I don't lie about my age -- I couldn't if I wanted to, because my kids are more than happy to tell anyone who asks. I'm 57, okay? I know that's older than a lot of you, but I'm really not in Miss Marple's generation. In mystery, there isn't a lot of middle ground: the detective/heroine is either old as dirt or practically in diapers -- comparatively speaking.
Woman my age might look old, but we don't feel that way. We still live exciting, productive lives -- it's just rare to read about women of my general age group in books.
Thank God for Hank Phillippi Ryan, Boston TV instigative reporter-slash-mystery author. How Hank juggles her two jobs I'll never understand, especially since she seems to be everywhere -- book signings, mystery conferences, romance writers conventions. Hank and I are roughly the same age and, while she is considerably more glamorous (and slim -- did I mention how sleek and fashionable she is?), we both work hard and still manage to enjoy life.
Enter Charlie McNally, an investigative reporter for a TV station not unlike the one Hank works for, researching stories that are written with a deft hand and a definite touch of inside knowledge. While Charlie isn't Hank's alter ego, the similarities give authenticity to Charlie's voice. Each book is features a fascinating look into a mystery-related investigation, while revealing a little more about Charlie's life.
I've read the first three books in this series: PRIME TIME, FACE TIME and AIR TIME, and I'm looking forward to Hank's upcoming release, DRIVE TIME. I'm not alone in praising this series -- just search Hank's name or any of the titles to see all the rave reviews she's getting.
Now, before you start pointing out all the other fifty-ish heroines out there, let me just stress that this is the first I can remember that I really related to. Life doesn't end when the nest empties or when hot flashes begin. I, for one, am having more fun now than when I was a teenager. Hank's books are a reminder that turning fifty doesn't instantly put you in slippers and a rocking chair, or make you transform into your prim and proper grandmother.
Kick off your stilettos and pour yourself a glass of wine. Grab one of Hank's books and watch Charlie McNally kick some ass!
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