Member Reviews

Some good twists and turns in this one and generally very likeable characters. I was curious about Mac's family and whether they would play even more of a role-- I'd read a sequel with these characters! It was outlandish in a good way.

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3.5 rounded up to 4 stars
Theodosia Benton decides to abandon her parents' wishes that she become an attorney, and she pursues a career as a writer. At a cafe, she meets another author, and they become close. After he reads her manuscript, she asks to be represented by his agent, and he declines to recommend her. He is found murdered the next day. She finds him, and strangely, the police focus on Theo's brother, Gus.
To save Gus, Theo makes a critical decision - which causes her to be caught in a sinister plot. She disappears, thought dead, but Gus won't believe it. Then, her manuscript, or something close to it, shows up as a published book, and Gus renews his search for his sister. Everything leads to a conspiracy, but could that be true?
Complex, and a scary look at the publishing world. (fictitious, hopefully!)

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The crappy part about this one is that it started out strong and I was really engaged with the story. But it went completely off the rails after the main character's brother was shot (this is not a spoiler) - and not a good off the rails kind of thing. The big reveals were absolutely ridiculous and required massive amounts of suspension of belief. It was bad. So, so bad. After only sort of liking The Woman in the Library, I will not be reading any more of this author's books.

I really enjoyed the first half-ish. Theo is an aspiring writer, who has quit law school and moves in with her brother to work on her novel. She writes at a cafe/bar every day and becomes close with an older author who is doing the same. He shares some of his work with Theo, but not much and after he is murdered, she realizes how little she really knew about him.

Chaos ensues, in a really bad way once the reveals start coming. Theo is so stupid, she is lucky she was not killed at several points throughout the book. She consistently made the worst choice possible in any given situation, and bumbled through it, somehow. I don't understand how this is possible, because as I noted above, she was in law school. You would assume one has to be intelligent enough to gain admission to law school. But that is the least concern of all the dumb things that happen in this book.

The murder ends up being the least of Theo's problems as the story does a complete about-face and becomes this weird conspiracy theory thriller in real time, completely devoid of sense or any basis in reality.

In the author's note, she talked about not writing from an outline or planning and boy, did everything make sense after that. At least, it made sense why it was so absurd. The author said she just let the story take her wherever it wanted, so off the cliff we all went.

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I was super excited to read this after absolutely loving the first book I’ve read from this author called A Woman in the Library, which I highly recommend. Unfortunately, while I liked the setup of this one, I couldn’t fully get into this book. I will say that I am a mood reader that hasn’t been in the mystery mood lately, so that could be why.

I think this author is very talented & I would be interested to read another of their work.

Massive thanks to NetGalley & Poisoned Pen Press for the gifted copy, which I voluntarily read & reviewed.

Because of my lower rating, I will not be sharing this anywhere else.

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This really wasn’t my cup of tea, but maybe ok for someone else. I felt like the plot was slow in some parts and rushed in others and not quite developed enough for the length. Not a must read.

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This book started strong but then seemed to lose its purpose and drive. It’s an interesting premise but the summary provided is a little misleading as the manuscript isn’t a factor for most of the book. A little too long for what it needed to be.

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I typically love a good conspiracy mystery, however this one fell flat for me .

I had seen so many great things about this author and was excited to read this one .

For me The Mystery Writer was a very slooooow burn and felt blocky , and jumped all over the place, so I kept having to reread what the pages , so it took me forever to get through .

I could find no connection with the characters which also made this book hard to digest .

I am sorry I did not find a connection with this one and sorry I am not able to write a glowing review .

I am very thankful for the opportunity and wishing this book all the success in the world with the tight readers :-)

Respectfully Another Read by Angie

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I adored The Woman in the Library, and it pains me to say this follow-up volume did not meet the high expectations set by the original.

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I enjoyed the plot, but was a bit too slow for me. The characters were well developed and the ending tied everything up nicely.

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Imagine dropping everything and working on a novel. Imagine hanging out at a coffee shop, drafting your book, and running into your favorite author. And the author is happy to talk to you about publishing! A dream come true. Then it all comes crashing down. The popular author is found dead in their home and you have to help solve the murder. It’s an engaging, if unlikely, plot but it’s fun to read.

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This was a fun, twisty read. Gentill is one of the authors that can really surprise me with where her books go. This is about Theo, an Australian who drops out of law school to live with her brother in the US and write. She meets a famous writer, they become friends, and he is killed. A crazy conspiracy surrounds Theo and her brother, and their friend Gus, and the book touches on a lot of modern themes, but does so with a bit of craziness. The book has a dark humor, and I really enjoyed the characters. The social commentary is also thought-provoking.

The thing I didn't like was that Theo seemed too naive. That could be because she's Australian, but it was a little hard to buy of someone in their 20's. I'm specifically thinking of her trust in her agent, and a few other people, that aren't in keeping with her situation.

Anyway, this is a really great book in a similar vein as 'The Woman in the Library.' I highly recommend.

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Theo comes from Australia to the US to start her career in writing. She goes to her brother's house to stay. He looks out for his little sister. Theo meets another author that's older but they start up a relationship.
There are lots of twists and turns.
Thanks to publisher Poisoned Pen Press and to NetGalley for the ARC.

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This author has such a fun way of playing with genre and tropes. Adored the main trio! The pacing of the first half is the book was perfect & interesting. By the last quarter, everything felt hurried, disjointed, and a little too..explanatory. That said, will absolutely continue to read and recommend every book she writes. This is still a fun read!

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After reading Sulari Gentile's The Woman in the Library, I was excited to get a chance to read The Mystery Writer. A few pages in, I realized that the book is set in Lawrence, Kansas, a town I have some familiarity with. It took me a bit to get into the tale, but once I did I was hooked. Theodora Benton leaves her home country of Australia to live with her brother Gus in America. Her reasons for leaving are unclear, but Gus welcomes her into his life. Her attempt to write a novel leads to her involvement with a seasoned author. The story takes many twists and turns and makes the reader think it is going in a variety of directions. I won't say much else to prevent spoilers, but know that this is a fun read. Gentill creates likable characters and situates them in middle America. If you are looking for realistic fiction, you may need to let that go a bit, but jump in and enjoy this entertaining tale.

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I love books about writers, and The Mystery Writer was no exception! A slow burn mystery, Theo was a great protagonist with depth and intrigue. This book has many layers, and great character development. The story really picked up for me towards the end as everything starts to be revealed, and I could not read fast enough.

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This book definatley started off strong for me, and I was massively intrigued. However, I did feel like the last half or so of this book felt a little off. It went a bit too quickly, and personally didn't work well for me. I still enjoyed reading it though.

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I liked most things about this thriller. I liked the main character and her relationship with her brother. I like the relationship between Thea and Mac. Mac's family seemed forced into the story and, yes, they served a purpose, but it just didn't really make sense within the context of the story as a whole. I guessed what happened with the literary agent and figured out the ending, but overall this was a good read.

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Theodosia “Theo” Benton drops out of law school in Australia with aspirations to become a writer. She hides out from her parents at her brother's place in Kansas while she figures out her next steps. Unfortunately, a new friendship ends in murder and conspiracy, with her being the primary suspect.

I really loved The Woman in the Library, so I requested this one without spending a lot of time reading through the summary. I found that I didn’t like this one anywhere close to The Woman in the Library. Theo finds herself in the middle of some kind of literary conspiracy, but this is really hard to follow and didn’t make a great deal of sense to me. The story was probably longer than it needed to be and Theo just kept making a lot of questionable decisions for someone whom everyone already thought was a murderer. Plus, there were a handful of red flags that she blatantly chose to ignore. She is young, however, with her being a law student, you'd assume she'd have some level of logical reasoning. Her brother Gus and his associate Mac were the best characters in the book (Mac's prepper/survivalist family included) however, the pacing and repetition of Theo getting herself into trouble and the other two having to rescue her, overshadowed the brilliance of Gus and Mac. As for the ending, there are a few time jumps that were jarring and felt unnecessary. It took me longer than usual to get through the book because I could just not see where the story was going and ended up not being all the interested in the reveal.

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THE MYSTERY WRITER is my first book from Sulari Gentill and it won’t be the last! This book was intriguing and had a lot of layers. The narrative has a lot of drama and was very engaging. The last quarter of the book felt a little slow, but had a great ending!

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I LOVED The Woman in the Library. Sometimes that’s the kiss of death for the next one. I wanted another one like that and this one was fine. The characters was not super likable (which is not always off putting for me.) There just wasn’t enough here to keep me coming back.

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