This month my book club pick was “The Guest List” by New York Times bestselling author, Lucy Foley. It was published in 2020 and is a murder mystery about a death at a wedding.
The story is told from the point of view of multiple people and has alternating timelines – the bride, the bridesmaid, the best man, and the plus-one.
The secrets, grudges, and mysterious pasts of the guests are slowly revealed ultimately unveiling who is killed and the killer.
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty, and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
Agatha Christie perfected what’s called the “locked room mystery.” Foley updates this method using a moody island and a brewing storm.
“It feels personal, this storm. As if it has saved all its fury for them.”
This book reminded me of “Big Little Lies” in a spooky setting, teasing about a murder in the prologue and spending the rest of the time working through multiple POVs to reveal who wants the victim dead.
I give this book three stars – a “liked it,” but didn’t “love it.” I really liked the premise and the setting. I would have liked more action in the first 200 pages. It is only in the last 100 pages that Foley ramps up the plot twists.
Okay, readers of my blog –
Were you able to guess who the victim was?
Were you able to guess who the murderer was?