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

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: 9780062319791
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 26th, 2019

Features new material on the Golden State Killer's case and an updated afterword by Patton Oswalt.



The River: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525521877
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - March 5th, 2019


"A fiery tour de force… I could not put this book down. It truly was terrifying and unutterably beautiful." –Alison Borden, The Denver Post

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip--a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence

Staff Pick Badge
The Last: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501198823
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - April 9th, 2019

I absolutely loved this book.

Twenty people are left in an hotel in Switzerland after a nuclear attack has wiped out all the major cities.  Soon after, a young girl is found floating in an pool and now there is the possibly of a murderer among the surviving group. This is all told from the point of view of historian Jon Keller, who decides to take it upon himself to solve the murder and records the events on a daily journal. The story-telling is fascinating.

Tension-filled. An excellent psychological thriller, dystopian, and a murder mystery all in one.

Definitely for fans of 'Eleven Station."  I highly recommend this book! - Sally

One Small Sacrifice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781542042116
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas & Mercer - June 2019

An apparent suicide. A mysterious disappearance. Did one man get away with murder--twice?

NYPD detective Sheryn Sterling has had her eye on Alex Traynor ever since his friend Cori fell to her death under suspicious circumstances a year ago. Cori's death was ruled a suicide, but Sheryn thinks Alex--a wartime photojournalist suffering from PTSD--got away with murder.

The Pandora Room: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250192103
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - April 23rd, 2019

"A wonderful, wild ride." —Michael Koryta, New York Times Bestselling author of How It Happened and If She Wakes

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101947869
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

New York Times Best Seller
“Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today.” —Southern Living

The Invited: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385541381
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 30th, 2019

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house--they build one . . .

Staff Pick Badge
Like Lions: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250206947
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - April 30th, 2019

Finally! The follow up to Bull Mountain we have all been waiting for!  Bull Mountain was my favorite book in 2015. I've been waiting to find out what happens to Clayton and Kate Burroughs and Like Lions is everything I hoped it would be. Dark. Gritty. Appalachian/Southern Gothic writing at its finest. 

I loved it. Like Lions will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year! Highly recommended! - Sally

Brian Panowich will sign at Murder By The Book Wednesday, May 1st at 6:30 p.m. Call (713-524-8597), email, or visit the website to order signed or inscribed copies.

A Beautiful Corpse: A Harper McClain Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250148872
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - March 12th, 2019

From Christi Daugherty, author of The Echo Killing, comes another pulse-pounding suspenseful thriller featuring crime reporter Harper McClain.

For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.

Staff Pick Badge
Come Closer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616951009
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Press - May 31st, 2011

A recurrent, unidentifiable noise in her apartment. A memo to her boss that's replaced by obscene insults. Amanda—a successful architect in a happy marriage—finds her life going off kilter by degrees. She starts smoking again, and one night for no reason, without even the knowledge that she's doing it, she burns her husband with a cigarette.