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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Reunited and It Feels So...Murderous?

 


Happy belated Fourth of July for those of you in the U.S.! I hope your holiday was safe, fun, and relaxing. My family and I celebrated in Utah, where we also attended a 3-day family reunion in honor of the 99th birthday of my husband's late grandmother. Such events can be wonderful opportunities to reminisce, reconnect, and even reconcile. On the flip side, they're notorious for simmering with tension, conflict, and drama. Is it any wonder novelists—especially those writing in the mystery/thriller genre—love a reunion setting? No matter how many times the trope is explored (and it seems especially popular lately), I always find it appealing. Whether it's family members brought together for a reunion, classmates reconvening to mark the passing of years, old friends celebrating a special occasion, or some altogether more sinister reason to gather, I'm here for it. Since today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is a freebie, I decided to focus my list on mysteries and thrillers on my TBR list that use a reunion of some sort as a backdrop. 

Before you scroll on, though, be sure to pop on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hostess, Jana, some love!

Top Ten Mystery/Thrillers With Reunion Settings That I'm Dying to Read
- in no particular order - 


1. In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead—A college reunion turns deadly in this thriller about "six friends, one unsolved murder, and the dark secrets they've been hiding from each other—and themselves—for a decade."


2.
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson—I'm not entirely sure what the plot of this novel is, but I know it takes place at a family reunion at a ski resort. As the title suggests, it's about a family of killers and a fresh murder (I assume). Color me intrigued!


3. Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight—Ten years ago, six college friends were involved in a deadly accident that almost destroyed them. Now, they've reunited for a luxurious getaway in the Catskills. It's a chance to reconnect as well as an opportunity to stage an intervention for the man who was once their charismatic leader. When one of the group dies and another goes missing, it becomes apparent that there's more going on here than meets the eye. As a local detective starts asking questions, secrets and lies come to the surface, exposing the dangerous web that tangles the friends together.


4. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley—I didn't love Foley's The Guest List, itself a reunion novel, but I'm willing to give this book a try anyway. It concerns a group of college friends coming together for their annual getaway. As they arrive in the Scottish Highlands, a blizzard roars in, trapping them together. Tension grows, resentment simmers, secrets brew, and someone dies. Whodunit? 


5. The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn—Ten years after she graduated from college, Ambrosia Wellington receives an invitation to a class reunion, along with a note that says: "We need to talk about what we did that night." As she receives increasingly ominous notes, it becomes obvious that someone wants to make her pay for her role in a deadly game she participated in a decade ago.


6. The Invite by A.J. McDine—A group of friends are invited to the posh country home of a charismatic woman they knew as teenagers for an exciting weekend reunion. When they arrive, their hostess is not in residence. There is, however, a corpse in the cellar. Where is Elle? Why is there a dead body in her house? What game is their enigmatic old friend playing this time?


7. What Have We Done by Alex Finlay—At Savior House, the group home that was supposed to shelter them, a trio of teenagers endured horrifying abuse, which bonded them forever. They haven't seen each other since then, but now someone is trying to kill all of them. Their forced reunion isn't want any of them want, but it might be the only thing that can save them all...


8. All the Dark Places by Terri Parlato—A birthday party brings together a group of friends for a night of celebration and fun. When it ends in the guest of honor's murder, Detective Rita Myers is called in to investigate. Everybody loved Jay Bradley. Who would want to kill him? And why?


9. The Reunion by Kit Frick—This YA thriller centers around the Merryweather family, an estranged clan who come together at a swanky Mexican beach resort for a wedding. It doesn't take long for tempers to boil, secrets to surface, and patience to snap. When a member of the family ends up dead, all the rest of them become suspects. 


10. Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney—The fragmented Darker family is brought together on a remote island to celebrate their matriarch's 80th birthday. As they're cut off from the rest of the world by the tide and a raging storm, Nana is found dead. An hour later, another family member is killed. Can the survivors figure out who is murdering their kin before all of them are picked off in a brutal game reminiscent of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None?

There you are, ten mystery/thriller novels with reunion settings that I want to read. Have you read any of them? What did you think? What's your favorite reunion novel? What's the craziest thing you've ever witnessed at a reunion? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments left here at BBB (although I'm still behind from previous weeks).

Happy TTT!

66 comments:

  1. Wow that is a lot of mystery/thrillers that center around a reunion. Would put you off going to one!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Right? I'm glad the one I just attended didn't end in murder, although it may have come close a couple of times :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kathryn!

      Delete
  2. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone sounds super interesting! I'll have to look it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so, too. I haven't seen much about the plot, but the title is intriguing enough on its own to make me want to read it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Louise!

      Delete
  3. What a funny idea. I believe we all have those family members which we would be prepared to kill if only we weren't too decent. I guess that is one of the reasons why these type of stories are so popular. How can I kill someone if I really had to? LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For real! Some of them are SOOOO irritiating :) Relationships are endlessly complicated and I'm always fascinated by them, in real life and in fiction.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

      Delete
    2. Same here, Susan. We always have to deal with people who might not be our "cup of tea", in the family, at work, in the neighbourhood, in shops, anywhere. Yes, very fascinating.

      Delete
  4. Family reunions can be great fodder for a mystery for sure.

    I hope you love all of these. Thanks for stopping by earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! There are endless possibilities for tension, conflict, drama, etc. Families are complicated business.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  5. Athena @onereadingnurse12 July, 2023 06:19

    I've heard of a few of these but haven't read any of them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A few of them are new to me as well since I found them by Googling "mystery novels that take place at reunions"! Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Athena!

      Delete
  6. I love that you found so many thrillers set in or around a reunion! Several of these look really good. I've only read The Hunting Party...and there were things I liked and disliked about it equally, which made it a 3-star read for me. Great list, Susan. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on my previous experience with a Foley book, I'm guessing I'll feel the same way about THE HUNTING PARTY. I'm willing to give it a go, though, since it sounds like my kind of thing. We'll see how it goes!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  7. You have some great books here, Susan. I am going to have to add all of them to my pile, lol! Have a wonderful day ☕📚💜😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry/not sorry! Ha ha. The best/worst thing about TTT is all the books I add to my TBR list because of it :)

      Thanks for popping in, Jody!

      Delete
  8. These all sound so good!! The library I work it recently bought Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone and it has been calling my name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? It's been getting lots of positive buzz. I can't wait to give it a go. It sounds fun.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Darcy!

      Delete
  9. Fun topic! I haven't read any of these, but they all have such interesting premises!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reunion settings offer SO many plot possibilities, especially for a murder mystery. I can't get enough of them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lisa!

      Delete
  10. I hope you enjoy these! They all sound interesting—even if some also sound way too creepy for me! ;-) And Then There Were None almost put me off books entirely when I read it the first time. Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is one of the books that got me into murder mysteries! I can understand them being too much for some people, though. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  11. I had to smile at your 'the flip side' to family occasions! So true and certainly makes for some great stories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing how families that love each other fiercely can also harbor deep resentments, jealousies, anger, etc. All families are like that to some degree, I think, which makes them so interesting both in real life and in fiction.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

      Delete
  12. I had no idea there were so many mysteries and thrillers with a reunion setting! I have read a couple romances with the setting in the past couple of years, so it seems it is catching on in all genres.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, interesting! Reunion settings can definitely work well in any genre. The plot possibilities are endless.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

      Delete
  13. So many great possibilities here that I can't quickly choose two or three for a closer look. This list is going to take some exploring...love the title "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone." Going to start with that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many reunion books out there with similar premises that they are all starting to run together a little for me. I just read one that was very meh and it was by an author whose books I usually like. The trick is finding the standouts among all the books employing the trope. EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE does sound like a standout. It's been getting a lot of buzz. I hope we both enjoy it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  14. You came up with a fantastic idea for a theme this week! Wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you've been doing TTT for as long as we have, it's a real challenge to come up with fresh ideas for freebies. At least it is for me!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

      Delete
  15. I have read and enjoyed a couple of these and the others look good, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that at least some of them will be winners for me. You never know.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  16. I can’t remember if I listened to The Guest List or The Hunting Party on audio! Whichever it was, I wasn’t crazy about it. I didn’t like Daisy Darker, either. But I love this theme, and definitely want to try some of the others on the list. I’m taking a break from suspense right now, because life is too stressful and I need to bring my blood pressure down, but I can never stay away from this kind of book very long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems to me like Foley's books get a lot of buzz from publishing and marketing, but actual readers feel pretty "meh" about them. DAISY DARKER is getting good reviews, so I have more hope for that one.

      Even though I love mystery/thriller/suspense books and can't ever seem to get enough of them, I get that they can be way too intense for some people. I guess I prefer to forget about IRL stress by experiencing fictional stress because at least that stress is solved by the end of the book. LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Laurie!

      Delete
  17. The Hunting Party and Daisy Darker are on my TBR too. Hope you'll love all of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope we both enjoy THE HUNTING PARTY and DAISY DARKER when we get to them. We'll definitely have to compare notes ;)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lindsey!

      Delete
  18. LOL, that is a great theme! I hope you enjoy all of these when you get to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a fun list to put together! I found some new ones I hadn't known about before, so that's always nice. Well, maybe not for my already overwhelming TBR list...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

      Delete
  19. Ooh nice topic choice! I don't think I've read many books with a reunion setting!


    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? Well, you read mostly sci fi/fantasy, right? It seems like reunion settings are most common in mysteries/thrillers and contemporary/women's fiction type books. Maybe that's why...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jessica!

      Delete
  20. Good topic! The Hunting Party/The Shooting Party is on my TBR. I did like the Guest List.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope we both enjoy THE HUNTING PARTY. We'll have to compare notes when we both finish it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Hopewell (Lisa?)!

      Delete
  21. What a great topic! Definitely need to check out some of these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy the ones you decide to read. Definitely come back and let me know which are/aren't worth the read!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alicia!

      Delete
  22. Fun topic! Hope you enjoy all of these. A good murder mystery is a fun read now and then. Hope you had a nice Fourth of July, too... and thanks a bunch for visiting my website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Murder mysteries are my go-to books for an entertaining read. The good ones suck me in and keep me guessing throughout!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rissi!

      Delete
  23. Oh cool theme!
    I have another one for your list, its title is also The Reunion, but it's by Guillaume Musso. It's really excellent:
    https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/07/19/book-review-the-reunion/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, thanks for the rec! I'll give THE REUNION a look-see. Sounds right up my alley :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Emma!

      Delete
  24. Love this prompt, reunion stories can be so fun, I love reading about all the intricacies in the family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! There's nothing like a family get together to remind you of how complicated family relationships can be. That's why I find them so fascinating in both real life and fiction.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  25. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone and The Reunion are both on my TBR. Great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope we both love these two. We'll have to compare notes after we've read them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ashley!

      Delete
  26. I didn’t know there were so many mysteries like these! Very neat.

    Thank you for stopping by Long and Short Reviews’ post earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been noticing tons of them lately, mostly in the mystery/thriller genre. They're fun!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Astilbe!

      Delete
  27. I didn't realise so many murder mysteries took place at reunions though I guess it makes sense, a group of people who haven't seen each other in a while stuck in a room together....if tensions exist, they're bound to spill over. I've added the Ashley Winstead one to my TBR as it sounds really good and I already had Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone on it because that title is just too intriguing to not find out what the story is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! Reunions can be stressful events attended by groups of people with complicated relatoinships, so it makes sense that some of that would spill over. I've seen it in real life and, of course, it makes for great fiction!

      EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE really is a great title. How can we possibly resist??

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jo!

      Delete
  28. Love the cover of The Reunion, and if is set in Mexico, sounds fun. Great TBR, happy reading

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! I always like an exotic setting :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Vero!

      Delete
  29. May I just say, I simply love the intro to this post. You haven't picked up a side gig to write for a book website, have you? Although I suppose one's own blog is in fact a book website, it reads like a professional article -- and I mean that in the best way, so nicely does it segue into the list.

    Realizing I'm coming up on my 20th high school reunion at this point, so it'd be pretty timely to pick one of these up. I think I'll wait to get your thoughts on The Hunting Party, since I was also lukewarm on Guest List, and will follow your lead.

    In the meantime, I love the cover on The Invite...and the synopsis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, you're sweet! The only "professional" writing I do these days is on blogs. Which is just fine with me. I like writing just for myself and my readers :)

      Good luck with your high school reunion. If you believe all these mysteries and thrillers, it could get hairy! LOL. I avoid them myself.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, RS!

      Delete
  30. This is such a great post idea, and I love how you connected it to your own personal experiences! You've touched on one of my favorite tropes in mystery/thrillers, and introduced me to a few books that I've added to my TBR. Thanks for that, and hopefully we love them all when we read them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always have to wrack my brain to come up with something fresh for the TTT freebies. Real life is often my inspiration! I'm glad reunions are one of your favorite tropes, too. It's a fun one with all kinds of tantalizing plot possibilities.

      I hope we both enjoy these. Definitely let me know which ones you like best.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

      Delete
  31. What a great topic and list, Susan. I hope your family reunion went well and you laughed a lot as you shared memories. I have only read two of these, but have read other along the same theme. I will check out some of the others I haven't read though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did go well! We had lots of opportunities to visit and reconnect with members of the family that we hadn't seen in recent years. There was lots of laughter and lots of memories shared - just as reunions are supposed to be.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

      Delete
  32. I like you selected topic for this TTT. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone sounds fun - that title is enough to you make you curious about the plot!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I read Daisy Darker and enjoyed it and have The Hunting Party and Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone on my TBR. I need to look at the rest of the ones you have listed!

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a fun topic choice! I'll be reading The Reunion by Kit Frick very soon.

    ReplyDelete

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