Whodunit? – A Review of Simone St. James’s The Book of Cold Cases

A few years ago when The Broken Girls came out, everyone was telling me to read it – about how good it was. I brushed it off because well … I don’t like when something’s so overly hyped because then you have expectations. And more oftentimes than not, you’re left disappointed. Fast forward two years later, a new title with St. James’s name popped up on my Book of the Month picks; The Sun Down Motel. I admit I was a bit hesitant but a Repeat Author on BOTM? It has to be somewhat good, right? Let me tell you – it was so good that right after I finished that book, I quickly went back to read The Broken Girls. So when The Book of Cold Cases came out, I picked it without hesitation this time. All books by Simone St. James should receive nothing less than 5 stars – they’re all so well written and the characters are both complex and likeable. I mean … bring on the movie adaptations!

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

The year was 1977 in Claire Lake, Oregon and Beth Greer’s father had just died from an assumed robbery/assault gone wrong, and her mother died from a car accident. Beth was left with a wealth of fortune – and at just 23 years old painted the perfect picture of The Lady Killer suspect. The first victim was shot twice in the face with no witnesses – only a note in a woman’s handwriting. “Am I bitter or am I sweet? Ladies can be either. Publish this or there will be more.” Now, the story was published on the newspaper – but to everyone’s surprise, a second victim was shot twice in the face with a note this time that read “Catch me!” A witness that night said he saw a woman with the same physical features as Beth, yet there was no other supporting evidence. The twist? Ballistics reported that Beth’s father and the 3 men were all killed by the same gun and everyone’s eyes were on Beth Greer.

Fast forward to 2017, enter 29 year-old Shea Collins. A medical receptionist by day, and a true crime blogger by night. Recently divorced and super obsessed with real life crime. She started a website called The Book of Cold Cases. Here she types up papers about anything related from The Zodiac Killer, Sons of Sam, and yep you guessed it – The Lady Killer. When she meets Elizabeth Greer by chance, she is surprised that Beth has agreed to an interview. The catch? All the interviews had to be at the Greer Mansion.

The history of Elizabeth Greer slowly unfolds and that of the Greer household. Through numerous interviews and encounters with the Greer Mansion, we discover that it holds a lot more than what the eye sees.

Why would Beth stay in a Mansion that was seemingly haunted, and why only tell Shea things that she’s never told anyone else? Why has she agreed to an interview with Shea when she has turned down everyone else? Who taught Beth to be the way that she was, and what skeletons was she hiding in the closet? Guess you’ll have to read to find out!

I’d love to know your thoughts on the book too!


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