Christina's Staff Picks

Christina Coward at Murder By The Book since 2019.

Christina was an elementary teacher in a former life and has always loved being immersed in good book. Chairing books fairs at her children’s schools and taking the lead on visiting authors has taken the place of “working” in her current life. As a longtime customer of MBTB she is so excited to be on the other side of the bookselling industry! When spending time with her family, Christina loves to travel and dance to 70’s music!!!!!

Favorite authors are Carolyn Haines, Daniel Silva, Chris Pavone, Rhys Bowen, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Kay Andrews, Michael Connelly, Catherine Center and Katie Fforde!

Christina's 2019 Top "10":

Book Of The Year:
Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

And in no particular order:
The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
City of Windows by Robert Pobi
The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
Game of Bones by Carolyn Haines
The Other Woman by Daniel Silva
Things You Save In a Fire by Katherine Center
The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger
The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio

Cartier's Hope: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501173639
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - January 28th, 2020

From M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues, “a lush, romantic historical mystery” (Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale), comes a gorgeously wrought novel of ambition and betrayal set in the Gilded Age.

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The Sun Down Motel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780440000174
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - February 18th, 2020

The Sun Down Motel is quite the page turner and left me in shock at the end. The author sets the stage between 1982 and 2017, alternating time periods and characters telling us their story. Viv disappeared in 1982 while working the night shift at the motel. In 2017, her niece Carly follows her footsteps takes on the job as nightshift worker at the same motel. Carly is obsessed with what happened to her Aunt 35 years ago, and is on a mission to solve the mystery. I loved the level of suspense in this book, which, coupled with unsolved murders and shady ghosts living in the motel makes this one of my favorite reads yet! - Christina

Signed copies available

The Rhythm Section: A Stephanie Patrick Thriller (Stephanie Patrick Thrillers #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250210586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - December 31st, 2019

This is the first book in a series by Mark Burnell, originally published in late 90’s and recently republished.  It is fast paced, suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat. I gave up my mom duties and read nonstop for 24 hours as I could not put this book down! The main character, Stephanie Patrick, lost most of her family in a plane crash years ago, and since then she became a prostitute as her life hit rock bottom. She was emotionally shut down and barely surviving until a visitor one night tells her that the plane crash was not an accident, but a planned act of terrorism. She goes from working the streets to being a recruit for an "under the radar" organization that assassinates high profile threats to world security. Will she get revenge for her family? Will she sell her soul by working for this organization and not be in control of her life? I love this strong female character and how she finds her inner strength. She reminds me of a female Jason Bourne! - Christina

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The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250230058
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - March 17th, 2020

This dual time book told in Cornwall 1947 and NYC present day cleverly tells the story of a house and the hauntings going on that curse those living there over the last 80 years. Present day Rachel has been willed a house from family she didn’t know existed. Being adopted she had no idea who her parents were or why she was given up. Searching for answers, she travels to Cornwall and  Winterbourne Hall to piece together the mysteries of the past. Learning about Alice Miller gives Rachel the answers she has wanted to find her entire life. This is a can't put down, read in one sitting book! Not too scary, extremely suspenseful and cleverly told. - Christina

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The Scent of Secrets: A Novel (Clara Vine) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553393903
Availability: Special Order
Published: Ballantine Books - September 15th, 2015

My newly discovered and favorite series is the Clara Vine books by Jane Thynne. The main character, Clara Vine, is an English actress living in Berlin when Germany is preparing for war unbeknownst to other countries. Clara is embedded with the wives of all the high Nazi officials, which puts her in the perfect position to spy for the English. Learning of war, secrets and the in and outs of Nazi officers from the wives is very unique and allows a different spin on this genre of books. Through this series we see the Jewish community slowly become exiled in a step by step scenario If you love historical fiction in WW2 time period, a little romance, and suspense that keeps you turning the page, this series is highly recommended! - Christina