Little Pretty Things

A Novel

Lori Rader-Day

WINNER! Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • 350 pp
  • ISBN 978-1-63388-044-3
  • Paperback
  • $15.95
  • July 2015

World Rights

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Juliet Townsend is stuck in a dead-end job cleaning at a cheap motel, stealing little pretty things that catch her eye—until her former best friend and rival, Madeleine Bell, checks in. By morning, Juliet is no longer jealous of Maddy. She’s the chief suspect in her murder.

When a former friend and old high school rival, Madeleine Bell, checks into the hotel, Juliet adds envy to her bitterness. Well-dressed, flashing a diamond ring on her finger, and as beautiful as ever, Maddy is the very embodiment of Juliet's every dashed hope. But why would she choose to stay in the seedy Midnight Inn?

Before an answer to that question turns up, the next morning Juliet learns that Maddy has been found dead in her room. And the police have targeted Juliet as the chief suspect.

To protect herself, Juliet is forced to investigate the circumstances of Maddy's life and death. What she uncovers is that her onetime rival certainly never had it all. And Juliet may lose what little she has.

“Rader-Day again proves herself a deft manipulator of dark atmosphere, witty dialogue, and complex, charismatic characters. Highly recommended for psychological thriller groupies, especially those who walk on the literary side of the genre and favor books like Tana French’s Faithful Place and Cornelia Read’s Madeline Dare series.”

“Pack this one in your beach bag and get your book clubs ready - I think we’ve found this year’s hottest summer title!”

“As a small town gears up for the ten-year reunion of the class that brought track-team glory, there’s a thin skin of expectation over a well of melancholy a mile deep. Juliet Townsend has been in limbo since graduation, but now the return and shocking murder of her rival, Maddy Bell, offers an unexpected second chance at living. An atmospheric unpeeling of painful secrets, Little Pretty Things will resonate with everyone who has ever been a girl in trouble or ever tried to save one. A serious message skillfully wrapped in a gripping page-turner. Irresistible.”
—CATRIONA MCPHERSON, Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Bruce Award–winning author of the Edgar® nominated The Day She Died

“A searing, psychological suspense novel about small-town dreams shattered by a deadly secret.”
—TERRY SHAMES, Macavity Award–winning author of A Killing at Cotton Hill

“Little Pretty Things will have you turning pages faster than the cars zipping by on the interstate. A gripping tale of old wounds, dark secrets, and the simmering regrets of those left behind, this is psychological suspense at its finest.”
—LYNNE RAIMONDO, author of Dante’s Dilemma

Praise for The Black Hour:

An exceptional debut…. An irresistible combination of menace, betrayal, and self-discovery.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

“Captivates from page one…. This reviewer was bowled over by the novel’s alternating points of view, superb storytelling, and pitch-perfect take on academia.”
—Library Journal STARRED REVIEW and Mystery Debut of the Month

“An unputdownable read.”

“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock…. Riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”
—LibraryReads #3 pick for July 2014
“Addictive…. A perfect thriller for the summer.”

“An unusual protagonist, a timely crime, and outstanding writing make Lori-Rader-Day’s The Black Hour a stand-out debut.”
—SARA PARETSKY, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and New York Times bestselling author

Lori Rader-Day, author of The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things, is a two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee and the recipient of the 2014 Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and other publications. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and serves as the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter. Her third novel will be released by Harper Collins William Morrow in spring 2017.

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