Book Review: Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily Arsenault

Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

Number of pages: 376

First published: 2012

I got this book: from William Morrow (HarperCollins) for review

Genre: contemporary fiction, mystery

Miss Me When I’m Gone: What it is about

From the publisher’s website: “Gretchen Waters is most famous for her book Tammyland—a “honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love,” a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton.

When Gretchen dies falling on a set of stone steps outside of a library, everyone thinks it was an accident or a botched mugging. Jamie, Gretchen’s best friend from college, certainly has no reason to suspect foul play. That is, until she becomes Gretchen’s literary executor.

Gretchen’s latest manuscript is much darker than Tammyland—ostensibly about her favorite classic male country singers, it’s really about a murder in her family that haunted her childhood. From beyond the grave, Gretchen’s writing opens up a sinister new world, and suddenly, Gretchen’s death seems suspicious—and then Jamie finds herself in danger as well…”

Miss Me When I’m Gone: What I thought

When I got this book I was very excited: it looked great! It has several different types of chapters: a chapter from Gretchen’s book, chapters about Jamie and her attempts to find out more about Gretchen’s background, and, in a different font, Gretchen’s draft chapters for her new book. This looked like it was going to be a fun read.

But I found it slow and, for the most part, uninteresting. After the first 100 pages I considered giving up but I was just interested enough to keep going. I found the chapters of Gretchen’s earlier book, about the country singer women, totally uninteresting. Not because I have no interest in country music but because the chapters were not telling me anything that I wanted to know. They were a mixture of information about famous country singers (think Tammy Wynette and similar) and a more personal account from Gretchen, her personal thoughts and feelings about what happened to these women. I think the idea was that these chapters would tell the reader in a subtle way about Gretchen and her family relationships but it didn’t work for me.

The mystery, in which Jamie looks to find out what may have happened to Gretchen (and to her mother, who was murdered) is more interesting. However, the fact that Jamie is pregnant and that her husband is trying to stop her from pursuing possibly dangerous persons, didn’t do anything for me, they were distractions to the story that I didn’t care about.

The outcome of the murder mystery (mysteries, both murders are solved in the end), was not totally believable but satisfactory. It was fun to try and think who the murderer(s) could be and why. I kept switching from one person to the next, so that made it fun to keep reading.

Better than the average cozy mystery.

Have you read this book?

Did you enjoy it?


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

8 Responses to Book Review: Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily Arsenault

  1. bibliosue says:

    Now that you’ve described it in more detail I’m not sure if this is a book for me at all.

  2. I don’t think this is a book for me, Judith. However, great review, as always. Thanks!

  3. Hi Judith, hope you’ve been doing well. Your review caught my eye as this is one author I’ve been meaning to try. I own 3 of her books but may start with her debut novel first.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Diane, good to hear from you! This book was my first by Arsenault so I had no expectations, and I can’t say how this compares to her other books.

  4. Chinoiseries says:

    Hm, I generally like cozy mysteries, but my dislike of country music is pleading against me reading this :/

    • Leeswammes says:

      Ha ha, Chinoiseries, if you have a real dislike of it, then avoid the book. I’m fine with country music every now and then. It wasn’t a main topic in the book, really.

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