Cover Image: A Death at the Party

A Death at the Party

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews


A DEATH AT THE PARTY by Amy Stuart is promising, but ultimately disappointing.

I liked the tone of the book and the build up. However, there was no real twist.

The story is set over the course of a single day – the day of the party. It starts with the death at the party and then rewinds to the start of the day. I didn’t mind going through the day with Nadine and her family and friends. The problem is that the actual party didn’t start until the 79% mark. Perhaps the title is to be blamed as it makes the reader hyper focused on the actual party. Apart from there not being any real twists, the ending is vague and feels unfinished. We never get to know what happens after the death at the party. There’s also no real character development of the villain. It felt like they randomly chose a bad guy and said “the end”.

I did like the writing style and would give Amy Stuart another shot.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this author’s previous work and thought the synopsis for this one sounded fantastic so I was really looking forward to it. Sadly the multiple inaccuracies regarding Type 1 Diabetes completely ruined this book for me. 

To correct just some of the misinformation shared in the book:

Insulin lowers blood sugar. 
Diabetics don’t carry preloaded doses of insulin.
Syringes are not commonly used for administering insulin anymore, and haven’t been for many, many years now.
A tourniquet would in NO circumstances ever be used when injecting insulin. Insulin is injected subcutaneously and not into a vein. To inject insulin into a vein would be very, very dangerous and could lead to death. 

The simple, most basic research which would have been required for this storyline was clearly not carried out at all which I find very, very disappointing.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a bit slow and hard to follow, in my opinion. While the plot was promising, it just king of lost me.
Was this review helpful?
Nadine is throwing a large birthday party for her mother- but it ends with her standing over a body in her basement. The book then goes back to the beginning of the day as Nadine prepares for the party and the pieces start to come together for the perfect storm.

What I enjoyed:
-the author’s writing style 
-quick read 
-complex history/intertwined characters 

Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read. I didn’t find it to be especially suspenseful but I enjoyed the contributions of past events to the present tension. I wish that there had been more attention given to some of the more significant plot points to draw the reader in more. 

3.5/5, rounded up to 4 stars.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced reading copy!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for an advance copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.

The story opens with a woman standing over the body of a man. We know the identity of the woman but not the deceased man. 

Nadine Walsh is having a lavish garden party for her mother's 60th birthday, which is also the anniversary of the death of her mother's sister thirty years ago. Nadine has a lot going on in her life and it all seems to come to a head the day of the party. A recent accident is causing her to have some memories of another party thirty years ago.
 There are several men attending tonight's festivities that could very likely end up dead on the basement floor, but who will it be. There are many connections both from the past and present time that are slowly coming together for Nadine. Some truths from that night so long ago will finally be revealed.
Was this review helpful?
A Death at the Party is told through Nadine’s POV over the course of a day as she gets ready and hosts a birthday celebration for her famous mother. As the day progresses, we learn through flashbacks and new information, that the people currently in her life are connected to her past. 

This is a fast read, but for about 30%, I felt like Nadine just kept thinking the same things over and over, so you knew a bit of the mystery but I didn’t feel any tension.

The following kind of has spoilers - 

The buildup was slow, and at first it felt like everyone’s a bit suspicious but then once the party was actually happening, no one was a really suspect anymore. All of these cringey characters were all of a sudden redeemable? All of their storylines were tied up so easily. 

I enjoyed the twist revealed by the mother, and didn’t suspect that at all. Based on that, and the little crumbs revealed throughout the story, I thought there would be more of a twist at the end. Instead I felt left with a lot of questions and suspicions. Maybe that’s the point?

I wish we explored more of the dynamic between the past and present, like there was a bit more confrontation at the end. I didn’t find it believable that Nadine’s husband was so close with his friends and now neighbours, but he wasn’t involved? Maybe we could have benefited from other POVs. 

Overall, this felt like a slow burn domestic thriller, but I was left wanting more tension and drama. 

Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for the digital copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really love Amy’s writing. 
Her chapters flow and the story and characters are always very thought through. 
That being said I didn’t love this one as much as I loved her “Still” series. 
It was still very good! The ending was slightly predictable but it didn’t take away that much from the story for me. 
3.5 ⭐️
Was this review helpful?
3.25 ⭐️

A Death at the Party follows Nadine, a stay at home mother, wife of a lawyer and daughter of a famous author who lives on a wealthier street surrounded by friends and acquaintances. Nadine is throwing a birthday party in celebration of her mother’s 60th birthday. The story follows Nadine through the entire day of the party, at times delving into a past tragedy that occurred 30 years ago to the day. The story opens with Nadine standing over a dead body, and follows her through her day, interacting with her circle, and dealing with a slew of issues all leading up to the big reveal of who died at the party. 

I did like this story, it’s a really quick and fast paced read once you get into it, it took me a bit. It’s a shorter read, but despite this I did find that there were quite a few unnecessary details added it. Nadine isn’t the most likeable character, which I realized right off the bat and it was hard for me to root for her. Her children are horrible, I couldn’t believe how they spoke to Nadine and her husband, the swearing and disrespect, they’re completely spoiled and awful even though all Nadine does is try to help them. The writing is really good and I can see a lot of people liking this story. My main issue with it despite the unlikeable characters, is that it’s not really a thriller. It’s just a story with a death more than anything. All the side plots were interwoven pretty well, there was a lot going on and it developed at a good pace throughout the story. I don’t think the big reveal was too dramatic but it was surprising. I do wish the ending was expanded on and we knew what happened afterwards. I do recommend this even though it wasn’t a favourite of mine! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the free preview in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Hmmm well it wasn't my favorite book this year. Kinda dragged on and out for me. Not so much a thriller. Fact chapters that were easy to get through. The ending was good but dsome what predictable. Would give this author another go. 

Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.
Was this review helpful?
*3.5 stars*

Did I think this would be a ‘quiet’ read?

If so, I was destined (happily) for disappointment. This was my first read from this author and it more than lived up to any expectations I had. A whodunit for sure, but bathed in family secrets with a narrative set to a measured countdown. What a difference a day makes…

A dead body in the basement was, surprisingly, not the biggest curveball this story served. Who actually died was not revealed until the very end so Nadine’s narrative moved back and forth from the past to the present before the big reveal. She was an interesting character who played her role well, with family and her love for them held above all else. Her story, their story, was a tension-filled build up that took many captivating turns. While the conclusion brought revelations and explanations, and the crux of the story was explained, the ending left me still wondering. A moral dilemma, yes, but one I have definite thoughts about. I guess the author leaves it up to us to imagine…
Was this review helpful?
A Death at the Party - Amy Stewart 

She killed him. That’s not a spoiler. It’s the first page. 

Who he is and what drove her to his murder remain to be seen and we’ll find it all out in one day. The story centres around Nadine as she puts the last minute details on her plans for the party of the year to celebrate her mom’s birthday. We follow her through the last minute prep but also dive into all of her ruminations and evaluations of the past. Her head and her heart is on a roller coaster ride as she remembers the past, wallows in haunting memories, sorts through secrets and wades through her opinions on every neighbour and possible guest. 

But the party. That’s supposed to be her focus. Her mom. 

Oh, and her aunt that was killed 30 years prior at another of her mom’s birthday parties. 

This is a quick read with short chapters and lots of moving parts. For the most part, those parts come together nicely at the end. While the big reveal isn’t “big” or flashy, it, again, wraps it all up in a way that makes sense with the narrative created. 

I would call this a cross between a domestic and a neighbourhood suspense so if that’s your jam, give this one a try. 

Thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster for my e arc in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
What the... what was this book? There were SO many things happening in the beginning of this book, yet it somehow felt so slow and boring I thought a few times I was going to quit. The prologue had immediately intrigued me and I obviously needed to know who did what and why, but I struggled to care through probably the first 70% of the book before it really started to get good. 

A Death At The Party takes place over the course of a full day, which I'm thinking is a problem in itself for me and books, but it literally was A PLAY BY PLAY of every single thing the MC did during the day and I just wanted to skim through all of it. I guess it was buildup but it was boring and I felt like so much of it was unnecessary. The pay off with the reveal at the end was really good, even if it was fairly predictable, which is why I'm giving this book 3 stars and not 1.5. I'll definitely be giving this author another shot, but this one was not my favourite.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my e-arc in exchange for an honest review! I liked this one! It was fast paced, took place within a day, which adds to the intensity. I love thrillers that happen in one day! I binge read most of this in one day because I had to know what happens next! I didn’t totally figure out the end, but once it was revealed, it made total sense! I really liked the FMC mother! She was the best!
Was this review helpful?
This is a fast paced, fun, domestic thriller. I liked the characters, the setting and how it all took place in one day. It added to the urgency of the story, along with the short chapters. Pick this one up if you like thrillers!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and the author Amy Stuart.
Mystery novel set in one day, slow burn, interesting characters.
Well written.
Was this review helpful?
When I saw that this was recommended for fans of Ashley Audrain and Lisa Jewell I knew I had to read it and I was not disappointed. The book starts as the title suggests, with a death at a party, and the rest of the story follows the events over that day leading up to the mystery death. I wouldn't categorize it as a thriller, more of a family and small community drama. It was definitely a page turner with secrets from the past and present being revealed.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. The hook is instantaneous, but then it was yanked away and took me awhile to get back into (it is set in one day while a wealthy woman prepares for a party at her home which just doesn't interest me at all). It does pick up once the mystery gets going a bit. A fast read for a plane or the beach but I don't think it will stick with me.
Was this review helpful?
Of all the things a hostess pictures when planning a party, standing over a corpse in the bathroom is definitely not one of them. 

And yet that’s exactly where the main character finds herself at the end of what has got to be the longest day of her life. The novel starts late that night and then skips back to the morning so we can see everything that led up to that moment. I loved this twisty thriller that follows Nadine, mother of two teenage children & daughter of a famous author.  Between party preparations & some unique family drama, this one day is filled with flashbacks to exactly thirty years previous (when Nadine experienced the biggest trauma of her childhood). The author also expertly weaves in secrets that Nadine is holding onto, & shows her thought process in trying to investigate truths hidden by her family, friends, & neighbors. 

I was amazed at how much could be packed into a book that only covers one day, & I found the ending to be very satisfying.  I will definitely read Amy Stuart’s work in the future!

Thank you to NetGalley & Simon & Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This cover is gorgeous and the description of this book had me so excited to read it. 

This was a very slow burn book. It followed the main character Nadine as she spent her day preparing for her moms birthday party, which made it feel like it was dragging. 

There was a little mystery from the past as well as one from the present throughout the book. 

I really enjoyed the relationships in the story between Nadine and her family, as well as Paul (her husband) and their friends. 

I found the ending was very fast and abrupt and left you with a few questions unanswered
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Interesting premise but it took too long to get into. 5 stars for DNF as I cannot comment on the overall quality of this book.
Was this review helpful?