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Cover image for 1st to die : a novel
1st to die : a novel
Other title(s):
First to die



1st ed.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little Brown, ©2001.
Physical Description:
v, 424 pages ; 25 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
Four women--a police detective, an assistant D.A., a reporter, and a medical examiner who call themselves the Women's Murder Club--develop lifelong bonds as they pursue a killer whose twisted imagination has stunned an entire city.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades 9-12 4.5 12 Quiz 72374 English fiction.


Call Number
MYS PATTERSON Women's Murder Club #1
Patterson, J.
MYSTERY Patterson, J.

On Order



Four crime-solving friends face off against a killer in San Francisco in the Women's Murder Club novel that launched James Patterson's thrilling series.

Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving each other a hand. The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered-before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong.
Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of the #1 New York Times bestselling series of crime thrillers.

Author Notes

James Patterson was born in Newburgh, New York, on March 22, 1947. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1969 and received a M. A. from Vanderbilt University in 1970. His first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, was written while he was working in a mental institution and was rejected by 26 publishers before being published and winning the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery.

He is best known as the creator of Alex Cross, the police psychologist hero of such novels as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. Cross has been portrayed on the silver screen by Morgan Freeman. He has had eleven on his books made into movies and ranks as number 3 on the Hollywood Reporter's '25 Most Powerful Authors' 2016 list. He also writes the Women's Murder Club series, the Michael Bennett series, the Maximum Ride series, Daniel X series, the Witch and Wizard series, BookShots series, Private series, NYPD Red series, and the Middle School series for children. He has won numerous awards including the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award.

James Patterson introduced the Bookshots Series in 2016 which is advertised as All Thriller No Filler. The first book in the series, Cross Kill, made the New York Times Bestseller list in June 2016. The third and fourth books, The Trial, and Little Black Dress, made the New York Times Bestseller list in July 2016. The next books in the series include, $10,000,000 Marriage Proposal, French Kiss, Hidden: A Mitchum Story (co-authored with James O. Born). and The House Husband (co-authored Duane Swierczynski).

Patterson's novel, co-authored with Maxine Paetro, Woman of God, became a New York Times bestseller in 2016.

Patterson co-authored with John Connoly and Tim Malloy the true crime expose Filthy Rich about billionaire convicted sex offender Jeffrey Eppstein.

In January 2017, he co-authored with Ashwin Sanghi the bestseller Private Delhi. And in August 2017, he co-authored with Richard Dilallo, The Store.

The Black Book is a stand-alone thriller, co-authored by James Patterson and David Ellis.

In April 2018, he co-authored Texas Ranger with Andrew Bourelle.

In May 2018, he co-authored Private Princess with Rees Jones.

In August 2018 he co-authored Fifty Fifty with Candice Fox.

(Bowker Author Biography) James Patterson is the author of seven major national bestsellers in a row. These include "Along Came a Spider", "Kiss the Girls", "Jack & Jill", "Cat & Mouse", "When the Wind Blows", "Pop Goes the Weasel", &, in paperback, "The Midnight Club". A past winner of the prestigious Edgar Award, Patterson lives in Florida.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

As the former head of the J. Walter Thompson ad agency, Patterson knows how to write to sell--even if his novels are feeling increasingly like designer product. No Patterson title has felt more packaged than this clever kickoff to a new series, which will scorch bestseller lists just as his Alex Cross novels do (with the latest, Roses Are Red, now on PW's hardcover list). But as calculating as Patterson may be, he isn't afraid to reach as a writer. A white male, he here turns for his first-person voice from the African-American Cross, already a stretch, to a woman, Insp. Lindsay Boxer of the SFPD. The novel finds an anguished Boxer at home, holding her service revolver to her head. The bulk of the book consists of flashbacks depicting the investigation by Boxer and others of a series of heinous killings, and detailing the killings themselves. Patterson tells the story in his patented mix of first- and third-person narration. The murders are of newlyweds on their honeymoon night; after each slaying, the killer sexually molests the bride's corpse--there's a high sleaze factor here. We know the villain right away, though the cops don't; he's Phillip Campbell, later identified as the alternate identity of a bestselling novelist who in some ways is not too unlike Patterson himself. Aside from its breakneck pacing and loop-the-loop plotting, the novel's real grab is that soon Boxer joins forces with three other women to solve the case: a feisty reporter, a warmhearted medical examiner and an ambitious assistant DA. They style themselves the Women's Murder Club, and you can bet they're going to appear in more than one hot-selling sequel--assuming Boxer survives the life-threatening disease diagnosed in her during the course of this gleaming machine of a novel. Author tour; Time Warner Audio. (One-day laydown, Mar. 5)Forecast: This new series could rival the Alex Cross novels in popularity, particularly as it seems aimed primarily at the vast female readership of mystery/thrillers. Expect big numbers for this one, with its first printing of 850,000 copies, a preview chapter in the mass market editions of Along Came a Spider and Cradle & All, and, most importantly, a two-part NBC miniseries based on the novel to be aired in May 2001, at the same time the book will be cruising toward the top of the charts. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Four women band together to catch the forgettable fiend who's murdering newlyweds. Even before she knows she's dealing with a serial killer, Inspector Lindsay Boxer is overcome with emotion at the beautiful young corpses of David and Melanie Brandt. Retreating to the ladies' room moments after tossing upstart reporter Cindy Thomas out of the crime scene, she runs into Cindy, who's sneaked inside to slip Lindsay her card and tell her to call her if she ever wants to talk about the case. There's no earthly reason for an experienced homicide cop to accept this invitation, so Lindsay naturally does, and soon after the killer scores a second double play, Lindsay's best friend Claire Washburn, San Francisco's chief medical examiner, and Jill Bernhardt, from the D.A.'s office, have joined the Women's Murder Club. The conceit here is that the quartet pool their skills to crack the case, but apart from sharing anecdotes about sex in public places and offering sympathetic shoulders to Lindsay, who's been diagnosed with life-threatening aplastic anemia, the others don't do much detection. Neither does Captain Chris Raleigh, Lindsay's new partner, whom Patterson (Roses Are Red, 2000, etc.) has evidently provided his heroine for another purpose entirely. In fact, the crucial break in the case comes from an utterly unexpected source: Cleveland, where a third pair of bride-and-groom victims points a finger at a popular author who swears that although he's lied about the crime, and although the evidence against him is out to here, he's being set up. Is he or isn't he? Bargain-basement plotting, fewer thrills than a tax audit, and cardboard sleuths poised to return for a sequel. But the relentless velocity is guaranteed to hook fans of the bestselling Patterson, who'll presumably be hearing from the police the next time somebody declares war on young love. Author tour

Booklist Review

Patterson, best known for his thrillers featuring Alex Cross, is banking on his legions of fans coming on board for this novel, the first in a new crime series. Don't be surprised if they come in droves. 1st to Die sets up the premise of the series--a group of four successful women coming together to solve murder cases--while offering a heinous killer and a fast-paced mystery. The story opens in San Francisco, with the gruesome murder of a bride and groom on their wedding night. Detective Lindsay Boxer is called to the scene, just after learning she is suffering from a rare and potentially life-threatening blood disease. For help with the case, she calls on her best friend, Claire, a medical examiner, and, reluctantly at first, Cindy, a newspaper reporter who is covering the story. Two more bride-and-groom killings lead them to the doorstep of Nicholas Jenks, a prominent writer who was having an affair with one of the murdered brides. Given Jenks' prestige, the assistant D.A., Jill Bernhardt, is reluctant to prosecute without substantial evidence. When Cindy gets a hold of a manuscript copy of Jenks' unpublished first novel, which details murders almost exactly like the bride-and-groom killings, the case starts to come together. Patterson keeps up the suspense until the very last page and will have readers looking forward to the second installment in the series. --Kristine Huntley

Library Journal Review

A new setting (San Francisco), new protagonists (members of the Women's Murder Club, who pursue a vicious killer), and a TV miniseries slated for May should boost Patterson's latest work. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.