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Mortal Friends

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  347 ratings  ·  66 reviews
When the latest victim of the "Beltway Basher" is found in the woods of Montrose Park, Reven Lynch's favorite jogging spot, her crime-loving antenna goes up. The murder makes Reven and her best friend, Violet Bolton, reconsider their running route—but that's not the only change in Reven's routine. Her chic Georgetown neighborhood isn't accustomed to brutal slayings, and wh ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 30th 2009 by Harper (first published June 1st 2009)
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Jane Stanton Hitchcock's newest novel Mortal Friends is a seductive mystery set in Georgetown, where the real Washington DC power lies.

When the Beltway Basher's latest victim is found in a nearby park, best friends society matron Violet and antique shop owner Reven get involved in the crime. Violet is obsessed with true life crime stories, and Reven becomes entangled when a police detective asks her for help in solving the case.

Hitchcock expertly draws the reader into this story and the world of

Reven Lynch is the sophisticated owner of an antiques business in Georgetown; she travels with the social elite of Washington DC. This 40+ witty, beautiful woman's best friend and former classmate is Violet who is married to one of the monied powerful of D.C. Violet is obsessed with crime and serial killers while Reven struggles to find a good man and keep her business solvent.

A new philanthropic woman comes on the scene and sets her talons into men, money, fame, and infamy. At the same time, a
Fun, Exciting Story

Washington DC isn't your standard setting for a society novel/mystery. This one is engaging, well-crafted and lively. Most of the main characters come to life easily and realistically, except Grant Bolton. I appreciate the first person main character Reven's honest voice and droll humor. She's loyal, loving, fun, sophisticated and down to earth. Her flaws are realistic and recognizable.

Reven and best friend Violet have an enduring relationships that is believable and complex,
I had hoped this book would be an engrossing murder mystery sprinkled with some social satire and romance. It only achieved a "kind of" on most of those scores.

While the book opens with the latest in a series of murders, the focus of the novel really is the social scene of DC's elite, as seen through the eyes of hanger-on Reven. Reven may take exception to that classification, but it is what she is. She seems to get no joy from the social gatherings she attends; yet, she continues to go while u
I love Jane Stanton Hitchcock! Her psychological thrillers for the Dior wearing set are terrific. Loved (and feared) Social Crimes and Mortal Friends was just as good. I'm now going to read the submissions toClass Notes from my girls boarding school with greater care.
Marianne Stehr
I enjoyed this part mystery, part gossip column. It reminded me of the Shopoholic books but the mystery part was there and very real. As an avid mystery/thriller reader I did not figure out who "did it" until it was revealed and the way it was written allowed you to jump back and forth between characters. There was a lot of intrigue in the socialite gossip as well and I felt that it was a different read but yet very engaging with interesting characters who were definitely flawed, but not so much ...more
Wendy Hines
Reven Lynch is a middle-aged divorcee living in Washington D.C. running a small antique shop. When the latest victim of the "Beltway Basher" is found in the park where Reven and best friend Victoria jog, she thinks they may need adjust their route.

Victoria is the wife of prominent banker Grant Bolton. They rub elbows with many ambassadors, senators, and other members of high society. When they can, they include Reven in their plans.

When Detective Gunner approaches Reven in her shop with questi
A murder mystery set in the political and social world of Washington D.C. has the potential to be incredibly intriguing, full of layers, and just plain suspenseful. Yet this book wasn't. It was a decent enough mystery, but the mystery portion was not the main focus of this book, being sidelined by the soap opera-y life of the main character, Reven, and it was, overall, just okay.

Reven is on the fringes of D.C.'s social circles, being invited to attend events with her best friend and her husband.

The murder story involving several female victims, is secondary and moves to the background. The main story is about 2 friends Reven Lynch and Violet Bolton who like to socialize with the Washington elite and enjoy gossiping about the scandals and intrigues behind the scenes, where nothing is as it appears to be. Many of these characters lead a shallow life and spend their days going to parties and dinners attended by politicians and their entourage.
Reven, an interior decorator and shop owner, c
Nathalie S
I've enjoyed reading books set in the governmental/political arenas mostly because they confirm what I suspect about the game of politics. A lot of it is really a game--not much different than games played in the high school government arenas! I am fascinated by it the way I am fascinated by snakes and other scary creatures. I would never touch one but they are still interesting to look at and recoil from. LOL! "Mortal friends" was very interesting. When you think you've figured out what's going ...more
Jane Stanton Hitchcock is very adept at placing her readers at the center table at a "society" gala. . . and, sometimes at a back table near the kitchen. I enjoy her snarky take on the politics of giving and her amusing behind the scenes look at how the 1% party.

This is the third of her books that I have gobbled up this year and, although enjoyable as an escapist read, it was more or less a traditional murder mystery. Her other novels were more high society roman a clef with a pinch of evil to s
I looked for Hitchcock's books on the library shelves because Linda Fairstein mentioned her as a mentor and friend in her books, and I do like Linda Fairstein's mystery thrillers! At first I thought I was going to abandon this book as being shallow, but it got to be a fun mystery. It is nothing like Fairstein's, which are much more serious. Reven, the main character in Mortal Friends, owns an antique shop in Georgetown in D.C., attends a parties where she gets to rub elbows with the rich and pow ...more
Cyndy Lee
I had just visited Washington DC, when I started this book. Therefore, I really appreciated the setting and the political/high society drama, in addition to the murder mystery. My first book by Hitchcock, and I look forward to reading more of her. Great read!
Antique shop owner Reven Lynch is facing a future as a former golden girl who never reached her potential. Her best friend, Violet Bolton, who was a misfit at their boarding school, is now the wife of a prominent banker, and trying to fix Reven's life by arranging for her to date wheeler-dealer Bob Poll. Violet, who is fascinated by serial killers, also makes sure that Reven is up-to-date with news about the Beltway Basher, who targets young women with dark hair. But Reven is soon to find out th ...more
I've read everything that Jane Stanton Hitchcok has written, and this book was the least satisfying. A quick read, and fairly engaging, but also a bit predictable and cetainly not as acidly humorous as Social Crimes or Trompe L'oil. It seems as if she is doing the same book again and again, and for me it is losing it's freshness.

Plus, I really did not like her heroine (the narrator) very much--and there was a big loose end at the end, so it felt a bit unresolved.

If this is your first JSH book, y
'Mortal Friends' is a perfect summer/beach read. The characters and plot are interesting enough to keep you wondering what's next, while the story is light and entertaining enough to keep you from thinking too hard while soaking up the sun. Hitchcock presents us with not one but two 'who-done-it' plots set among the who's who in Washington D.C., and while I wasn't shocked by the ending, she did keep me guessing until the end. Definitely a fun read for your beachbag. Enjoy!

By the way... this is a
Jun 12, 2014 Bryon added it
Enjoyable read. Murder and gossip in Washington social circuit. Not a Pulitzer.
Kate Sullivan
Loved the setting and the inside view of Washington society.
This book was delightfully bitchy. It's literary merit may be laughably minimal, but I couldn't put it down.

My edition of the book contained an interview with the author in which the interviewer asked what the author's hopes for the book were. The author replied that she hoped it would be a great beach read.

Well, mission accomplished. After a year, I won't even remember what happened in it. But damn, it was fun for a few days!

Added bonuses: 1) the book had a neat little insider's view of Washing
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. I thought there was too much of a "soap opera" element to this book, and not enough focus on the serial murders and trying to apprehend the person(s) responsible. For me at least, there were too many tangential aspects. Although there were some twists thrown in, as mystery writers often do, it was also pretty easy to figure out the culprit that was revealed at the end. The writing style was decent, just thought it was an average mystery that didn't have much e ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Janice marked it as to-read
madison library system
Best frinds Reven (never spelled backwards) and Violet are into the DC scene. They were roommates at boarding school and have reunited in Washington after losing touch for a number of years. A serial killer, the Beltway Basher, scores another one in their neighborhood. Violet loves following crime and Reven runs an antique store. A new face shows up on the social scene and Violet takes her under her wing. But the new would-be philanthropist is not what she seems. Pit viper might be a more apt de ...more
It was a good book that is well written, definitely worth a read. Some great characters and it was very interesting getting involved in the Washington society!
I enjoyed this book. Like I read in another review, the murder isn't exactly the entire focus of the book. It isn't being told from the point of view of the detective as Agatha Christie and other well known mystery writers often do, but I still really enjoyed it. It was easy to read and it kept my interest. I think the main character is likeable which I think is important because it helps to relate with the narrator. My mother-in-law has already asked to read it.
Jan 22, 2013 Chandra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I enjoyed this book as I got into it. I had to understand the social inner workings of the DC socialites. After reading a few chapters, I began to love the story. I kept guessing at who was killing these girls and was sure I had figured it out several times. But I was wrong every time. Reven was a great character. I loved the way she trusted every one as I often do. She was wrong too. A great mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end.
Leah (packfan20)
This book is much more about the elite society circles of Washington DC than about murder. I could not relate to any of the characters nor did I think that any of the relatioships were realistc (Reven/Violet, Reven/Gunner, Bob/Melody). The parts that were about the murder were so anti-climactic that I almost missed them. The book was basically about a bunch of rich elite that bounced from party to party and lied to everyone along the way.
This was my first book by the author, but I enjoyed it. I'll admit that I enjoy reading about wealthy people and their ridiculous behavior. This book didn't disappoint. The protagonist, Reven, isn't in the same financial league as her best friend, but that doesn't prevent them from hanging out together and speculating if someone in their social circle is a serial killer. I'm happy that I didn't guess the identity of murderer until the end.
Jul 14, 2011 JK rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, mystery
At first glance I thought this was going to be really good. I started reading expecting some suspense, some mystery, maybe a little intrigue, and a couple of dead bodies to keep it interesting. What I got was a slow starting book that didn't start to get interesting to me untill the last half of the book. In my opinion there was to much partying and not enough drama.
All right! Another win for me!

I found this book to be very engaging and readable. The only thing I didn't like about it, is the story line with the serial killer really took a back seat to the other story lines. I loved Reven's name and how she came to be named that. I would definitely read more of Ms. Stanton Hitchcock's work.
Aug 06, 2009 Cheryl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: friends
Shelves: first-reads
It did take me a little while to get into this book - the story didn't grab me fully right away. After reading a while that changed and I was fully engaged and couldn't put the book down. The ending was a little predictable but overall it was a fun book to read. I took this on a trip and was a wonderful book to read on the plane.
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New York Times bestselling author and native New Yorker Jane Stanton Hitchcock started her career as a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include Grace; Bhutan; The Custom of the Country, an adaptation of Edith Wharton's great novel which was first produced at The Mount (Mrs. Wharton's house in Lenox, Massachusetts), then moved to off-Broadway in New York City; and Vanilla, a modern restoratio ...more
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“People are only taken seriously as they take themselves.” 8 likes
“it's much more interesting to try and understand what binds two people together. why we stay with each other is much more of a mystery than why we don't.” 6 likes
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