#BookBeginnings Convenient Suspect by Tammy Mal

Today we have a new nonfiction book, Tammy Mal’s Convenient Suspect: A Double Murder, a Flawed Investigation, and the Railroading of an Innocent Woman, for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



Convenient Suspect: A Double Murder, a Flawed Investigation, and the Railroading of an Innocent Woman* by Tammy Mal

(*Amazon Affiliate link)


Convenient Suspect is a nonfiction book I’m reading as research for a novel.

In December of 1994, someone killed a young woman named Joann Katrinak and her baby boy. Three years later another mother was arrested, one who had never met the victims. The suspect, Patricia Rorrer, was quickly convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Tammy Mal is a journalist who reviewed the evidence and interviewed the people involved in the case.

First Sentence of Prologue:

Sudden and violent death is always tragic, but the kidnapping and murder of a young mother, Joann Katrinak, and her infant son, Alex, only ten days before Christmas 1994, shook the small town of Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, to its core.

First Sentence of Chapter One

Thursday, December 15, 1994, had been a quiet day at he the Leigh County Communications Center, and the mood inside the small, gray building was one of festive anxiety.



Tammy Mal explains in the prologue that when she started the book she thought she would write about how a young woman came to commit a horrible crime. As she dug into the details, however, she began to question whether the case was as clear cut as it had been portrayed.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but so far this book has moved right along.

Does Convenient Suspect sound like a book you might read? How often do you read nonfiction?


  1. Anne@Headfullofbooks

    “Truth is stranger than fiction.” I would say this book confirms this quote.
    My quotes are from Turtles All the Way Down

    • Roberta

      I’ve read Turtles All The Way Down, too. I think John Green pulled off a difficult topic.

  2. Catherine @ Book Club Librarian

    This sounds like a compelling read. I was immediately drawn in.

  3. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I do like finding out that a book has more to offer than I thought. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  4. Karen

    That is one very long title! But the book sounds really interesting. I’d love to read it even though I’m not researching my novel. 🙂

  5. For all the mysteries I read I’ve realized I read very little true crime. I watch a lot but most of my reading crime is fictional. I like the sound of this one – particularly how the author came to write the book. Definitely sounds like it could be a compelling read.

  6. Literary Feline

    This sounds like a fascinating case, especially given the author had gone into her research for her book expecting to find something different. I will have to keep my eye out for this one. Thank you for sharing!

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