Cover Image: The Woman in the Library

The Woman in the Library

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Woman in the Library is a standalone murder mystery novel. Clever writing left me guessing whodunit until the last few pages. Even though the author let's you know from the outset that this is a novel, I still felt fully vested in the characters and their fates. Sulari Gentill is not a new novelist, but this is the first novel of hers I have read. Set in contemporary times, she seamlessly builds out each character. After reading The Woman in the Library, it is easy to understand why Ms. Gentiill has won multiple awards.

Was this review helpful?

This interesting murder mystery is set in Boston, including the beautiful Reading Room in the main branch. Four strangers begin a conversation, and then relationships, after hearing a scream while they are all in the Reading Room studying. The discovery of a dead body increases their concerns, so they decide to try to solve the mystery themselves. Interspersed with the regular story are emails from a fan of the author's, who provides critiques of her writing, chapter by chapter. Although a bit too long, the novel has a pretty good story, a clever format, and strong characters. Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I was intrigued by the premise of the book and its location at the Boston Public Library, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read an advance copy of the book. I found the book's plot to be unique, and I liked that the book was not just a murder mystery, but also an interesting look at friendships that develop quickly with strangers. I had some difficulty with the format of the book and keeping track of what was "real" and what was part of the book within the book. Unlike most mysteries, this book raised a lot of ethical questions and would make a good choice for book discussion groups.

Was this review helpful?

An intriguing mystery written in a clever style. This is a book within a book, and perhaps even a book or two inside of that book. The book draws you in as you read chapter after chapter of a murder mystery. These chapters are written by an Australian woman with each chapter ending with a letter to the author from a writer living in Boston, where the story takes place, with feedback for the author about the location and American phrasing. The story itself that she is writing is about an Australian author living in Boston writing a book who meets up with 3 others in a Boston Library when they hear a woman scream. This event binds them together and they form an intense friendship that arises from that moment. New friends are a good thing, except one of them is a murderer. This story drew me in from the first chapter and I couldn't put the book down. Interspersed with the story itself is a great deal of back story about writing processes as there are multiple authors at play in this book.
Thank you to Net Galley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a different mystery, it threw me off at first until I understood what was going on. It's about an author named Hannah who is writing a mystery book. The mystery story is the main part of the book. At the end of every chapter, Hannah includes a letter from her friend Leo who is editing and offering suggestions for her story. The mystery itself revolves around 4 strangers who meet at the Boston Public Library one afternoon after they hear a woman scream. Later that evening, they find out she was murdered. The story is told from Winifred's (also known as Freddie) point of view. I was curious as to the murder at the library along with other crimes that happen later. My favorite part is the quick friendship they make after their unfortunate first meeting.

Was this review helpful?

Hannah is an Australian author who has a regular correspondence with another author who also happens to be a fan that offers her advice on her Boston setting. With four characters that are in the Boston Public Library when they hear a scream. Being held in place while security checks it out. the four begin talking and forge a friendship. They soon find out that a body was found in the library and it was a murder. Now it comes down to whether one of the group is a killer.

This book had a bit of a slower start and it was hard to keep track of what was the story, and what as supposed to be real. That made this a bit of a longer read as I had to stop and think and look back more than a few times. But it sure made for an interesting read.

Was this review helpful?

What a wonderfully fun and complex story. I particularly enjoyed the literary suggestions offered up by the incongruous Leo. The Woman in the Library kept me on my toes as I juggled to keep fiction, nonfiction, and red herrings separate. A mysterious dance with excellent characters.

Was this review helpful?

The Woman in the Library has absolutely everything that a good mystery should have. Get ready to meet characters that you will fall in love with and suspect of murder at the same time. Prepare yourself for plot twists galore and a story within a story with a touch of humor and a ton of jaw-dropping moments.

Hannah is an Australian author writing a novel about a murder at the Boston Public Library. Her source for information about all things Bostonian is Leo, one of her biggest fans who corresponds with her constantly, often to correct her mistakes. Hannah's novel centers around four strangers who meet at the BPL and are brought together by a blood curdling scream that they later find out belonged to the victim of a murder.

Can one of these strangers who quickly become friends be guilty? It seems impossible because they were all sitting together when they heard the scream....yet as the story begins to unfold, each one of them at have something to hide. Could it be Marigold, the tattooed beauty who is pursuing a degree in psychology? Or Whit, the sheltered son of a prominent lawyer who catches the eye of many of his Harvard classmates with his good looks and charm? Can it be Cain, who has a history of violence but has turned over a new leaf? Or is someone outside of their circle to blame?

Five stars for this twisty, funny, suspenseful novel that will keep you up all night!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Woman in the Library tells the story of four strangers who become friends after a scream interrupts their work at the library, one of whom is a murderer. Interspersed in the chapters is a set of letters to the author from an aspiring author who, throughout the course of the novels, becomes more and more strange. This story within a story narrative was so interesting and I couldn't put this down!

Was this review helpful?

This book was so good! I really enjoyed the storytelling tactic the author took. I couldn’t put this one down.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I would give “The Woman in the Library” 3.75 stars overall.

While I did find the first few chapters to be a slow start to the story, once I got past these I found myself reading into the early hours of the morning, curious to find out what would happen next. The correspondence between Hannah and Leo intrigued me, and I would have liked for that subplot to be a little more fleshed out. I enjoyed this part of the story more than the main plot.

Overall, I think what elevates this book from your average mystery thriller is the ‘book within a book’ concept, and the subplot of the correspondence between Hannah and Leo. I haven’t rounded up to 4 stars, purely because I did feel a little disappointed by the outcome of the story between the 4 main characters, and I would have liked the subplot to have been a bigger part of the overall story. An easy and enjoyable read, though. Thank you again for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I received this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. Wonderful depth of characters, plenty of mystery and a slight romance thrown. Gentill starts this book off with an email from Leo to Hannah, who is writing a mystery and Leo is giving her advice. . Then you jump right into the story in which Freddy is sitting in one of the reading rooms at Boston Public Library trying to write her first novel. After starring at the celling for a long time she starts to notice the three people (Cain, Marigold & Whit) around her. She begins by giving them nicknames and writes down their description in her notebook until they hear a woman scream. They are asked to stay in the reading room and this begins their friendship. But as the story moves along you find out that one of the four might be murderer. Grab this book and find out if Freddi, Cain, Marigold or Whit is the murderer or if someone else did it.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for the Arc!! This was a good read. The plot kept me hooked just enough to want to keep reading to find out what happened next. The relationship between Leo and Hannah had me a little confused at first, but details later in the book explain their connection. I really enjoyed the dual storylines, it was a unique twist on mystery writing. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who needs a good quick read.

Was this review helpful?

This is a suspenseful novel, populated with engaging young characters. It was compelling from the first chapter and will definitely appeal to Hitchcock fans . . . And, the author leads us to consider that director by staging a date night at North By Northwest.

I found myself put off by the narrative style of the book, but that is a very personal preference. The Woman in the Library will be very appealing to many modern mystery readers.

Netgalley provided me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange foe a candid r3view.

Was this review helpful?

Very unusual and original book! I like it very much and it was refreshing. Something I needed badly at the moment! great book!!

Was this review helpful?

A suspenseful read featuring two stories that author Gentill seamlessly blends together. A successful Australian woman author has begun an e-mail correspondence with an American aspiring author discussing her new manuscript. While in Boston, writer in residence grant winning Australian writer Winifred "Freddie" Kincaid finds inspiration at the Boston Public Library to write. There are three others at her table and she imagines them in a story. Then there occurs a horrible scream, but oddly no body is found and no one comes forward to say something frightened her or him. The four go to the Map Room for coffee and learn that one is a psychology student, one is studying law and one of them is also a writer. Freddie and the others exchange numbers and soon burgeoning friendships are developing. However, a body is eventually found in the library and other events occur that has Freddie thinking she may have been sharing a table with a killer. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book, it's about a murder in the Boston Public Library. As Freddie the protagonist says it's the opposite of a locked room mystery!!! Four strangers come together after hearing a scream in the library, they all have something to hide. I liked that the chapters alternated with the letter writing Leo. It explores friendship and the unlikely way that friendship works.

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

This purports to be chapters of a story set in Boston narrated by an Australian author and critiqued by an American fan. Initially I found it all a little 'meta' and tiresome, but it grew on me and by the end I was really enjoying it. It kept me guessing, and the references to Black Lives Matter and Covid were done with a light but thought-provoking touch.

Was this review helpful?

This book was very hard for me to get into. Going back and forth between the actual book and the book the character is writing was confusing and annoying.

Was this review helpful?

We begin in a gorgeous reading room at the Boston Public Library. Wonderfully quiet and peaceful... until the shocking scream of clearly terrified scream. The Library security guards quickly arrive and inform everyone inside of the Library that no one is allowed to leave while the crime scene is secured. While the library patrons are sitting and are awaiting for the all-clear, four young strangers, who are all occupying the same table, decide to pass time by talking and getting to know one another and friendships quickly develop. Every individual at the Library has their own reasons for being in the reading room that morning. However, it's highly likely that one of them is the murderer.

Was this review helpful?