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The Hunting Party



I don’t know about you, but I could use a literary escape these days, and for me, that means mysteries! If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll like The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.

Alfred Hitchcock said that mysteries are intellectual puzzles, and I agree. (I’m not likely to disagree with anything Hitchcock says about storytelling.) Really all stories, regardless of the genre, are puzzles that need to be solved. As readers, we’re always asking ourselves some form of “What happens next?”. Often the puzzle is subtle; we might not even notice it.

With mysteries though, the puzzle is right there on the table. It’s a battle of wits between the writer and the reader.

Leslie Watts and me at a recent Story Grid event in Nashville, TN.

In The Hunting Party, nine friends have gathered in a remote hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands. A major snowstorm hits, trapping them there with two other guests and three employees. So, when one of the friends is killed, they know the murderer must be among them.

This is very much a whodunnit. The focus is on solving the crime and there’s very little description of the death itself, save general descriptions of blood splatters. There’s also zero emphasis on police procedures because there aren’t any cops at the lodge.

Foley tells the story primarily in first person, but from the point of view of multiple guests. Although it’s not clear who they’re talking to, it’s kind of fun to hear the same events told from different angles. Obviously they’re all unreliable narrators and they all have something to hide, but they’re not all guilty. So, whodunnit?

The Hunting Party is like a literary game of Clue and it’s loads of fun. Even if you solve this mystery before the end, you’ll still enjoy the ride.




Available in print, digital and audio versions. Visit your local library or click here to buy the ebook. If your library doesn’t carry this book, ask them to order it.







Audiobook Review



I’m absolutely loving the way audiobooks are being produced these days. WithThe Hunting Party, we’ve once again got an ensemble of professionals bringing the printed word to life. Gary Furlong, Elle Newlands, Morag Sims, Imogen Church and Moira Quirk all give fantastic performances. If you’ve got Audible credits to burn, spend them on this one!

NOTE: If there are little ears around, you’ll want to use headphones. There are some mild references to sex and violence.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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