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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We Have A Winner! True Crime Book Reviews!

Thrilled to announce that What She Always Wanted: A True Story of Marriage, Greed and Murder has earned a Reader's Choice Best True Crime Book of 2010 Award!

Thank you to everyone who read the book and felt motivated to vote. I know the motivation comes not from my writing but from your compassionate concern for Jay Orbin, young Noah and for Uncle Jake and all the rest of Jay's loved ones. It means the world to me that these votes will prove to the Orbins once again that people do care, people do see Jay for the loving father that he was and people are outraged for the pain all of them went through.

I also want to thank True Crime Book Reviews for doing all the hard work it takes to get an award organized and launched. It means a lot of tough decisions and undoubtedly a lot of behind the scenes wrangling and wrasslin'. A special thanks to TCBR for recognizing the need to stand up for this genre and its readers, who are the savviest and most compassionate people ever. Thank you!


  1. I just finished reading this book yesterday, and it took me only 1 and 1/2 day...I could not put it down. It was somehow disturbing, but it gives an insight of how dark someone's soul can be. I really appreciated Ms Kimball sensitivity in considering that Noah might read the book one day, and really felt for Jay's distraught family. The only things that I thought were missing was explanations of why the two got secretly divorced but remained together... and was Jay growing suspicious of his wife, it did seems to point in that direction but never too clearly.
    Through the years I have also read many books by true crime writer Anne Rule, and I have come to like the psychological insight on the criminal she provide at the end of the story, which I thought was lacking in this book. Did Marjory ever undergo a psychological evaluation? She did fit the profile for someone with more than one personality disorder, what was the reason (beside greed) that allowed her to behave so coldly? There has to be some psychological problem. I would have loved to read some about that. Either way I enjoyed the book and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

  2. **Spoiler Alert!** (if you have not read the book yet, you may wish to skip these comments)

    Thank you very much, Vicky. Jay can not speak for himself, so we will never know exactly what he was thinking. I think, if I were to take a guess, there is not much evidence that he ever suspected she would do what she was convicted of. Even his family found themselves in shock at how events unrolled.

    The secret divorce, according to Marjorie, had to do with protecting him from her debts.

    As for psychological analysis, I am certainly not qualified myself to do one. I have spoken to her mitigation specialist, a Ph.D. in Psychology, but I did not feel it responsible to put anything in the book that was not introduced in court and no psychological analysis of her was introduced as evidence.

    My philosophy as a writer is to present the most solid facts possible and then let the reader draw their own conclusions. The facts have to be cross-referenced and go through other tests. If it doesn't rise to that level, then it doesn't go in the book. Having said that, I do hope there is plenty of material in there for a reader to work with.

    I appreciate your taking time to read the book and to come here and comment. I do love to hear from readers! Thank you so much, Vicky!

  3. Having just completed What She Always Wanted I feel compelled to make an observation. By way of background I am a recently retired attorney in upstate New York who worked some 35 years as both a public prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. What I found shocking (aside from the heinous nature of the crime) was the fact that it took over four years for this case to go to trial after the arrest. Coupled with that was the months long it took to try the case. I am not familiar with Arizona's justice system but if this is typical then everyone, i.e. defendants, victims, police and taxpayers are getting terribly mistreated. Here in Syracuse no one has ever sat in jail for over four years awaiting a trial. That fact, to me, was the most amazing part of your book.

  4. This book kept me riveted. I not only felt Jay's family's loss, but you brought a real sense of who this man was. I also felt such contempt for Marjorie. She may breathe, but it's not a life. May she live a hundred years and have her daily nightmare haunt her in her sleep. I agree with anonymous when he spoke of how long it took for justice to finally be served. Outlandish amount of time for this family to receive closure. My hope is that Jay's family will find peace and their fond memories of Jay will help to sustain them.

  5. Anonymous, I don't know how it took me so long to see your comment! I'm very sorry.

    Marjorie Orbin went through several sets of defense attorneys during the years before she actually went to trial and that does slow things down.

    In a way, it was to Marjorie Orbin's advantage to be in limbo because during that time she stays in Maricopa County Jail. That facility allows reporters with recording equipment to interview inmates.

    When she moved to AZ State Prison, she is no longer allowed to have such easy access to reporters. As you can see from "Diary of a Showgirl" on CBS, she does prefer to be part of the story rather than to have them written without her participation.

  6. Sandra,

    Another apology goes to you! My techie skills have giant gaps in them. Flog me with fifty wet noodles now.

    Now, thank you for the very kind compliments!

    The Orbin family will be comforted by your sympathy, which makes me glad I could bring their story to you. As to your opinion of Marjorie Orbin, it is shared by many.