This debut suffers from a few too many clichés but contains important truths about the effects of peer pressure and bullying.

FRIEND REQUEST

A Facebook message dredges up painful secrets from a woman’s past, one that she’s spent decades suppressing.

London freelance interior designer Louise Williams works hard to maintain the life she’s built for herself and her 4-year-old son, Henry. Sure, she doesn’t have many friends and still wishes her ex-husband, Sam, hadn’t left her for another woman. But she’s still safe from her past deeds, which Marshall parcels out to the reader in dribs and drabs through halting flashbacks to Louise’s high school years at Sharne Bay in Norwich. Semipopular by association, the younger Louise stayed on the fringes, loosely tethered to the cool girls by her friendship with sleek Sophie Hannigan. When new girl Maria Weston arrives, Louise thinks the two could be friends. But nasty rumors follow Maria, making her undesirable to the popular clique, so much so that she’s shunned to the point of bullying. Then, on the night of an end-of-year party, things go too far and Maria disappears, presumed dead. Louise takes this tragedy with her as she does everything possible to distance herself from Sharne Bay…until an unexpected Facebook friend request pops up, from Maria Weston. The virtual reappearance of Maria sends Louise into a tailspin as she tries to see if anyone else from Sharne Bay has been contacted. With a high school reunion coming up, Louise debates whether it’s worth attending and confronting her past head-on, as the messages from Maria become more threatening. The unveiling of Maria’s fate and the person or persons responsible is not much of a revelation given Marshall’s unfortunate habit of telegraphing plot twists.

This debut suffers from a few too many clichés but contains important truths about the effects of peer pressure and bullying.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4789-4851-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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DEATH ON THE NILE

A HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY (HERCULE POIROT MYSTERIES)

One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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