Before She Was Helen (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

If you read Caroline B Cooney back in the day like I did, you will love this new one.  Clemmie lives quietly in her sleepy South Carolina retirement community, and none of her friends and neighbors know she has a double identity.  When she goes to check on her next door neighbor one morning, she finds more than she bargained for in the form of a beautiful piece of glass art. To impress her aloof young relatives, she snaps a photo and sends it to them, not realizing that she's opening up a trail to a crime wave that will end in murder. No one is who they seem to be and Cammie learns that her neighbors might be hiding even more than she is. This keeps you on the edge of your seat as the narrative flashes between Cammie's current days and her past, describing how she evades an old stalker to reclaim her life. Cooney reminds the fans why she's been a huge name in thriller fiction for decades. 

— From Andi



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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781728205120
ISBN-10: 1728205123
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: September 8th, 2020
Pages: 320
Language: English