cover image Invitation to a Killer

Invitation to a Killer

G.M. Malliet. Severn, $29.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0664-0

Agatha winner Malliet’s entertaining sequel to 2022’s Augusta Hawke opens at a book signing in Alexandria, Va., where mystery writer Augusta Hawke is surprised to be approached by Callie Moore, an influential D.C. lobbyist’s wife. Callie asks Augusta to ghostwrite her memoirs, which she promises will be filled with “scandals that will rip this city—and the world!—wide open.” When Augusta declines the offer, Callie counters with an invitation to one of her “Instagram-worthy dinner parties” and the chance to meet prominent literary agent Rem Larssen. Augusta accepts and finds herself in the company of former CIA agents, a congressman and his long-suffering wife, a famous media consultant, and a plastic surgeon to the stars, all of whom seem to be writing a memoir or a novel. As Augusta says, “all these writer manqués in one room could only lead to trouble.” Indeed, a guest dies, and Augusta is soon on the trail of a cunning killer. Along with a fair play mystery, readers are treated to some wry observations on politics and publishing (“Saying Rem Larsson is your literary agent is like saying the Pope is your religious confessor”). Fans of witty female amateur sleuths should pick this up. Agent: Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)