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Summary

Someone is about to die....

Someone is about to lie....

At the intimate house-warming party for her glorious ‘grand design’, Kathleen confides in her best friend, Beth, that she is terrified of one of their close friends but daren’t reveal which one. The guests are a tight-knit group, but Kathleen is convinced one of them is dangerous.

The next day Kathleen’s body is found at the foot of a cliff, and Beth must face the sickening truth that she may have been killed by one of their trusted friends. With little help from the police, Beth’s decides to seek answers.

All the friends have secrets they are desperate to hide, but only one of them is ready to kill to keep theirs safe....

The House Party is set on the Isle of Wight - insular, claustrophobic and with nowhere to run. Mary Grand has written a heart-stopping novel of secrets, betrayal and desire, perfect for fans of Louise Candlish and Lucy Foley.

©2020 Mary Grand (P)2020 Boldwood Books

What listeners say about The House Party

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really gripping - murder with a human heart!

I really enjoyed this and was gripped from start to finish - the surprises and twists kept on coming right until the very, very end. It's a cleverly plotted murder mystery: at a house party of close friends, Beth's friend Kathleen confides in her that she's being threatened by someone at the party and she's frightened. Before Beth has had time to process this, Kathleen is found dead at the bottom of the cliff having apparently fallen trying to catch her beloved hens which had somehow broken loose.

Beth knows that something is wrong and so begins her complex investigation of all the friends at the party whose lives are intertwined through work and friendships, all of whom it emerges have secrets and possible motives. Even Beth herself has her secrets.... I can't give anything more away, but the whole plot is very cleverly worked out - I really couldn't guess who the murderer could be!

But it's more than just a murder mystery - Mary Grand has a skill for creating an immediately warm-hearted group of real families with all their stresses and strains which engage the listener from the very start, and the dialogue is lively and completely realistic. Then there's the delightful Isle of Wight setting with the unique island close-knit relationships and the lovely background of sea, woods, cliff-tops, 'Castleford' Castle - and fords and wind-swept walks for Olly, Beth's best-friend-spaniel.

The narration is first class - the narrator captures all the warm humanity of all these characters, all the nuances of emotion - and (which is hard) all the accents!

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Just awful

Boring, predictable, poor characterisation and dialogue. I didn’t particularly like the narration but she didn’t have much to work with!

4 people found this helpful

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Awful

Just couldn’t get into this book. Confusing and badly structured. Felt like you were reading the second book in a series. No idea who any of the characters were and just couldn’t face finding out. Just hated it so much I only managed to listen to a few chapters.

4 people found this helpful

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More promising than the start suggests

Whilst Beth the main narrator is completely irritating and the beginning seems corny it’s definitely worth persevering with this book which builds to something wholly satisfying

3 people found this helpful

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POOR writing

Appauling dialogue. It felt like listening to a kindergarden teacher explain things to kids. And not the brightest kids for that matter. It's the first time I read a published book with such poor craft. The writer should learn to trust their reader more and avoid being sooo on the nose and frankly obvious. On top of it, the characters seemed all samey. I didn't feel like they had much personality or voice. On the positive note though, they were diverse, and it's always good to see. The only truly strong point was the plot, I didn't expect the killer to be who it ended up being, so it was a nice surprise at the end. Also, this book came for free with my audiable subscription, so I'm not too mad about it, as it costed me nothing. Apart from time. But it was a time well spent on learning how not to write.

1 person found this helpful

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Kept me guessing

I usually work out who done quickly. But this time it kept pointing me back and forth and the characters were well developed. A mix of suspense and friendships breaking. I did work out who it was towards the end but that is good going. Nice one.

1 person found this helpful

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I struggled to keep interested

Unfortunately despite listening to the end it wasn’t the best book I have listened to by far. It could have been so much better. The ending wasn’t what I expected & was a bit of a let down. The narrator did a good job.

1 person found this helpful

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Mixed thoughts

Good story, lots of twists snd turns, but Beth was the most annoying character ever created! This did spoil the experience a little as she was unbelievable in her actions, and her friends accepting them !

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The accents and tone were awful!

The story was jumbled, the characters we meeting up with no explanation of where they were ……also the whole story was unbelievable. Also the tone of the reader was off when she was shocked / happy / sad- all the same.
BUT as a Welsh person the accent was awful!

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Awful plot, awfully read

The accents made it really confusing to tell who was who. The story was really bad too. Did bother!

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  • lisa
  • 29-09-20

very entertaining but drug out

I really enjoyed all the characters and the personalities of each one shown through. The story had an interesting premise and I did enjoy it, it could have just been told in half the time.

5 people found this helpful

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  • ASCH16
  • 16-12-20

Meh

This book was ok. None of the characters were particularly compelling and the story line was uninspiring. I listened until the end. The narrators voice was pleasant but I wonder if it added to the fragility of each character. Maybe sentences performed in a different tone would have made this cast of characters more dynamic. I don't know. Not trying to assign blame, just hoping to be objective towards the writing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Karenique
  • 07-10-21

Noooo. I should have known better.

Thankfully, this was a free book from Audible Plus catalogue. For two days, I tried to get into “The House Party,” but the “party” was dull and slowly dragged along. Narration by Karen Cass is once again horrendous. I had another book narrated by Cass and found her presentation annoying. Since it was free, I thought I’d give Cass another chance; a bad idea. Not recommended. I never made it through.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 05-10-21

Excellent mystery story!

Kept me on the edge of my seat and trying to figure things out with her all throughout the story! Very well written and performed!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bobbi M.
  • 14-10-21

Nice reading!

The story had so many characters and SO much detail it was easy to get lost. thank goodness Audible has the rewind a bit button!

The end was satisfying but not that was also where the details stopped.

Overall, nice book, great read, meh finish.

1 person found this helpful

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  • p
  • 11-10-21

I was a bit skeptical in the beginning

The beginning of the book had me very skeptical on whether or not I was going to even want to continue. I usually will try to get past the 1st chapter because II don't mind letting a book warm up. But I wasn't sure this one was gonna do it hahaha. I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few areas that is that I felt were a little scattered or 3rd or uncertain uncertain of where it was leading but in the end it all came together. I tend to listen to thrillers and mysteries is the mysteries because I like that it makes my brain think and this one had me bouncing back-and-forth between suspects the whole time. It was definitely a great lesson for my commute

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patricia Feinberg
  • 10-10-21

Unusual

I've never read a book taking place on the Isle of White. The characters had me going. I wasn't trusting ANYONE near the end (which in my opinion, makes it an outstanding mystery)!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-21

wonderful

First I tried this book because I liked the narrator and have been surprised by the story that twisted and twisted.. Love it!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • c.
  • 03-10-21

Nice listen

A little too long - but kept me guessing until the end. Performance is soothing to listen to and the story isn’t grisly. Lots of twists and turns.

1 person found this helpful

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  • John
  • 28-09-21

I Wish The Author Would Write More

The book was very enjoyable,.. if one thing could be changed it would be the choice of narrator,.. while I adore Karen Cass , she is better equipped to narrate cozy Christmas romance novels.

1 person found this helpful