Sally's Staff Picks

Sally Woods at Murder By The Book since 2011

Sally has been in the bookselling biz for almost 20 years.  She comes to MBTB via various Houston indie bookstores.  She did have a life prior to bookstores, but that seems long ago.  She is also somewhat new to the mystery genre and is learning about new authors all the time.

Some her favorite authors include: Stephen King, John Sandford, Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton, Kevin Brockmeier, Dan Chaon, Gillian Flynn, Joyce Carol Oates (especially the short stories), Margaret Atwood, and newly discovered Louise Penny.  

Sally's 2017 Top 10:

1. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
2. The Last to See Me by M. Dressler
3. UNSUB by Meg Gardiner 
4. The Late Show by Michael Connelly 
5. The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
6. The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
7. Celine by Peter Heller
8. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
9. Burning Bright by Nick Petrie  
10. The Address by Fiona Davis 
11. The Dry by Jane Harper

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Discovery Reprint
In A Lonely Place by Dorothy Hughes

Staff Pick Logo
The Child Finder Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062659057
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 5th, 2017

The Child Finder is a beautifully told story of a woman, Naomi, who has spent her adult life looking for missing children and her own past.  Madison Culver is one of those missing children. Madison has been missing three years and we get the story from her point of view; her life as an imagined fairy tale "Snow Girl." The Child Finder is a haunting tale of a little girl lost; the woman trying to find her in a landscape daunting at best.  This book is one of the must-reads of the year! - Sally

Staff Pick Logo
The Last to See Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9781510720671
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Skyhorse Publishing - September 5th, 2017

An American ghost story, told from the ghost's point of view, both as a ghost and while she was alive. With both a past and present time-line, we learn about Emma Rose's life and  the events that lead up to to her death and her determination not to leave the mansion she has lived in for a hundred years. Now, a ghost hunter has come to clear the house and Emma Rose is just as determined to stay there. 

Not a conventional ghost story, The Last to See Me is a beautifully told tale of love and loss and missed chances.  I missed her when I finished the book. I think you will  as well.

The Last to See Me is in contention for my favorite book of the year! - Sally

Unsub Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101985526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books - June 27th, 2017

A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.

The Late Show Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316225984
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - July 18th, 2017

An Amazon Best Book of 2017A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017A South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Mystery of 2017
#1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces Renee Ballard, a fierce young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD's toughest beat--the Late Show.

The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345546791
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - October 31st, 2017

A dazzling new series, a pure adrenaline rush, debuts with Jane Hawk, a remarkable heroine certain to become an icon of suspense

"I very much need to be dead."

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345546807
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - November 21st, 2017

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Jane Hawk--fiction's most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine--continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

"No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this."

Celine Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451493897
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 7th, 2017

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars and The Painter, a luminous, masterful novel of suspense--the story of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past.

Stillhouse Lake Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477848661
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas & Mercer - July 1st, 2017

An Amazon Charts and USA Today bestseller.

Gina Royal is the definition of average--a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband's secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor--the ultimate warrior mom.

Burning Bright Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399174575
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 10th, 2017


*An Entertainment Weekly Must List Pick

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The Address Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524741990
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books - August 1st, 2017


Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse, returns with a compelling novel about the thin lines between love and loss, success and ruin, passion and madness, all hidden behind the walls of The Dakota--New York City's most famous residence.

The Dry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250105608
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - January 10th, 2017

"A breathless page-turner, driven by the many revelations Ms. Harper dreams up...You'll love her] sleight of hand...A secret on every page." --The New York Times

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The Last Mrs. Parrish Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062667571
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - October 17th, 2017


"Filled with envy, deception, and power, it's a great reading escape. And there is a thrilling twist at the end " --Reese Witherspoon

"Will keep you up. In a 'can't put it down' way. It's 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' with XX chromosomes."--The Skimm

In a Lonely Place Cover Image
By Dorothy B. Hughes, Megan Abbott (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781681371474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review of Books - August 15th, 2017

A classic California noir with a feminist twist, this prescient 1947 novel exposed misogyny in post-World War II American society, making it far ahead of its time.