top of page


A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy while exploring the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…


Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers—Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.


As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life—both professionally and personally—during a tragic chain of events during her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie begins to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

Literary Lists

  • Elle Australia: The Addictive Book To Devour Next, Based On Your Current TV Show Obsession







  • Booktrib : 20 New Book Releases Just In Time for Valentine’s Day



  • BookPage: The Ten Most Popular Books of 2018 (So Far!)



  • PopSugar: Wow Your Book Club With One of These 50 New Book Suggestions



  • Buzzfeed: The Most Beautiful Book Covers of 2018



  • Bookbub: 22 Debut Books by Women That Were Breakout Hits This Winter 

  • HuffPost: 15 Unique Gifts For Mom This Mother's Day

  • Bustle: 5 Books For Grey's Anatomy Fans

  • Her: 5 Brilliant New Books To Add To Your Must-Read List

  • BookRiot: 30 Readalike Titles For Your Favorite 90s TV Shows

Book Club Kit


Join the gorgeous cover of The Queen of Hearts as it travels with readers all over the globe. Add your #TravelsWithTheQueen photos on Instagram or email to!

Praise for The Queen of Hearts

BY Southern Living, Elite Daily, and Writer's Digest


BY Travel+Leisure and Real Simple


PRAISED BY Creative Loafing, Shelf Awareness,,, The Charlotte Observer, the New York Post, and The New York Times. 

“Martin leverages her own background as a doctor to great effect throughout, [and] is equally insightful about many aspects of long-term female friendships, especially the blind spots that they often contain by necessity ... a haunting exploration of the effects of lifelong shame.”—The New York Times

"A gripping and emotional novel perfect for fans of Meredith and Christina's iconic friendship, The Queen of Hearts is the perfect book for fall."—Bustle

Emotional and difficult to put down, Martin’s excellent story of friendship is shrewdly plotted and contains a cast of flawed, rich, believable characters. The realistic and vivid medical angle (Martin is an ER doctor) adds to the novel’s appeal.”Publishers Weekly

“Fans of Grey’s Anatomy are sure to enjoy this new release, a novel about friendship, success, and secrets set amid the day-to-day drama of a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. It follows the lives of doctors and best friends Zadie Anson and Emma Colley as a figure from their past reenters their lives.”Southern Living

The Queen of Hearts delves into the demands of being a doctor, a parent, and a woman in a male dominated profession, but is also a funny and real examination of female friendships and modern parenthood… The Queen of Hearts will be an ideal fit for book clubs looking to discuss difficult issues such as forgiveness and failure, but also be drawn into a page-turner with plenty of romance and drama.”ALA Book Club Central


"A stunning debut."Booktrib

"Martin’s debut novel, about pediatric cardiologist Zadie Anson and trauma surgeon Emma Colley, is a medical drama executed with just the right balance of intensity, plot twists, tragedy, and humor. Martin’s switch between the points of view of Zadie and Emma, who have been friends since camp during their high-school years, allows for two distinctive personalities to be spotlighted without overshadowing each other. Zadie and Emma remained friends through medical college and are now both in Charlotte, North Carolina, balancing their roles as doctors, wives, and moms. The novel zooms in on the reentry in their lives of Dr. Nick Xenokostas and leads to a revisiting of the past. Along the way, Martin raises interesting questions about betrayal and forgiveness, and, in using a then-and-now time line, offers an unusual perspective on these themes. Though the story is definitely a page-turner, Martin’s humorous scenes of parenting failures, evocative settings, and realistic re-creation of the urgency of medical situations make this a remarkably absorbing read as well.’Booklist


"A secret from two doctors' pasts may put what they cherish most under the knife: their friendship. A former emergency room physician, Martin distills medical jargon into digestible metaphors and sets scenes as carefully as her characters scrub for surgery. When the secret (or secrets) is disclosed toward the end, an unexpected but logical twist adds another layer of grief to the revelation. A book about female friendships that unapologetically wears its heart on its sleeve.”


“Kimmery Martin’s excellent debut novel serves up an irresistible mix of romance, ER drama, friendship and betrayal. Martin, a physician herself, writes in a clear and lively way…. In her hands, dramatic hospital scenes and routine kitchen conversations are equally compelling.” – BookPage

"Cutting edge humor told with surgical precision ... Martin writes like a veteran."

"In The Queen of Hearts, debut author Kimmery Martin brings humor and insight into this exploration of friendships and secrets set in the fascinating world of practicing doctors. She effortlessly weaves the past and the present to bring you all sides of this nuanced story. Part mystery and part exploration of the human heart, Martin has a cure for what ails both her characters and their relatable problems. Sure to be a hit with fans of JoJo Moyes and Liane Moriarty."—Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden and The Good Liar


"Whip-smart and full of heart, Martin expertly weaves the threads of friendship, love and betrayal into a story that crackles with humor and compassion. The Queen of Hearts is a brilliant debut." -Lisa Duffy, author of The Salt House

"In The Queen of Hearts, Kimmery Martin deftly weaves a tale of friendship and betrayal, family and lost love, the choices that define us and the secrets that keep us. Brimming with wit, intelligence, humor, and warmth, this dazzling debut teaches us about the heart’s surprising resilience. Kimmery Martin is a new voice to watch."—Sarah Domet, author of The Guineveres


“THE QUEEN OF HEARTS, is best described as “Big Little Lies meets Grey’s Anatomy”—a raw and compelling tale of love, loss and the sheer power of friendship as it persists over time. Martin has a keen eye for portraying modern domestic life, and her medical background gives the hospital scenes a rich vibrancy. ”—Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY


“Like its dual settings (and dual narrator protagonists), Martin's debut novel comfortably straddles a binary, seamlessly transitioning between romantic drama and medical thriller.”—Creative Loafing


“Engrossing, funny,”—The Charlotte Observer


“Martin’s extraordinary sensitivity and empathy shines through during moments of crisis, which draw out the subtle, complex shades of her characters. The novel is emotionally exhausting—partly because of its accurate depiction of the relentless 100-mile-an-hour pace of the lives of working mothers—but ultimately because it tests the furthest limits of forgiveness and understanding… the beautifully rendered characters and compelling, rhythmic storyline make “The Queen of Hearts” a thrilling read, and a fascinating look into the medical world. It’s an impressive debut, full of warmth and excitement.”—The Harvard Crimson


Martin writes impressively about the inside of the human body, but even more incisively about the landscape of the metaphysical heart. Bittersweet and graceful, The Queen of Hearts marks Martin as a fresh voice filled with promise. --Shelf Awareness


“The Queen of Hearts is a smart, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking page-turner of two best friends and doctors, cardiologist Zadie and trauma surgeon Emma. There are twists, turns, lies, betrayals, revelations, humor, and a li’l bit of sex mixed in with just the right amount of mommyhood.”—Charlotte Smarty Pants

“Martin’s voice is sharp and authentic in this captivating debut about two old friends and the scorching secret that nearly destroys them. Your heart will be thumping until the final page.”—Emily Liebert, author of Some Women

"Intense, vivid and sometimes surprisingly funny, The Queen of Hearts gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of female physicians. Martin moves effortlessly between the women's highly relatable suburban lives and the literally cutting-edge drama of their work. When a judgment call leads to an unimaginable tragedy, the women are forced to confront their complex shared past and face a secret that has stayed buried far too long."—Kim Wright, author of Last Ride to Graceland, 2017 winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

"Tragedy and secrets refuse to stay buried in this fast-paced and clever exploration of the storied connection between Emma and Zadie. As wives, mothers, and physicians, they are just as susceptible to life and its multicolored traumas as any of the souls they care for."—Nadia Hashimi, international bestselling author of The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

“If you love Big Little Lies and medical dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy and ER, there is no better book for you than The Queen of Hearts.”Hypable

bottom of page