Sam's Staff Picks

Sam Mayer has been working at Murder By The Book off and on since 2008. He likes to read British whodunits and bleak, American noir. 


Sam's 2017 Top 10:

1. The Fact of a Body by Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich 
2. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
3. Shadow Man by Alan Drew
4. Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
5. Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
6. Safe by Ryan Gattis
7. Proving Ground by Peter Blauner
8. The Dry by Jane Harper
9. Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes
10. Different Class by Joanne Harris

Spotlight on Second in Series:
Righteous by Joe Ide
Down for the Count by Martin Holmen
Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen * 

Staff Pick Logo
Force of Nature Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250105639
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - February 6th, 2018

Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

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Six Four Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250160003
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador USA - February 6th, 2018

Twenty years ago, Detective Mikami and the police in Prefecture D handled a kidnapping and ransom case that went horribly wrong. A small child ended up dead and the killer free. Mikami is now  press secretary for the police and dealing with his own daughters' mysterious disappearance. But the case that has haunted him, nicknamed Six Four, contains to come up.  And why has the police set up a wall of silence surrounding Six Four all of the sudden? And just what is the Koda Memo? Six Four is a twisty, thrilling procedural and fascinating look at Japanese society and policing. Perfect for Stieg Larrson fans! - Sam

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Magpie Murders: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062645227
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - June 6th, 2017


Famed mystery novelist Alan Conway's final manuscript in his popular Atticus Pünd series just might contain all the clues to a very real, very dangerous, very cunning murder. It's up to Susan Ryeland, Conway's former editor, to read both his manuscript and the real-life clues left behind to solve not one, but two murders. Fans of Christie and Sayers will delight at the puzzles, intricacies, and plotting of  Conway's manuscript and fans of thrillers will be riveted by the Ryeland's race against the clock to solve the crime Conway's manuscript hints at. One of the most clever, pleasing, and spell-binding reads of the year. From the author of House of Silk and creator of Foyle's War. Honestly, what's not to love?! - Sam

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The Widows of Malabar Hill (Mystery of 1920s Bombay #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616957780
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - January 9th, 2018


Inspired by the real first female lawyer in India, Massey introduces us to Perveen Mistry. Oxford educated and fiercely independent: Perveen is determined to start her life over again after a failed marriage. What she doesn't expect, however, is to find herself investigating murder and deception in Bombay's notoriously closed off and secretive Muslim community. Packed to the gills with gorgeous period detail and featuring a strong, likable heroine The Widows of Malabar Hill is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be a stellar series. - Sam

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Ultraluminous Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374279660
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: MCD/Farrar Straus and Giroux - December 5th, 2017


K spends her days having sex, doing heroin, getting drunk. Maybe she's plotting a terrorist attack. Maybe she is the most exclusive call-girl in New York. Maybe she is oth. Ultraluminous is a brutal and poetic novel that is unlike anything I have read in a long time. An unforgiving but riveting book about a woman hellbent on destruction. - Sam