bernie wants to run up on Jordan and confront him, but instead, she finds him brutally murdered on her property. She doesn't call the police first, but calls her best friend Kendra instead. As a result, both Kendra and Bernie become suspects in the murder of Jordan Wallace. Kendra, in an effort to clear herself and her best friend as suspects, turns "amateur sleuth" and does a little private investigating of her own. And she finds out that there is more to Jordan's past and shady lifestyle than meets this eye. The story goes on from there...

This book was an excellent, classic "whodunit". I thought at first, since this book is a little over 200 pages, that there would be a couple of suspects and that's it. But with each chapter, the list of suspects gets longer and longer. I mean, this book could have easily been 400 pages. Easily. I am mesmerized at how the author could fit such a large amount of detail in such a short book, complete with engaging backstories and flashbacks. Now that made this book a great page turner. I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to see who indeed killed Jordan Wallace.

On top of that, the author weaved a few interesting subplots (Kendra's love interests, Kendra's relationship with her mother and neighbors, etc., etc.) very nicely and delicately into the main plot, without overshadowing the main plot.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better... December 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book could have been so much better. The plot and twists were predictable, but interesting. However, the writing and verbiage made it seem like a novel written for upper elementary students (with the removal of a few adult moments). I kept expecting the writing to improve, but the book plodded along. Many times I wonder what other authors could do with the same plot, and that thought occurred to me many times while reading this book. Oh well, it is the holiday season, so I wish the heroine Kendra much good fortune in future installments of the series!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Debut Mystery Novel! July 15, 2005
As an up and coming writer of mysteries who is working on his first book, I tend to read novels mostly written by veteran novelists. In recent months I wanted to find novels written by debut authors to see how they took it to task to deliver on a mystery novel. Well...Angela Henry, I will be looking forward to reading your next book. Just when I thought I knew 'whodunit' you spun me into a crowd of most likely suspects and the guilty party was not any of whom I thought did the crime. Brilliant job!

The author knocked this one out of the park! I actually rate this book 4 1/2 stars. I read this book over a 5-day period. I couldn't wait to get to the chapters ahead. Usually it takes me about two weeks to read through a novel due to being so busy, but I eagerly read this book just about every free moment I could spare so I could find out `whodunit'.

The reviewer who made comments about Kendra Clayton being 28 years of age and still listening to cassette tapes failed to do the math. Keep in mind that the setting of the book is around 1996, not 2005. During this time even though CD's and CD players had much popularity, I do recall still listening to cassette tapes (which where still being sold in music stores at that time by the way):)

Anyone looking to read a great mystery written by a talented African-American author, get your hands on this one. I recommend this book for teenagers to adults! Sit back Nancy Drew...Kendra Clayton is takin' over!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great story, if you can get through it January 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story itself was a good one, it keeps you guessing all the way up to the end. But the way the story was told made it hard for me to want to continue. There were scenes and conversations that lended no help to the story, they did not help understand a character or motive, they were simply ramblings.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea. December 25, 2013
By Jaki
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Got almost to the end before I gave up. Too many people and names being tossed around without reasons. By the time of the wrap up I'd forgotten who the all were and realized I didn't care.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff! May 20, 2005
Part-time teacher Kendra Clayton is thrilled when she hears that her friend Bernie is ready to get rid of her cheating, good-for-nothing boyfriend Jordan. But then Jordan gets himself murdered and the police cast a suspicious eye not only in Bernie's direction but Kendra's as well, forcing her to turn sleuth to clear their names. Along the way, Kendra discovers secrets about someone she thought she knew, meets a man that ignites both her interest and her suspicions, and becomes a target herself. This was such a fun read! Kendra is sassy and sarcastic and the secondary characters are well developed and believable. Angela Henry is a writer to watch.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just Not For Me November 16, 2013
By Doc
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is not that the book is poorly written nor that there is not a plot as there is, it's just that for the first time ever I could not finish a book. I just did not and could not bring my self to care about the characters. Something about the tone and the pace of the book just didn't do anything for me.

Usually there is something in the book that will keep me reading even if it is not the main character but I just couldn't find that here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not great...
Published 3 hours ago by Nichole
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENTLY WRITTEN book
This was a very well written storyline. The author wrote suspensefuly and until the very last chapter kept YOU in the dark as to who did it. A MUST READ.
Published 12 hours ago by Glo
3.0 out of 5 stars " The ending was like, oh
Kinda' not too "can't wait to see who done it." The ending was like, oh, I guess it's over. I would not choose to read another of her series.
Published 14 days ago by Liz Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
ITs okay
Published 24 days ago by MsGina4u
4.0 out of 5 stars The Company You Keep (Kendra Clayton Mystery #1)
This is a really good murder mystery that starts out with a slow information gathering sleuth and then explodes with twists and turns until you wonder how in the world the author... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Nana
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good light very enjoyable.
Published 27 days ago by Lisa Bellavance
5.0 out of 5 stars a good mystery
It takes place in Ohio, where I had gone to school and hold a dear affinity to that great state. Kendra is a nosy person who is able to eventually solve a convoluted murder. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bruce E. Derylo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good book easy read love the characters keeps you guessing
Published 1 month ago by carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Orcini
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Kept me interested and made me laugh
Great story. Kept me interested and made me laugh too
Published 2 months ago by Diane Williams
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More About the Author

Angela Henry was once told that her past life careers included spy, researcher, and investigator. She stuck with what she knew because today she's a mystery writing library reference specialist, who loves to people watch and eavesdrop on conversations. She's the author of five mysteries featuring equally nosy amateur sleuth Kendra Clayton, as well as the thriller The Paris Secret. When she's not working, writing, or practicing her stealth, she loves to travel, is connoisseur of B horror movies, and an admitted anime addict. She lives in Ohio and is currently hard at work trying to meet her next deadline.

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