Looking for a list of Lucy Foley books in recommended reading order? You’ve come to the right place.
Bestselling British author Lucy Foley is a favorite among fans of contemporary mystery and crime fiction and critics alike. She also writes historical fiction. Further, one of her short stories is included in a collection of Agatha Christie fan fiction focusing on Christie’s iconic character Mrs. Marple. Accordingly, Alex Michaelides, author of The Silent Patient, has said that Foley’s work is “Reminiscent of Agatha Christie at her best — with an extra dose of acid.”
Her work has been recognized in the New York Times Best Thrillers of 2020, the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller and as a CWA Gold Dagger Award Longlist.
Foley studied English literature at Durham University and University College London. She worked as an editor at Headline Publishing Group and Hodder & Stoughton before writing full-time.
Foley’s work is known for suspense, twists, turns, and psychological elements that keep readers guessing. In an interview with Parade, Foley said, “I love the confessional nature of the first-person point of view. It feels intimate, privileged. We’re getting a chance to see inside these characters’ heads, understand their motivations, see things play out from their point of view—even the less likable among them.”
At least two of her books have been picked up for possible adaptation to the screen.
1) The Hunting Party
This book, hailed among Foley’s greatest works, comprises a dynamic plotline with an isolated, snowy setting, a group of friends choosing to laze the New Year’s Eve in the Scottish Highlands, and an eventual murder during their trip. The narrative spans across multiple viewpoints, its tension irresistible, keeping you rooted till the very end.
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.
The trip begins innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps, just as a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.
Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead. . . and another of them did it.
2) The Guest List
This bestseller book contains the needed suspense that keeps every reader engaged, a posh wedding on an island off the Irish coast, a group of people with secrets, and a murder. The narrative flows through an assortment of perspectives, hurling you towards an epic plot twist that’d leave you gasping for breath.
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 favors, 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?
3) The Invitation
Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him.
One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella.
Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it’s just for a night.
Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won’t cross again.
But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together, after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist.
An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime — acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.
4) The Book of Lost and Found
More than five thousand readers have (mostly) professed their love for The Book of Lost and Found on Amazon. The book, which takes places in Paris, Corsica and London, is a fan favorite.
Kate Darling’s enigmatic mother — a once-famous ballerina — has passed away, leaving Kate bereft.
When her grandmother falls ill and bequeaths to Kate a small portrait of a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Kate’s mother, Kate uncovers a mystery that may upend everything she thought she knew.
Kate’s journey to find the true identity of the woman in the portrait takes her to some of the world’s most iconic and indulgent locales, revealing a love story that began in the wild 1920s and was disrupted by war and could now spark new love for Kate.
Alternating between Kate’s present-day hunt and voices from the past, The Book of Lost and Found casts light on family secrets and love — both lost and found.
5) Last Letter from Istanbul
This work of historical fiction is among Foley’s least-known and lauded work. However, readers are in for a treat as the landscape of Istanbul and rich detail deliver a singularly immersive experience.
Before the Occupation, Nur’s city was a tapestry of treasures: the Grand Bazaar alive with colour, trinkets and spices; saffron sunsets melting into the black waters of the Bosphorus; the sweet fragrance of the fig trees dancing on the summer breeze . . .
Now the shadow of war hangs over the city, and Nur lives for the protection of a young boy with a terrible secret.
Stumbling through the streets, carrying the embroideries that have become her livelihood, she avoids the gazes of the Allied soldiers.
Survival is everything.
When Nur chances upon George Monroe, a medical officer in the British Army, it is easy to hate him.
Yet the lines between enemy and friend grow fainter. She and the boy would both be at risk. Nur knows that she cannot afford to fall – impossibly and dangerously – in love . . .
Lucy Foley Books in Order of Publication
The Book of Lost and Found (2015)
The Invitation (2016)
Last Letter from Istanbul (2017)
The Hunting Party (2018)
The Guest List (2020)
Marple: Twelve New Mysteries (2022)
The Paris Apartment (2022)