The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
Simon & Schuster: 6/18/19
eBook review copy; 352 pages
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda is a very highly recommended mystery set along the coast in Maine.
Littleport, Maine is a summer playground for the wealthy and a simple
harbor community dependent on tourism for the year-round residents. One
surname that stands above all the others is Loman. The Loman's not only
own a remarkable mansion on the shore, they also own a large number of
rental properties currently managed by Avery Greer. Avery is a local,
but she is best friends with Sadie Loman for almost a decade and has
been welcomed into the Loman fold. They have stepped in to help after
her parents and grandmother died and Avery had no one.
At the end of the summer in 2017 the young twenty-something adults
are throwing their traditional last party of the year. Avery is setting
it up at one of the Loman rentals while Sadie plans to meet her there
later. Avery texts Sadie, but never gets an answer. The party gets
underway and while Avery is keeping an eye open for Sadie, she never
shows. When the police come to talk to Sadie's older brother, Parker,
Avery learns that Sadie was found dead. It was ruled a suicide but now,
as the anniversary of her death approaches in 2018, Avery can't help but
look into Sadie's death on her own - especially after her phone is
found in a chest of blankets in the cottage where the party was.
The narrative alternates between events in 2017 and 2018. Avery is a
wonderful character, well developed and complex. She has a past, but has
overcome much to get where she is now. And she's smart. She knows there
is something going on, that someone is lying because Sadie wouldn't
kill herself, but there are several suspects and chief among them is
Avery, so she has to covertly begin to investigate what happened and
piece clues together on her own if she wants answers.
This is an excellent mystery - and the key to my enjoyment is viewing The Last House Guest as
a mystery rather than a thriller. With the flood of thrillers on the
market, it is refreshing to read a mystery. A murder has happened under
suspicious circumstances and we have out intrepid heroine trying to
piece together clues in order to figure out what really happened. Avery
is clever and it was enjoyable to follow her investigation as well as
get her insights into all the people involved. This is a wonderful
choice for summer reading.
The pacing is great as the narrative alternates between what happened
in 2017 and Avery's clandestine investigation in 2018. I especially
enjoyed the conclusion of the novel. It was a well-played climax and a
My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.