The Guest List – Lucy Foley, 1 Murder and Many Guests

When my book club chose the Guest List, I was delighted that I would finally be able to read a popular mystery. Lucy Foley had attracted a lot of attention and made a name for herself with her book The Hunting Party, but she became famous with the Guest List. The book was nominated for the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 2020 and won the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller that same year.


For a long time, I approach books that won Goodreads awards with great prejudice, but my criteria change when it comes to detective books and mysteries. I’m not looking for literary depth in these kinds of books; I’m just looking to get a little excited, have fun, and escape from reality.

The Guest List takes place on an island that has become a character in its own right. This island off the coast of Ireland has a history that is as frightening as it is interesting. But the wedding of the year will be held on this island! The groom is a TV celebrity and very handsome; the bride owns a very successful and popular magazine, so the expectations about the wedding are huge.

The Guest List - Lucy Foley

However, the guests are not surprised when they hear that the wedding will be held on this strange island. After all, it is not possible to expect an ordinary wedding from these two like everyone else. Thanks to the wedding planner, the wedding is thoroughly planned. Everything is ready to have fun.

However, things soon take a turn for the worse. We begin to get to know each character one by one and learn the secrets they bring with them to the island. While pitying some, you will hate others; You will go back in time with them, reminisce about the old days, and get very drunk. You will not be able to predict for a long time who will be killed and why, and you will be excited.

The Guest List was pretty easy to read. The author tells the story through multiple POVs, and despite this, there is never a break in the story. She built the structure carefully and in a way that would not force the reader. In detective and thriller books, the focus is more on the story, and the characters are more or less in the background.

On the other hand, in the Guest List, there is a lot of emphasis on the characters. Since I am a reader who cares about character development, I can say that I really liked this situation. The story, on the other hand, has many layers, as different narrators tell it. I think it could not have been explained otherwise.

The Guest List reminded me a bit of the Agatha Christie books. The handling of the characters and that emotional element in the stories push people to read. If you’re looking for a fun thriller to read, I suggest you take a look at the Guest List. It is not a book that terrifies or scares people so that I can recommend it to everyone with peace of mind. I think it is one of the good books to read comfortably in this heat. Enjoy!

The Guest List - Lucy Foley

The Guest List

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favours, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Lucy Foley

the guest list lucy foley
Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley studied English literature at Durham University and University College London and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry. She is the author of The Book of Lost and Found and The Invitation. She lives in London.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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