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The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Bloodroot by Susan Wittig Albert
Chili Cauldron Curse by Lynn Cahoon
Crow by Candace Robinson and Amber R Duell
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Death Gone A-Rye by Winnie Archer
Death of an English Muffin by Victoria Hamilton
Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower
Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont
Hearts by Hilma Wolitzer
House of Cards by Michael Dobbs
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn and Christa Lewis (Narrator)
Montauk by Nicola Harrison
Nightschool: The Weirn Books Collector's Edition, Volume 2 by Svetlana Chmakova
On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young and Dina Pearlman (Narrator)
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker
A Playdate With Death by Ayelet Waldman
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
Sabrina: Something Wicked by Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish (illustrator)
A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing
To Know You're Alive by Dakota McFadzean
This is Munich by Miroslav Sasek
Those People by Louise Candlish
Unplugged by Gordon Korman
A Witch's Printing Office, Volume 2 by Mochinchi and Yasuhiro Miyama
Wondercat Kyuu-Chan Volume 1 by Sasami Nitori

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Big Little Lies: 05/07/21

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is centered on a death during a fundraiser at a school in Sydney, Australia. While it sounds like the set up for a mystery, it isn't. Instead it's a melodrama dressed up as literary fiction. The "mystery" aspect of it takes place in the first and last twenty five pages, for a total of about fifty pages in a four hundred page novel.

The focus instead is on a group of women — mothers of the children who attend the school. There are first wives, second wives, single mothers, and the men who they love, are married to, sleep with, and so forth.

Everyone is unhappy. Everyone is classist. Everyone is a Karen or a Chad by modern day slang. It's a predictable train wreck that we already know will end in a man dying. We know this from the first twenty-five or so pages. For me, this sort of set up is unsatisfying. For a more thrilling novel written in this fashion, I recommend Those People by Louise Chandlish (2019).

Looking just at the death, the narrational structure of this novel is a gender swapped version of "Lullaby of Broadway" — the original dark, blood sacrifice take on the nightlife of New York from Gold Diggers of 1935.

Two stars

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