The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill @sularigentill @Sourcebooks @PPPress

Posted June 9, 2022 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 24 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill @sularigentill @Sourcebooks @PPPress The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
Published by Poisoned Pen Press on June 7, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The beautifully ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is completely silent one weekday morning, until a woman's terrified scream echoes through the room. Security guards immediately appear and instruct everyone inside to stay put until they determine there is no threat. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers who had been sitting in the reading room get to chatting and quickly become friendly. Harriet, Marigold, Whit, and Cain each have their own reasons for being in the reading room that morning--and it just happens that one of them may turn out to be a murderer.

The Woman in the Library did not have a lot to do with libraries, other than an initial murder taking place there.  It did have a lot to do with books and writers though.   It is also a story within a story.   Each chapter is a piece of a famous author’s manuscript following a letter from her American friend who lives in Boston.  Boston is the setting of her book.  The friend comments on various aspects of the manuscript as to location, American typical phrases, and his thoughts about plot.

The story takes place during Covid and that is not part of the book she is writing; it is set in 2019.  The friend thinks it should be incorporated, and also thinks the character’s races should be revealed.  The question of race does not come up and I’m uncertain as to the race of any of the characters really.  The main point of view, is the author, Hannah, and in her book, the main character, Winifred, called Freddie.  Freddie is an author, as are two of her male friends in the story.

The letters from the friend become increasingly bizarre.   He is more demanding about her changing things according to his thoughts.   I wonder how she became friends with him in the first place.  Apparently they have never met, but she wrote him to make some inquiries about the Boston setting.

In Hannah’s book,  the story begins as four people sitting at a table in the library hear a scream.  They get to talking and become fast friends.  Over the following weeks, they come to know each other further.  As writers, they have some interests in trying to solve the murder and aspects of it which don’t quite make sense.  There are continued attacks and there seems to be a connection between them, which put Freddie and her new friends in the watchful eye of the police.

I wondered about various characters as the killer but never really put it together.  There were some creepy aspects like a lost or stolen phone calling Freddie with weird screaming or texting her pictures of people’s doors including her own.   There are romantic elements between the characters to add another layer of emotion.  I enjoyed the unique way this story was told.

Anne - Books of My Heart
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 22-COYER

Posted June 9, 2022 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 24 Comments

24 responses to “The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

  1. Jen

    Wow… what a unique way to tell a story. It seems like it would be tough to know what was going on sometimes. Very interesting.

  2. I read a lot of mysteries but this one looks really different and interesting. My library just this one in audio so I think I need to give it a try. Great review!