For my birthday Tom got me a subscription to Just The Right Book. It's a book-of-the-month deal where you fill in a profile and then they send you books they think you'll enjoy. While I'm side-eyeing the latest selection they sent me (Still Life with Bread Crumbs) they've picked out books I liked for the first two rounds so they've earned some measure of trust.
If it isn't clear from the title, there's a mystery involved here so I'll try not to say too much about the plot. It's a story of three women: Celia, a super type-A...type with the perfect hair and perfect family and perfect home and perfect Tupperware sales; Tess, who recently traveled back to her hometown after she finds out that her cousin/best friend and husband are in love; and Rachel, a secretary at the local school whose daughter Janie was killed years before.
One day Celia finds a letter addressed to her in her husband's handwriting with the instructions that it is to be read after his death. And when her (perfect) husband Jean-Paul finds out Celia found the letter he is very nervous. So that's suspicious. I'm sure the letter includes something more than a secret family recipe. (I'm also sure cos, you know, I've read the book. But that's besides the point.)
Not too much more I can say regarding what's in the letter and how the women are tied together, so I guess you'll have to trust me that it's entertaining. Sure, you can see some of the twists coming, but that doesn't ruin the fun. I guess "fun" might be the wrong word. For the characters. The twists bring up hard "what if" scenarios. I have no idea what I'd do or how I'd react if I were in the characters' shoes.
One nice thing, that it took me a minute or two to realize, was this is pretty much an all-female cast. There are a couple guys in it, secondary characters, but ultimately this is a story about these women. The husband might have a secret, but the story is about the way the women react.
I can't say I've found a new favorite author, but I liked this and I will be checking out her other stuff. Besides, she's a non-US author so win for my resolution dealy. Even if I did often forget that this took place in Australia and would get super confused when the characters would talk about Easter being in the fall.
Title quote from page 217
Moriarty, Liane. The Husband's Secret. Berkley Books, 2013