It’s August–there’s still time for a compelling summer read like Montclair author Jacqueline (also known as Jay) Carey’s “It’s A Crime”.
The protagonist, Pat Foy, is a landscape architect married to a telecom millionaire, who lives in the most exclusive area of a town modeled on Montclair. As the book opens, her glamorous life begins to unravel during a visit to the Philadelphia flower show. In a dramatic and effective case of foreshadowing, Pat is transfixed by a menacing ‘Black and White Garden’ – the glaringly lit centerpiece of the show: “…eddies of black and white blossoms. Violet-black irises. Purple-black hollyhocks. White foxglove spikes barnacled with little pink-tongued bells. Huge white pompom hydrangeas. The dark plum-colored ‘Black Jewel’ tulip, with its shark-toothed petals.’

It is here at the flower show that Pat first learns her husband Frank has been cheating. No, not on her; he’s been cheating the shareholders of the huge telecom he works for with his wildly unorthodox accounting methods and the misdeeds of his handpicked team of ‘high risk boys’. As the wife of an extremely high profile white collar criminal modeled on the major players in the telecom scandals of the last ten years, Pat’s life takes a toboggan to hell. Just as the black and white garden evokes clear cut right and wrong, good and evil, so does it describe the stark change in her life from top of the hill to social pariah. Carey’s extensive research into her subjects – she even sat in on some infamous white collar trials – pays off in a pitch-perfect, highly engaging tale.
What are fellow Baristavillians reading as we round the corner into September, and would you recommend it to your fellow posters?

4 replies on “Great End-Of-Summer Reads”

  1. Support Local Writers…and no writer more worthy of support than Jay. A truly lovely woman. Heard an excellent interview with her yesterday by NPR’s Scott Simon. Looking forward to a great read.

  2. This sounds like a book I’d like to read. I lean towards true crime but I like good crime fiction as well, a la James Patterson (the master!), Patricia Cornwell, Alice Sebold. I’m actually looking for some new titles now, so I am open to suggestions.

  3. Here are a bunch of novels that I’ve read recently. I highly recommend all of them.
    **”Remembering the Bones” by Frances Itani
    ** Olivia Kitteridge” by Amy Strout
    ** The Ten Year Nap” by Meg Wolizer
    “” Men and Their Mothers” by Mameve Medwed
    ** Innocent Traitor” by Alison Weir
    “Whacked” by Jules Asner
    “A Good Indian Wife” by Anne Cherion
    “The Spare Room” by Helen Garner (this is coming out in the US in the winter but is available now on
    “Molly Fox’s Birthday” by Deirdre Madden (not sure when this is coming out here but is also available from It’s a wondeful book)
    “Gods Behaving Badly” by Marie Phillip
    “The September of Shiraz” by Delia Sofer
    “The Godmother” by Carrie Adams
    “The Master Bedroom” by Tessa Hadley
    “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan
    “A Day at the Beach” by Helen Schuman.
    “Keeping the World Away” by Margaret Forster
    “The Anglo Files” by Sarah Lyall (if you are an Anglophile. Loved this)
    “The Night of the Gun” by our own
    David Carr

  4. I love James Patterson. I also enjoy Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly. For a different twist, I like Luanne Rice. The one thing I really miss about commuting into the city is the time I had to read on the train..Two hours of forced relaxation a day.

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