Brenda's Staff Picks

Brenda Jordan at Murder By The Book since 2009

After years of reading only True Crime, I slowly moved to mystery novels. Now, I primarily read British, Historical, Foreign and Espionage novels. From Peter James to Alan Bradley, Geraldine Brooks to Mark Pryor, Kate Morton to Amor Towles, Martin Walker to Daniel Silva, each author offers his/her unique ability to tell a story well. And, the well-written, well-told story is what I want!

Whether fast-paced, intense, poignant, charming— I know the story has “it” when I can’t get it out of my mind. What’s better than the anticipation of a new book by a favorite author, or the unexpected find of a great book by a new author? Nothing! That’s what it’s all about.

Brenda's 2020 Top Ten:

  1. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  2. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
  3. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  4. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
  5. Murder in Chianti by Camilla Trinchieri
  6. The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart
  7. Death and the Maiden by Ariana Franklin/Samatha Norman
  8. The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos
  9. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  10. Firewatching by Russ Thomas

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

Moonflower Murders: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062955456
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - November 10th, 2020

Featuring his famous literary detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide bestseller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly complex literary thriller with echoes of Agatha Christie from New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life.

The Unwilling: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250167729
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 2nd, 2021


“We the unwilling, led by the unqualified to kill the unfortunate, die for the ungrateful.” —Unknown Soldier

Staff Pick Badge
Before the Ruins: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250759153
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - January 12th, 2021

Named a Best New Book of 2021 (so far) by Real Simple
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Lit Hub and Bustle

A gripping, multilayered debut in the tradition of Tana French and Donna Tartt about four friends, an empty manor, and a night that will follow them for the rest of their lives

Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062838193
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 26th, 2021

A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the year

“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner

"Fiendish good fun." —Anthony Horowitz

The Survivors: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250232427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - February 2nd, 2021

Instant New York Times Bestseller

“As always, Harper skillfully evokes the landscape as she weaves a complicated, elegant web, full of long-buried secrets ready to come to light.”
-The New York Times Book Review

Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.