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Friday, October 16, 2020

The New Agatha Christie? I Don't Think So!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

"Everything seems charged on this island.  It's as though this place is doing it, that we've been brought here for a reason" (288).

Will Slater and Julie Keegan are both gorgeous, ambitious, and powerful.  Their wedding, even though it's taking place at a remote island off the Irish coast with only a very select group of guests, will be the event of the season.  As the couple's nearest and dearest gather, however, tension continues to mount between the happy couple, the island's only residents, and the wedding guests.  When it reaches a fever pitch, one person is left dead.  Who hated the victim enough to kill them?  And why?  Stuck in an isolated place with no way to communicate with the outside world, those on the island must figure out which one of them is a murderer—before the killer strikes again.

With its And Then There Were None-ish premise, it's no wonder that The Guest List by Lucy Foley is being compared to Agatha Christie's classic.  The similarities, however, stop at the book's setup.  While Foley's version features a creepy, atmospheric setting, which creates a deliciously suspenseful backdrop, the story itself moves so slowly that the novel never reaches an "unputdownable" stage.  There were a few surprises in the plot but not enough to make the story feel clever or original.  In addition, the characters are almost wholly unlikable—most are immature, entitled snobs who have done terrible things to each other, which made it difficult for me to care what happened to them.  Not surprisingly, then, The Guest List made for a dark, depressing, and not super satisfying read.  I'd heard such good things about this book that I thought I would love it.  Unfortunately, I just ... didn't.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of One By One by Ruth Ware)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, disturbing subject matter, sexual content, and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Guest List with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. It's hard to reach the level of an Agatha Christie! She was so good at what she did. Sorry this one was so disappointing.

    1. Very true, very true. It's probably not fair to compare any mystery writer to the queen!

  2. I haven't read this one yet mostly because, her earlier book was a DNF for me and, this sounds a lot like Ruth Ware's new book, One By One, which was just okay for me.

    1. I haven't read any of Foley's other books and honestly, I probably won't after being so disappointed in this one :(

  3. I liked this one better than you, but it certainly isn't the best thriller out there. Just the thought of the boat ride to the island was enough to set the scene for me; my nightmare!

    1. Oh gosh, I know! I don't do well on boats, especially not in choppy water. Ugh.

  4. I listened to the audiobook and maybe that was the reason I enjoyed it more than you did. I find sometimes the audio makes a story better and others I have to switch to reading, this was a winner in the audio format. Sorry this didn't measure up for you Susan.

    1. Interesting. I haven't listened to tons of audiobooks, but I have definitely noticed that my enjoyment of audiobooks depend a lot on the narrator. I can see how some stories would work better on audio than in print.

  5. Ugh, sorry to hear you didn't love this novel!! I acquired a copy of The Guest List, but have yet to read it. I loved And Then There None by Agatha Christie, which was the appeal of this book for me.

    1. I was hoping the comparison to AND THEN THERE WERE NONE would be more apt. Nope!


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