Selection for the Weston Mystery Book Discussion Group 2022
Velvet was the Night follows two main characters in 1970s Mexico: Maite, a secretary who is drawn into a mystery when her neighbor disappears, and Elvis, a young man working for a secret group trying to find that same neighbor. This noir novel is full of suspense, great characters, and an interesting setting.
“[Velvet Was the Night] is a noir with a heart of gold, and it’s a narrative in which the empathy we feel for its characters ultimately reveals an important truth: That Moreno-Garcia is not only a talented storyteller but also an incredibly versatile one.”—NPR
“It’s hard to describe how much fun this novel is. . . . A noir masterpiece.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Immensely satisfying, refreshingly new and gloriously written . . . Moreno-Garcia mashes up Anglocentric genres with midcentury Mexican history, resulting in a brew flavored with love, heartbreak, violence, music and unsettling dread. . . . The gift of this book, and Moreno-Garcia’s storytelling, is how it imbues this well-worn genre with added strength, grace and even musicality.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A winner that brings together a romance-fiction obsessed secretary and a lovelorn enforcer during the brutally suppressed student riots in 1970s Mexico City.”—Booklist (starred review)
With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn – Amazon. (Reese’s book club selection)
“Dave pulls off something that feels both new and familiar: a novel of domestic suspense that unnerves, then reassures. This is the antithesis of the way novels like Gone Girl or My Lovely Wife are constructed; in The Last Thing He Told Me, the surface is ugly, the situation disturbing, but almost everyone involved is basically good underneath it all. Dave has given readers what many people crave right now—a thoroughly engrossing yet comforting distraction.” — BookPage
“Dave’s neat trick is to unveil revelations at a brisk clip that does not overwhelm character development. The novel’s richness comes from the way Hannah and Bailey realize they need each other in the face of staggering loss; the mutual trust that grows between them is genuinely moving. As both daughter and stepmother come to realize, “That’s how you fill in the blanks — with stories and memories from the people who love you.” — The New York Times Book Review
When a failed writer hears an amazing idea for a novel, he never imagines he’ll one day get the chance to take it for the plot of his own book. His book is a huge success, but someone else knows that it wasn’t really his idea. This suspenseful novel was a real page turner!
“As a longtime fan of Korelitz’s novels (including “You Should Have Known,” which was made into HBO’s “The Undoing”), I will say that I think The Plot is her gutsiest, most consequential book yet. It keeps you guessing and wondering, and also keeps you thinking: about ambition, fame and the nature of intellectual property (the analog kind).”―The New York Times Book Review
“Deep character development, an impressively thick tapestry of intertwining story lines, and a candid glimpse into the publishing business make this a page-turner of the highest order. Korelitz deserves acclaim for her own perfect plot.”
―Publishers Weekly (STARRED Review)
“’The Plot’ is wickedly funny and chillingly grim…it deserves to garner all the brass rings.”―The Wall Street Journal
A gripping, suspenseful page-turner that follows two sisters living in Northern Ireland. Once I started, this was hard to put down!
“[A] twisting . . . emotional thriller . . . Berry’s portrayal of Irish life is uncannily accurate . . . dropping readers headfirst into the emotions of living in conflict.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A chilling, gorgeously written tale of a modern community poisoned by ancient grievances . . . Berry is a beautiful writer with a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of this most complicated of places.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Thrillingly good . . . Flynn Berry shows a le Carré-like flair for making you wonder what’s really going on at any given moment . . . Berry won an Edgar for Under the Harrow in 2017. Here comes another contender.” —The Washington Post
“A taut and compassionate thriller . . . [and a] reflection on personal choice and consequence . . . A poignant and lyrical novel that asks what is worth sacrificing for peace.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“I LOVED this book. From the riveting plot to the beautiful writing. But mostly what kept me longing to get back to it each day were the characters, especially young Duchess. Fierce, brave, vulnerable, she leaps off the page fully formed. As does Walk. How aptly named. A chief of police on his own inexorable journey. This is a book to be read and reread and an author to be celebrated.”
—Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“It’s an instant classic….Let’s begin at the end. After you’ve turned the final page of Chris Whitaker’s magnificent new novel, you’ll struggle–I struggled, certainly–to describe the experience…it recalls the very best of Tana French and Dennis Lehane. Think of Duchess Day Radley as a twenty-first-century Scout Finch, tough and curious and good. In fact, think of We Begin at the End as a novel at the same time distinctly American and profoundly universal.”
—A.J. Finn, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Woman in the Window
“Two damaged children–one timid and sweet, the other foul-mouthed and furious–will break readers’ hearts in this well-plotted and perfectly-paced novel. If, like me, you love stories that kidnap your intended schedule because you can’t not keep turning the pages, then I wholeheartedly recommend Chris Whitaker’s We Begin at the End.”
—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of I Know This Much Is True
“This is an epic drama and a profound masterpiece. I’ll be amazed if I read a better novel this year.”
—Daily Mirror (UK)
Even though this is the 16th book in a series, you don’t need to have read the previous books to enjoy this mystery. Penny is expert at creating a sense of place. In these times when we can’t travel, revel in Paris sounds, tastes, sights. You’ll experience the underlying theme of all of Penny’s books: to Honor Thy Family ― the one you were born with and the one you’ve acquired during your lifetime.
“Armand Gamache seems as much a spiritual warrior as a homicide detective… What stays with the reader are the tender passages, the human insights, the reminders of what makes life worth living.”―Wall Street Journal
“As always, Penny’s mystery is meticulously constructed and reveals hard truths about the hidden workings of the world―as well as the workings of the Gamache family. But there’s plenty of local color, too, with a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower to escape surveillance and a luxurious suite at the Hotel George V for good measure. If you’re new to Penny’s world, this would be a great place to jump in. Then go back and start the series from the beginning.”―Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Exceptional… Penny’s nuanced exploration of the human spirit continues to distinguish this brilliant series.”―Publishers Weekly (starred)
A very quick read at breakneck speed! How quickly a Facebook message entangles 3 unforgettable characters in contemporary India whose lives will be forever changed. You will want to follow this brand new writer…..
“Riveting…This is a novel of our pandemic times, an exploration of precarity in all its forms…Majumdar excels at depicting the workings of power on the powerless… Fate has rarely been so many-faced, so muscular, so mercurial, or so mesmerizing as it is in A Burning.”—The New York Times Book Review [cover]
“A Burning by Megha Majumdar is quietly beautiful and devastating. Its tone and pacing are measured perfectly. It is as funny as it is sad. This book won’t let you go, and you won’t want it to end.”—Tommy Orange
“A BURNING is an excellently crafted, utterly thrilling novel full of characters that I won’t soon forget. Megha Majumdar writes about the ripple effects of our choices, the interconnectedness of our humanity, with striking beauty and clarity. A stunning debut.”—Yaa Gyasi
“The must-read novel of the summer… This all-consuming story rages along, bright and scalding… Majumdar demonstrates an uncanny ability to capture the vast scope of a tumultuous society by attending to the hopes and fears of people living on the margins. The effect is transporting, often thrilling, finally harrowing… Majumdar’s outrage is matched only by her sympathy for these ordinary people… [A Burning] is a damning critique of a culture that generates constant upheaval but no systemic change.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)
“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)
“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)