The Bottom Line: Fans of Big Little Lies are already on board with this lighthearted mystery, and you should be too.
Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work.
But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.
The story belongs to Frances Welty, a fictional best-selling romantic novelist, who arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?
It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.
While the story structure is reminiscent of both Clue and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the tone and character development is all Moriarty, who has become something of an auteur in the cozy mystery genre. Her success has spawned plenty of imitators, but there’s only one Moriarty.
For Moriarty’s die-hard fans, this will rank somewhere mid-pack among all her novels, and that’s good enough to convert plenty of first-time readers into followers.