Rebecca's Staff Picks

Rebecca Minnock, at Murder By The Book since 2018

I had to include my 2 all time favorites - Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, and Louis de Bernière's Captain Corelli's Mandolin, both of which I have read so many times I have had to replace my original copies. Same goes for the Harry Potter series, which I am now re-reading with my daughter.

I honestly read a bit of everything, mystery is definitely my preferred genre. Reading Peter James and the Lee Child Reacher books is like catching up with an old friend for me.

I have read almost all of the Ben Elton books, and laughed out loud each time. The Nightingale was one that left me with the ultimate book hangover, I could not stop thinking about the characters and what happened to them after the book finished for ages after reading, the same goes for King's 11.22.63, I think they are both books I have told everyone to read at some stage.

Barclay and Morton, whilst totally different, both have me hooked by the end of the first chapter or 2, and I will never not pick up their newest releases!

Rebecca's 2018 Top 10:

Top book of the year: The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Kate Morton

In no particular order...

Past Tense by Lee Child
The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory
An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
Alex Cross: Target by James Patterson
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
The Woman in The Window by AJ Finn
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Favourite debuts of the year:
Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear 
The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

Top 3 Middle Grade Readers (from Emma):
Max Einstein by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein
Bad Dad by David Walliams 
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty


The Clockmaker's Daughter: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451649390
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - October 9th, 2018

The most important character in this novel is a place rather than a person - Birchwood Manor, a beautiful twin gabled house in the countryside by the River Thames.

Flitting from the 1850s to the present day, we learn of all the people who have lived in the Manor, and the details of both the house and their lives.

A missing precious blue stone, the Radcliffe Blue, a gunshot, death and all the intricacies of the lives of a multitude of characters.

In typical Morton style, the plot jumps between time periods and characters, so you have to concentrate, but it is definitely worth persevering with this, I didn't want it to end! - Rebecca

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Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399593512
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - November 5th, 2018

Oh my goodness. It was more than worth the wait. Reacher is Reacher, cool, calm, and on the move. He sees a sign for the town where his father said he was born. But no one has heard of him. At the same time, a young Canadian couple pull into a motel outside of the same town, but all isn't what it seems to be once they have checked in.

This one has everything - suspense, tension, and best of all, Reacher. 

Read it - you know you want to! - Rebecca

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The Royal Runaway Cover Image
Email or call 713-524-8597 for price
ISBN: 9781501196614
Availability: Backordered
Published: Gallery Books - October 9th, 2018

Princess Thea and Scottish Nick are the immensely likeable primary characters in this well written story.

It is funny and suspenseful with some romance, and fun to read. From discovering why Thea was left at the alter by Christian, to secrets about the monarchy, embezzlement, to rooting for Thea and Nick to just get it on already, I flew through this one, and would highly recommend it! - Rebecca 

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An Unwanted Guest: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525557623
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - August 7th, 2018

An isolated hotel, a snowstorm, a power outage, and a body.

The perfect recipe for a quick suspenseful read. My favorite kind of synopsis! - Rebecca

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Once Upon a River: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743298070
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - December 4th, 2018

Wow....just wow! 

The River Thames, The Swan inn at Radcot, on the banks of the river. A night when the regulars are in the bar telling stories, a stranger arrives injured with the body of a small girl in his arms. The girl is dead, presumed to have drowned, confirmed by the local nurse, Rita. But then she is suddenly alive again. The girl never speaks a word, and 2 families believe she is their lost child.

The story flows like the river - sometimes slow, sometimes fast. There are a lot of characters, and my favorites by far were Rita, Daunt, Armstrong and Bessie. 

Fairytale like but without being a fairy tale, this one sucked me in from the start with the storytelling in the Swan, and kept me hooked until the end. I would highly recommend this one - it was just magic! - Rebecca

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Watching You: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501190070
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - December 26th, 2018

Wow! This book was AMAZING. It sucked me in from the very start and I was desperate to find out what was going to happen! 

Tom, head of the local school and his wife Nicola live in Melville Heights, Jack and his pregnant wife Rebecca live 2 doors down along with Jack's sister Joey and her husband Alfie. In the same village, Jenna attends Tom's school and lives with her mom who is convinced she is being gang stalked by Tom and a group of others. Everyone thinks Jenna's mom is paranoid and brushes off her concerns. But she knows something is wrong, and Jenna comes to realize her mom might not be totally crazy after all.

This is a well written, suspenseful psychological thriller that I would highly recommend everyone reads! - Rebecca

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A Noise Downstairs: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062678256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - July 24th, 2018

Paul is a college professor. He happens across a friend and colleague, Kenneth, disposing of the bodies of 2 women, along with a typewriter late at night. Kenneth tries and fails to kill Paul.

Fast forward 8 months, Paul is suffering from PTSD and in therapy with Dr White. His wife, Charlotte, buys him an Underwood typewriter, which wakes him during the night with the sounds of it's keys being used, it then starts writing him messages. He is convinced it is the same typewriter Kenneth threw into a dumpster. Twisting and turning, full of suspense, every time I thought I had worked out what was happening, something else happened that made me doubt myself. I would highly recommend this one! - Rebecca

Target: Alex Cross Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316273947
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - November 19th, 2018

Washington D.C. The President is dead, and the vice president is sworn in. Soon after, he is assassinated, as are other high up members of the government in D.C. and in Texas. The assassins then start getting assassinated and Alex Cross is on the case, along with the FBI and his wife, Bree. 

Patterson's Alex Cross is one of my go-to characters, this one doesn't disappoint! - Rebecca

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Rust & Stardust: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250164193
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 7th, 2018

This is a beautifully written novel, based on the real life kidnapping of Sally Horner in 1948.

Sally is an 11 year old girl who is tricked into shoplifting by a group of girls she knows from school. She is seen by Frank, who leads her to believe he is with the FBI and unless she does what he says, she will go to prison.

After kidnapping her, he makes her believe her family no longer wants her, but her mom, sister and brother in law never give up searching for her. Frank does terrible things to Sally, although thankfully, we are spared the gory details.

Each chapter is told by a different character - Sally, her mom, her sister, and other people she meets on her journey.

Greenwood's writing flows perfectly from person to person as the story unfolds, the reader cannot help but get attached to all the characters.

Tip - have some Kleenex at the ready - Rebecca

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The Woman in the Window: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062678416
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - January 2nd, 2018

The #1 Instant New York Times Bestseller – Soon to be a Major Motion Picture

“Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing.” —Gillian Flynn

“Unputdownable.” —Stephen King

“A dark, twisty confection.” —Ruth Ware

Lethal White (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316422734
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - September 18th, 2018

"Rowling's wizardry as a writer is on fulsome display" (USA Today) in this #1 New York Times bestseller. Lethal White is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series from the international bestselling author Robert Galbraith.

"I seen a kid killed...He strangled it, up by the horse."

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The Other Woman: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250191984
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - August 21st, 2018

Emily meets Adam and falls head over heels in love. The only problem? Adam's mother, Pammie, is hell bent on destroying their relationship. How far is she willing to go? - Rebecca

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Sweet Little Lies: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062823199
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - August 14th, 2018

Cat Kinsella, originally from Ireland, is now a young office with the police in London. A young woman is found dead, and during the investigation, it turns out that even though she has a different name, she is someone who Cat knew growing up. Cat believes her Dad is somehow involved, and faces a dilemma about whether to come clean with her superiors and tell them her suspicions, or try to protect her family. 

This was a great debut, the characters were well written, and Cat is a really likeable character. This might just be one of my top books this year!

If you like the Peter James books, this is probably a good next read for you. - Rebecca

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316523967
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: jimmy patterson - October 8th, 2018

*#1 New York Times Bestseller*

What Harry Potter did for magic, Max Einstein does for kids' imaginations! #1 bestselling author James Patterson has written the first and only children's adventure novel officially approved by the Albert Einstein Archives.

Bad Dad Cover Image
By David Walliams, Tony Ross (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062561107
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperCollins - March 19th, 2019

Hailed as “the heir to Roald Dahl” by The Spectator, the UK’s #1 bestselling children’s author, David Walliams, will have fans of Jeff Kinney and Rachel Renee Russell in stitches!

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524767570
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - May 1st, 2018

A lightning strike gave her a super power...but even a super genius can't solve the problem of middle school. This smart and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by Sevens.