Title: Miranda Writes
Author: Gail Ward Olmsted
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Publication date: September 8, 2022
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Legal Thriller
One Sentence Summary: Three years after Miranda’s star witness vanished, Miranda has finally gotten herself together and is about to launch her own TV show, but her witness suddenly reappearing draws her back into the courtroom.
Miranda Writes is a sharp and fun women’s fiction novel mixed with a legal thriller. The characters, particularly Miranda herself, really brought the story to life. Miranda has such an engaging story and voice that I found it impossible to put this book down. It grabbed me from the first page and kept demanding my willing attention. Miranda Writes is fast-paced, but never overwhelming, and contains pages of twists, turns, and fantastic characters. I loved how there was a little of everything and each piece worked so well together in just the right places. I also loved that the legal pieces were relatively easy to understand, and that this book wasn’t littered with them. Instead, this was a really fun look into one woman’s life as she rises from a bad career fall.
Three years ago, Miranda’s career in the DA’s office imploded after her star witness in a sexual assault case vanished. Shortly after, she and her boyfriend, a lawyer who was working for the firm on the defense side of her case, split up, leaving her to sleep on her widowed father’s couch. Slowly, Miranda builds herself back up, starting a blog called Miranda Writes to offer legal advice. It quickly expands to a podcast and now she’s hard at work getting a TV show based on her blog going.
But then the witness who vanished shows up, with a child. Becky is ready to serve as a witness in a new case brought against the same man from the case she had vanished during, but someone will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying, threatening both her and Miranda.
Miranda Writes was such a fun read. It’s a delightful blend of women’s fiction and legal thriller, creating interesting edges that were at once sharp and soft, depending on which lens you look at the story through. The story starts off right away and introduces Miranda in action. It’s at once engaging and addicting, with a fast moving, sharp story that never became bogged down in legal jargon or complicated law-related topics, and fantastic characters who immediately grabbed my attention.
The characters were my favorite part of this book. I adored Miranda and always felt myself rooting for her and becoming angry at a certain other character on her behalf. After a bad career fall, she picks herself up, sweeping up a few others in her wake. Everything she did throughout this book felt like a balancing act, but she really proved what was important to her and always had a big enough heart to care about everyone around her, from her father to her best friend and even to her agent. She was definitely not a shark, unlike her ex, Adam. Charming on the surface, he always felt more like a snake lying in wait to me. I both loved and hated when he and Miranda interacted, but, by the end, I found myself actually liking his character arc. Then there’s Becky. She’s young, but has a quiet inner strength I had to admire. The mother of a young son, I loved that she was willing to do anything to keep her small family together, and I loved that she had all of her priorities in the right places. She was such a sweet girl and I really enjoyed getting to know her. Another big piece in this book was Miranda’s father. A retired cop, he was still sharp and still looking out for everyone. He was such a big sweetheart and I loved him right away. He has a very sweet romance, and I liked how Miranda came to terms with it.
But this is Miranda’s story, and she definitely stole the show. I loved how she could both be reassured and somewhat of a mess, being as awkward as any other person might be in any similar situation. She made this book so much fun and I could not stop reading about her. She made understanding what law there was to understand easily digestible. The case actually felt fairly simple to me, but I liked that there were layers to it and some twists and turns that kept things from being truly cut and dried. But, though it all, Miranda doggedly pursues justice, both for herself and Becky and in the eyes of the law. The one thing that bothered me, though perhaps I just didn’t understand how it actually works, was that I couldn’t help thinking Miranda should have kept a tighter grip on Becky in the first place. Even when Becky returned Miranda only seemed to check in on her with a minimum of effort, leaving the door wide open for everything that followed to happen. Though, again, I don’t know how closely lawyers should be keeping an eye on their witnesses.
I really loved how Miranda Writes combined women’s fiction with a legal thriller. It was fantastic to follow Miranda on her journey to becoming what made her most happy. There was definitely a nice bit of romance that, fortunately, never felt thrown in as it occurred later in the story. This novel seemed more focused on Miranda’s career and the care and concern she puts into her friends and family. She really has a great group around her and I loved every single one of them. But the legal thriller part of this book added a sharpened edge because there’s some danger, but it’s simultaneously softened by the women’s fiction part. Both were perfectly woven together for a near flawless story that grabbed my attention from the first page.
Miranda Writes is set in Old Lyme, CT, which managed to both feel like a small town and a larger one where not everyone knew everyone else. It felt close knit, but no one was really keeping an eye on each other if they didn’t have to. But I loved that somewhat small town feeling, and it helped bring Miranda down to Earth as a character. She was staunchly against moving to NYC, preferring her quieter childhood area, which felt so peaceful and lovely that I’d love to move there myself. It was really the community around her that really made it wonderful. Well, that and the beach. I loved that Miranda made use of the beach, and that it was just so peaceful. Overall, it sounds like a lovely place.
With a fantastic combination of women’s fiction, legal thriller, and amazing characters, Miranda Writes is a delightful, fast-paced read. It was very satisfying and the ending was absolutely perfect. I adored just about everything in this book and was definitely hooked from the first page. Miranda has a strong, yet approachable and realistic voice that made reading this just an absolute delight. While I felt fuzzy on how the lawyer-witness relationship really works, I loved all the twists and turns and unexpected happenings that just all happened in all the right places. Miranda Writes is a sharp and fun book that has a little bit of everything and does it all extremely well.
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Thank you to Gail Ward Olmsted for a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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