Before She was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney @PPPress @carolinebcooney #fiction #review


As Before She Was Helen opens, readers are drawn into what appears to be a light, retirement-community caper. But author Caroline B. Cooney quickly flips expectations upside-down in this deceptively dark mystery. Between old crimes and fresh murders, septuagenarian protagonist Clemmie faces an unspeakable fear that will keep readers hooked in this twisty whodunit.”-Julie Hyzy, New York Times bestselling author

From the critically acclaimed, international bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney comes a domestic thriller perfect for fans of mystery books by Laura Lippman and Alice Feeney.

Her life didn’t turn out the way she expected—so she made herself a new one

When Clemmie goes next door to check on her difficult and unlikeable neighbor Dom, he isn’t there. But something else is. Something stunning, beautiful and inexplicable. Clemmie photographs the wondrous object on her cell phone and makes the irrevocable error of forwarding it. As the picture swirls over the internet, Clemmie tries desperately to keep a grip on her own personal network of secrets. Can fifty years of careful hiding under names not her own be ruined by one careless picture?

And although what Clemmie finds is a work of art, what the police find is a body. . . and she was the last person at the crime scene, where she left her fingerprints. Suddenly thrown into the heart of a twisted investigation, Clemmie finds herself the uncomfortable subject of intense scrutiny. And the bland, quiet life Clemmie has built for herself in her sleepy South Carolina retirement community comes crashing down as her dark past surges into the present.

From international bestselling author of The Face on the Milk Carton Caroline B. Cooney comes Before She Was Helen, an absorbing mystery that brings decades-old secrets to life and explores what happens when the lie you’ve been living falls apart and you’re forced to confront the truth.


Helen finds a unique sculpture in her neighbors house…a house she is not supposed to be in. This sculpture leads to a death and a possible drug deal in her retirement community. Plus, Helen has a secret or two or three of her own. These are secrets she has kept well hidden for years but now, these secrets are coming back to haunt her.

Oh boy…did I love Clemmie or rather Helen…her alias. Yep…you heard right. She has a secret life and you just have to hear her story as to why and how she ended up as Helen. She is a great person and she has been through so much. And now it is all threatened. And then the story twists again. How much more can the reader take! I was stressed to the max reading this tale!

This story just reels you in. And honestly, I kept guessing and just plain guessing wrong! I love that! I love an author which keeps me on my toes and this one surely did!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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5 Responses to Before She was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney @PPPress @carolinebcooney #fiction #review

  1. Wow….this sounds really good.

    Great review.

    LOVE the photo.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: September Escapes and Escapades #wrapup #septemberwrapup #escapesandescapades | reecaspieces

  3. Pingback: Spotlight: Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney – Penstricken

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