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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Such A Lovely Family

ISBN: 9781250891976

Publisher: Forge Books

Publication Date: 03/12/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Washington, D.C., and the Calhouns are in the midst of hosting their annual party to celebrate the best of the spring season. With a house full of friends, neighbors, and their beloved three adult children, the Calhouns are expecting another picture-perfect event.

But a brutal murder in the middle of the celebration transforms the yearly gathering into a homicide scene, and all the guests into suspects.

Behind their façade of perfection, the Calhoun family has been keeping some very dark secrets. Parents who use money and emotional manipulation to control their children. Two sons, one the black sheep who is desperate to outrun mistakes he’s made, and the other a new father, willing to risk everything to protect his child. And a daughter: an Instagram influencer who refuses to face the truth about the man she married.

As the investigation heats up, family tensions build, and alliances shift. Long-buried resentments surface, forcing the Calhouns to face their darkest secrets before it’s too late.

My Review

Aggie Blum Thompson returns following All the Dirty Secrets with her latest, SUCH A LOVELY FAMILY —A prestigious annual spring party turns into murder when all the dirty secrets and scandal are unraveled in this twisty locked-room murder suspense.

I have seen many cherry blossoms in several of the books I have read recently, and in springtime in Washington, DC, they are definitely blooming to set the stage for Aggie Blum Thompson's latest domestic thriller, SUCH A LOVELY FAMILY. As a stark contrast to the beautiful setting, darkness lurks underneath with the Calhoun's.

Meet the Calhoun's. They are a picture-perfect family on the outside to others, but what goes on behind closed doors is a different kind of picture.

Dive into the world of the uber-wealthy and privileged, where nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets and a hidden agenda.

To celebrate and kick off the season, there is a party at the wealthy home of the Calhouns in Washington, DC. Thom and Ginny Calhoun have three children:

TREY: Son. The black sheep of the family. He left family business to live in California. Driving under the influence and his girlfriend was killed. The family of course pulled him back in to control him and paid off his misdeeds. He is desperate to outrun his mistakes.

NATE: Son. Attends the party with his son, Malcolm and his nanny, Danit, whom he plans to marry. The parents are unhappy happy about this. He will do anything to protect his family.

ELLIE GRACE: Daughter. An IG influencer “Gingham Life” who lives off her father's money with her husband, Zak. She has her head in the sand about the man she married.

Thom and Ginny sent out the invitations, suggesting the attendees wear gingham. Ginny has a closet full of dresses, since her daughter is an influencer and companies supply her with clothing for her posts.

The Calhoun's are expecting a picture-perfect annual event with their three adult children, friends, and neighbors for a flawless night.

However, what happens is different. There is a brutal murder amid the celebration. It is a homicide scene, and all the guests are suspects. Two gunshots. Guests point their fingers. Alliances shift. Long-buried resentments surface, forcing the Calhouns to face their darkest secrets before it is too late.

Slowly, the mystery of each character is unraveled. The parents manipulate and control their children and hold money over their heads.

SUCH A LOVELY FAMILY is scandalous! From lies, dark secrets, drama, and a façade where everything looks perfect, however anything but. Fun and twisted, exploring the dark side of the privileged with a locked-room murder vibe. For fans of B.A. Paris and Kaira Rouda.

A wild, clever whodunit domestic suspense set in suburbia featuring a highly dysfunctional family.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pub Date: March 12, 2024


"Thompson gives each of her vivid characters plausible motives and overlapping secrets, effectively laying the groundwork for a cascade of plot twists, each more jolting than the last. The end result is a decadent, stay-up-all-night page-turner. "

―Publishers Weekly

"This is a fun, twisty story for readers looking to delve into the dysfunction of a well-to-do family." ―Booklist

“Riveting…a delicious dive into the world of wealth and privilege where nothing is as it seems and everyone has a hidden agenda. I flew through this page-turner!”

―Liv Constantine, internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

"Gripping and great fun, this tense and twisty thriller explores the dark side of privilege through an engaging cast of characters who all have something to hide. An addictive page-turner."

―Heather Chavez, author of Before She Finds Me

"A wealthy family, a locked room murder, and crafty writing make Such A Lovely Family crazy, good fun! Your next one-sitting read."

―Wendy Walker, bestselling author of What Remains

"Fun and engaging, Thompson's latest 'whodunnit,' showcases her knack for sly humor and building suspense. Secrets, money, murder... What could possibly go wrong?"

―Rachel Howzell Hall, bestselling author of What Never Happened and We Lie Here

"Fiendishly clever and wildly addictive, Such a Lovely Family is twisty perfection. By peeling back the polished surface of the Washington, DC, elite, Aggie Blum Thompson has crafted a masterful domestic suspense teeming with secrets stacked upon secrets. I absolutely inhaled it!" ―Kathleen Barber, author of Follow Me

"Everyone has something to hide in this sharp, clever, and irresistible thriller from the master of suburban scandal. I didn't want this addictive book to absolutely bingeable read!" ―Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 national bestselling author of Woman on the Edge and Watch Out for Her

About the Author

Aggie worked as a newspaper reporter, covering cops, courts, and trials, with a healthy dose of the mundane mixed in. Her writing has appeared in newspapers such as The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. A native New Yorker, she now lives just over the Washington D.C. line in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband, two children, cat, and dog.

Her two domestic thrillers — I DON’T FORGIVE YOU and ALL THE DIRTY SECRETS — both set in the Washington DC area, are available everywhere books are sold.

Her third novel — SUCH A LOVELY FAMILY — will be out early spring of 2024.



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