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If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... [Hardcover]

Sharyn McCrumb
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 18 1995
"Whenever Sharyn McCrumb suits up her amateur detective, Elizabeth MacPherson, it's pretty certain that a trip is in the offing and that something deadly funny will happen on the road."
--The New York Times Book Review
Now, the author of She Walks These Hills brings her storytelling gifts to a novel about crimes committed a century apart.
For forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson, solving mysteries hardly seems the fun it used to be--even if she is the official private investigator for her brother Bill's fledgling Virginia law firm. Then Bill and his feminist firebrand partner, A. P. Hill, take on two complex cases that will require Elizabeth's special participation.
Eleanor Royden, a perfect lawyer's wife for twenty years, has shot her ex-husband and his beautiful late-model wife in cold blood. And Donna Jean Morgan finds herself married to a Bible-thumping bigamist who has the nerve to die in circumstances that implicate his wife.
A. P. does her damnedest for Eleanor, an abused wife in denial, and Bill gallantly defends Donna Jean. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's forensic expertise, including her special knowledge of poisons, gives her the most challenging case of her career.
As questions of wife abuse and abandonment emerge in the court of public opinion, Elizabeth becomes a war correspondent in the battle of the sexes--a battle as old as the hills and unlikely to reach a truce any time soon....

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Three grievously wronged women take murderous revenge in this sharp-edged, witty tale, the eighth appearance of forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson. Her skills at research and detection come into play when she is hired as an investigator by her brother Bill's Virginia law firm. Bill has been asked to defend a woman accused of poisoning her philandering husband, a piously hypocritical preacher. Another law partner, the resolute Amy Powell Hill, ponders how best to defend a Richmond socialite who gleefully admits to shooting both her ex-husband and his new wife. Intertwined with these contemporary cases is a 19th-century mystery: How did a genteel Southern lady manage to poison her wealthy Yankee husband? Buoyed by intriguing characters, a wry?sometimes macabre?wit, and lush Virginia atmosphere, McCrumb's (MacPherson's Lament; The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter) mystery spins merrily along on its own momentum, concluding that justice will triumph... but in surprising ways. Mystery Guild selection.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Elizabeth MacPherson, Southern sleuth and forensic anthropologist, investigates a pair of murders for her brother's Virginia law firm. From the author of Missing Susan (Ballantine, 1991).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bookclub Bomb May 17 2004
Format:Hardcover
The person who picked this selection for our bookclub nearly got 'egged' when she walked in the door. We all agreed it was a shallow, dull book. Never again for this author!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Dolphins are not McCrumb's strong suit!!! Sept. 19 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To be perfectly honest I just couldn't get past the thing with the dolphin. I thought it was sick, twisted, and unworthy of a writer of Sharyn McCrumb's caliber. I have read every single one of McCrumb's books, all three series and while If I'd Killed Him... was undeniably funny and had some very valid things to say the dolphin's final scene just ruined it for me. Maybe I'm more puritan than I'd like to think but the only thing I could think of after I finished the book (besides "eeewwww! GROSS!) was that anyone who would devalue humans as much as that character did deserved what happened to her. I'm happy to say that this is the ONLY one of McCrumb's books I've ever been turned off by and I'm glad she seems to be concentrating all her writing energy on her ballad books. They are like jeweled treasures and this book was a piece of plastic compared to them.
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2.0 out of 5 stars ridiculous May 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought the book because I absolutely loved "The Song Catcher" and the title intrigued me. However, this book is not up to McCrumb standard. What was she thinking???Why would you put some assinine story about a relationship with a dolphin! in with the rest of this book? The other "stories" in the book wove together nicely as a good mystery. Why, oh why, add that nonsense about the dolphin? I may never read another of her books because of this. I can't believe the difference between this and the incredible "Song Catcher"
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Gift My Mother In Law Ever Gave Me April 23 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had never heard of Sharyn McCrumb before getting this book from my dear departed mother in law.
When I picked it up while helping my father in law wade through her personal belongings, we were all still in tears from our loss. This book made me roll in the floor laughing my ... off. I found myself not wanting to put it down.
You can read all the other reviews on this book if you want someone to tell you how the story ends. Personally, I'd rather read the book to find that part out. You will have fun.
Sharyn McCrumb has written over 30 other books that I have now located and read. This is one of her best although the ballad novels are wonderful too. The Rosewood Casket is excellent.
This book is helpful to share with women friends who are dealing with divorce and particularly unfaithful spouses. The emotions of pain that are shown here but then charged with laughter are a wonderful way to start the healing.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, don't need a hat.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a mixed bag Sept. 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book has some wonderful subplots, and some pretty awful ones. The wonderful ones keep me coming back to reread it, but now I skip the awful ones.
The stories of Eleanor Royden and Donna Jean Morgan, one who killed the husband who divorced her for a younger woman, the other who is accused of killing the husband who brought a second, teenage, wife into their house without divorcing her, are riveting. Both these subplots are laugh-out-loud funny at times, but ultimately very sad.
You might, however, want to skip the parts of the book about Elizabeth MacPherson's mother. This is the only part of the book where McCrumb veers into charicature; usually what makes her such a wonderful author is that she invests a wide range of characters with real life, allowing them to be funny while being sensitive to how such people actually might think about the world. Here, however, that couldn't be farther from the case. I don't want to give away the ending, even though it's probably too much respect to pay that part of the book, but let's just say that it ends up presenting a completely false vision of how the world works for women in traditionally male occupations.
The book is worth a read, it's just sad that what could have been such a great book is so degraded by one relatively small subplot.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sharyn McCrumb has succeeded brilliantly in writing a novel that is a decent murder mystery and yet also so much more. She manages to incorporate some interesting bits of Civil War-era history and lore, some little-known facts regarding the nature of a certain poison that figures prominently in the story, and also some thoughtful insights into the nature of contemporary American sexism and women's varying reactions to it. Through it all, McCrumb manages to keep her reader laughing; as she spins out the various threads that comprise her tale, she exhibits a devastating wit which she employs to perfection in illustrating the foibles of her characters and of human life in general.
This was a book that once started, I had a hard time putting down. McCrumb always writes with grace and wit, and this is one of her very best efforts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hilarious! Sept. 22 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sharyn McCrumb never ceases to entertain, and to allow her Elizabeth MacPherson books to possess a lighter side her Appalachian series does not. "If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him..." is a riot from beginning to end, with wonderful characters, a great plotline, and McCrumb's usual inimitable wit.
It's a great book to start with if you're introducing yourself to her Elizabeth MacPherson's stories, but all the others are great, too, particularly "Lovely in Her Bones," "Highland Laddie Gone," and "Missing Susan," which is deliciously wicked, ;-)
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