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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

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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!

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • p
  • 10-11-21

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

2 people found this helpful

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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)!

2 people found this helpful

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wonderful

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • c.
  • 10-03-21

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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Redford
  • 08-13-20

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!

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Daisy
  • 08-20-21

Just awful

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

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Christie
  • 05-02-21

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jules Blunt
  • 08-13-21

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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  • Mrs. S. J. Baldwin
  • 12-10-21

I tried. I really did…

The most longwinded, tedious book.
I often felt the narrator was bored as well.

I didn’t stay to find out who did it as I didn’t care

1 person found this helpful

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  • Natasha L
  • 11-01-21

Scooby Don’t

This story was about 50% longer than it should have been. The writing was so clumsy at times and went off on bizarre tangents that didn’t really relate to the story and the way characters spoke to each other was really unnatural. The narrator was good at the accents but had a tendency to talk in strange intonations and to talk in a raspy way at the back of her throat. It was really irritating. I only finished this because I had invested so much time in trying to get to some kind of point of the story. The big reveal of “who dunnit” was akin to Scooby Doo when they solve a mystery - it just seemed totally unbelievable.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Richmond Reader
  • 10-30-21

Awful book amd equally bad narration.

This is the book that a bright eleven year old might have charmed out

Writing is clunky, tedious and childish. Everything is explained to the reader through completely unnatural dialogue and description, and I can’t say the characters were badly drawn as they weren’t drawn at all. I had no idea or interest in any of them.

Narration was duller than dull and sounded automated with some strange inflections.

Couldn’t finish it and that’s rare for me. Don’t care who did it and just irritated that I wasted time on 10 chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ANDYS2TYRED
  • 10-23-21

Don’t waste your time!

Well read but a terrible childish story, over explained plots, just all round daft, thank goodness I didn’t pay for this, only wasted my time!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • S.
  • 10-23-21

Not so good.

I don't usually leave negative negative reviews bit this really irritated me. Too many characters, didn't get to know any of them spectacularly well. Narrator not particularly emotive. Too many accents...

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Rigby
  • 10-16-21

jesus what a load of poo

Its so terrible. I hoped the end would consist of a mass brawl in which they all killed each other. Boring characters, boring story, terrible narration. It also could have been half the length, some of the dialogue is just pointless. ugh. I'm annoyed at such a waste of time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • User367
  • 10-05-21

Very enjoyable

One of the things I liked most is that this is a read where nothing really happens. Instead, you're left to soak in the atmosphere and the characters. It's also predictable. Drama and a dozen twists and turns are not added just for the sake of it. This book is comfortable just letting the reader be - and I appreciated that.

What I liked

*Beth. Lovely 💕
*great narration
*Beth and Sammy's marriage
*Gemma
*Ollie 🐶
*Atmosphere. Cosy. Enjoyable.
*everyone'sasuspect 🔪
*whodunit reveal

Things to mention

*nothing actually happens at the house party
*do cabs not exist on the island? 🚕
*beth is definite each person did it at one point or another. Rinse and repeat.
*killer'svoiceisawful! 💀

Overall a very enjoyable listen. I will happily read more by this author and narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-22

Cleverly done

Very cleverly written the suspense in this book builds the whole way through as you try to work out who can be trusted and who can’t.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Melle
  • 12-13-21

Lacking authenticity and interest

WHO. ARE. THESE. HORRIBLE, PEOPLE??!!

There is not a likable person is this story, nor do any of them act or talk in an authentic or believable way.

I guess Beth is supposed to be our "hero"; certainly other characters make comments at the end which indicate so, but she's truly dreadful. Judgmental, gossipy and incredibly rude, she blunders along her "investigation" with her foot permanently in her mouth, and behaving in a disgraceful manner. She also never comes across as convincingly upset about Kathleen's death. It's one of those "everyone becomes a suspect" type stories, but it's not done very deftly or interestingly. When the killer is finally revealed, I could see some attempt to leave breadcrumbs throughout the story was made.

Hard to judge the narrator. She certainly has the Welsh accent but there is something about that lyrical, lilting accent that undermines the seriousness and drama of the story. It sounds more like a comedy or farce.


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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-21

intriguing little disappointed

Susie. listening drew me into the story.. but the end was very disappointing too fast

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-21

Audible fan Sydney

Really enjoyed this story. A little slow in the middle but I kept changing my mind as to who the bad guy was. It all came together in the end. Well worth listening to.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen M Hall
  • 11-08-21

Dull.

What dull, slow characters, doing dull things slowly and having dull, mundane conversations. Incredibly awkward and stilted dialogue too.
There’s virtually nothing here to maintain the reader’s interest. I’m actually surprised it got professionally published.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerry EVitts
  • 11-02-21

Great easy listen

Easy to listen too and follow along, great narrater! Highly recommend this book to everyone

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rev. Kate
  • Rev. Kate
  • 10-13-21

A good story... after the first 5 chapters.

Sadly the first 5 chapters are choppy. The sentences are disjointed and do not flow. And it appears as if the author is poor at setting the scene.

After the first 5 chapters, however, the story flows better and it has more detail and interest. It is a very dialogue laden book, but the dialogue does improve as the story goes on.

The twists and turns are interesting and entertaining, and plausible in the story, so well done.
Not a challenging story, but an interesting one and the plot is good.
Worth a listen.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • elizabeth b.
  • 12-05-20

No bad but too long

This needed an edit and the narrator although ok really needed a bit more work on the characters.
I would have stopped but gave it a bit more time. Edit. It needed an edit.