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Dangerous Admissions: Secrets of a Closet Sleuth (Closet Sleuth #1)

3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  268 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews

Miranda "Rannie" Bookman—43, divorced mother of two, with a recent love life consisting of a long string of embarrassingly brief encounters—is beginning to feel like a dangling participle: connected to nothing. Her career as a copyeditor is down the toilet (she makes one little slip—a missing "l" from the last word in the title of the Nancy Drew classic The Secret o

Paperback, 353 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Mar 21, 2013 CS rated it it was amazing
Wow, I had a very different reaction to this book than did most people on Goodreads, it seems.

Perhaps it's because I read this book on Kindle, so I wasn't influenced by the cover or the blurb. It seems that the book's packaging promises a light, fluffy chick lit read. And that's not what the book delivers. To begin, the heroine is past chick lit heroine age - refreshing so. Rannie Bookman (I see what you did with the name there, author) is a divorced, underemployed mother of a college age daught
Jane O'Connor is very well known as the author of the wildly popular Fancy Nancy series of children books. About 6 years ago, she debuted her first adult mystery novel - Dangerous Admissions (Secrets of a Closet Sleuth) about Rannie Bookman, a 43 year old divorced mom, who is working at an exclusive prep school, when the chief of admissions, Mr. Tut, is murdered. O'Connor's latest book, in this same series - "Almost True Confessions" was very favorably reviewed in the New York Times, but I hate ...more
Lynn Spencer
I have to say that I liked this book a lot more than other reviewers seem to have done. As has been noted elsewhere, the cover doesn't really match the tone of the story. From the cover, I thought I was getting lighthearted chick lit with a touch of suspense.

However, in reality, the book has more depth than the cover and blurb would lead one to believe. The heroine, Miranda (Rannie) Bookman, lost her copyediting job thanks to an embarassing typo. Now 43, she works part-time giving admissions tou
Nov 22, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Ugh, it was a horrible book. I finished reading it months ago and I am still regretting the time I spent getting to the end of the book. Since it was a murder mystery, I wanted to know "who done it." The murderer and motive are plausible (at least within the framework of the story), but uninspiring. The characters were people I would expect to find on Gossip Girl (from the perspective of someone who does not watch the show and has only Googled it to Wikipedia.) The saving grace of the book is th ...more
Ashley FL
Mar 25, 2011 Ashley FL rated it it was ok
I imagine the editorial meeting on this book went something like:

Editor: This is a great little cozy mystery you've got here, Jane!

Jane: Thanks!

Editor: We know you are used to writing books for toddlers, but we gotta tell you . . .

[uncomfortable silence]

Editor: Well, have you ever watched "Gossip Girl"? Because that show is really hot right now. Could you take this cozy mystery and add in some "Gossip Girl"?

Jane: Er, I guess so.
Nov 06, 2013 Dorothy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
When I read recently that there was a mystery series featuring a copy editor as the sleuth, I was intrigued. Having been married to a copy editor for many years with a chance to observe his powers of deduction up close and personal, it occurred to me that a word sleuth might make a very good detective. So, of course I had to read it, and since I am an obsessive kind of reader who likes to read series books in order, I started with the first one, Dangerous Admissions.

While the concept seemed a go
Dec 23, 2013 Sara rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I read about 50 pages. I have an English degree, so I know a lot of people who like to pick on other people's grammar. And I absolutely hate it. I would rather read some bad grammar than bad writing. I couldn't relate to any of the characters and I found the obscene language unnecessary. I don't mind using profanity when it's right for a character, but in this case it just seemed gratuitous. And for a book about a woman written by a woman, there was too much that I found kind of offensive to wom ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: novel
Hmm. Despite the hot pink on the cover and the fluffy blurb, something about this book made me think it still might be good when I picked it up, but now I have no idea what that something was. I read the beginning, then I was bored, so I read the ending, and I was still bored, but I thought it would make sense if I read the middle, so I skimmed the whole middle only to find out, nope, I was still bored. Maybe there were witty things in there or something but I just wasn't feeling it. Good thing ...more
Larry Hostetler
Jun 29, 2015 Larry Hostetler rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
For a first novel O'Connor did a great job. Knowing it was her first adult mystery, I had some concerns about whether it would have consistency and interest. The book's short chapters (some only one page) were a distraction, but that may not be the author's fault.

As good reads do, this read gained momentum and interest as the story neared its climax. There was enough humor and quirkiness to provide added interest, including the main character's attention to grammar (as an editor/proofreader, it
Jobiska (Cindy)
I picked this up yesterday on the $1 shelf at Borders. It was definitely worth more...I enjoyed the pace, the characters, the mystery (enough hints to let the reader not feel frustrated, but not totally obvious). The NYC setting was detailed in just the right amount.

I did, however, find it very ironically amusing that a book with a copy editor protagonist who winces at poor grammar, typos, and other errors, contained some glaring errors (as well as a few sentences i'd rewrite to be less jarring
Sep 27, 2015 Lori rated it it was ok
I expected to love this book when I picked it up at the used bookstore last week. It's a murder mystery at a NYC prep school investigated by a grammar loving book editor/mom who finds her son is the number one suspect. This is one of my favorite genres. What could go wrong?

This is a book that is hurt by the shifting point of view. We get the alternating point of view of Rannie (the aforementioned mom), her suspect son Nate, and Olivia, the student who discovered the body. We also are privy to te
Rachel Rogers
Jan 16, 2016 Rachel Rogers rated it liked it
Very disturbing for the first half of the book getting used to conversations about Roofies, oral sex and murder coming out of the author of the Fancy Nancy books. I've loved Fancy Nancy since my daughter was first introduced to them 6 years ago. Not sure this is a good move for O'Connor; she and Robin Preiss-Glassner do such wonderful work in the FN books. Still, I can imagine writing those, or even the FN Chapter books, gets old. Some beautiful writing, a few sentences that made me smile or lau ...more
Feb 04, 2014 Andrea rated it it was ok
I took me a long time to finish this book. Because I just wanted interested in it. It was boring...until about 3/4 of the way through.

So...why didn't I like the book?
1. Well it wasn't what I expected. I expected some fun chick lit - some light mystery with some romance thrown in. No...not so. Instead I got a pretty heavy read with murder, serial killers, another murder, drugs, and unnecessary self-pleasuring scenes. (Yuck.)

2. The main character was a copy editor. And she kept correcting everyone
Jennifer A.M.
Nov 12, 2007 Jennifer A.M. rated it really liked it
This is the 1st adult novel by O'Connor most well known for her popular series of children's books starring Fancy Nancy. I thought the book was amusing and well thought out for a chick lit type murder mystery. It reminded me a lot of the Kate White books which I also enjoy quite a bit. Rannie is the 40 year old protagonist who fears the death of the college counselor at her son's private high school was not an accident. She gets involved with some detective work of her own falling for the father ...more
Ellen Kirschman
Oct 12, 2013 Ellen Kirschman rated it liked it
I liked O'Connor's spunky, slightly daffy protagonist, Rannie, a copy editor and single mom, who can't stop copy-editing in her head, even when she's in extreme danger. She has a quirky, somewhat cynical view of life and an overwhelming curiosity that ultimately leads her to figure out "who dun it?" before the cops do. The book moves at a face pace and the setting, New York City, figures prominently. Her descriptions of teen age life and angst are wonderful. I only wish that O'Connor had copy-e ...more
Aug 22, 2007 Christine rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery romance escape
NYT Book Review 8/18/07
Fun chick-lit for the older crowd, but with a substantial portion in the first person from some high-school senior characters, all credible and likeable. I solved the mystery in the first 2 chapters, but still enjoyed the portrayal of the Upper West Sider involved in an Upper East Side milieu -- a competitive private school. Also the protagonist, as an unemployed editor, can't help hearing grammar and seeing punctuation the way I do -- a life long handicap. (It was especia
Jan 23, 2008 Keris rated it really liked it
Jane O'Connor has written a raft of books for children, but Dangerous Admissions is her first adult book. It's classic chick lit mystery with a gutsy heroine - single mother Rannie Bookman - a fantastic Manhattan setting and lots of romance and thrills.

Rannie is a freelance copy editor and part-time tour guide for the exclusive Upper West Side private school her son Nate attends (courtesy of her rich WASP ex-mother-in-law).

When the Director of College Admissions is found

To read the rest of this
Feb 15, 2011 Scilla rated it liked it
Rannie Bookman is a divorced copy editor with a daughter away from home and a son, Nate, who is a senior at the Chapel School where his mother gives candidate tours. Rannie continually corrects people's English, and finds a new male friend in the single father of one of Nate's classmates. The guidance counselor at Chapel is found dead by one of the students, and Nate may have been the last one to have seen him alive. Rannie does some investigating, and gets into trouble with too much information ...more
Jamie Clarke
Oct 06, 2007 Jamie Clarke rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book for a few reasons. Rannie is a real woman with who sounds like a fun person who'd be a great friend. I don't believe she'd do a few of the pseudo-detective things she's feels compelled to do however that's what drove the plot. My favorite part of Rannie was her inner editor; how she was always correcting grammar in her head both written and spoken. That just cracked me up! The clues to the who-done-it were well hidden, my suspicions weren't confirmed until the last few chapte ...more
Jan 12, 2017 Patty rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Fun little mystery. I will say the "romance" scenes were very forced, awkward, and didn't fit, but were forced into the book. Weird to me. That and a few other things were like the author had some sort of checklist of "things that every novel must have" so she added them just to be sure she checked them off the list.

Nothing wrong with the story. Enjoyable. I enjoyed some of the complications in her twists....
Jun 08, 2014 Alice rated it liked it
Fun read. As a former editor, I was attracted to this because the review said it was about a proofreader. I loved the inside jokes about typos, blue pencils and grammar goofs. It's a nice beach-type read, with teenagers run amok, college admissions hanging by a thread and murder. I won't give away too much of the plot since others will likely do that, and I do not want to spoil the mystery for readers.
gwen g
Jan 23, 2010 gwen g rated it liked it
Read this for an LJ column on books about college admissions (suggestions eagerly accepted if you can think of any!). It's a totally light-hearted "suspense-romance," neither of which are my usual genres, but O'Connor won my heart by creating a copy editor protagonist who thinks and acts exactly like a real copy editor, complete with complaints about who/whom and the misuse of commas. It's like she read the inside of my brain (and the mystery was fairly compelling, too).
Jan 05, 2013 Lisa rated it it was ok
The premise of the text was somewhat interesting, but I wouldn't call it compelling. Too often there was superfluous curing and sex scenes, which I didn't expect in a criminal mystery novel. I did finish the book, but only because I hate starting a book and not completing it. The grammar tidbits were humorous, but I'm an English teacher. The writing craft was tolerable, though not necessarily impressive and engaging.
Matthew Cousens
Nov 13, 2013 Matthew Cousens rated it liked it
Shelves: x_closet-sleuth
The first time I tried reading this I couldn't get into the rhythm of the writing and didn't make it past 30 pages. I put it down for a little while and tried again, and I'm glad I did because I enjoyed it. This is a murder mystery set in a private high school in New York City, and it is great. There were several pieces which I could see coming, so perhaps it is a little too straightforward but it is still a good read.
Anna Karras
Mar 19, 2008 Anna Karras rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This was a cute little mystery about a school mom and part-time copy editor who gets embroiled in a murder mystery at her son's school. Rannie is horrified to find that the college counselor at her son's New York City prep school has been murdered. Part murder mystery, part romantic comedy, this was pretty good for a light mystery.
Apr 19, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2007 Bridget rated it liked it
Recommends it for: copy editors, mystery fans
Shelves: fiction
I picked this up because the main character is a copy editor; she starts sleuthing when her son is suspected of a murder that took place at his private school. There's more social comedy than suspense here, but it's a light, fun read.
Angela Prickett
Oct 23, 2013 Angela Prickett rated it liked it
I picked this book because I love Fancy Nancy. I really liked the plot and the writing style of this book but there were too many sex scenes. It was a little too detailed and adult in the sex scenes and language for me to really love the book.
Oct 01, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Really enjoyed this one - a light and fun mystery/social satire about a mom attempting to solve a murder at her son's fancy Manhattan prep school.

Interesting note - this is the first adult novel by the author of one of my 3 year old daughter's favorite books, Fancy Nancy.
Mar 28, 2015 Kaitlyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-books
The author should stick to the children's books. The overall story was a good idea, but not executed very well. It dragged in places. Also the random masturbation scenes were totally unnecessary and out of place. They added nothing to the story.
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Since the publication of Fancy Nancy, Jane O'Connor's closet now boasts so many boas, tiaras, and sparkly ensembles that sometimes friends do not recognize her on the street. She still resides (that's a fancy word for lives) in New York City with her family and their canine companion, Arrow. --from the publisher's website
More about Jane O'Connor...

Other Books in the Series

Closet Sleuth (2 books)
  • Almost True Confessions: Closet Sleuth Spills All (Closet Sleuth #2)

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