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 2019 Top "10":

1. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
2. Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
3. The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld
4. We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman
5. The River by Peter Heller
6. Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand
7. The Institute by Stephen King
8. Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly
9. Tear it Down by Nick Petrie
10. A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
11. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Favorite Short Story Collections:
Full Throttle by Joe Hill
Growing Things by Paul Tremblay

Favorite Re-Reads

A Grave Talent by Laurie R. King
Salem's Lot by Stephen King
An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Turnsten

Staff Pick Badge
The Chill: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982104597
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - February 11th, 2020

I just loved The Chill. Scott Carson, aka Michael Koryta, has written an excellent supernatural thriller.  One hundred years earlier, a town is drowned after the building of a dam. Now, a century later, that damn and its workers are coming back for revenge.

Superbly told, atmospheric, I loved it. P.S.  Build your house above a dam.

Highly recommended, my top 10 for 2020 already has a spot filled.  - Sally

Signed copies available!


Staff Pick Badge
I See You So Close: The Last Ghost Series, Book Two Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781948924894
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcade - March 17th, 2020

Looking for a good ghost story?  Here it is!

I See You So Close is the second in her A Last Ghost series. The first book, The Last to See Me was in my top 10 in 2017.

The ghost of Emma Rose has found a body to occupy. She ends up in a small, secluded town full of secrets and ghosts and revenge.

Dressler has done it again with a superbly told story.  Highly Recommended!! - Sally


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The Dark Corners of the Night Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982627515
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blackstone Publishing - February 18th, 2020

Finally!  The third book in Gardiner's UNSUB/Caitlin Hendrix series and let me the first to tell you in does not disappoint!   Suspenseful from beginning to end, The Dark Corners of the Night will have you on the edge of your seat. 

I'm already looking forward to book four. Highly Recommended! - Sally

Signed copies available!


Staff Pick Badge
The Deep Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525537908
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 10th, 2020

Imagine that the Titanic is haunted. Passengers feel it. Unexplained things happen and tension builds to that fateful night.  One of the survivors, Annie Hebbly, has little memory of it all. A few years, she is hired on the sister ship Britannic, now converted to a hospital ship.  The unexplained things start to happen again.  Has it been Annie all along?

Atmospheric. Creepy.  I loved it.  I hope she continues to write stories based on real events, I love them.  Highly recommended!  Also a contender for this year's Top 10! - Sally

Signed copies available!


Staff Pick Badge
The River: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525563532
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 3rd, 2020

Peter Heller is one of my favorite authors. The Dog Stars, his first book, is one of my favorite books of all time.

His new book, The River, is incredible. It's the story of two friends,Wynn and Jack, on a once-in-a-lifetime canoe trip. Heller's descriptions will leave you spell bound. From the moment Wynn and Jack discover a forest fire; to rescuing a woman who has been left for dead by her husband; The River is non-stop adventure. You'll feel as if you are camping with them, the smell the campfire, the beauty of the stars, and the thrill ride of the river itself and the terror as they try to outrun a wildfire and avoid the man who tried to kill the woman they rescued. 

The River made my Top 10 of 2019, I can't recommend it highly enough. - Sally