A review by robotswithpersonality
The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill

mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Okay, THIS is what I want my murder mysteries to be like. Book w/i a book w/i a book? If a book tells the story of an author writing a story that begins with an author writing a story...feels kinda M.C. Escher! Speaking of drawn hands, can I just say how much I love this cover?
Incidentally, I'm sorry for anyone who picked this up thinking it was a thriller. The pace is slower, though the gradual build up of information, tension, suspicion and reveals really worked for me. There are many charming moments, even charming characters, which has not been my (brief) experience of thrillers either.
I could make a lot of individual character commentary but it's more fun if you learn it as you read. 
The remarks throughout on social issues playing into the narrative, make for interesting reflections for the reader. The clap back with the hoodies? The Australian cafe uniform? Ohmigod I LOVED it. 
The epistolary portion of this work does cover 2020 events - Australian bush fires, pandemic outbreak, Black Lives Matter protests and (prejudiced character) discussing race so be warned; might be redundant for murder mystery but warning also for descriptions of violence/murder.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings