I’m not really one to make New Year’s resolutions about dieting or gym memberships. I would never cheat on my Peloton and I’m getting too old to give up ice cream. (Gluten, yes. Chunky Monkey, no thank you.) So this year, most of my New Year’s Resolutions resemble a television guide.
Binge-watch White Lotus.
Re-watch the entire original series of Sex in the City to see how it holds up.
Recommend Dead to Me to everyone I know.
Dead to Me was such a happy surprise when I discovered its unique brand of small-screen storytelling. It is rich and fresh with dark humor, suspense, murder and gasp-out-loud plot twists. It is also the most perfect portrayal of the fierce power of female friendship I’ve seen in a television series in a long while. I was overwhelmed with joy to see the season return last year after a long hiatus caused by both the pandemic and also star, Christina Applegate’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
I was overwhelmed with sadness to say goodbye just as soon, as the Season 3 finale was indeed the series finale, providing an ending as satisfying as it could be under the circumstances. For those of us not quite ready to give up on the ride that was Dead to Me, I give you these five novels that will satisfy your thirst for comedy, plot twists and the beauty of girlfriend power!
Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano
This third installment of the wonderful Finlay Donovan series proves that great things come in threes! In book one, Finlay Donovan, author and single mom is overheard in the local Panera plotting her next book out loud to her agent by someone who mistakenly believes Finlay is plotting a murder for hire.
The eavesdropper proceeds to try to hire Finlay. Murder, hilarity, and unlikely romance ensue. In book three, Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero are cooperating with the Russian mob whose leader is now behind bars but still calling the shots. After all, Finlay and Vero owe the mob for a variety of things, including not killing them in books one or two.
Not to mention the fact that Finlay has a new book deadline, and cooperation with the Russian mob seems like a good way to make sure she meets that deadline. Finlay and Vero work together to develop some new detective skills, and free themselves from the mob’s debt. The girl power in this book is fierce and the comedy even fiercer. It’s a don’t-miss addition to the Finlay Donovan series!
I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin
Hands down, this is the best road trip story, since, well, ever. (I was going to say since Thelma & Louise, but we all know how that ended!) My friend and bestselling author, Ann Garvin, strikes the exact right pitch in this novel about former best friends, current best friends, and a dog kidnapping. Naturally.
In I Thought You Said This Would Work, two frenemies and former college roommates embark on a mission at the request of the third wheel of their trio, Katie, their best friend of 25 years, now hospitalized with cancer. Katie asks her friends to travel cross-country and kidnap (take back!) her diabetic Great Pyrenees dog from Katie’s ex-husband. Along the way, they pick up a D-list celebrity, uncover long-held secrets, and start to wonder if maybe they’ve been tricked by Katie all along.
The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev
The inaugural selection from Mindy Kaling’s Book Studio (celebrating emerging and diverse voices) Sonali Dev’s The Vibrant Years is a book about three generations of women with secrets, desires and cringe-worthy bad dates. With humor and a heartwarming journey of self-discovery, The Vibrant Years introduces us to women navigating bad dates, a spiteful HOA board, reemerging exes, and history that refuses to remain hidden.
The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns
In this poignant story, a group of “misfit moms” who have raised children together while navigating a small private school culture, take a trip to New York City together. There the plans to shop, take in a show and go sightseeing are interrupted by the spilling of secrets.
Each woman reveals something monumental about herself, and as they each share long-held secrets, each woman also faces a truth: the faces they hold out to the world are not always the whole story. Now they will have to discover if their friendships — and their selves — can withstand the release of their long-held secrets.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Two Nigerian sisters navigate family, love and … murder. When Korede’s sister, Ayoola, is faced with a third dead boyfriend, Korede has to face the fact that her sister is quite possibly sociopathic. Korede helps Ayoola clean up the mess, literally and figuratively, all the while pining for a boyfriend of her own.
When the doctor she’s interested in asks for her sister’s number instead, Korede has to face her own truth and that of her sister’s as well. With dark comedy and fresh turns, and a rich exploration of the nuances of female relationships, My Sister, the Serial Killer, is the perfect novel to round out a list for fans of Dead to Me!