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 2021 Top 10:

In no particular in order

Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar
Billy Summers by Stephen King
State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
Falling by T.J. Newman
The Guide by Peter Heller
We Begin at the End by Chris Whittaker
The Hunting Wives by May Cobb
Where They Wait by Scott Carson
The Rovers by Richard Lange
The Anomaly by Herve Le Tellier

Late to the Party Read:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J.  Klune


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

Staff Pick Badge
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

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Billy Summers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982173616
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - August 3rd, 2021

Stephen King's latest is a story about a professional hit-man who decides the job he has just taken will be his last.  It's time to retire. That's when things things start to go a bit awry.

But, as you might expect from King, there's no horror or supernatural elements in this story.  It's a straightforward crime novel about a man whose life has suddenly taken an unexpected turn or two or three.

I loved "Billy Summers".  Billy is simply a good guy trying to right some wrongs in an unconventional job.

Stephen King has written an outstanding story. It's excellent - one of his best.  There's a wonderful cast of characters, both good and bad.  You won't forget them or Billy Summers anytime soon.

Highest recommendation! (Do keep an eye out for easter eggs!) - Sally

State of Terror: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982173678
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster/St. Martin’s Press - October 12th, 2021


Named one of the most anticipated novels of the season by People, Associated Press, Time, Los Angeles Times, Parade, St.

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


“T. J. Newman has written the perfect thriller! A must-read.” —Gillian Flynn
“Stunning and relentless.

The Guide: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525657767
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - August 24th, 2021

The best-selling author of The River returns with a heart-racing thriller about a young man who is hired by an elite fishing lodge in Colorado, where he uncovers a plot of shocking menace amid the natural beauty of sun-drenched streams and forests.

Staff Pick Badge
We Begin at the End Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250759665
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - March 2nd, 2021

Winner of the Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel from the Crime Writers’ Association (UK)
Winner for Best International Crime Fiction from Australian Crime Writers Association
An Instant New York Times Bestseller

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

A Most Anticipated Novel by The Skimm * Cosmopolitan * SheReads * Frolic * PopSugar * BuzzFeed * Goodreads * E! Online * Betches * Crime Reads * Pure Wow * Book Riot * Bustle * and more!

A Book of the Month Club Selection

Where They Wait: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982104627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - October 26th, 2021

Where They Wait is so readable, you’ll be a couple of hundred pages in before you realize you’re terrified…and then you can’t put it down.

Rovers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316541961
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - July 27th, 2021

Two immortal brothers crisscross the American Southwest to elude a murderous biker gang and protect a young woman in this “utter triumph and delight” from award-winning author Richard Lange (Jonathan Ames, author of A Man Named Doll)

Summer, 1976. Jesse and his brother, Edgar, are on the road in search of victims.

The Anomaly: A Novel Cover Image
By Hervé Le Tellier, Adriana Hunter (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781635421699
Availability: Able to Backorder
Published: Other Press - November 23rd, 2021

New York Times: Best Thriller of the Year
Publishers Weekly: Best Thriller of the Year
Lit Hub: Favorite Book of the Year
CrimeReads: Best International Crime Novel of the Year
PopSugar: Best Mystery/Thriller of the Month

Staff Pick Badge
The House in the Cerulean Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250217318
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - December 29th, 2020

A 2021 Alex Award winner!
The 2021 RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner!
An Indie Next Pick!
One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020"
One of Book Riot’s “20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies”