Jane “Effing” Smith

Created by James Patterson & Mike Lupica

James Patterson, of course, is the best selling author in the solar system, unleashing a tsunami of books on an almost weekly basis, with the help of an impressive rogue’s gallery of co-authors, while Mike Lupica has filled a bookshelf or so himself with his YA sports books and mysteries. More recently, he’s completed the Robert B. Parker trifecta, continuing the Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall and Spenser series.

So the melodramatic, overly cheesy 12 Months to Live (2023)  isn’t the first rodeo for either author. Hell, they’ve already collaborated on a couple of previous books.

So come on, guys, could you try a little harder?

Hard-charging ex-cop turned hard-charging Nassau County defense attorney JANE “EFFING” SMITH is firing on all cylinders—until she gets the news that she has a year (or less) to live. Just as she’s prepping for possibly the biggest case of her career: defending wealthy but unstable Hamptons real estate mogul Rob Jacobson, who’s possibly responsible for several murders.

As though cancer wasn’t enough, she’s beginning to suspect her client is not just guilty, but may be planning to make her his next victim. So, even twelve months may be off the table.

And wouldn’t you know it? Just as she’s trying to come to terms with an early expiry date—in a move straight out of a Harlequin movie—she finds herself falling in love with a hunky veterinarian and his adorable pooch.​

The critics were not kind. It’ll probably sell a few million copies.


  • “Lupica’s overstuffed third collaboration with Patterson (after 2023’s The House of Wolves) lays on the melodrama with a trowel… Flaccid prose and far-fetched courtroom scenes sink the action, and Smith feels more like a series of hardened-attorney clichés than a flesh and blood character. Fans of Lupica’s superior standalone crime novels will be disappointed.”
    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Patterson seems entirely absent from this collaboration, which reads a lot more like Lupica, and not top-drawer Lupica… As fast-moving and forgettable as that fly you keep swatting in vain.”
    — Kirkus Reviews


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply