Author Event: Catherine McKenzie in conversation with Hank Phillippi Ryan

Page 158 Books is pleased to present authors Catherine McKenzie and Hank Phillippi Ryan in conversation about McKenzie’s book PLEASE JOIN US, out August 23rd.

When USA Today bestselling author and high powered attorney Catherine McKenzie decided to retire from her more than two decades practicing law to write full time, she knew that the first book she’d write post-retirement would be drawn from an unusual invitation she received years earlier to join a secret women’s collective. A clandestine organization, she had no clue who recommended her or how they got her information, but she was intrigued. While she didn’t end up joining, the idea stuck with her as the concept—a group of successful women supporting each other—was something she could’ve used in her more than twenty years in the trenches of the boys’ club that is the legal profession. 

In her thirteenth novel, PLEASE JOIN US, Catherine McKenzie “delivers the thriller goods” (Publishers Weekly) with a timely and gripping exploration of what happens when a secret network of women fed up with the boys’ club band together to fight the patriarchy, stopping at nothing to achieve success.

It all starts with an email: Please Join Us…Timed perfectly to thirty-nine year old Nicole Mueller’s mid-life crisis as her once brilliant law career is falling apart and her personal life is on the rocks. The invitation is from an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo, where members are organized in to “Prides” of five. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. Nicole’s husband, Dan, has reservations as it seems a bit cultish to him, but Nicole is all in and signs up for their upcoming retreat. Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride: a CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they are a girls’ club in a boys’ club world. 


At first, all Nicole sees are the benefits, including amazing new clients and a great apartment. The favors she’s asked for in return seem benign. That is until she’s called to a fellow Leo’s apartment late at night and discovers a dead body. The expectation is that she, as a member of the Pride, will help cover up the crime—no questions asked. Breaking the glass ceiling requires breaking some rules after all, doesn’t it? Now, the red flags she ignored early on and the nagging feeling that perhaps this was too good to be true are all too relevant. But is it too late to get out? 

Whisper Network meets A Special Place for Women in this “brilliant, tangled web of lies, cover ups, and deception” (New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica) about women, power, revenge, and sisterhood. We look forward to discussing prominent plans for coverage of PLEASE JOIN US with you soon.

Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill in History and Law, Catherine practiced law for twenty years before leaving the practice to write full time. An avid runner, skier and tennis player, she’s the author of numerous bestsellers including HIDDEN, FRACTURED, THE GOOD LIAR and I’LL NEVER TELL. Her works have been translated into multiple languages and THE GOOD LIAR, YOU CAN’T CATCH ME and I’LL NEVER TELL have all been optioned for development into television series.


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the genre's most prestigious awards: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. Book reviewers call her “a master of suspense.” THE FIRST TO LIE (2020) garnered a Publishers Weekly starred review and is an Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee. Her newest book is HER PERFECT LIFE, a chilling psychological standalone about fame, family, and revenge with starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which called it "A superlative thriller."

Event Type: 
Event date: 
Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
415 S Brooks Street
Suite B
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Pre-Order Now Badge
Please Join Us: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982159245
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria Books - August 23rd, 2022

Her Perfect Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250258878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Updated at the end of every day)
Published: Forge Books - March 8th, 2022