book cover of Before She Was Helen
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Before She Was Helen

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
Her life didn't turn out the way she expected--so she made herself a new one

When Clemmie goes next door to check on her difficult and unlikeable neighbor Dom, he isn't there. But something else is. Something stunning, beautiful and inexplicable. Clemmie photographs the wondrous object on her cell phone and makes the irrevocable error of forwarding it. As the picture swirls over the internet, Clemmie tries desperately to keep a grip on her own personal network of secrets. Can fifty years of careful hiding under names not her own be ruined by one careless picture?

And although what Clemmie finds is a work of art, what the police find is a body. . . in a place where Clemmie wasn't supposed to be, and where she left her fingerprints. Suddenly, the bland, quiet life Clemmie has built for herself in her sleepy South Carolina retirement community comes crashing down as her dark past surges into the present.

From international bestselling author of The Face on the Milk Carton Caroline B. Cooney comes Before She Was Helen, an absorbing mystery that brings decades-old secrets to life and explores what happens when the lie you've been living falls apart and you're forced to confront the truth.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Caroline B. Cooney is a master of taking a small, common moment-seeing a face on a milk carton, posting a harmless photo-and turning that moment into a thrilling story. In this mystery, Cooney gives us Clemmie-a senior citizen living a long deception, who fights back with intelligence and courage against dangerous foes, both present and past. Before She Was Helen is an emotionally rich page-turner about the lives we want-and the lives we make." - Jeff Abbott

"As Before She Was Helen opens, readers are drawn into what appears to be a light, retirement-community caper. But author Caroline B. Cooney quickly flips expectations upside-down in this deceptively dark mystery. Between old crimes and fresh murders, septuagenarian protagonist Clemmie faces an unspeakable fear that will keep readers hooked in this twisty whodunit." - Julie Hyzy

"Caroline B. Cooney has a genius for skewering culture, crime, and society. As once she demonstrated to the world a pressing level of danger we needed to understand, now she whips millennial angst, recreational drug use, and one feisty, heroic retiree into a thrilling, toxic brew that will leave readers cheering by the end. Retirement villages never seemed so mysterious and exciting! Under Cooney's deft hand, hidden dangers emerge, and the ties that bind us, young and old, just may save us in the end." - Jenny Milchman

"Caroline Cooney's Before She Was Helen is a clever whodunnit featuring an immensely likable septuagenarian heroine with a tragic past. Cooney is deft at weaving together the mysteries of a fifty-year-old cold case murder and a still-warm body at a retirement community, slowly unveiling a slew of possible motives and suspects for both crimes. Loaded with action, fast-paced, and offering a series of emotional punches, this book will leave mystery lovers wanting more." - Carter Wilson


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Used availability for Caroline B Cooney's Before She Was Helen

Hardback Editions

September 2020 : Hardback
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Title: Before She Was Helen
Author(s): Caroline Cooney
ISBN: 1-72820-512-3 / 978-1-72820-512-0
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

September 2020 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Before She Was Helen: A Novel
Author(s): Caroline B Cooney
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2020 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Before She Was Helen
Author(s): Caroline B Cooney
ISBN: 0-593-20953-2 / 978-0-593-20953-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

September 2020 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Before She Was Helen
Author(s): Caroline B Cooney
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA