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Publisher's Summary

Someone is about to die....

Someone is about to lie....

At the intimate house-warming party for her glorious ‘grand design’, Kathleen confides in her best friend, Beth, that she is terrified of one of their close friends but daren’t reveal which one. The guests are a tight-knit group, but Kathleen is convinced one of them is dangerous.

The next day Kathleen’s body is found at the foot of a cliff, and Beth must face the sickening truth that she may have been killed by one of their trusted friends. With little help from the police, Beth’s decides to seek answers.

All the friends have secrets they are desperate to hide, but only one of them is ready to kill to keep theirs safe....

The House Party is set on the Isle of Wight - insular, claustrophobic and with nowhere to run. Mary Grand has written a heart-stopping novel of secrets, betrayal and desire, perfect for fans of Louise Candlish and Lucy Foley.

©2020 Mary Grand (P)2020 Boldwood Books

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • lisa
  • 29-09-20

very entertaining but drug out

I really enjoyed all the characters and the personalities of each one shown through. The story had an interesting premise and I did enjoy it, it could have just been told in half the time.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • ASCH16
  • 16-12-20

Meh

This book was ok. None of the characters were particularly compelling and the story line was uninspiring. I listened until the end. The narrators voice was pleasant but I wonder if it added to the fragility of each character. Maybe sentences performed in a different tone would have made this cast of characters more dynamic. I don't know. Not trying to assign blame, just hoping to be objective towards the writing.

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  • Rachel Redford
  • 13-08-20

Really gripping - murder with a human heart!

I really enjoyed this and was gripped from start to finish - the surprises and twists kept on coming right until the very, very end. It's a cleverly plotted murder mystery: at a house party of close friends, Beth's friend Kathleen confides in her that she's being threatened by someone at the party and she's frightened. Before Beth has had time to process this, Kathleen is found dead at the bottom of the cliff having apparently fallen trying to catch her beloved hens which had somehow broken loose.

Beth knows that something is wrong and so begins her complex investigation of all the friends at the party whose lives are intertwined through work and friendships, all of whom it emerges have secrets and possible motives. Even Beth herself has her secrets.... I can't give anything more away, but the whole plot is very cleverly worked out - I really couldn't guess who the murderer could be!

But it's more than just a murder mystery - Mary Grand has a skill for creating an immediately warm-hearted group of real families with all their stresses and strains which engage the listener from the very start, and the dialogue is lively and completely realistic. Then there's the delightful Isle of Wight setting with the unique island close-knit relationships and the lovely background of sea, woods, cliff-tops, 'Castleford' Castle - and fords and wind-swept walks for Olly, Beth's best-friend-spaniel.

The narration is first class - the narrator captures all the warm humanity of all these characters, all the nuances of emotion - and (which is hard) all the accents!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • S. Christie
  • 02-05-21

Awful

Just couldn’t get into this book. Confusing and badly structured. Felt like you were reading the second book in a series. No idea who any of the characters were and just couldn’t face finding out. Just hated it so much I only managed to listen to a few chapters.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AC
  • 11-02-21

Really dull and disappointing

The narrator was good and the book started off quite promising. After the first few chapters the book lost any suspense. Lack of atmosphere and the plot overall was quite weak.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-12-20

it was alright

this was enjoyable to a point, the lead character Beth was far too meddlesome and irritating and completely unlikable. The narrator was okay but Beth's Welsh accent grated on me after a while. Some interesting characters too.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 05-12-20

No bad but too long

This needed an edit and the narrator although ok really needed a bit more work on the characters.
I would have stopped but gave it a bit more time. Edit. It needed an edit.