Book Review: The Guest List

05.05.2020 | William Morrow
5/5 stars


Guests have gathered on an island off the coast of Ireland to celebrate the wedding of Will and Jules. Will is the handsome and charming, up and coming television star. Jules is the smart and ambitious online magazine publisher. Together they have had a whirlwind romance leading to their wedding day, where they want to show those closest to them how big of a power couple they are. Every detail has been expertly planned and coordinated to make this the event of the year. Perfection can’t stop a murder.


I first fell in love with Lucy Foley’s writing with THE HUNTING PARTY and then she went and solidified herself as an auto-buy author with THE GUEST LIST. This book is the ultimate gift to fans of classic locked room mysteries and Agatha Christie-esque stories. The beginning starts off slower with Foley introducing the reader to all of the players in this story. There is a lot of history revealed here in relation to the bride and groom, as well as their most valued guests. 

Sprinkled in between these alternating character narratives the reader is given a glimpse into the wedding night where hints are dropped regarding a murder. I loved these sections! Foley loves a good red herring and she certainly continually kept me on my feet trying to put clues together from this section and those coming from the individual characters. This writing style is reminiscent of Agatha Christie and her ability to fully captivate a reader and fool them without them even realizing it.


Foley doesn’t just give the reader an excellent and deliciously unreliable cast of characters within THE GUEST LIST, she also traps us with everyone on an extremely isolated island off the coast of Ireland. I love the way Foley uses this location to create a modern take on the locked room mystery. These types of mysteries always intrigue me, as the pool of suspects is clearly limited to just those present. Foley shows her true writing prowess by continually keeping the reader guessing while working with such a small pool of suspects.

I think it’s important to state that this book is not a thriller. To me THE GUEST LIST is an intricately plotted, classic work of crime fiction. There are certainly some intense moments, especially the roller coaster towards the end, but there is also a nice balance of slower, more character driven sections. I absolutely loved this story and cannot wait to see what Lucy Foley gives readers next!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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