Member Reviews

I thought this was really well written and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I think it will find readers at our library, so we will definitely be purchasing for the collection.

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A 1920s theme party with an added murder? Sounds like a recipe for a great read! This is about a group of friends that have recently graduated high school and apart from some teen drama, life is going pretty well. Until someone is discovered dead in their room! I'm not usually a fan of mystery without more thrilling aspects, but this one was good. I'm not sure if I liked the ending, but that makes for a more interesting book sometimes, doesn't it?

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This book was not what I expected. In a good way. The mystery was well written. The characters were interesting and written in a believable manner.

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This was a difficult one to rate. I'm going with to go with a 3.5

Suddenly a Murder is debut YA thriller/mystery that primarily follows the narrative of Isadora Morales as she heads out on a trip with other friends to celebrate graduating high school. They decide to spend time at the famous manor while completely immersing themselves in a 1920s theme. While there, Blaine, the boyfriend of Izzy's best friend, is murdered. As the characters go through intensive questioning by the police, readers are left trying to figure out who could have killed him when they all had a motive to do so.

What Worked: The writing is extremely accessible which made it an easy book to get through. I also enjoyed the 1920s theme mixed in with an atmosphere that felt like a mix of Agatha Christie and the game Clue. The reveals were actually quite shocking. Munoz did an excellent job having me believe that certain relationships existed between characters when nothing really did. It took me a while to figure out how the dots of the story connected together and who could have murdered Blaine. I appreciated the cultural and social commentary that Munoz mixed in with Izzy's storyline. It's needed and definitely mirrors the comments made by Munoz in a Publisher's Weekly interview. Munoz also made a creative decision with the writing that initially threw me off, but slowly became something that I appreciated. There are sections of the book that take place in the present and others that take place in the past. When readers work through those different sections, they'll notice that the point of view changes. The present is written in first person and the past is written in third person. It was an adjustment in the beginning, but I LOVED how this creative decision pulls the reader in and out of the story, creating a feeling of both distance and closeness as one progresses through the narrative.

What Didn't Work: I struggled with one part of the reveal and how a minor was held accountable for actions that should have been shouldered by the adult. I think that the reaction was out of anger and wanting to hold Blaine responsible for his actions; however, I think that it came off a little as victim-blaming which isn't, in my opinion, the view of the author, but a distraught character trying to process the issues caused by Blaine. I get the intent, but it reads a strangely in some ways.

Overall, this was a solid read. I'm looking forward to seeing what Munoz writes in the future. It's nice to see a new, diverse voice writing thrillers/mysteries for a young adult audience.

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I love a good who done it trapped someone where with friends and the knowledge one of them did it. And I loved this one. But Kassidy! I felt for her and tragic end. Hands down worst part about this book. Leading up to it was fantastic though.

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โ€œ๐•๐ข๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐š๐ซ๐ค ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐€๐ฌ๐ก๐ฐ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐Œ๐š๐ง๐จ๐ซ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐๐ž๐š๐.โ€

I love a locked-room mystery! Lauren Muรฑozโ€™s debut delivers as a fun contemporary YA tribute to the genre.

The gorgeous cover and the setting of the book (on a private island in Ashwood Manor that was once a film set) had me sold. Wealthy popular girl Kassidy organizes an immersive 1920s experience for a group of classmates to celebrate their graduation from high school, like Clue come to life. Each character has a secret they didnโ€™t want getting out, most of which were clever and felt appropriate to the teen characters (STIs, deportation, cheating, unrequited love, grief) and also made for interesting social commentary. I liked how Muรฑoz balanced each person with both unlikeable and likeable qualities - showing how people arenโ€™t all completely one thing or another. Consulting detective Pilar de Lรฉon reminded me of a female Benoit Blanc from Knives Out - eccentric and a bit flamboyant in presentation but sharp and incredibly observant. I liked how the secret passages were used to have Izzy listening in on the police interviews, as a clever way to give the reader information. The final reveals and clearing up of lies in the library with a storm raging outside provided some really good twists I didnโ€™t see coming! I did struggle with the friendships amongst the group - I wish it had felt like they were closer so that not only the death had more of an impact, but also the final reveal.

Suddenly A Murder is a story of grit, pressure, grudges, and loyalty. It would make for a really good mini-series, and it is nice to see a diverse voice in YA mysteries. Iโ€™ll definitely be on the lookout for whatever Muรฑoz writes next. Thank you to Penguin and NetGalley for the digital copy!

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I enjoyed this book. If you like thrillers, you'll likely have a good time reading this book. Good story, well written.

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I didnt get a chance to leave a full review before the publication date, however I did read this one and gave it 3 stars

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This was a really unique read. A little implausible but I still enjoyed it. I thought the setting and idea of 1920s party was interesting and I liked the main character. The rest were meh for me but not too bad.

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Lauren Muรฑoz writes an excellent mystery. This book is full of red herrings that work so effectively. Best friends Kass and Izzy are inseparable despite the fact that Kassidy's family owns a yacht and Izzy and her younger sister live with their single mom in an apartment. Izzy's always been troubled by the gaps between them, but she would do anything for Kass, and Kass would do anything for her...including an absolutely over the top graduation gift: a week long stay at a private estate on a private island where their favorite 1920s movie was filmed. All of their friends are there, but when Blaine turns up dead, everyone is a suspect. Muรฑoz writes wonderfully. This is a complex YA mystery with a very well-rounded cast of characters. An excellent addition to a high school library collection. It would be really fun to teach in a contemporary fiction class.

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This one just felt like a generic YA thriller to me, unfortunately, and that's just not really my genre of choice right now. I think some of my teens would be into it though, so I would definitely pick it up for the library.

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I enjoyed reading Suddenly a Murder, a thriller that had me hooked from the very first page. What I particularly enjoyed about was the twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

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This was an very interesting and unique mystery novel!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

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Clue meets Knives Out in this stunning YA thriller debut.
๐Ÿ”ช
Graduation is over and Kassidy wants to end high school with a bang so she invites her BFF, Izzy Morales, her boyfriend and four other friends to a 1920s-themed getaway week. When Kassidyโ€™s boyfriend ends up dead, stabbed multiple times, two detectives show up to question everyone. Now theyโ€™re stuck in the mansion during a storm and one of them is a killer. Many had a motive to end Blaineโ€™s life, but is it Izzyโ€”the one who brought the knife in the first place?
๐Ÿ”ช
This was a great mystery I was in it the whole time and did guess the big twist early on, but I didnโ€™t even care because I was so invested. The author did surprise me with one twist I didnโ€™t see coming and I love when that happens. The 1920s theme was a VIBE! A student of mine finished this one last week and had been begging me to read it so we could discuss, which made it even more fun. Canโ€™t wait to see what Lauren writes next!

CW: death, murder, cancer (discussed), drug use, drug abuse, ped*oph*lia, cheating, grief, suicide, toxic relationship, deportation, addiction, blood, violence

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"Suddenly a Murder" by Lauren Munoz is a gripping and thrilling mystery novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. Munoz, with her masterful storytelling and knack for building suspense, delivers a page-turner that is equal parts intriguing and entertaining.

One of the most captivating aspects of "Suddenly a Murder" is Munoz's skillful character development. From the enigmatic protagonist to the colorful cast of suspects, each character is brought to life with depth and complexity, making them feel like real people with their own motives and secrets. Readers will find themselves drawn into the web of intrigue surrounding these characters, eagerly trying to unravel the mystery alongside them.

Munoz's writing style is smooth and polished, with vivid descriptions and well-paced prose that keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. Her attention to detail is evident in every chapter, as she expertly builds tension and suspense, leading readers down unexpected twists and turns that will leave them guessing until the very end.

Moreover, "Suddenly a Murder" is not just a mystery novelโ€”it's also a compelling exploration of human nature and the darkness that lies beneath the surface of everyday life. Munoz deftly navigates themes of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, weaving them seamlessly into the fabric of the story. The result is a multi-layered narrative that is as thought-provoking as it is thrilling.

The plot of "Suddenly a Murder" is intricate and well-crafted, with plenty of twists and surprises to keep readers guessing. Munoz's ability to keep the suspense building throughout the novel is truly impressive, culminating in a satisfying conclusion that ties up loose ends while still leaving room for speculation.

In conclusion, "Suddenly a Murder" by Lauren Munoz is a must-read for fans of mystery and suspense. With its compelling characters, suspenseful plot, and skillful storytelling, it's a book that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Munoz has crafted a masterpiece of the genre that is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers and have them eagerly awaiting her next literary offering.

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LOCKED. ROOM. MYSTERY.

I love a good locked room mystery, its always been my favorite mystery trope and I I will always pick up a book on those words alone.
Suddenly a murder takes this trope in modern day, which can always be kind of difficult to do, but it does it by sticking our friends on an island without their phones for a 1920's inspired retreat.
But that's pretty much where my excitement ended. Our murder victim is Blake, and our main suspect/narrator is Izzy. Izzy has a knife, a grudge against Blake, and a messy family life. Perfect murder suspect no?
Obviously Izzy is too obvious of a suspect in the story, and she tries to investigate on her own outside of the authorities. I really liked all the secret passage ways and hidden entrances scattered throughout the manor, it definitely made it more fitting for the type of mystery. The twist ended up being somewhat predictable, but Izzy's backstory ended up a lot more interesting - along with her connections to others involved in the case.

In the end, I did like this story but as far as locked room cases, it's not my favorite.

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Munoz takes us through some interesting mental gymnastics when it comes to revealing the murder here. We explore a lot of motives and secrets. There are elements without pay off and some that are hounded too hard. The characters are not especially likeable or beleivable. Better for entertainment than any perceived messaging or value.

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Suddenly a Murder tries so desperately to model an Agatha Christie novel completed with its take on the Hercule Poirot character. The mystery is underwhelming with no discernable depth for its characters or plot. The build-up to the grand reveal is quite slow but does pack some interesting twists and turns only to be leadened by a predictable reveal.

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This was too slow of a start for me. I truly could not get into this book and had to put it aside for other reads.

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Suddenly a Murder is a YA locked-room murder mystery, where one of a group of friends are murdered during a 1920's-themed party in an isolated house.

Here's what I liked:
- The plot and writing were fast paced and the length was perfect for the amount of mystery
- The settings was incredibly atmospheric and I could picture it vividly from the descriptions

Here's what I didn't like, and the main reason why I am giving this 2 stars: This used my least-favorite form of unreliable narrator. I can't stand when the POV character/narrator is selectively telling us facts or teasing but not sharing the facts with the reader. To me, this just feels lazy and unsatisfying because what reason would a character have for lying within their own head? I always find it must more tension-filled when the reader actually knows what secret the narrator is trying to hide, because we can know what lengths they need to go to to hide it.

This may work for someone else who doesn't mind this type of unreliable narrator as much as I do.

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted eARC!

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