Book Review: Her First Mistake

Hey, everyone. Somehow between editing and publishing two books this year, I’ve found a lot of time to read, having almost reached my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’m not sure how I’ve been able to find the time, but maybe it’s because I’ve read a lot of page turners.

Her First Mistake is one of those page-turners. After seeing a review by my friend, Mae Clair, I knew this was a must-read. I wasn’t disappointed.


I never meant to hurt anyone. All I want is a normal life with friends to call my own. People rarely notice me. Like a ghost, I’m sometimes tempted to rattle a window to get their attention. But tonight isn’t one of those occasions.

Seated alone in an exclusive restaurant I stick out like a bruise on the tender white throat of a lily. And I cannot believe it when, on my way out, I bump into my colleagues having a great time without me. At the center of it all is Celeste Cooper with her shimmering auburn hair and her billion-watt smile. She’s everything that I am not: fearless, pretty, popular.

When she drops her keys, I can’t stop myself. I scoop them up on impulse and hide them in my purse… and now Celeste is missing.

If only I’d called out to her, returned her keys, as I should have.

Wracked with guilt, I join the search, determined to make up for my mistake. But I feel I’m being watched. Is the secret past I have so desperately tried to hide catching up with me?

I know I have to save Celeste, no matter the cost. But if I keep digging, do I risk being dragged back into the dark forever?

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was my first time to read author Carey Baldwin’s books, but it won’t be my last. This is one of those “stay up late to finish” stories.

Mia is a wallflower type character who blends into the background. She’d love to be the opposite, much like her coworker Celeste, whom she both admires and envies.

At a restaurant one night, Mia makes the childish mistake of taking Celeste’s keys. The following day, she learns Celeste is missing after having walked home alone and fears she is to blame. Mia can’t tell anyone she took the keys for fear she would be blamed for the disappearance.

Guilt-ridden, she throws herself into helping, volunteering to put up flyers, knocking on doors, and trying to solve the crime on her own. She meets Celeste’s family, who warm to her, and this only serves to further her guilt. However, she still has a trace of envy, especially since Mia doesn’t feel the police did enough to investigate her own mother’s disappearance twenty years earlier.

The author threw in many red herrings to keep the reader guessing. It wasn’t until near the end that I figured out the killer. There’s also a surprising twist that I never saw coming.

I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of psychological fiction.

20 thoughts on “Book Review: Her First Mistake

  1. I love this line from the blurb: Seated alone in an exclusive restaurant I stick out like a bruise on the tender white throat of a lily. It says so much about her character.
    This sounds like a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Joan. I positively loved it, and was glued to the pages from start to finish.
    Thank you for the shout-out, too! 🙂

    P.S….that’s awesome about your GR challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started to set a bigger goal, but decided not to change it. I’ll keep reading but once I dive into a new WIP, I might not read as often.

      Yes, I couldn’t put this book down.


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