Suddenly a Murder / Lauren Muñoz / Book Review


Izzy Morales and her best friend have always bonded over old movies--the glitz and glamor of the Golden Age of Hollywood. So a 1920s-themed graduation party at the famous Ashwood Manor (which just so happens to be the same place their favorite murder mystery was filmed) is the only way for them to end high school in style.

But what should be a unforgettable week-long getaway with their friends quickly turns sour when one of them is murdered. Unforgettable week indeed.

Trapped at the island manor as a storm descends, these friends don't know. Everyone's a suspect, and the detectives won't let them forget it. What's a little bit of murder between friends? Quite a lot when you're the girl who brought a knife--when you're Izzy Morales.



This might not be a serious thriller, but it's a Knives Out type of fun. It's got the atmosphere. It's got the vibes. It's like playing Clue: glitz, glamor, and a splash of blood as you work out the whodunnit.


Distinct POVs Multi-POV in teen thrillers seems to be this year's MO, and that comes with one big potential downfall: a bunch of perspectives that all sound the same. Not so here. Lauren Muñoz really nails these voices. Each feels distinct. The differences in perspective, in motive, in intention all read through in a way that only enhances the Clue nature of this 1920s-style thriller.

Best Friends One thing I'll never get tired of is books where girls are genuinely friends. This bestie duo really are besties. They've got their minor tensions, sure, but they've also got each other's back. They come from different social world, but that doesn't keep them apart. There's no real jealousy between them. They're ride-or-die friends, and not in a toxic way. They're there for each other, through thick and thin, and I love that.

Excellent Revelation The real turning point in any murder mystery is the denouement, the grand revelation. If it isn't quite so grand, the book will flop. But here, here the revelation is superb. There's so much build-up, so many secrets half-buried, hinted at. There are so many reasons why this could have happened, and the ultimate villain is hidden so well (but not too well that the clues aren't there, in retrospect). Lauren Muñoz provides a masterful peak to this glamorous murder mystery.


Though this book dips into several perspectives, the main perspective we get feels, unfortunately, a little like a trope in this particular genre. So many YA thrillers feature a middle or lower class main character embroiled in a friend group of a vastly different social class. This is a voice that, perhaps, feels more "relatable" as it highlights the evils of the rich (when told through the eyes of a have-not), and while it isn't necessarily a bad perspective, I've grown pretty tired of it. At this point, I've seen it a hundred times before. I want something new. Voice of the Commons

There's a thin line between fun and cringe, and unfortunately, when it came to these detectives, that line wasn't so delicately balanced. Though they certainly feel like the quirky caricatures that made Knives Out so popular, they also feel... rather TV. That is, they feel like stereotypes, down to old, interpersonal drama spilling into their professional lives. I didn't like it. I didn't buy it. TV Detectives

This book has excellent vibes, but the end result is a little bit slow. Why is that? Well, most of this book is spent eavesdropping. There's more listening for secrets, more talking to detectives, than actual action. Gossip and secrets are fun, but a proactive character would have really clinched this one. That I didn't get that was a bit underwhelming. Eavesdropping



Fans of e. lockhart's We Were Liars will like this new group of untrustworthy narrators. Those who enjoyed Gabriella Lepore's The Last One To Fall will enjoy jumping from suspect to suspect in this tenuous friend group.


Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books For Young Readers
Date: September 5, 2023
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. Excellent review of this YA book. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

  2. Wonderful review! This sounds like a fun read, especially since you mentioned Clue!

  3. The premise of this book defintely sounds intriguing, and I do like there are some similarities to Knives Out. Even though there are some downfalls, it does seem like a fun book to read!

  4. I really wasn’t that sudden…


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