Book Reviews · Mystery

The Guest List

It’s so hard to believe that March is almost over! As many of you already know, the readathon I decided to participate in this month was March Mystery Madness. I’ve had an opportunity to read quite a few fantastic mysteries since the beginning of the month, including The Guest List, by Lucy Foley.

The Guest List is a murder mystery that takes place on Inis an Amplóra, otherwise known as Cormorant Island, off the coast of Ireland. The island has been chosen by Jules Keegan (a successful magazine publisher) as the ideal spot for her wedding to her fiancé, Will Slater (the star of a survival-focused television show).

While most of the guests will not arrive on the island until the day of the wedding, the bridal party is staying in the island’s Folly. In addition to the bride and groom, the party includes Jules’s younger sister, her best friend and his wife, and a group of Will’s closest friends from boarding school. The night before the wedding is pretty lively, with a lot of reminiscing over old times and a significant amount of partying. But nearly every member of the group is guarding secrets, and those secrets will result in a murder during the wedding reception.

I really enjoyed reading The Guest List! It was one of those books that I had a very difficult time putting down. I actually ended up reading about 90% of the book in a single day, because I just had to know how the story was going to end.

This was my second time reading a book by Lucy Foley — I had the opportunity to read The Hunting Party at the end of last year — and I would definitely be interested in reading more of her books in the future.

This mystery was actually very similar to The Hunting Party in terms of style, since they are both presented in a non-linear manner. The Guest List begins on the night of the wedding, when the reception is interrupted by a power outage and the sound of someone screaming, then shifts back to the day prior to the wedding. The reader gets occasional glimpses of what is happening in the present, but most of the book focuses on the events leading up to the murder.

Also like The Hunting Party, The Guest List is told from the perspectives of several different characters, including: the wedding planner, the bridesmaid, the plus-one, the best man, and the bride. I felt like this worked really well for the story, as it gave the reader glimpses into each character’s (possible) motives for murder, while keeping the solution to the mystery (and, in fact, the identity of the victim) hidden until the last possible second.

I do think it is important to note that The Guest List does include some content which may cause discomfort for readers. Specifically, the book contains occasional references to bullying, self-harm, and abortion.

If you are a fan of murder mysteries and are looking for a fast-paced, intriguing read, then I highly recommend giving The Guest List a try. I definitely found it hard to put down!

Happy reading!

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