Sally's Staff Picks

Sally Woods at Murder By The Book since 2011

I read a bit of everything, so I've tried to include both old and new favorites. That said, my favorite genre is dystopian. Though,sometimes I think I read too much of it as I can get obsessed. Two of my favs are in this stack. ( I had to stop watching The Walking Dead when I started becoming too aware of my surroundings and looking for escape routes.)

Other favorite authors are Kevin Brockmeier, whose writing makes me happy, and Marianne Wiggins whose Evidence of Things Unseen is possibly my favorite book of all time.

Mystery wise, Tana French has a wonderful Irish series. I always look forward to anything by Laura Lippman and Megan Abbott. I'm trying to catch up on women crime writers from the 40's and 50's, the collection here is incredible. David Joy. His writing will stop you in your tracks with its beauty.

Sally's 2018 Top 10:

1. The Line That Held Us by David Joy
2. How It Happened by Michael Koryta
3. I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
4. A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
5. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
6. Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
7. Eagle and Crane by Suzanne Rindell
8. The Outsider by Stephen King
9. Sunburn by Laura Lippman
10. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay


Elevation by Stephen King
My Sister, The Sister Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Turnsten

The Line That Held Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399574221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

From critically acclaimed author David Joy comes a remarkable novel about the cover-up of an accidental death, and the dark consequences that reverberate through the lives of four people who will never be the same again.

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How It Happened Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316293891
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Back Bay Books - January 29th, 2019

I'm a huge fan of Michael Koryta. I always look forward to his next book and this one may just very well be his best yet! 

How It Happened is a stand alone. With Koryta's excellent plotting and riveting characters,he keeps you guessing and wondering to the very end. This is a powerful read.  I loved it. - Sally

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780062319784
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - February 27th, 2018

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018 A Washington Post Notable Book of 2018 • SCIBA Book Award Winner An Audiofile Best Audiobook of 2018 A Hudson Booksellers Best Book of 2018 • A New York Public Library Best Book of 2018 •

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A Ladder to the Sky: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984823014
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Published: Hogarth - November 13th, 2018

“An addictive Rubik’s Cube of vice that keeps turning up new patterns of depravity… a satire of writerly ambition wrapped in a psychological thriller… A Ladder to the Sky is an homage to Patricia Highsmith, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe, but its execution is entirely Boyne’s own." -- Ron Charles, Washington Post

The Book of M: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062669605
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - June 5th, 2018

Brad Thor's Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW!

"Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage and Station Eleven." --Booklist


Give Me Your Hand Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316547185
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - July 17th, 2018

A life-changing secret destroys an unlikely friendship in this "magnetic" (Meg Wolitzer) psychological thriller from the Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me.

You told each other everything. Then she told you too much.

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Eagle & Crane Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399184291
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 3rd, 2018

I'm a huge fan of Suzanne Rindell.  Her first book The Other Typist featured the unreliable narrator before they were a dime a dozen. Her second book Three-Martini Lunch was a wonderful telling of the mid-century publishing industry.  Both books made my Top 10 lists.

So, I was so excited when I found out she had a third book Eagle and Crane.   It does not disappoint! 

Eagle (Louis Thorn) and Crane (Haruto "Harry" Yamada) are two young daredevils and the stars of Earl Shaw's Flying Circus in Depression-era California.

Their families have a long standing feud over land that the Thorn family says were stolen from them by the Yamada family. One not-so-little lie has repercussions for generations. 

Eagle and Crane opens with FBI Agent Bonner and the local sheriff arriving at the home of Louis Thorn in 1943 in search of Harry Yamada and his father who have escaped from a Japanese-American internment camp. A bi-plane from The Flying Circus takes off from a nearby field and Bonner and Thorn watch as it appears to deliberately crash and Harry's father and another body are soon discovered in the wreckage.  The sheriff is ready to close the case, but Agent Bonner feels like something does not quite add up;that Louis is not telling all he knows.  Why would Harry and his father escape from the camp and then crash the plane?  Harry's father is identified,but who is the other body if it isn't Harry?

Eagle and Crane tells a fascinating story of two families in America at a particular and unsettling time in history. Beautifully written, Eagle and Crane is guaranteed to make my Top 10 yet again!  - Sally

The Outsider: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501180989
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 22nd, 2018

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER—soon to be an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park.

Sunburn: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062389923
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Published: William Morrow - February 20th, 2018

 An homage to noir, especially to James M. Cain, Lippman's well-plotted tale of a stranger in town, hidden agendas, and destructive behavior hits all the right notes.  Simply put, Lippman hits it out of the ballpark with Sunburn.   This one is a must read! My highest recommendation! - Sally

The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062679109
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Published: William Morrow - June 26th, 2018


BEST BOOK OF 2018 (Library Journal, NPR)



Elevation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982102319
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 30th, 2018


The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.

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My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - November 20th, 2018

"Pulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan...This scorpion-tailed little thriller leaves a response, and a sting, you will remember."--NEW YORK TIMES

"The wittiest and most fun murder party you've ever been invited to."--MARIE CLAIRE

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An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good Cover Image
By Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy (Translated by)
Email or call 713-524-8597 for price
ISBN: 9781641290111
Availability: Backordered
Published: Soho Crime - November 6th, 2018

Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, and... no qualms about a little murder. This funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten, author of the Irene Huss investigations, features two-never-before translated stories that will keep you laughing all the way to the retirement home.