Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chick Lit for the 21st Century (7th Heaven by James Patterson)

My wife hates the term Chick Lit, but I don't know another to describe those wonderful stories dominated by women. Some of my favorites have been Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsby Ann Brashares, The Secret Life of Beesby Sue Monk Kidd, and The Joy Luck Clubby Amy Tan. Like The Joy Luck Club, my most recent read is about four women living in San Francisco. However this book is by James Paterson (with Maxine Paetro). Now I sure those of you who are familiar with James Patterson would never group this master of the thriller with the women authors listed above.

However, I ask you to consider this latest addition to his women's murder club series: 7th Heaven (the 7th in the series, of course). Here are four women in San Francisco who support each other through life's important transitions such as courtship and birth. Beyond that, any similarity with The Joy Luck Club ends. These are women of the 21st century and this is not a celebration of the past, but a novel of the present. These four women don't play Mahjong or raise bees. They are Yuki, a San Francisco ADA, Claire, the Medical Examiner, Cindy, the reporter, and the protagonist, Lindsay, an SFPD homocide detective.

Regardless of the murder and mayhem, and thriller fans can be assured of a high body count with gruesome murders (no spoilers here), this is sisterhood of strong women. When Lindsay complains about an unwelcome shower of brains, the definitely-not-squeamish Claire responds with, "Warm gummy bears? Am I right?"

If you want an intelligent page turner (I read it in one day), without testosterone staining your high-thread-count, Egyptian-cotton sheets, this is the book to read with a nice glass of herbal iced tea on a warm summer evening.

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