Cindy's Staff Picks

Cindy Burnett -- at Murder By The Book since 2018

Cindy currently works part time at Murder By The Book, a crime fiction book store in Houston, Texas, and regularly speaks to book clubs and women’s groups about her favorite reads and book suggestions. She is a voracious reader and book reviewer who administers a bookstagram account, @Thoughtsfromapage, where she talks about all things book-related. Cindy Burnett shares her thoughts in her weekly Page Turners column in The Buzz Magazines. As a SheReads.com regular contributor, she writes book articles centered around themes such as historical fiction or mystery series. Cindy also writes book reviews for Bookreporter.com, the New York Journal of Books, and judges the BookLife prize for Publishers Weekly in the summer. In addition to reading, Cindy loves theatre, art, movies, National parks, travel, and hiking in Colorado during the summer.

"My reading tastes span a wide range of genres: mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction, memoirs, and engaging non-fiction. I love almost anything related to art, France, New York City, Golden Age Hollywood, the Gilded Age, Texas and World War 2. I enjoy C.J. Box’s mysteries because I always learn something fascinating about the environment or a current political issue, and I love Fiona Davis’s novels because she explores in-depth places like Grand Central Terminal and the Dakota. I will read anything written by Jacqueline Winspear, Susan Elia McNeal, Martin Walker, Michael Connelly, Kate Morton, and Elly Griffiths. They all create incredibly well-written, engaging stories.

Some of my recent non-mystery favorites have been News of the World, A Gentleman in Moscow, How to Walk Away, and Dear Fahrenheit 451. I even have a few books that I return to again and again: both Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion by Jane Austen and Robert Frost’s The Road Less Taken"

Staff Pick Badge
Home Before Dark: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524745172
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - June 30th, 2020

Baneberry Hall, a Victorian mansion in a remote area of Vermont, is the setting of Riley Sager’s latest thriller. Twenty-five years ago, Maggie and her parents Ewan and Jess Holt lived in the house for three weeks before fleeing in the dead of night never to return; as the book opens Maggie returns to the house to try to understand what happened years before. Alternating between the chapters of a book her father wrote about the events and Maggie’s present-day inhabitance of Baneberry Hall, the story slowly unfolds as Maggie begins to experience the events that happened in her father’s book and begins wondering if Baneberry is actually inhabited by ghosts. The story starts slow but picks up momentum as the creepiness factor ratchets up, and Sage does a fabulous job throwing in lots of twists and turns and red herrings.  He kept me guessing for the entire book, and I thoroughly enjoyed the clever and unexpected ending.

- Cindy

SIGNED BOOKS AVAILABLE


Staff Pick Badge
The Jane Austen Society: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250248732
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - May 26th, 2020

The Jane Austen Society is set in Chawton, England following the Second World War – the town where Jane Austen spent her last years. When Austen’s legacy is threatened, an eclectic group of townspeople band together to save her home and her heritage. The Jane Austen Society is a tribute to Austen and is chock full of fabulous tidbits about the author and her stories, but it also highlights the importance of community and relationships. Natalie Jenner’s fantastic tale is historical fiction at its finest – she transports the reader to another time and place filled with unique and authentic characters while focusing on the importance of literature and its ability to resonate for decades to come. I highly, highly recommend this one.

- Cindy

SIGNED BOOKPLATES AVAILABLE


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Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062938015
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 7th, 2020

Set in Germany following World War 2, this historical fiction tale follows Brit Edith Graham as she joins the Control Commission, an entity that hires civilians to rebuild war-torn Germany. Edith is tasked with setting up schools in ravaged German towns. Before she leaves London, she is recruited by the OSS to spy while in Germany and send back intelligence through recipes she gathers as she travels. However, when Edith arrives, she realizes that many of the people in occupied Germany are not what they seem. Rees brings the post-war country to life – the devastation to the cities and towns, the rush to find war criminals (sometimes to prosecute, sometimes to send to the U.S. or Britain to use their knowledge), the lack of food and shelter, the underground Nazi movement that hopes to re-emerge, and the slow uncovering of the vicious Nazi experiments on humans. Beautifully written and masterfully detailed, this atmospheric book transported me to the streets of post-war Germany and entertained me with an intriguing cast of characters. This book is one of the best that I have read this year.
 
-Cindy


Staff Pick Badge
The Last Flight Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781728215723
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - June 23rd, 2020

The Last Flight is a high-octane thriller that begins with a bang and never slows down. Two women eager to flee their own lives agree to swap tickets for their flights at the last minute: Claire gives Eva her ticket to Puerto Rico and takes Eva’s ticket to Oakland. When the flight to Puerto Rico crashes into the ocean, Claire realizes she must assume Eva’s identity to survive, but quickly learns that Eva was not who she claimed to be. Toggling back and forth between the two women, the story rapidly unfolds revealing jaw-dropping twists and turns that you will not see coming. The Last Flight is indisputably the best thriller that I have read in ages – Clark skillfully blends great characters, beautiful writing, and a superb mystery, and I loved racing through it.

- Cindy

SIGNED BOOKPLATES AVAILABLE.


Staff Pick Badge
The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524744618
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - August 4th, 2020

Set in the beautiful and historic New York Public Library, The Lions of Fifth Avenue is a dual timeline tale about two women living 80 years apart who both must deal with the theft of valuable books from the library’s collection. While investigating the missing books, each woman makes discoveries that may alter her life forever. Readers will eat up the details about the superintendent’s apartment in the library (in earlier eras they were able to live in the library!) and other less-known tidbits about this iconic and historic building. I am a huge fan of Fiona Davis, and this is her best book yet.

- Cindy

SIGNED BOOKPLATES AVAILABLE.