Cover Image: The Woman in the Library

The Woman in the Library

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Member Reviews

Fantastic thriller! I read a LOT of books and mainly thrillers lately. This by far is the best I’ve read. It was definitely completely unique type of book which made it awesome! Could not put it down. No spoilers but the chapter regarding “hoodies” made me laugh out loud and the response made me laugh even harder. I would highly recommend this book to all even those who say they don’t like thrillers…it’s just that great of a book!
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Winifred, known as "Freddie", is a writer trying to find a good story. She is seated in the library brainstorming ideas when she hears a woman scream. There are three other people in the room with her and the four of them become fast friends after their shared experience. They all try to figure out what happened in the library. They also begin wonder if they really know each other very well at all.


This was really a delicious treat throughout. It was a story within a story. I enjoyed the characters and all of their quirks. The letters from Hannah's friend Leo added a little something extra to an already interesting story. I always enjoy a proper "whodunit" mystery. However, I was disappointed with the ending. It was very abrupt.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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“So we got to the map room to found a friendship, and I have my first coffee with a killer” 

The Woman in the Library is an interesting and unique take on the classic whodunnit genre. Four strangers in the Boston Public Library lives become entwined when they hear an ominous scream and later learn about the discovery of a woman’s body. They all have each other as alibis except one of them is the killer. 

When I tell you this story is not at all what I expected! Although the synopsis does feel a bit misleading and can easily be misinterpreted, I still very much enjoyed this book. Sulari Gentill was out here planting little seeds of doubt and had me second guessing myself even when I was so sure I knew who did it. Well written and very captivating, definitely recommend for when you’re in the mood for a quick read. 

3.5 stars. Out June 2022! Please be sure to look up trigger warnings for this too before reading.
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I love a good mystery & this was definitely a good mystery! The dual stories were a little confusing, but once I got used to the rhythm of the writing, I really enjoyed both plots. The mystery was written phenomenally well. There were so many different ways the WHODUNIT could have went, so I was constantly kept guessing and second guessing. 

The characters were very interesting. They each had characteristics that made me love them, hate them, and distrust them, which worked so well in the story. 

Definitely recommend this unique book for all mystery lovers!
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First off I would like to thank NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with this ARC. Picture this: you’re sitting at a table with 3 strangers at the Boston Public Library. Then all of a sudden your on lockdown because a woman has just let out a scream that chills you to the bones. The next thing you know, a body is found and one of the 3 strangers you’ve been sitting with is the murderer. What I really love about this book is that it doesn’t just have one great plot, it has 2! And not only is it great, it also works: a well known author that is writing a book about an author writing a murder mystery book. Your mind is blown right? Because my was and I absolutely loved it. This book had so many twists and surprises, that if I was sitting in a chair I would’ve fallen off with my mouth open lol. The characters are likable and well developed. As the tensions grow in the novel, so do the revelations about the characters. This book was absolutely genius!
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I just reviewed The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill. #NetGalley 

Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book will be published June 7, 2022. 

The premise sounded good: a murder at a library. 4 strangers sitting at a table hear the scream and become fast friends as they bond over the incident. But I just didn’t really care about any of them. 

I am giving the book 2 stars for the originality of a “book within a book”. I actually enjoyed the letters from Leo the best.
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As a lover of books, libraries, and mysteries, The Woman in the Library was right up my alley. I enjoyed the many twists and turns, the character development, and most of all, the story within the story. I love an unpredictable plot, and not only did this book deliver that in spades, the writing was superb.
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Many thanks to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for access to this pre-release.

Sulari Gentil has written a delicious, multi-layered mystery set in a library to begin, where 4 people meet seemingly at random, and become entangled in a murder.  So much thought was put into the details and idiosyncrasies of these entertwined characters that you can't stop thinking for a moment!  My perspective on "whodunnit" changed constantly, making it very hard to put this book down.  I thought the characters were so well developed, I could almost, ALMOST, figure it out, but there were surprises until the very end.  If you like a well-crafted and we'll written mystery, The Woman in the Library should be on your list!
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5 stars

After a string of mediocre reads, I needed something to pull me out of the reading rut. The Woman in the Library did exactly that! I could not get enough of this book as proven by the fact that I devoured it in less than 12 hours, staying up until the wee hours of the morning desperate to know how it ended. 

Told through book chapters from and emails written to an unseen author, this story follows two narratives that gradually blend together as the story progresses. Gentill's choice to frame the book chapters with emails sent by what we originally presume is the unseen author's research assistant Leo is absolutely mind-blowing and unlike anything I have read before. While the mystery of The Woman in the Library is certainly compelling, it is the slow unraveling of who Leo is to us and to this author that had my eyes absolutely glued to the page. I honestly can't put into words just how brilliantly Gentill weaves together the two narratives, so I just implore you to pick this book up AS SOON AS IT COMES OUT. I'm already planning on getting a physical copy, which I have literally never done after reading an ARC. It's just that good.

Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!
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Author Sulari Gentill’s book within a book saga was intriguing. Hannah is an Australian who has formed a friendship with an American author named Leo, whom she corresponds with regarding Boston/American customs for her work. She sends him her chapters, which begin with a scream from a woman in the Boston Public Library. This scream unites the main characters in her book-Winifred (Freddie) the narrator, Whit, Marigold, and Cane. One of them is teased as the murderer of the screaming woman. The book takes many turns all the way until the end which kept me intrigued, but the dialogue and constant plot twists left this book a little lacking for me.
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I requested this book after reading the description. I had hopes for this one, but I couldn't catch up with the flow, that is two stories at a time and also the library friends, I was irritated with email part. It was quite confusing, the story within story. My thought is, its a fictional characters, so maybe few lines can be deleted. Basically this story doesn't feel engaging. Sadly, this book doesn't meet the expectations and hype, also the title. Thank you netgalley and publisher for sending this ARC.
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"...a story is about leading a reader to meaning . The revelation is theirs, but we show them the way. I suppose the morality of the writer influences whether you can trust what they are showing you.”

This book had me doubting what the writer was showing me for its entirety. And I still was not 100% certain on the direction the bus was taking until we just about arrived there. And then I was eager to get to the destination! 

“A scream is the most human and primal of things, a siren call which binds all those in hearing to help..."

This was such an interesting manner of unfolding the story. I loved the duality of the tale: thinking we would get a behind the scenes of the fictional writer's correspondence in regard to her in-progress manuscript...but then that becomes a serious focal point as well! I don't want to give anything away but it was almost like Sulari Gentill was writing Two riveting stories that were cleverly intertwined. 

"Words are put down in solitude; there is a strange privacy to those disclosures."

I really enjoyed this book. There were so many layers to it and topics she touched on. Some a bit lightly but still, the form of the letter writing allowed her to address the things she maybe did not go into depth with (race, and it was clever to include the pandemic in just the letters). It added tension and suspense. As well as showed a very real writing process, albeit succint and condensed, as to how a writer might be aided by a colleague or colleagues and influenced by their surroundings or situations. 

"Perhaps that’s why writers starve in garrets— because the literary muse is a sadistic fascist."

This book had a lot of unique angles and was a refreshing, fun read! 

Also I received this copy via Netgalley per my request and all thoughts and opinions are my own!
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Four strangers are sitting in the reading room at the Boston Public Library and suddenly there's a piercing scream.    This was a very original thriller with a nod to Agatha Christie stories. It was set up as a story within story You have to pay attention because the two stories are running together but the author plotted it seamlessly. I have been to the Boston Public Library, and it is a beautiful setting for a book.  I am at high risk for spoiling this for you so I will stop here. If you love libraries, Agatha Christie, or Alfred Hitchcock this one is for you. My thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a decent read.A reverse locked-room murder mystery. So quaint. 

I am quite a fast reader but it took me a week to get througn to this. That could mean two things—either I took my time to be in sync with the characters and the events to the extent of not wanting the story to end or simply because I couldn’t decide if I should continue reading or abandon the whole thing. 

Freddie frequently visits the Boston Public Library to write. A scream startled the silence and a murder was all over the news the next day. In that unfortunate circumstance, she formed an unlikely frienship with the three other people who heard the scream. Who is the killer among them? 

Well, I love the fact that this book sort of pointed the struggles of being a writer—the self-doubt and the worries. How the art of expression comes together to create a timeless opus. I loved that part. The begginning was a bit bemusing because of the “book within a book within a book” style but my interest flared up during the middle section of the novel. 

Also, the mysterious and creepy character added a layer of dread to the suspense. This book will probably grow on me in the next years to come.

Cheers to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the ARC!
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A story within a story. A mystery within a mystery. 

This was my first book by Sulari Gentill and it was a great surprise! I really enjoyed my time reading this book. From the very first chapter, I was completely hooked and curious to know what would happen, it has just the exact amount to make you need to read more. Normally, each chapter finishes with a revelation or cliffhanger and it's almost impossible to stop reading. I read quite a chunk of this book in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. 

The writing is simple and devourable, and the story shifts between two arcs, in one of them we follow Freddie and her newly made group of friends, three strangers she met in the Boston Public Library when the four of them heard an ominous scream. The scream bonded them, and soon after bodies start to appear. The mystery and intrigue were definitely there, and then you discover this part of the book is actually a fiction manuscript written by an Australian author called Hannah, and this is the other arc of the book, the correspondence between Hannah and her 'friend' Leo. Leo is beta reading her manuscript and giving her advice, but as the story moves forward the emails from Leo become more and more sinister. 

Both of these story arcs kept me on the edge of my seat. I really wanted to get to the bottom of everything and find out all the answers. On one side is so nice to see the changes suggested by Leo reflected back in the novel Hannah is writing and on the other, it is completely unsettling to be reading the email conversation as the content becomes more and more creepy. 

Although the title might remind you of classic mystery titles such as "the woman on the window"; "the girl on the train", The Woman in The Library does not in fact follow the same type of narrative as these books. There is not a drunk female observer to some atrocious crime that she can't seem to be able to prove. Although I do enjoy this title, for me it gives me completely different vibes from what the book is actually about and that made me wish it had a different one. 

The only complaint I have and the only thing I actually disliked a bit about this story is the ending. First, I felt it was a bit rushed, there was so much at stake (on both arcs) that I was left a bit let down after I finished. And more specifically in the story about the exchange of emails I really felt it missed some more closure. For that reason, this is not a five-star read, more like a four or 4.5.

Other than that though I was completely invested in the story and I really enjoyed it. Some characters in the fictional manuscript were totally clueless about some stuff and too naive about others, but I think that plays with our perception of them in certain regards, for example when Leo advises Hannah that she should make their race of them explicit, and she argues that is not relevant. When you put that in perspective if the race of certain characters was mentioned it could totally change the view some people would look at that character (I am being vague to avoid spoilers) and I think that was an intriguing conversation to bring up to the minds of readers during the novel. 

This was definitely a read that kept me guessing until the end and I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good mystery book, especially because of the unique formatting, this one will not disappoint!
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A fantastic, captivating reading, with lots of possibilities for the reader to try to guess what's happening and have great fun ! 
A great book to recommend, and to enjoy !
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This book will appeal to readers who enjoy this certain feel that this type of book has. It’s very much reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Clue because it had the same kind of vibe. I like the concept of a story hidden inside another story, but the plot of this just wasn’t intricate enough to keep me interested. 

This review is going to be shorter than my standard because I don’t really have much to say. I skimmed most of this and kind of just wanted to get it over with, knock out this review, and move onto the next book. The plot is basically 4 characters being in the same building as where a murder takes place, but this storyline within the book is actually fictional and is being written by an author named Hannah who shares correspondence with someone as she writes each chapter with these 4 characters. Interesting, but not anything that hasn’t been done before. The ending was super predictable and the plot didn’t have enough going on to keep me entertained. The ending and reasoning behind it all was very been there, done that. The author conveys her words very intelligently though; I’ll give this book that. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for sending me an advanced copy in return for my honest review.
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I was looking forward to this book so much. Unfortunately I just could not get into it!! Very frustrating. The whole story with on a story and the letters just did not click.
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A whodunit story within a story within yet another story that had me fully engaged from start to finish! 
 
We are introduced to our main players off the bat as four strangers have a chance meeting in a library after a scream and a murder, this event then tying them together as a series of violent and murderous events start to spiral around them; unraveling secret pasts in it’s wake. 

Freddie, our main gal, is an Australian murder/mystery writer studying in the US, she uses the three strangers she met at the library as inspiration for a book she is writing. So, this book is about an author writing a book. BUT WAIT. Hannah, the author of the book we are reading about Freddie writing the book is made known to us through her correspondence with an American writer (Leo) who seems to be going down his own spiral into mystery and murder. 

Sulari Gentill really knows how to pull the rug out from under you and this book was proof of that. I was making guesses from the very beginning and then changing my mind every chapter as to “whodunit” and though I was frustrated with myself for getting it wrong, I loved being wrong! 

The Woman in the Library had me absolutely hooked from the first chapter. Inception and Agatha Christie really had a love child with this one! I highly recommend this read for the cozy whodunit lover. 

Special thanks to Poison Pen Press and NetGalley for the advance reader copy of this book.
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So good! I love the story within a story aspect of this. And can we talk about the letters?? They gave me the creeps, the chills, the EVERYTHING, starting with the very first one. A good mystery in this book. More than one! I did solve part of it, but not all. Murder is not the only thing that needs to be resolved. I do like how it all came together in the end. And that ending—I have a major question (will leave it out to not have any spoilers)
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