Nancy Drew found clues in clocks. Yesha Callahan found them in stray hairs and secret email accounts.
No matter what anyone thinks, Callahan didn’t set out to become Sherlock Homegirl. That bit of “girlfriend detective greatness” was thrust upon her. She stumbled upon her first illicit affair as a kid (“The Clue of the Deflated Balloon That Was Not A Balloon”) and saw the subsequent familial break-up that came from it. And she was still finding those clues of infidelity well into adulthood. No matter her intentions. No matter the guy, his background (broke or poor), his looks (Adonis pretty or Homer Homely), she often found herself in a world of lies, wives and secret lives. And while some would prefer to let bygones be bygones, cry into their pillows over lost love, find Jesus, turn the other cheek or be doormats to the loose-lipped loverboys of the world, Yesha went a different route – naming and shaming – calling out the heartbreakers and the skirt-chasers.
Sometimes the comeuppance was sweet. Sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes it caused certain someones to resign from Congress. But no matter what, whether it was her father breaking her mother’s heart or the secret lives of the men she honestly loved, everyone has to own up to their own behavior. Everyone has to be held accountable. Sherlock Homegirl is her story of holding them accountable — even when it hurts. Each chapter is a story of a cheater, how he was busted and how you can bust your own later-day Lotharios. Each chapter is craftly woven with her own brand of humor and sarcasm. There aren’t any tears and chocolate ice cream binges in any of her stories. You’ll laugh, but also shake your head at the sloppiness that she not only uncovers with her own recounts, but as well as the stories of a few friends that she’s helped out as well.
But this isn’t a book for the weak. It isn’t a memoir for those who want to make amends. This is about setting a bridge on fire, watching it burn so hot it boils the water below, dries the river bed until it’s an inhospitable desert and changes the entire ecosystem to one that is so hostile nothing can ever grow back. This isn’t for those who want to make nice. This is a book for those who want to get even. Because everyone wants to make excuses for a cheater. Maybe he had a bad home life as a kid. Maybe he married a nice girl when he preferred the sexual gymnastics of Denny’s waitresses. But Yesha doesn’t care. She doesn’t believe you can just trip and fall into some random woman’s vagina because removing your wedding ring causes instant marital amnesia. And she thinks that if you get done dirty you don’t have to be a good girl and take it.
Cheating maybe universal. But being a victim doesn’t have to be.