Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Camille Kimball's What She Always Wanted - Award-Winner

Congratulations to local author, Camille Kimball, whose latest book, What She Always Wanted:  A True Story of Marriage, Greed and Murder just won the Reader's Choice Best True Crime of 2010 Award.  Camille has drawn large crowds when she appeared for Authors @ The Teague for both of her true crime books, What She Always Wanted and A Sudden Shot: the Phoenix Serial Shooter.

Kimball's appearance at Velma Teague in October was highlighted by the surprise attendance of the victim's brother and sister-in-law, who are the guardians of the victim's son. 

Here was my review of her book. 

I don't often read true crime books. The emphasis on the cruelty of the murder, and the inhumanity, is totally different from reading a mystery novel in which the story is fiction, and justice is served. But, Camille Kimball brings a heart to her true crime books. And, What She Always Wanted: A True Story of Marriage, Greed, and Murder, is a perfect example of the care she takes in writing, emphasizing the victim, and the loss of that person to the people who loved him.

The contrast between the couple in this book couldn't be greater. Marjorie Orbin became a well-to-do Scottsdale wife and mother after she married Jay Orbin. But, she was a former stripper and choreographer who had been married six times before leaving the life of a Vegas showgirl to marry Jay. Jay Orbin was a successful businessman whose business ventures and partnerships over the years led to deep, lasting friendships, and he had parents and an older brother who loved him. But, he fell for Marjorie, plied her with gifts, and promised to pay for her fertility treatments if she'd marry him, so she could have a baby, "What she always wanted."

But, on Oct. 23, 2004, a man's torso was found in a Rubbermaid tub in the scrub desert outside Phoenix, near a busy intersection. And, Jay Orbin had last been heard from on Sept. 8. As Jay's family, friends, and even business acquaintances frantically searched for, and tried to find the missing man, his wife, Marjorie, behaved oddly, attracting the attention of the police.

What She Always Wanted is the story of a relationship that ended in tragedy, the investigation, and subsequent trial. Kimball has done a beautiful job in bringing the people to life. By focusing on the victim, instead of the details of the murder, she has reminded readers that in a murder case, the important element is the tragedy of the destruction of a life, a person who lived, loved and was loved. Camille Kimball's What She Always Wanted is a recognition, not that the killer and crime is important, but that Jay Orbin's life and death were important. Kimball writes true crime books with heart.

Camille Kimball's website is

What She Always Wanted: A True Story of Marriage, Greed, and Murder by Camille Kimball. Penguin Group (USA), ©2010. ISBN 9780425237380 (paperback), 304p.

Congratulations, Camille!  And, I have to say, when I told her my library copy was missing, and I have to replace it, she told me she was a little thrilled her book had been stolen.



Camille Kimball said...

Thank you very much, Lesa. This award was a big surprise and a great honor. I have loved doing my appearances at the Teague and hope to come back! Anyone who is intrigued by your generous comments is very welcome to check us out on FaceBook or my own website where there are plenty of photos and participation from the families involved in the stories.

Thank you, Lesa, for helping these books find their audience!

Lesa said...


You're so welcome. You know how much the audiences appreciate your books, and your programs for Authors @ The Teague. You're welcome back anytime.

Thank you, and, continued good luck!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Camille Kimball on the award!

I thought this would be a good place to talk about the Yahoo group my friend and I set up about a week ago. It is about the Marjorie Orbin case. Whether you believe in her guilt, innocence , or are unsure all opinions are welcome. I thought the readers of this blog may be interested as well as Camille Kimball's readers, perhaps even Mrs.Kimball herself!

Anyone is welcome. Please come join our group and tell us what you think. :)

I personally believe Marjorie Orbin is innocent but i am very interested in the case & love to hear other peoples' opinions.

Here is the link :

Hope to see you there, Cassaundra.

Lesa said...


You're right. This is a good place to pass on the link. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for replying!

Please pass the link along to anyone who seems interested in the case or would enjoy discussing it.

The group is only in its infgancy. We have three members which includes myself, and two other friends. We all share the same view of her innocence but we'd LOVE to hear other peoples' views as well. I'm very excited about the group and hope with the exposure on your blog the number of members will sky rocket. hey a girl can dream can't she!

Thanks again.

PS. I've been lurking on your blog for a few weeks and enjoy it

Best Wishes, Cassaundra

Lesa said...


Don't give my blog that much credit, and I don't know how many readers will backtrack to comments. But, I'm glad to post the link. Good luck with your site.

And, thanks for reading!