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A Death at the Party

de Amy Stuart

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998279,154 (3.46)13
"Nadine Walsh's summer garden party is in full swing. The neighbors all have cocktails, the catered food is exquisite--everything's going according to plan. But Nadine--devoted wife, loving mother, and doting daughter--finds herself standing over a dead body in her basement while her guests clink glasses upstairs. What happened? How did it come to this?"--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
"A Death at the Party" was a disappointing read, to say the least. The plot was simplistic and my mind was two steps ahead of where the book was throughout. The characters were flat, predictable and uninteresting. The writing was also lacking, with clunky and awkward prose that made it hard to immerse myself in the story. The going back and forth in time with no lead up whenever it changed was difficult to follow, and destroyed the momentum. Overall, I was left feeling underwhelmed and unsatisfied by this novel. I would not recommend it to others. ( )
  Romonko | Feb 22, 2024 |
A fiendishly twisty tale of secrets kept and hidden, families intersecting and the strength of maternal love- all perfect for this Mother’s Day weekend.
Nadine is recovering from a terrible fall. This makes her ability to keep the tragedies of her past life from entering her head as she plans a birthday party for her famous writer mother.
The day is also the anniversary of the suspicious death of her aunt Colleen, 30 years ago. Nadine is still grieving her death, perhaps because she has secrets of her own about that night.
Soon, more traumas will be revealed as the story goes back and forth in time. Will she keep it together?
There’s a delightful claustrophobia throughout the story- everyone knows everyone, perhaps too well, and relationships crisscross and double back.
The reveals come along and unfortunately I saw them well back, which is unusual for me as I generally never figure out mysteries for some reason.
Still, a great read, with heart and enough excitement to pull the reader through. A big hand on the heart to the author for writing characters that can matter. ( )
  Dabble58 | Nov 11, 2023 |
A highly entertaining read that gripped me right from the start. Nadine, who is hosting a huge party for her mother's 60th birthday is in her basement bathroom with a man about to die. The mystery revolves around who he is and why Nadine killed him.

The story takes place over one day as Nadine and her family prepare for the gala birthday celebration. The short timeline adds to the suspense as I waited to find out more and tried to figure out who the victim was. The characters are well developed, especially Nadine herself and the story is very well told. ( )
  LynnB | Jul 28, 2023 |
I was instantly immersed in this book, but as it went along, I just wanted to know what happened - and what was going to happen! Ultimately, I was left dissatisfied. I don't like books that leave me in limbo.
The book opens with a woman waiting for a man to die before she rejoins a party. Nadine, daughter of author Marilyn Millay, is hosting a 60th birthday party for her mother, which also happens to be the anniversary of her aunt Colleen's death. But, there are secrets about Colleen's death, and secrets about those at the party - what they know about the past and what they might reveal.
The book takes place over 1 day, but does have flashbacks to 30 years earlier.
I was left wanting to know a bit more at the end. ( )
  rmarcin | Apr 10, 2023 |
Secrets Lead to Murder
Review of the Simon and Schuster Kindle eBook (March 7, 2023) released simultaneously with the Simon & Schuster paperback.

She always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. - from Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs. Dalloway', used as the epigraph for 'A Death at the Party.'


This was a new Canadian author for me and I may check out Amy Stuart's Still (2015-2020) trilogy in the future as well, as this current book was definitely a compelling read. In fact I think I finished it in one day, and am only writing this review now as I am always several days behind in completing books and actually reviewing them.

I'll admit that what drew my attention to this book was the advertising blurb "Virginia Woolf meets Agatha Christie." Learning from the synopsis that the book involved the preparations for a same-day evening party led to its association with Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925), but any other parallels with the earlier book & author are few. It was too much to hope for that I would find another example to add to my meagre list of ASMR* in Fiction.

A Death at the Party is one of those inverted chronology books where the supposed climactic death is actually presented to us in the very first chapter. The whodunnit? is pretty evident up front, but it is the whydunnit? and the whomwasitdunto? questions which make for the drama and suspense of the rest of the book.

Nadine is making party preparations for her mother Marilyn's 60th birthday. Marilyn is a popular mystery author who shies away from birthday celebrations in general, but has acquiesced in this instance. There is a dark association with birthdays of the past, as Marilyn's younger sister Colleen died under mysterious circumstances 30 years ago, the same day as Marilyn's 30th birthday.

You can pretty much guess that there will be revelations which uncover the secrets behind Colleen's earlier death during the course of Nadine's current day. These will lead to suspicions about numerous suspects as various present day friends and acquaintances are discovered to have known Marilyn and Colleen in the past. It all leads to the inevitable confrontation.

Trivia and Link
* ASMR = Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. For further background on ASMR and Virginia Woolf's description of it, you can read my Mrs. Dalloway review Are You Experienced (with ASMR)?. ( )
  alanteder | Mar 16, 2023 |
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She always ad the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. --Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
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"Nadine Walsh's summer garden party is in full swing. The neighbors all have cocktails, the catered food is exquisite--everything's going according to plan. But Nadine--devoted wife, loving mother, and doting daughter--finds herself standing over a dead body in her basement while her guests clink glasses upstairs. What happened? How did it come to this?"--

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