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

Staff Pick Badge
Golden State Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316505413
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mulholland Books - January 22nd, 2019

I've been a big fan of Ben Winters since his Last Policeman trilogy, so I always look forward to his latest work.


Golden State does not disappoint.  It's a mixture of scifi, dystopian, and a murder mystery.   In Golden State,  there is only truth. There no works of fiction, no movies and  it's impossible to lie without the Speculative Service knowing about it.  Laszlo Ratesic(who reminded me of Hank from The Last Policeman), while investigating a possible murder, stumbles across an anomaly. An untruth that builds and builds and threatens to bring down the only world he knows. With plenty of twists and turns, I highly recommendGolden State. No lie. - Sally

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Like Lions: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250206947
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
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.

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Tear It Down (A Peter Ash Novel #4) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399575662
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 15th, 2019

If it's January, it must be time for a new Peter Ash! I've been a big fan of Petrie's Peter Ash since The Drifter. These books just get better and better and this one is no exception. I loved it!

Highest recommendation!! - Sally

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Liars' Paradox (A Jack and Jill Thriller #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496718631
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington - December 18th, 2018

I was so happy to hear of a new series by Taylor Stevens!  Vanessa Munroe, star of her previous series, remains of my favorite characters. Now, I have two more: Jack and Jill. 

Liars' Paradox is the first of the series and I am here to say it's everything I wanted and more. I could hardly read fast enough to keep up with Jack and Jill.  Now, I can't wait for more! I promise you will feel the same. Fast paced is an understatement.  Highly recommended! - Sally