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 2020 Top 10:

In no particular in order

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
And Now She's Gone by Rachel Howell Hall
Catherine House by Elizabeth Thomas
The Last Flight by Julie Clark
I See You So Close by M Dressler
If It Bleeds by Stephen King
Firewatching by Russ Thomas
The End of October by Lawrence Wright
Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay
The Two Mrs Carlyles by Suzanne Rindell

Bonus Fun Book!
Behind the Horror: True Stories that Inspired Horror Movies by Lee Mellor


Check out Sally's Recommendations Playlist on the MBTB YouTube channel.

Staff Pick Badge
The Hunting Wives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593101131
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - May 18th, 2021

Looking for a roller-coaster ride of a read?  The Hunting Wives by May Cobb is the book for you.

Sophie and her family move to a small town in Texas from Chicago to try to slow down their lives a bit. Soon, Sophie is feeling bored and through an old friend becomes friends with The Hunting Wives. The cool kids as it were. They go shooting every Friday and soon Sophie discovers that there are many drinks to be had and other types of "hunting."

This book has everything!  Obsession, jealousy, deception, seduction, and murder. 

I was guessing till the end and loved every page!  

I'm already looking forward to the next May Cobb.  Get this book, make a drink, and cancel your plans, you will not want to put it down.

Highly Recommended! - Sally

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The Last Flight Cover Image
ISBN: 9781728234229
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - May 4th, 2021

The Last Flight is an absolutely riveting story about two women, Claire and Eva; each one trying to escape a life that neither one wanted.

Fast-paced. Excellent plotting.  Full of twists and turns. Once you start The Last Flight, you will not want to put it down and you'll be guessing until the last page. I was so invested with what was going to happen with Claire and Eva, I didn't want it to end. My highest recommendation! - Sally

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Survive the Night: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593183168
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - June 29th, 2021


Phase Six: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525655459
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 18th, 2021

A spare and gripping novel about the next pandemic--completed by the award-winning Jim Shepard before COVID-19 even emerged--that reads like a fictional sequel to our current crisis.

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Dream Girl: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062390073
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - June 22nd, 2021

Novelist Gerry Anderson moves back to Baltimore from New York to take care of his ailing mother, she dies soon after he has purchased his penthouse apartment and he feels trapped in Baltimore. After falling down the stairs and injuring himself, Gerry is bedridden with only two nurses to care for him. 

Gerry's most famous novel is Dream Girl. One night, Gerry receives a phone call from Aubrey, the character is his book. Or did he? He continues to get the phone calls and wakes up at times to find a woman in his room.

Is any of real? Who is visiting him in the night? Is the story of Aubrey truly fictional?  And who killed the woman found murdered in his room?

A fever dream of a read, Lippman does it again with Dream Girl.  I thoroughly enjoyed it! - Sally

Staff Pick Badge
Falling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982177881
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 6th, 2021

Bill Hoffman is the pilot of Flight 416 headed to New York.   As the flight gets underway and everyone is settled in for the flight, Bill gets an email from his wife Carrie. What he sees and the message he gets is the scariest thing he has ever encountered.  He sees his wife in a suicide vest standing next to their son, the message that follows his from their abductor "You will crash this plane where I tell you to or I will kill your family."

What follows is an absolute adrenal rush of a read.  With the threat of another terrorist actually on board, what will Bill do? Does he tell his crew?  Is the other terrorist a part of his crew? Why Bill and his family?

Falling just may be the thriller of the summer! - Sally

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Chasing the Boogeyman: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982175160
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - August 17th, 2021

Chizmar will be a familiar name to some of you.   He is the publisher of Cemetery Dance magazine and the owner of Cemetery Dance Publications.

Chasing the Boogeyman is an absolutely fascinating and creepy read. It's a novel written as non-fiction true crime book. 

Richard plays himself in the book and a recent graduate returning to his hometown to get his writing career started.  Young girls are starting to disappear. The rumors are rampant about who or what is responsible.

As one girl after another go missing and the bodies are discovered, Richard decides to write about what is happening.  Richard gets involved and it all starts to get personal. 

Chasing the Boogeyman is an amazing blend of horror, memoir and true crime. I had to constantly remind myself this is a novel. A simply excellent work of fiction. I loved it. - Sally