The Book of Cold Cases

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect—a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases—a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

Favorite Quotes

"You didn't change my life...I did."
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“It made no sense, but guilt doesn't have to. It simply exists, weighing you down and choking you until you can't breathe anymore.”

“But a novel always ends, the lies come to the surface, and the deaths are explained. Maybe one of the bad characters gets away with something—that’s fashionable right now—but you are still left with a sense that things are balanced, that dark things come to light, and that the bad person will, at least, most likely be miserable. It was dark comfort, but it was still comfort."

“Am I bitter or am I sweet? Ladies can be either.”

“But I’ve always believed that murder is the healthiest obsession of all.”

What was in the box?

This box shipped in March of 2022. This was the first thriller included in the year of 2022. This is also the second time we have featured Simone St. James in one of our monthly boxes!

As Book Clubbers read this title, they opened their gifts to find a wine tool kit including a air pressure wine opener, bottle top aerator, wine foil cutter, and bottle stopper. They also found a custom-designed, book page trinket dish with the first page of Moby Dick by Herman Melville printed on it inspired by the ash tray in the story, and a sheer red scarf.

Fun Fact: The included "Life" magazine cover model was inspired by the details in the novel. However, she was photoshopped to match the character exactly as described including her hair color, the shawl on her shoulder, her lipstick, and the background color!

Discussion Questions

Chatting about books is what we do! Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Find like-minded readers who love books as much as you do and join in the conversation! All book lovers are welcome!

1. Shea doesn't drive because of a traumatic event in her childhood which caused lasting PTSD for her. In what other ways did you notice her life was affected by her past?

2. There is a lot of deception and twists in this story. Did you see any of it coming? When were you able to guess at what was going on?

3. True crime stories are a big thing right now. What is your favorite true crime TV documentary/show or podcast?

4. Beth kept a big secret for a very long time. Do you think she protected that person out of love or something else? What do you think you would do in that situation?

5. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have any experience with the supernatural? Would you live in a house that was thought to be haunted?

Meet the Author

Simone St. James

Simone St. James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Book of Cold Cases, The Sun Down Motel, and The Broken Girls. She has been featured twice in Once Upon a Book Club, in October 2016 and April 2022.

Learn More About Simone