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The House Party

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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 t 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.


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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 t 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.

30 review for The House Party

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelli Wilson

    This house party was definitely missing the party! The story begins with many secrets. First, we have a character admitting to her best friend that she herself has a terrible secret that she is greatly embarrassed of and she will not even admit to her what this secret is. Secondly, she also admits that she knows another secret, but this one is something terrible about one of their close friends. This friend has now threatened to ruin her life if she tells anyone by revealing her own secret to ev This house party was definitely missing the party! The story begins with many secrets. First, we have a character admitting to her best friend that she herself has a terrible secret that she is greatly embarrassed of and she will not even admit to her what this secret is. Secondly, she also admits that she knows another secret, but this one is something terrible about one of their close friends. This friend has now threatened to ruin her life if she tells anyone by revealing her own secret to everyone. She says this person is not who everyone thinks they are, in fact they are a terrible person and someone whom she has become very scared of. However, once again, she refuses to reveal who the person or what the secret is. The next morning she is found dead. A “fall” in her back yard, down her steep back cliffs. Supposedly an accident, but her best friend thinks otherwise and decides to investigate for herself. An interesting plot, that could have been an entertaining read. Unfortunately, the writing and the tone was basic, elementary. As a result it was very difficult to build any quality of suspense or pull emotions from the read. This was ultimately a lackluster read that generated a need within the reader to skip pages to reach the end. *Thank you to Boldwood Books via NetGalley for providing me with the digital review copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    The premise of this book was really good. I liked how the author thought out this story. The death of a friend is devastating but to have doubts of how, who or why they died must be a tremendous pull to find out the truth, if you think the verdict of death is wrong. And we see this. Kathleen had confided in Beth that she was scared of someone. Someone in their group of friends, but whom? So when Kathleen is found dead Beth is not going to let this rest. She’s ruthless in asking anyone and everyone, t The premise of this book was really good. I liked how the author thought out this story. The death of a friend is devastating but to have doubts of how, who or why they died must be a tremendous pull to find out the truth, if you think the verdict of death is wrong. And we see this. Kathleen had confided in Beth that she was scared of someone. Someone in their group of friends, but whom? So when Kathleen is found dead Beth is not going to let this rest. She’s ruthless in asking anyone and everyone, the trouble is, everyone is looking like they are hiding something including her own husband. A good plot, fab characters. Not as fast paced as I’d like, but that’s my preference. I think this author spoilt me on her last book which I adored and remember even to this day. If you like a good twisty plot, I recommend it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    First let it be said that “The House Party” is not so much about a house party. This is totally fine, but I think it affected my expectations: I imagined I had picked up a locked-room type thriller that takes place mostly at a house party on a single night, which is totally my kind of thriller. Instead this is more of a traditional slower-paced mystery that begins at a party. I liked the character of Beth, her commitment to her friendship and to solving the murder. The premise was a good one and First let it be said that “The House Party” is not so much about a house party. This is totally fine, but I think it affected my expectations: I imagined I had picked up a locked-room type thriller that takes place mostly at a house party on a single night, which is totally my kind of thriller. Instead this is more of a traditional slower-paced mystery that begins at a party. I liked the character of Beth, her commitment to her friendship and to solving the murder. The premise was a good one and held intrigue: what secret had the murderer been holding over the victim that the victim had been just about to tell Beth? It’s a solid mystery, well-written and plotted. However for me — coming into this expecting a thriller — it moved a bit slowly and focused more on drama than the suspense and thrills. It was somewhat a formulaic whodunit (Secrets and threatening phone calls) but also had some well-drawn and sympathetic characters and a pretty good red herring or two. Overall, if you like classic mysteries (think Nancy Drew more than Karin Slaughter) and are more patient than I am, you may like this one. It is well-written and has some Big Little Lies-esque small town intrigue and drama. If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me and prefer your beach reads a little more twisted and fast-paced, this won’t be as good a fit. 3.5 ⭐️s. Many thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and the author for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shalini

    A good whodunit. Kathleen was scared of someone in her house warming party and the next she lay dead. Her good friend started investigating, sure that it was not an accident. My first book by author Mary Grand, the setting of a foe between friends was exciting. It gave me a chance to play Detective. There were secrets and hidden facets in all the characters. I liked how Beth persisted in her interrogation. The author revealed details slowly over the pages. The road was winding, too meandering, t A good whodunit. Kathleen was scared of someone in her house warming party and the next she lay dead. Her good friend started investigating, sure that it was not an accident. My first book by author Mary Grand, the setting of a foe between friends was exciting. It gave me a chance to play Detective. There were secrets and hidden facets in all the characters. I liked how Beth persisted in her interrogation. The author revealed details slowly over the pages. The road was winding, too meandering, the characters were shallow. Emotions needed to break control. But the need to get to the end was highly motivating. Overall, it was a pleasant read as I do like to be surprised when the killer is revealed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    The House Party was, unfortunately, so slow paced that I had problems staying interested in the plot and my investment in the characters was also sadly lacking. That said, reading is very subjective so I know a lot of people will enjoy this dark, twisty domestic noir. Thank you to Boldwood Books for the opportunity to read this; it is always highly appreciated and I'm sorry I did not like this more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Clynes

    Beth goes with friends and family to a house party on the Isle of Wight. Beth is gossiping to Kathleen out of earshot of everyone else at this luxury home along the cliff top. When the other guests approach, Kathleen abruptly stops the conversation and assures Beth she will tell her the rest later. However, the next day Kathleen falls to her death from the cliff at the bottom of her garden. Did Kathleen slip, commit suicide or was she pushed? Follow Beth as she gets to the bottom of this mystery Beth goes with friends and family to a house party on the Isle of Wight. Beth is gossiping to Kathleen out of earshot of everyone else at this luxury home along the cliff top. When the other guests approach, Kathleen abruptly stops the conversation and assures Beth she will tell her the rest later. However, the next day Kathleen falls to her death from the cliff at the bottom of her garden. Did Kathleen slip, commit suicide or was she pushed? Follow Beth as she gets to the bottom of this mystery fatal fall. I loved this mystery and the way it was told. The author’s voice carried over from Mary’s previous novels and once again the lead character has a cocker spaniel, this time called Ollie. Mary has a cosy writing style, like a grandmother regaling times gone by. I liked how every character, all present at the house party, had a part to play. Beth had suspicions about everyone at the party, including her own husband, son and daughter. I had a lot of empathy for Beth as Kathleen had finished their conversation with that most frustrating of comments that she would tell Beth later. In everyday life it, “I’ll tell you later”, is very, very annoying but when that person dies before explaining, it can be torturous. Beth is then caught in the trap of all the characters not sharing with her what Kathleen may have said to them because those conversations were said in confidence. I loved the plot of The House Party. Central to the theme of this mystery was whether Kathleen slipped, committed suicide or if she was pushed. If the reader guessed Kathleen was pushed, then every character could have been the bad guy. I found The House Party to be a very entertaining mystery. I liked the pace and how Beth worked through the clues to solve the tragedy. I loved how there was lots to consider before getting to the conclusion. The clues will nag at you, especially between reading sessions. I loved how there was no padding in this story, it was all rich content with countless what-ifs. I feel this novel should appeal to both crime and cosy mystery fans. The House Party ticked all the boxes for me, so get’s the top score of 5 stars. There was one short line that made me smile… Beth felt she was back in Wales; the lady was obviously looking to chat. ...As any husband on furlough in Wales due to the coronavirus will tell you, so very, very true. Thank goodness for unlimited landline calls. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Boldwood Books for giving me a copy of this book on the understanding that I provide an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    This was a very well written book. Alot of twists and turns. My first book by the author, but won't be my last. Very good thriller.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marnie | Once Upon a Time Book Blog

    With its striking cover that lured me in with its eerie vibe and a plot that promised a thrilling read, I jumped at the chance to read The House Party when the offer was extended. These type of stories are right up my alley and The House Party is just another example of why I love the thriller genre so much! What if there was someone from your tight-knit circle of friends that you thought was dangerous and you could not trust? This is the dilemma that Kathleen is faced with. With her friends all With its striking cover that lured me in with its eerie vibe and a plot that promised a thrilling read, I jumped at the chance to read The House Party when the offer was extended. These type of stories are right up my alley and The House Party is just another example of why I love the thriller genre so much! What if there was someone from your tight-knit circle of friends that you thought was dangerous and you could not trust? This is the dilemma that Kathleen is faced with. With her friends all gathered for her house warming party, Kathleen confides in her best friend Beth her fears, but doesn’t reveal who it is and when they are interrupted, the conversation is left unfinished. The next day Kathleen is found dead and Beth comes to the realisation that Kathleen may have been right and that the killer could well be one of their trusted friends. Mary has put together a cast of characters that all have something to hide and you are kept second guessing them all throughout. There are a lot of them in the story which always makes me nervous as I can find it overwhelming and quite distracting as it can take me away from the story, but Mary has done a great job in making everyone and their role in the story very clear. As the blurb states “The House Party is set on the Isle of Wight – insular, claustrophobic and with no where to run” I have used these exact words as I couldn’t have put it any better. The feeling that this story generates in you is exactly claustrophobic and at times I had to put the kindle down, reset and then jump back into it. Not a feeling that anyone likes, but it works perfectly with this story. This is my first book by Mary and is an author I will definitely read more books from. She has put together a very interesting story here, which has been executed very well. The tension and suspense that is built up along the way and the twists and turns throughout throwing you off track, makes for a very exciting read. Oh and with an ending that I did not see coming, rounds everything up perfectly. It was a pleasure to read and review The House Party which I happily recommend. Thank you to NetGalley, Boldwood Books and Mary Grand for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The House Party, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Redland

    I normally read romance novels but I do enjoy crime/thriller and like to throw one into the mix every so often. I’m really glad I chose this one. Beth lives on the Isle of Wight – a place with a strong sense of community where everyone knows everyone’s business. Or do they? She thought she knew her friends but that all changes when her best friend Kathleen hosts a housewarming party for her new grand house on the cliffs. Kathleen is agitated and confides in Beth that someone knows she has a secre I normally read romance novels but I do enjoy crime/thriller and like to throw one into the mix every so often. I’m really glad I chose this one. Beth lives on the Isle of Wight – a place with a strong sense of community where everyone knows everyone’s business. Or do they? She thought she knew her friends but that all changes when her best friend Kathleen hosts a housewarming party for her new grand house on the cliffs. Kathleen is agitated and confides in Beth that someone knows she has a secret and she’s now scared of that person. And the person happens to be one of the party guests. When Kathleen’s body is found at the foot of the cliff the following day, Beth is convinced of foul play but who could it be? Which of their friends scared Kathleen and possibly caused her death? I’m sure I’m not alone in trying to guess whodunnit when it comes to a story like this. What I really enjoyed about this book is how my opinion kept changing. Every time Beth had a conversation with one of their friends – who all seemed to have secrets to hide – my finger of suspicion moved. I also loved the ripples Beth’s investigations sent across the friendship group. A death had a massive impact anyway but imagine being accused of playing a hand in it? The ending was really gripping with a reveal I hadn’t seen coming. I’ll definitely read another Mary Grand novel.

  10. 4 out of 5

    emmabbooks

    Tension and suspense Kathleen tells her best friend Beth that she is frightened of one of their close circle of friends. The next day Kathleen is dead. An involving thriller as Beth sets out to discover which of the small group of friends is not as they seem, and possibly a murderer. As she looks at each of the group and uncovers details about the night Kathleen died, so I became convinced I knew who was responsible for Kathleen’s fear, only to change my mind a few pages later, and so it continued Tension and suspense Kathleen tells her best friend Beth that she is frightened of one of their close circle of friends. The next day Kathleen is dead. An involving thriller as Beth sets out to discover which of the small group of friends is not as they seem, and possibly a murderer. As she looks at each of the group and uncovers details about the night Kathleen died, so I became convinced I knew who was responsible for Kathleen’s fear, only to change my mind a few pages later, and so it continued throughout the book! Strong emotions come through Mary Grand’s telling of this involving story, with a well thought out plot, and plenty of twists. 5*s from me as this was an exciting read, with plenty of tension and suspense. The fact that there were few characters, lots of excitement, and a lovely setting on the Isle of Wight made this a great escapism book for me, when nothing else could hold my attention (due to stuff going on in my world). Do we know our friends as well as we think we do?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beccy Thompson

    Genuinely loved this book, as a child I loved a game of cluedo and this book has all the hall marks of a life sized Cluedo game. Well written with interesting characters who raise as many eyebrows as questions A gripping story full of unexpected twists

  12. 4 out of 5

    joanne gowland

    Fantastic story with edge of your seat twists Absolutely brilliant! Written so well I didn’t have a clue who did it right up until it was revealed. Definitely recommend reading this

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue Burrows

    Loved this book. A best friend on the hunt for who done it! I had no idea and was surprised by the author many times, there were lots of opportunities where the book could follow a formulaic route but they were not taken and I was taken down another path. I would definitely recommend this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mariam Mohsen

    3.5 stars, well, this book was recommended to me by my best and so close friend Dana Mohsen, and it was pretty good, although the writing style was a bit simple, but it was surprising and full of twists, particularly the end... Injoyed reading it... thanks dana

  15. 4 out of 5

    StaceyWare19

    Thank you to @rachelsrandomresources for inviting me in the blog tour of this book and to @netgalley for my copy of the book and the author @maryandpepper . The author is a completely new author to me, however I have heard of other bookstagrammers talk about her writing and knew I wanted to read one of her books so when I was invited to this tour I jumped at the opportunity. . The house party is set in the Isle of Wight which is just over the water from where I live so I was very excited to be take Thank you to @rachelsrandomresources for inviting me in the blog tour of this book and to @netgalley for my copy of the book and the author @maryandpepper . The author is a completely new author to me, however I have heard of other bookstagrammers talk about her writing and knew I wanted to read one of her books so when I was invited to this tour I jumped at the opportunity. . The house party is set in the Isle of Wight which is just over the water from where I live so I was very excited to be taken there with this thrilling story. . This story is based around a question of murder or suicide, the characters are very well written and relatable and it’s safe to say it is full of twists and turns throughout the whole book. #blogtour #readalong #thehouseparty #thriller

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kerry https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com Robinson

    Mary Grand has used a classic locked room format for this mystery thriller but given it a larger stage and it works so well.  Kathleen and Patrick have just finished building their beautiful house in a small town on the Isle of White.  During her housewarming party Kathleen confesses to friend Beth that she has made a terrible mistake and now someone is threatening to expose her.  She is scared, out of character and she reveals someone in their group is not who they pretend to be.  The next day K Mary Grand has used a classic locked room format for this mystery thriller but given it a larger stage and it works so well.  Kathleen and Patrick have just finished building their beautiful house in a small town on the Isle of White.  During her housewarming party Kathleen confesses to friend Beth that she has made a terrible mistake and now someone is threatening to expose her.  She is scared, out of character and she reveals someone in their group is not who they pretend to be.  The next day Kathleen's body is found and first thoughts are that she fell over the cliff in a tragic accident however Beth feels there's something sinister at work but who can she trust to help? Beth becomes completely consumed by her final conversation with Kathleen and is convinced there was more to her story.  The more she questions and talks with friends, the more small things are hinted at or revealed which makes everyone a suspect.  The plot unravels at a steady pace - it's not a novel that races through things however it allows the reader to soak up every piece of information.  I completely put myself in Beth's shoes and I analysed every conversation and action of her friends.  I searched for clues within everything and the more I learned, the more suspicious I became of everyone.  Nobody is who they seem to be and everything feels off.  I always enjoy a novel that makes me feel like this - I love untrustworthy characters and I love playing guess who.  The setting provides the perfect backdrop to this mystery.  From the beautiful cliffs to the mentality and community spirit of a small village, the description and choice of venue compliments the plot perfectly.  I think the closer the character is to everyone and everything, the more tense things feel.      An excellent character driven mystery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    This is a contemporary murder mystery set on the Isle of Wight. It starts at a house warming party attended by a close knit group of friends. The hostess, Kathleen, tells her friend Beth that one of their friends is threatening her and she’s terrified. However, she doesn’t name who it is but says she’ll meet Beth the next day. When Kathleen’s body is found the next day Beth doesn’t believe her death is accidental and she’s determined to discover what happened to Kathleen. This is a story full of This is a contemporary murder mystery set on the Isle of Wight. It starts at a house warming party attended by a close knit group of friends. The hostess, Kathleen, tells her friend Beth that one of their friends is threatening her and she’s terrified. However, she doesn’t name who it is but says she’ll meet Beth the next day. When Kathleen’s body is found the next day Beth doesn’t believe her death is accidental and she’s determined to discover what happened to Kathleen. This is a story full of secrets. It shows how we only see what others are prepared to share with us and that they may all have secrets of their own. Her own family, their friends and their families are all suspect in Beth’s eyes as she becomes somewhat obsessed with discovering the truth about Kathleen’s death. Was it really an accident or could one of their friends be a murderer? When something doesn’t feel right, should you ignore your intuition or investigate it further? Despite the antagonism of her friends, Beth is determined to find the truth, inadvertently discovering just how many of them have secrets . . . . but someone doesn’t want her to find the truth. She has threatening phone calls telling her to stop looking, her friends are no longer friendly, what should she do? This is a great read which is full of twists and turns. I would start to suspect one of the friends only to change my mind a few pages (and other clues) later. It is an intriguing read and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I’ll definitely look out for more by Mary Grand in future and have no hesitation in highly recommending this to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers, cosy mysteries and murder mysteries as it is a brilliant, suspense filled mix of these genres. I requested and was gifted a copy of this book and this is my honest review after choosing to read it and being enthralled from the very beginning to the surprising ending.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I was rather expecting an edge-of-the-seat read with this one, and it certainly was at times – but it also turned out to be something a little different, and that only made me enjoy it more. The set-up is classic thriller territory – Kathleen is frightened, feels in danger from one of her close friends, and the morning after a house-warming party is found dead at the foot of the nearby cliff. At the party, she shared her fears with Beth – but none of the detail, only that the threat came from on I was rather expecting an edge-of-the-seat read with this one, and it certainly was at times – but it also turned out to be something a little different, and that only made me enjoy it more. The set-up is classic thriller territory – Kathleen is frightened, feels in danger from one of her close friends, and the morning after a house-warming party is found dead at the foot of the nearby cliff. At the party, she shared her fears with Beth – but none of the detail, only that the threat came from one of the friends present at the party. When the police investigation concludes that her death was suicide or a tragic accident, Beth can’t let things lie – she becomes obsessed with her pursuit of the truth. I think “obsessed” really is the right word – she alienates most of the people within their circle of friends with her doubts and accusations, causes issues within her marriage, and receives threats herself that would make a lesser person give up and leave things well alone. The absolute joy of this book, for me, was in the relationships and interactions between its well-drawn characters – and that element of not knowing who is telling the truth or who you can trust gave every exchange a really intriguing edge. Another real joy was the setting – the Isle of Wight, the clifftops at Freshwater Bay, the walks Beth takes with her dog, the fictional village of Castleford with its tight community. Despite the open spaces – beautifully described – there’s an all-pervading sense of claustrophobia too, that sense of no way to escape, the feeling that the whole tight-knit community is turning against her. It’s not fast paced – I suspect that those who look for chills and thrills might not find them here. But I’m not that way inclined, and the way the story built and the secrets were slowly revealed was something I really enjoyed – beautifully crafted, character driven, and it really hooked me right through to its unexpected ending. A definite recommendation from me, and I’ll be really looking forward to reading more from Mary Grand…

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bustin

    I read The House Party so quickly! it was unputdownable! Definitely a top contender for the psychological thriller for 2020, and I will tell you why. Set on the picturesque Isle of Wight, The House Party is a thriller with a difference. Everyone is friends, but friends with secrets. The whole story revolves around two main characters, Kathleen and Beth. But Kathleen is the one that has fallen to her death right at the start of the book. Did she fall or was she pushed? Ahh, this question pops up s I read The House Party so quickly! it was unputdownable! Definitely a top contender for the psychological thriller for 2020, and I will tell you why. Set on the picturesque Isle of Wight, The House Party is a thriller with a difference. Everyone is friends, but friends with secrets. The whole story revolves around two main characters, Kathleen and Beth. But Kathleen is the one that has fallen to her death right at the start of the book. Did she fall or was she pushed? Ahh, this question pops up so many times throughout the book. I had myself changing my mind constantly! Beth is good friends with Kathleen and takes it upon herself to find out exactly what happened. But she is putting herself in grave danger. Beth finds it hard to trust any of her friends, doubt even seeps in over her husbands whereabouts of the morning of the death. She knows it’s her job to find out what happened to her friend and she won’t stop until she has found the truth. Even if that means hurting her friends in the process. I have never known a book like this with so many twists, and any of the group of friends could have done it! It’s actually a pretty complex plot, with ends flying around everywhere! You will get absorbed into Beth’s investigations and trust me you won’t be able to sleep until you discover the truth. You can read more of my review here https://rachelbustin.com/books/the-ho...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    This story is more noir crime than the murder mystery I was expecting. In keeping with the murder mystery genre, there is a cast of characters with the motivation for murder and secrets. This story also has an element of psychological suspense increasing the level of menace. The opening scenes at the house party flag up that Kathleen has secrets and that someone is using these against her. She's troubled but anxious to talk them over with Beth her lapsed best friend. Patrick Kathleen's partner in This story is more noir crime than the murder mystery I was expecting. In keeping with the murder mystery genre, there is a cast of characters with the motivation for murder and secrets. This story also has an element of psychological suspense increasing the level of menace. The opening scenes at the house party flag up that Kathleen has secrets and that someone is using these against her. She's troubled but anxious to talk them over with Beth her lapsed best friend. Patrick Kathleen's partner interrupts their conversation. The next morning Kathleen is dead. Beth feels she owes it to, Kathleen, to investigate her death, and this leads to deceit, danger and eventually the discovery of the murderer in their midst. The island setting makes this atmospheric. The suspects' closeness makes this intense. No one is reliable, and the undercurrent of danger is strong in this story. This story makes the most of its unusual setting with an intriguing plot and mysterious characters. I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Broad

    This is a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I particularly liked the main character Beth. There were lots of twists and turns and I wasn’t expecting the ending. It certainly makes you suspect anyone and makes me think how well do we know our friends. Fabulous read and I love that it’s set on the Isle of Wight, I’m going there next week

  22. 4 out of 5

    Misfits farm

    Beth and Kathleen are close friends living on the Isle of Wight. At a gathering once evening Kathleen appears troubled and Beth reaches out to her. Kathleen says she is frightened of someone who is at the gathering and has more to tell but will tell Beth more the next day when they are alone. The next morning Kathleen is found at the bottom of the cliff from her garden apparently having fallen and is now dead. Her beloved chickens are out- something she would never ever do. Beth thinks there is Beth and Kathleen are close friends living on the Isle of Wight. At a gathering once evening Kathleen appears troubled and Beth reaches out to her. Kathleen says she is frightened of someone who is at the gathering and has more to tell but will tell Beth more the next day when they are alone. The next morning Kathleen is found at the bottom of the cliff from her garden apparently having fallen and is now dead. Her beloved chickens are out- something she would never ever do. Beth thinks there is more to her death than an accident possibly chasing a pet. She talks to her husband Sami who it appears has his own secrets involving Kathleen so she is now not even sure that she can trust her own spouse. After a short time Beth finds out a little more about Kathleen and when she feels threatened herself it is Sami that she turns to. A complex plot and one to keep the grey matter active in a very good way. I liked Beth’s determination and tenacity in facing her friends whom she suspected in different ways. A brilliantly clever read and one to remember. For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/ or follow me on [email protected]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I love discovering new authors and Mary Grand is certainly a new author for me.  However having enjoyed 'The House Party' as much as I did, I can guarantee 100% that I will be reading more of her work in the future.  I thoroughly enjoyed 'The House Party' but more about that in a bit. I can honestly say that I didn't take to any of the characters in this book.  I realise that sounds negative but I don't mean it to.  Each of the characters seemed to be hiding something or behaving oddly (or oddly I love discovering new authors and Mary Grand is certainly a new author for me.  However having enjoyed 'The House Party' as much as I did, I can guarantee 100% that I will be reading more of her work in the future.  I thoroughly enjoyed 'The House Party' but more about that in a bit. I can honestly say that I didn't take to any of the characters in this book.  I realise that sounds negative but I don't mean it to.  Each of the characters seemed to be hiding something or behaving oddly (or oddly to me anyway).  Some of the characters 'disappeared' for a period of time and I was highly suspicious as to what they were up to.  I know I am very paranoid and way too suspicious of everybody and everything.  As I didn't take to the characters it meant that I could keep a distance from them and not favour one over the other.  The characters in this book were an interesting bunch. It didn't take me long at all to get into this story.  In fact by the time I got to the end of the first page, I knew that 'The House Party' was going to be one of those reads, which I would find difficult to put down for any length of time.  I had my own suspicions as to what was going to happen and of course I had to keep reading to see if I was on the right track or whether I had the wrong end of the stick entirely.  As per usual, I had the wrong end of the stick entirely.  The further into the story I read, the more intrigued I became and the quicker I was turning those pages.  I seemed to race through to the end of the story.  I found 'The House Party' to be an unputdownable page turner of a book.  The book certainly kept me guessing and kept me on the edge of my seat. 'The House Party' is well written.  The author grabbed my attention from the start and drew me into the story.  In that respect it was a bit like an angler reeling in a catch, as Mary certainly reeled me in.  I love the way in which she has perfectly captured the effects that stress and keeping secrets can have on an individual and on their wider families.  Reading 'The House Party' felt like being on one hell of a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with no clue as to where the story is going to take you next.  The twists and turns kept coming and certainly kept me on my toes.  I did feel as though I was part of the story myself and that's down to Mary's very vivid and realistic storytelling. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The House Party' and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I will certainly be reading more of Mary's work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jéssica

    When I first read the synopsis and saw the cover & title, I was intrigued. I have been trying to read more thrillers and mystery novels, especially this summer because it's a genre that usually blows my mind and gets me excited and curious to read the next page, which I believe is a perfect recipe for a beach day. That been said, this book I didn't read it at the beach, but still, I read it during a hot night. Which ended up being an even better combination, although I couldn't put the book down When I first read the synopsis and saw the cover & title, I was intrigued. I have been trying to read more thrillers and mystery novels, especially this summer because it's a genre that usually blows my mind and gets me excited and curious to read the next page, which I believe is a perfect recipe for a beach day. That been said, this book I didn't read it at the beach, but still, I read it during a hot night. Which ended up being an even better combination, although I couldn't put the book down until my eyes and hand couldn't deal with the light. Nevertheless, the next night I was back at it again. This story follows Beth. And after her friend is killed thing take a thrilling turn, that lead us to trying to figure out what really happened, side-by-side with Beth. With a group of characters that have secrets, which we uncover as the story goes, we are taken on a mystery looking for answers and theorizing who's responsible. It is a 'who done it' kind of book and for people that enjoying the uncover of secrets and to figure out the truth, creating theories along the way... then this is definitely a book you should consider. The scenery and the flow of the story helps with the tension and mystery of the plot, which is a good thing to have in this type of book. Also, it's a group of friends, and that makes things even more weary, because we are suppose to truth our friends, especially if we know them a long time. Although, that means nothing, and this book reminded me of that. Overall, I enjoyed it. I could say I had fun. I was hooked at various points of the storytelling because of the revelations or the questions. And I was satisfied with the ending, which is something that I hope for once I finish reading this genre of books. [I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, and Mary Grand for the eCopy of this book and for allowing me to join in the fun and being a part of the blog tour with my honest review of the book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.]

  25. 4 out of 5

    Satabdi

    The House Party is dark and menacing and all the more sinister because the killer is one of a close group of friends. Someone has put on a very convincing act of being respectable and friendly, but only Kathleen, the victim, knew that he or she was fooling everyone. The story is narrated by Beth, who is the last person Kathleen spoke to before her death. Beth also feels driven to find out who was threatening Kathleen despite getting a few threats herself. In my opinion, she is foolhardy because s The House Party is dark and menacing and all the more sinister because the killer is one of a close group of friends. Someone has put on a very convincing act of being respectable and friendly, but only Kathleen, the victim, knew that he or she was fooling everyone. The story is narrated by Beth, who is the last person Kathleen spoke to before her death. Beth also feels driven to find out who was threatening Kathleen despite getting a few threats herself. In my opinion, she is foolhardy because she throws herself open to danger by questioning her friends openly and telling them her theories. We are led through a maelstrom of emotions in the close-knit group–jealousy, deceit, boredom, rebellion, anger, and suspicion. The author has the reader going in circles, even though she rehashes the events as Beth presents her theories to her husband and her friends each time she stumbles upon a new clue. The final clue, which led to the revelation Beth was looking for, was easy to spot. However, what was mystifying was why Beth did not have her guard up by then. Nevertheless, Beth teases apart the web of lies bit by bit while dealing with her suddenly secretive husband and openly rebellious teenage daughter. She’s also hiding a secret of her own–something that brought tears to my eyes. Her adorable cocker spaniel, Ollie, provided a light-hearted, positive contrast to the gloomy atmosphere in the novel. Dogs can make anything better! Masterfully written, The House Party will lead you to examine the dark and dirty secrets between a group of families who are supposedly close and it will shock you to see how wrong you could be about your next-door neighbor! Thank you to the author and Rachel for my review copy!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was an OK read, though rather slow paced. Firstly, despite being called "the House Party", the book really had nothing to do with the house party other than that was the setting of the first chapter. This led me having a different expectation of the book, than what it turned out to be. The story centers on Beth- her friend Kathleen (who she hasn't seen as much recently as she did in the past) confides in her at a house warming party that she is being threatened and that one of their group o This was an OK read, though rather slow paced. Firstly, despite being called "the House Party", the book really had nothing to do with the house party other than that was the setting of the first chapter. This led me having a different expectation of the book, than what it turned out to be. The story centers on Beth- her friend Kathleen (who she hasn't seen as much recently as she did in the past) confides in her at a house warming party that she is being threatened and that one of their group of friends is not who they seem. She refuses to tell Beth any more, but turns up dead the next day, and Beth is convinced she was murdered by the person who had been threatening her. Beth takes it upon herself to investigate and I felt that this got a little tedious. She repeatedly annoyed her friends by constantly accusing them of things, and often repeatedly added and subtracted people from her suspect list. All of this led to me not liking Beth as a character. I felt the pace was slow and read a little more like a drama than a mystery. The end of the book picks up the pace a bit and was a surprise, but the author did a good job of making the culprit's actions believable. Overall, I give this book a solid 3 stars- will not be hugely memorable to me but mostly held my interest throughout. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    When a woman’s best friend is found dead, she can’t help but think it was foul play after her friend tells her someone was threatening her. The shocker is that the murderer could be someone close to her. Beth does what any true friend would do by finding out the truth about Kathleen’s death even at the risk of her own life. Normally a quiet person who doesn’t make waves, Beth confronts all her friends who attended the house party where Kathleen told her the person threatening her was at. What she When a woman’s best friend is found dead, she can’t help but think it was foul play after her friend tells her someone was threatening her. The shocker is that the murderer could be someone close to her. Beth does what any true friend would do by finding out the truth about Kathleen’s death even at the risk of her own life. Normally a quiet person who doesn’t make waves, Beth confronts all her friends who attended the house party where Kathleen told her the person threatening her was at. What she finds out is that everyone is holding secrets about Kathleen including someone very close to her. Along with Beth, the reader can’t help but analyze all of the suspect’s reactions to Beth’s very direct questions about Kathleen’s death and with the new threats to Beth’s life, time is of the essence. The complex characters are well-developed and I like Beth’s bravery to find the truth even dealing with problems of her own at home. Everyone’s lives are gradually dissected and revealed to find sad and surprising secrets. Overall, this is a riveting who-done-it thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. What the reader finds is that not everything is as it seems in the lives of people you think you know. Recommend highly! Thank you to Ms. Grand for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura Furuta

    The House Party By Mary Grand 5 out of 5 stars I loved reading the book The House Party by Mary Grand. It is a story that has mystery, danger, secrets, and lies. I love the character of Beth. She is an intelligent, strong, and independent woman. After a good friend confides in her that she is scared of someone in their circle of friends, Kathleen is found dead at the foot of a cliff. Was her death an accident? Beth is determined to find out. She starts a search for the truth. Is she also in danger? The House Party By Mary Grand 5 out of 5 stars I loved reading the book The House Party by Mary Grand. It is a story that has mystery, danger, secrets, and lies. I love the character of Beth. She is an intelligent, strong, and independent woman. After a good friend confides in her that she is scared of someone in their circle of friends, Kathleen is found dead at the foot of a cliff. Was her death an accident? Beth is determined to find out. She starts a search for the truth. Is she also in danger? Read this book for the full story. This is a book that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I grew to care about Beth with every chapter that I read and was rooting for her to find the answers that she seeks. There are secrets revealed as well as twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. The author does an amazing job of making the story and the characters come to life. Once I started the story I got lost in the pages and didn’t want to put it down until the final page. The book has you wondering how well you know your circle of friends. Don’t miss out on an exciting story that will have your heart beating faster. I highly recommend reading it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Del Toro

    This book reminded me a lot of an Agatha Christie, and that is high praise. There were lots of scenes and inclusions that seemed irrelevant, but having read Ms Christie, I knew that they were clues and it I kept them in mind as I plowed through the story. There were many characters to keep track of, and I still felt they weren't really well developed because this was more of a follow-the-clues type of story; you get to follow the breadcrumbs along with Beth, the main character whose POV we are r This book reminded me a lot of an Agatha Christie, and that is high praise. There were lots of scenes and inclusions that seemed irrelevant, but having read Ms Christie, I knew that they were clues and it I kept them in mind as I plowed through the story. There were many characters to keep track of, and I still felt they weren't really well developed because this was more of a follow-the-clues type of story; you get to follow the breadcrumbs along with Beth, the main character whose POV we are reading. The pieces of the puzzle wrap up to a satisfactory conclusion, although I can't really say I cared on an emotional level. Overall I thought it was a well written story with an intricate plot with lots of clues and red herrings but I also found it really lagged in places; there is a lot of repetition and I think it would have fared better if it were tightened up, with fewer pages. I will definitely read more by this author.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This isn’t the kind of book I would normally read but I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns. Basically the plot is that Kathleen who is afraid of someone spilling her secret ends up dead and her friend Beth tries to find out what the secret is and whether her friend was murdered. This is not a plot spoiler. Various suspects are presented together with their various motives. Truthfully I wasn’t blown away by the great reveal but I really enjoyed the layering of the characters, includi This isn’t the kind of book I would normally read but I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns. Basically the plot is that Kathleen who is afraid of someone spilling her secret ends up dead and her friend Beth tries to find out what the secret is and whether her friend was murdered. This is not a plot spoiler. Various suspects are presented together with their various motives. Truthfully I wasn’t blown away by the great reveal but I really enjoyed the layering of the characters, including both Kathleen and Beth, and the peeling back of the layers to reveal different aspects of their personalities. There was a real element of you only know what people choose to tell you about themselves- which I really enjoyed. I think the author could have written more about the characters to make a more enjoyable read and the end felt a little rushed. That aside the writing flows well and it kept me interested. An interesting and enjoyable read.

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