Cover Image: The Woman in the Library

The Woman in the Library

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Member Reviews

A story within a story is the best thriller trope out there, and The Woman in the Library doesn't disappoint. Uniquely written and utterly twisty, it's intelligent, high tension, addictive, and unputdownable.
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In The Woman in the Library, the author writes about an author who is writing about an author. Once you wrap your mind around this unique setup, you will love this novel! It's a classic whodunit with the twist of a unique story outside the story, as it were.
THank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC,
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This one was just not for me. I made it halfway then chose to stop. Maybe another time I will try it again. Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for my review.
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I was intrigued with the "story within a story" concept for this novel, and felt that Gentill pulled it off reasonably well. My main complaint is I wanted more.  I just didn't feel invested in the characters enough to feel a true sense of suspense or concern for them. And I wanted more of the collaborator's story, a bit more of his background and motives.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a complimentary eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I can’t stop thinking about this book, but not in a good way. I was very intrigued by the concept of a story within a story and that it was set in a library, but I just needed more fleshing out of some storylines and less minute details and weird characters- There was just too much going on and too many nonsense scenes. The supporting characters were not likable, which is fine, but they also brought nothing to the story. There were also a lot of extra details and describing instead of showing, and I’m not sure if those were supposed to be red herrings or not, but I do know is that they were annoying. I had high hopes for this one but it overall fell flat.
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The Woman in the Library
•	Author: Sulari Gentill
•	Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press through NetGalley
•	Publication Date: June 7, 2022
  Wow what an ambitious attempt for any author, I have to give credit for the premise and attempted execution of The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill.  I would have loved to hear the “elevator pitch” of this book, but then again Sulari Gentill is an established author so perhaps the publisher just “went with it”.  The story is actually two, maybe even three stories in one – a story within a story kind of thing.  I continually asked myself is this a mystery or a thriller and the answer is “yes” – one story is more of a mystery but the second seems like a thriller.  
  Between that cover and the premise being a woman appears to be murdered in a library which results in four strangers becoming intertwined in each other’s lives is a promising premise, at least for me.  If that had been the only story, I think it could have been fleshed out and enough for most of us readers.  I also think the added story lines could have been individually fleshed out and perhaps their own books.  But having them all together resulted in a confusing and forced story that was constantly interrupted by the “other” story.  The relationships and conclusions all seemed forced and unrealistic.  
  Being a first for me with such a story or multi story set-up I would be very curious to discuss with others their experience with the book.  I felt like the writing was over all good but the storyline and mechanics felt disconnected and jarring which did not allow me to connect with any of the characters. 

Summary:  Not really one I would recommend, but I would love to talk about with those that have read it.
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The Woman in the Library is the best kind of story. It feels a bit like you're reading a game of Clue or you're at a murder mystery party. It's kind of like book-ception (like Inception, but books!). Plus, it all takes place in a library, which is just the best place to be.  

I couldn't put it down, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh new book to read.
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*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review*

This was a good little  mystery book, but not as good as all the hype I read about it, but a good story nonetheless.
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This was an enjoyable story (perhaps more than one) that held this reader's interest as four people come together in a library after hearing a piercing scream. The four people bond and as our main character, Hannah is writing a book, and she decides to incorporate her newly found friends into the story line. It's something like art imitating life. 

It turns out to be a story within a story within a story and at times I will confess I did find myself confused. However, the concept and carry through made this a tale of a murder done by .......... a fun but circuitous read! (I am not telling.)

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book already published.
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A bit different from what I expected.
I fell that the story was a bit confusion.  Within the story we have an Author writing a story which is chapter by chapter send to an editor who goes from polite suggestion to a more progressive approach.  His attitude is sometimes so sickly sweet that you feel like vomiting.
The author uses the library as her workplace.  A way to observe her characters.  When a scream disturbs her the table occupants become friends having had this joint experience.
The various aspects of the story are well put together and with the unique approach I think it deserves a 4 star it just wasn’t my favorite book but then that has more to do with personal taste then with the book itself.
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Smart, layered, and elegant upmarket suspense novel. I enjoyed the tone, style, themes, and the story within a story. I didn't connect with the characters as much as I would have liked--there was a distance that is simply not my preference--but overall I enjoyed this novel. Recommended.
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I didn't love this book, but I did enjoy the pacing of it. The set-up was unique, in that each chapter was a portion of the author's manuscript sent to a person who was doing research from the setting of her book, and his subsequent responses to the pieces of her manuscript. Very interesting mystery-within-a-mystery, but I was hoping for a more explosive ending. The first half was more of a slow build, then around halfway in a breakthrough finally occurred.

If you are picking up this book because you think it'll be about a woman in a library, with most of the setting happening in the library, you will be disappointed! Most of the book is set around Boston, but the library setting is really complete around 10% into the book.
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The Woman in The Library was an interesting read. It was a little confusing at times figuring out who's point of view you were following, was it a book.within a book or a separate story. The letters sort of through things off for me and it didn't really keep me enthralled.
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I got this as a #netgalley book and was so intrigued. I loved how the story went between present time, in letters, and the book the main character was writing. The story within a story was so fascinating and unique and something I haven’t read before. It was so well done, at times it was hard to tell what was fiction and what was reality….and it was all done within a fiction book. Just so creative and fascinating.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Poisoned Pen Press and Sulari Gentill for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

You know when you are sitting in the library, checking out the strangers at your table, trying to concentrate on your work that you are supposed to be doing and hear a blood curdling scream rips through air. Ya, I hate it when that happens. Well, that’s what happened to Freddie, an Aussie who is trying to write her sophomore book in the Boston Library. The scream serves as the impetus for the 4 people to begin talking “Freud Girl”, “Handsome Man” and “Heroic Chin” as she labels them all start to wonder what could have happened.

Yes, it is a murder and the four of them join forces to try and solve the murder. It turns out someone knows the victim, at one point all of them are suspects and at least one love story happens along the way to solving the crime. However, Gentill doesn’t just give us a regular straightforward murder mystery. This is actually a story within a story. Hannah is an author who is writing the story of Freddie visiting Boston. Hannah has a pen pal Leo who lives in Boston who is helping her create a more realistic story by sending her details of Boston.

What a great read! I finished it in one afternoon. You highly suspect one of the four are responsible for the murder but putting it together and the creep factor around Hannah and Leo certainly keep you entertained. It is well written and has solid character development. The lines become blurred between what is real and what is the story being written. Probably best to not think about it and go with the flow. Just let it happen - I promise it’ll be worth it!
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3.5/5 stars, one of the most in depth stories I’ve read

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for the arc in exchange for an honest review! 

This was probably one of the strangest thriller/mystery books I've ever read, as well as one of the most confusing books about a writer I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This was certainly interesting, and had my attention for most of the book, but there was just so much going on and a few too many layers for me to be entirely in love with it. 

The story is about Hannah, a writer who is corresponding with a pen pal who lives in Boston. She lives in Australia and is writing a story set in the United States, also specifically in that city. Her story is about this woman who meets these strangers in a library, after they all hear a scream and almost witness a murder, and decides to integrate them into her story, which is also a thriller about a woman who takes inspiration from people she meets in real life. Even looking at that now I am extremely confused and I'm not sure if I will ever fully get what was really happening. I think the author made this premise out to be just a bit too confusing for me to be fully invested. 

While it was confusing, it was also a very intriguing premise. What unites all four of these people, a simple scream, and the knowledge that they may have been in the room next to a murder. I really enjoyed how this was set up initially, and I figured there was going to be many secrets between all of them that were going to have to be unraveled. While they did unite for the book, I don't think there was actually much keeping them together, when they're should have been. Their desire to "unravel the mystery" sort of fell out of focus as the story went on. This would have made sense and been a fine area to go down if the characters had any other personality traits outside their connection to the murder, but it really did not feel that way. 

There were moments where the personalities they could have had shown through in the narrative, but overall it really didn't feel, like even the main character, had super large personality traits that made them multi-dimensional. Which is part of the problem, as the whole story is super multi layered and dimensional, so the characters should have been the same. Freddie the main character in the little story was so, I don't even know, just out of it. She never felt truly like the main character and I for sure needed more development for her. I also needed more from Cain, and Marigold and Whit though I think Cain was the most fleshed out. 

While there were aspects of the story that didn't work for me, and I overall think it's a bit too convoluted on what is actually happening, it was still an interesting story. The characters should have been improved on, but I will be looking out for other books from this author as it was still a very good concept. I didn't see the ending coming either, and again while it felt a bit convoluted, there is definite potential there for better books in the future from this author. 

[TW: murder, sexual encounters (mentioned), mugging, stealing, harassment and threatening, sexual assault, attempted rape, death of a parent, blood and violence]
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A nesting doll of mystery plot lines.

I loved the unique way this book told multiple unrelated yet related stories.

The main focus of the book is on Freddie, an exchange student studying in Boston on a writers scholarship, and the three friends she meets in the Boston Public Library.

Freddie is an aspiring author looking for inspiration when three interesting individuals sit down at the same table. In enters Freud Girl, Heroic Chin and Handom Man. This begins the second story, being the ongoing project Freddie is inspired to write staring her new acquaintances and the chilling scream they hear in real life, which echos through out the silent halls of the historic library. 

The third story being told is discovered when the reader sees that the chapters about Freddie & Co are actually the manuscript of an author who is corrisponding via email with an associate.

Soon the reader is hit with the knowledge that the murder mystery within Freddie's world is not going to be solved easily. And the goings on outside of the manuscript is a wonderful example of live mirrors art (or vice versa?).

Although it's challenging to explain to people (I have several times) this story is fun and easy to follow between plot lines.

The characters and writing style were so interesting and I can't stop (trying to) tell people about this book. A great thriller/mystery.
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A mystery within a mystery?  This book blew me away.  The Woman in the Library is a gripping thriller about an author writing a mystery story, while corresponding with a fan.  I needed to take a Dramamine with all of these twists and turns.  I have never read a book by this author before, but I will definitely check out more of her books.
If you are looking for a thriller that is nothing like you have read before, this book is for you.  It’s a perfect beach read.   I want to thank the author, Poisoned Pen Press, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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What could be better than books about books?😍

||That's what it's about: Freddie is writing her book in the library when a marrow-shaking scream rings out. The next morning, the body of a young woman is discovered. Connected by the scream, a fast-growing friendship develops between Freddie and three strangers from the library. But already in the first chapter it becomes clear that one of them is the murderer.||

What I found cool: Each chapter is commented by Leo, Hannah's beta reader, because Freddie only exists in a book and is actually not real at all.
I've never read a concept like that before and I have to say it was really good. A definite recommendation from me.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I liked how the Freddie was writing a story within this story. I had a hard time at first deciphering who was who, eventually figured it out. Which made for a great read lots of twists and psychological suspense.  The way the author brought the characters together and slowly built their relationships helped to understand how each of them met in the reading room and how their lives intersected. Very good book, was drawn in from the beginning.
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