Member Reviews

Martha was ready to spend her life alone when she met Alan. He isn’t a guy that fills every single checkmark on her list, but he is good enough and the two end up married. He travels a lot for work which she is just fine with, until he comes home with blood on his shirt. Martha checks the locations he has been to and it seems he leaves dead bodies in his wake. Could her husband be killing women while on his work trips?

So this is technically the third book in the series, but honestly, I don’t remember much of anything from the first two and I really enjoyed this so I think it can be read standalone! I had a for sure idea of how this book was going to go down, but I am glad to say it threw me off at several different points! I loved getting the point of view from several people, including the killer, I always find that extra fascinating to read! If you loved The Kind Worth Killing (I loved it but don’t ask me to tell you what happened in it!) you will really love this book!

Thank you to @williammorrowbooks for my gifted copy of this book!

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I enjoyed "A talent for Murder" about Martha and her husband Alan. We also get to read about Lily and Henry from past books in this series. If you liked the first 2 books in the series, you'll also love this one.

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With a chilling premise and his signature storytelling prowess, Peter Swanson dares you to imagine what you'd do if you suspected your spouse was guilty of murder. For newlywed Martha Ratliff, the answer lies in her old grad school friend Lily Kintner. When Martha discovers that murders seem to crop up wherever her traveling salesman husband goes, she and Lily investigate only to learn they aren't the only ones interested in Alan's movements. This bold exploration of the urge to kill is the third book in the Henry Kimball/Lily Kintner series, but can easily be read as a standalone. I loved every page.

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Peter Swanson has a penchant for coming up with dark twists. Once again, I was not expecting what happened. The first part of the book was tense, as the reader wonders if Martha’s suspicions about Alan are true, but the reality was even darker. I enjoyed Henry and Lily, but the pacing of the book was a little off for me.

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✨A Talent for Murder by Peter Swanson (Out June 11)✨
We’re back with Henry Kimball and Lily Kintner, one of my favorite thriller characters of all time. I enjoyed this book and am glad I read it, but I was disappointed when the incredibly promising first part of the book was drastically derailed by a twist that sent the book in a weird direction. I still recommend this for fans of The Kind Worth Killing!

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As with the other books in the series I loved the story. Lily is one of my favorite anti-heroes. She is smart and wily. I wasn't sure how I felt about the last chapter though. It almost didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story.

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Loved this latest thriller featuring Lily Kintner and Henry Kimball. They are such compelling and conflicted characters and this was another great page turner. I loved the setting, the pace, and the tension.

So happy to have a sneak peek at this #ARC that releases on June 11th. Highly recommend, though it is helpful if you’ve read the first two in the series.

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3.5 stars
It was great to revisit Lily and Henry, but this one felt a little lackluster compared to the previous book. 
Martha is convinced that her husband, Alan, is a serial killer after coming across some strange information after his conference trips. She enlists the help of an old friend to see if her suspicions are true or if she is reading into things. What she finds is not what she expects. 
Lily is such an interesting character, so I enjoyed seeing her in another book and seeing what she has been up to. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, but I felt like the intensity dropped off in the second half. I just didn't feel the tension in the same way. 
In this series, the author has given us great twists halfway through the book. This book does not disappoint there and I did love the twist. There are a few other twists that happen that were enjoyable as well. 
I don't believe you need to read the other books to understand this story, but they do provide a nice background to who Lily and Henry are.

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Martha isn't wildly in love with her husband Alan. Having accepted the fact that she'd never marry, she was surprised when she hit it off with Alan. Martha is a librarian and Alan sells novelty items at teacher conferences. They have a calm, pleasant relationship. That is, until it comes to Martha's attention that when Alan is away attending conferences, women are found dead in the same cities he's visiting. She becomes convinced something strange is happening, but at the same time can't believe Alan could be a serial killer. Could he? With no one she can confide in, she turns to the one person who has helped her out of sticky situations in the past: her college best friend Lily. Lily is the daughter of a famous author and is only too eager to help Martha once again. She agrees to investigate Alan and find the truth. But the truth will end up stretching back farther than either woman could have imagined and bring with it danger. Good thing Lily is a bit of a psychopath herself.

I really enjoyed all the twists and turns of this book. I was settling in for a long cat-and-mouse adventure with Lily slowly building a case against Alan, but that wasn't what happened at all! I really liked Lily's determination to get to the truth, no matter what that requires.

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I received an advanced reader copy from Netgalley prior to publication! Thank you Netgalley!

A Talent for Murder is-- from what I understand-- a part of a larger series, but can be read as a stand alone novel. I have other Peter Swanson books on my shelf that I haven't gotten to just yet., so this was my first entrance into the 'Lily Kitner' universe.
This was such a funny, cozy mystery. I tore threw this one, and I really enjoyed the characters. (Saying something, given that it is written by a man, lolll)
In this one we have Martha, recently married to Alan, who starts to notice some odd coincidences about her new husband. There's blood on a shirt collar, lots of business trips, and a mysterious trail of missing and murdered women in his wake. Does she know the man she married? Is it possible that he could be a heinous murderer? Martha, paranoid and fearful, calls an old friend from college who, once upon a time, saved her from a terrible relationship that almost destroyed her. Lilly, a committed friend and a private investigator, goes on the hunt to help Martha find out the truth about her husband, no matter the risk.
About halfway through, I was afraid that they had already revealed the twist to us. Fear not-- there is plenty left in the book to shock you!
I'm excited to get to the next books in this series, because I really enjoyed it!

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Lily Kintner is back and this time she's helping a friend from grad school.

Martha has been married to Alan for around a year. He is a traveling salesman, and she enjoys the time to herself while he is gone. One day he returns from a trip with a bloodstain on the back of a shirt and Martha starts to wonder. She researches murders in each of the towns that he visited and has found a string of suspicious deaths that occur at each location while he is there. Is Martha overly suspicious or is she married to a serial killer? While she hasn't spoken with her in years, she reaches out to an old friend Lily to see if she could help. After all, she helped her end a toxic relationship 20 years ago.

Lily is one of my favorite heroines around and I love that she is one of the leading characters in this book.

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Thank you to Peter Swanson, William Morrow, and NetGalley for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

Martha Ratliff conceded long ago that she’d likely spend her life alone. She was fine with it, happy with her solo existence, stimulated by her job as an archival librarian, constantly surrounded by thought-provoking ideas and the books she loved. But then she met Alan, a charming and sweet-natured divorcee with a job that took him on the road for half the year. When he asked her to marry him, she said yes, even though he still felt a little bit like a stranger.

A year in and the marriage was good, except for that strange blood streak on the back of one of his shirts he’d worn to a conference in Denver. Her curiosity turning to suspicion, Martha investigates the cities Alan visited over the past year and uncovers a disturbing pattern—five unsolved cases of murdered women.

Is she married to a serial killer? Or could it merely be a coincidence? Unsure what to think, Martha contacts an old friend from graduate school for advice. Lily Kintner once helped Martha out of a jam with an abusive boyfriend and may have some insight. Intrigued, Lily offers to meet Alan to find out what kind of man he really is . . . but what Lily uncovers is more perplexing and wicked than they ever could have expected.


This is the third in a series and I have read the other two, but felt like this could easily be a stand alone. I liked The Kind Worth Killing more than The Kind Worth Saving, so I wasn't sure which way this one was going to go. The story piqued my interest right away and if I've learned anything from Peter Swanson's other books, it's to trust the process. A shocking twist was revealed midway and had my jaw completely open! One of my favorite parts was getting the killer's POV as one of the three perspectives. I loved being able to get in the thoughts of this psychopath's depraved mind. Lily was an outstanding, well developed character, and although I could see where there are blurred lines of sociopathic behavior, I viewed her more as a modern day vigilante. There are red-herrings, smokescreens, twists and turns and completely unexpected shocking reveal at the end. It had me flying through page by page until I reached the ending. For me, this book completely redeemed my disappointment from book #2 in the series. A Talent for Murder publishes June 11, 2024 and has proven to be an entertaining ride!

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Peter Swanson is back and he gave us another Lily Kimball book. I love to see it

Martha believing that she has a love curse has been unlucky in love and always ends up heartbroken until she meets Alan. She may not give her butterflies but he makes her feel stable and cared for. At least until she notices a host of murders in the cities that he has visited. Not knowing what to do she calls up her friend from grad school Lily.

This story has layers, many murders, and you don't know who is being watched and whom is doing the watching.

This was a good one in terms of twists that were realistic and a good healthy layer of characters that are psychopaths. Quick read that I couldn't put down.

AVAILABLE June 11, 2024

Thank You to William Morrow for the gifted ARC provided through NetGalley.

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Lily Kintner and Henry Kimball are back! I was so excited when this book was announced because I loved The Kind Worth Killing and the sequel, The Kind Worth Saving. I enjoyed this one but the first book will always be my favorite. The first chapter was gripping and the last chapter was shocking though!!

I knew going into this one that Swanson would throw curveballs at me with his twists, but I was still shocked when they were revealed. He leads you on to where you think you know who is who and where things are going then NOPE WRONG. The multiple POVs and unreliable narrator makes the book so much more entertaining because you can't trust anyone! I did hate that the chapters didn't tell you whose POV it was so you had to read into it before figuring out who was talking.

I recommend reading the first two books before diving into this one. There are references to past characters and events, so I highly recommend getting through the other books so you better understand the circumstances in this book.

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🔪♥️𝙰 𝚃𝙰𝙻𝙴𝙽𝚃 𝙵𝙾𝚁 𝙼𝚄𝚁𝙳𝙴𝚁🔪♥️
𝚃𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚛 & #𝟹 𝚒𝚗 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙺𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚆𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚑 𝙺𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜
🗓️𝙿𝚞𝚋 𝚍𝚊𝚝𝚎: 𝙹𝚞𝚗𝚎 𝟷𝟷, 𝟸𝟶𝟸𝟺
𝙼𝚢 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐: 𝟺.𝟻 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

🤏𝚃𝚎𝚎𝚗𝚢 𝚝𝚒𝚍𝚋𝚒𝚝...A newlywed librarian begins to suspect the man she married might be a murderer

♥️🔪♥️🔪♥️🔪♥️🔪♥️🔪♥️🔪♥️

💭𝙼𝚢 𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚛𝚊𝚖𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚜..This was my fav so far in this series! I mean the other two were solid 4 stars but this one just had me hooked from the beginning to the end! 🙌I went in completely blind like I do to {almost} all thrillers & with this being Peter Swanson why would you spoil anything when you know it’s gonna be good?!? This is a completely different story, but includes the two veteran characters..Lily & Henry so you really could read this as a standalone. If I were you though I would read all of these & just enjoy the ride! 🎢So good! Thanks for the fun 🤸@petermswanson! 🥳Thanks for the arc @williammorrowbooks @netgalley ♥️

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I love Peter Swanson, and especially love the Kimball/Kintner books of the last few years. This did not disappoint!

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I did not realize that this was the third book in a series... luckily it is a loose storyline where I didn't feel like I was missing out on much.

The title, the cover, and the author being Peter Swanson all drew me in and made me want to read this instantly. I had a great time getting to know the characters, despite not realizing there were other books based around these characters.
Certainly! Here's a summary of the synopsis:

One of the main characters, Martha ,discovers a suspicious bloodstain on one of her husbands shirts, her curiosity transforms into suspicion. Investigating Alan's travels, Martha uncovers a disturbing pattern of unsolved murders in the cities he visited. As doubts about her husband's innocence escalate, Martha seeks counsel from an old friend, Lily Kintner, who uncovers shocking truths about Alan that exceed their darkest suspicions. This initial idea drives the narrative at break neck speed and makes it a delight to read! You can't help but feel like you are trying to connect the pieces together to determine who the murderer is.

The overall plot felt like it needed to be tightened up a bit and I felt like things happened to the characters not that they were direct enough to be major points of the plot. This made it feel a bit off but with Swanson's writing and the way things started to come together towarrds the end it all ended up being okay.

I would recommened this book to any mystery/ thriller fan. Peter Swanson is a great starting off author for anybody.

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“The Kind Worth Killing” sits on my all time favorites shelf, and I never expected that Peter Swanson would bring these characters back in 2023, 8 years later with the worthy sequel “The Kind Worth Saving”.

I request this author’s work without even reading the book synopsis, and had no idea that this was the third in the series! 😂

But, that was a pleasant surprise as Lily Kintner is one of my all time favorite fictional characters and I never mind spending time with her. She can be as cold as ice, but if she counts you as one of her nearest and dearest, she can be fiercely loyal too.

Martha Ratliff was happily single-an archival librarian, surrounded by the books she loved. But then she met Alan, a divorcee with a job that took him on the road for half the year selling gimmicky items to teachers at conventions. Although he still felt like a bit of a stranger when he proposed, the companionship of this sweet but goofy man for the rest of her life sounded nice.

A year in and the marriage was good, except for a couple of things…

The first was how she would watch him arrive home and “almost practice” plastering a smile on his face before walking through their front door. The second thing- a strange streak of BLOOD 🩸 on the back of one of the shirts he’d worn to a conference in Denver.

Her curiosity turning to suspicion, Martha investigates the cities that Alan traveled to over the past year and uncovers a disturbing pattern—five unsolved cases of murdered women.

Is she married to a serial killer?

She needs to run her crazy theory past someone and can only think of one person who she could possibly confess her suspicions to-Lily Kintner-an old friend from graduate school.

Intrigued, Lily offers to meet Alan to find out what kind of man he really is . . .after all she is always curious about whether or not people are the kind worth killing or the kind worth saving…

What she discovers is SHOCKING and she will have to turn to one of HER old friends-a limerick loving P.I. named Henry Kimball for assistance.

This is CLASSIC Swanson!

I was enthralled from the FIRST page, and didn’t want to put this ENTERTAINING book down!

Although I found the first half to be a bit stronger than the second half-which had a bit of “telling rather than showing”, I am going with 4.5 stars and rounding up because there is no denying that I was completely enraptured by this book.

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This was my first book by Swanson. When I requested it, I didn't know that it was the third book in a series, and I didn't read the first two. But It was fine. I didn't have any issues and I believe it's totally fine to read as a standalone.

Martha is newly married and her husband has been leaving for work trips throughout their marriage. When she notices things that seem pretty out of the ordinary, she suspects that her husband could be a serial killer. Not knowing what to do, she contacts an old friend, Lily, that had helped her with a previous abusive relationship. Lily agrees to meet Martha's husband and see if she can get to the bottom of it.

I really liked this one. I liked getting the POV from the killer. That was an interesting perspective. I also thought there was something off with Lily throughout the book which gave me suspicion of her. I thought this book was entertaining. It was suspenseful and I was not expecting that ending. Plenty of twists in this one to keep you turning the pages. I'll have to try to get to the first two in the series.

Out June 11.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.. All opinions are my own.

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received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Peter Swanson’s mysteries are great plane reads. I can usually finish one of his books in the time it takes to fly to Key West. I requested this without knowing much about it, so it’s definitely my own fault for not realizing this was a Kimball & Kitner joint. I am just not as enamored with these two as Swanson seems to be. I liked The Kind Worth Saving, but I confess not not remembering much of anything about The Kind Worth Killing. And again, I just find these two kind of dull - how many “old friends” does Lily have anyway??

The story opens with a woman named Josie - she’s an art teacher at a conference, and she’s mostly excited about the prospect of testing out her new open marriage and hooking up. Which she does. With a guy who pushes her off the balcony. Then we cut to Martha, a librarian whose husband is a traveling salesman - one of those guys who sells novelty t-shirts to teachers (the kind with math puns). They got married late in life, and Martha enjoys that he’s not around all the time. But then she starts to suspect something isn’t quite right about Alan. He comes home with blood on his shirt, and he’s been acting weirder than usual. So she enlists (sigh) her college pal Lily Kitner to assist in the investigation. Because Martha’s a librarian, she’s great at research and cross referencing, and she figures out that at several of Alan’s last conferences, there have been deaths or attacks. It’s too many to be a coincidence. But as Martha gets closer to uncovering the truth, she puts herself in even more danger.

This was fine, but it felt like two different books shoved inelegantly together. You can either make this strictly a Kimball & Kitner story, or you can let Martha be the main character and leave the other two goobers out of it. But it was like we were getting two halves of two different stories, and neither of them was all that satisfying. It was like Martha was a distraction from the story Swanson *really* wanted to tell...but I would have rather just read about Martha!

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