The Busy Body: A Witty Literary Mystery with a Stunning Twist (Hardcover)

The Busy Body: A Witty Literary Mystery with a Stunning Twist By Kemper Donovan Cover Image
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February 2024 Indie Next List


“This crazy caper will keep you eagerly turning the pages until the mystery is solved. The funky cast of characters are all-too relatable and their exploits keep getting nuttier until the final reveal. This is a fun, truly entertaining read.”
— Sarah Badger, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

Description


"A delight from start to finish. If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll love this.” - Alex Michaelides, # 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient

Veep meets Agatha Christie in this intelligent, wildly funny, literary mystery for fans of Richard Osman, Anthony Horowitz, and Nita Prose!

The host of the "All About Agatha" podcast injects the spark and fizz of a Golden Age murder mystery into the present-day, as a ghostwriter is chosen to collaborate on a presidential candidate’s memoir, only to discover just how much trouble a smart woman with time on her hands can get up to . . .


“I tell other people’s stories for a living. . . . I nip and tuck their excesses, soften their hard edges, polish whatever an armada of editors and publicists deem unsightly till it sparkles.”

It’s a dream assignment. Former Senator Dorothy Gibson, aka that woman, is the most talked-about person in the country right now, though largely for the wrong reasons. As an independent candidate for President of the United States, Dorothy split the vote and is being blamed for the shocking result. After her very public defeat, she’s retreated to her home in rural Maine, inviting her ghostwriter to join her.

Her collaborator is impressed by Dorothy’s work ethic and steel-trap mind, not to mention the stunning surroundings (and one particularly gorgeous bodyguard). But when a neighbor dies under suspicious circumstances, Dorothy is determined to find the killer in their midst. And when Dorothy Gibson asks if you want to team up for a top secret, possibly dangerous murder investigation, the only answer is: “Of course!”

The best ghostwriters are adept at asking questions and spinning stories . . . two talents, it turns out, that also come in handy for sleuths. Dorothy’s political career, meanwhile, has made her an expert at recognizing lies and double-dealing. Working together, the two women are soon untangling motives and whittling down suspects, to the exasperation of local police. But this investigation—much like the election—may not unfold the way anyone expects . . .

"Kemper Donovan’s voice is original, captivating, and assured." —Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six

"Kemper Donovan has created a hugely entertaining character, a ghost writer and amateur sleuth, who is wry, gossipy and completely compelling. The investigation into a murder disguised as a suicide is full of twists and turns worthy of a classic mystery novel." —Alex Michaelides, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient

"A gripping and highly entertaining mystery, with ingenuity and flair aplenty, and a wonderful detective character that readers will be dying to meet again." —Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author

"The Busy Body is a thoroughly modern, Agatha-Christie-esque mystery set in a sumptuous corner of moneyed, Maine wilderness. It's a delightfully escapist, page-turner." —Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Friends Like These

About the Author


Kemper Donovan is an acclaimed author and host of the podcast “All About Agatha.” A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, he worked at the literary management company Circle of Confusion for a decade before transitioning to writing full-time. He is a member of the New York Bar Association, PEN America, and Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his husband and daughters in Los Angeles and can be found online at KemperDonovan.com.

Praise For…


Praise for The Busy Body:
A Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books Selection
A January 2024 Library Reads Pick
A February 2024 IndieNext Pick

"The Busy Body is a thoroughly modern, Agatha Christie-esque mystery set in a sumptuous corner of moneyed, Maine wilderness. It's a delightfully escapist, page-turner." —Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Friends Like These

“Kemper Donovan has created a hugely entertaining character, a ghost writer and amateur sleuth, who is wry, gossipy and completely compelling. The investigation into a murder disguised as a suicide is full of twists and turns worthy of a classic mystery novel. The Busy Body is a delight from start to finish. If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll love this.”—Alex Michaelides, # 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient

“Given Kemper’s knowledge and admiration of Agatha Christie—he cohosts the podcast All About Agatha—it isn’t surprising that he displays a similar flair for clever cluing and crafty characterization, not to mention the ability to throw in a killer plot twist at the end that would make Dame Agatha proud. Fans of David Handler’s equally entertaining Stewart Hoag series or those in search of a modern take on classic crime fiction will snap up this stellar mystery debut, which delivers an addictive mix of Dorothy Parker’s waspish wit and Agatha Christie’s deft hand at ingenious plotting.” Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

“A gripping and highly entertaining mystery, with ingenuity and flair aplenty, and a wonderful detective character that readers will be dying to meet again.” —Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author

“Lively, clever storytelling with outsize energy.” Kirkus Reviews

“There are overtones of Agatha Christie and Knives Out, both in the unlikeliness of the mystery and the
cleverness of its solution. This is, I guess, no surprise as Donovan hosts the podcast ‘All About Agatha.’” BookPage

“Readers will love this witty, fast-moving story that ends with the typical Christie gathering of subjects.” Booklist

“Sometimes it’s the setting that grabs you. Often it’s the plot. But here, it is two fabulous characters who come together and through sharp dialogue create a story that both cozy and traditional-mystery readers will love.” firstCLUE


“Given Kemper’s knowledge and admiration of Agatha Christie, it isn’t surprising that he displays a similar flair for clever cluing and crafty characterization, not to mention the ability to throw in a killer plot twist at the end that would make Dame Agatha proud..” Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Praise for Kemper Donovan’s The Decent Proposal:

“As clever as it is hopeful. Whether talking about the secret menu at In-N-Out or matters as grand as life and death, Kemper Donovan’s voice is original, captivating, and assured. This book is both a moving love letter to Los Angeles and a thoughtful rumination on what people can mean to one another.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six

“Delightful…Peopled by appealing characters and filled with lush descriptions of the diverse L.A. landscape, Donovan’s winning first novel offers up a page-turning tale brimming with heart.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“A romantic tale with a heart and a brain—and a mystery that will keep you turning the pages.” —W Magazine

“A sharp, wise, and hilarious novel. Think ENTOURAGE meets Tom Wolfe with a touch of INDECENT PROPOSAL. . . We loved it!” —Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza, authors of The Knockoff

“Full of heart and humor, Donovan’s debut is a classic LA love story.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

“Impossible to put down, this character-rich, breakout novel will make your heart burst with love. You’ll turn the pages so fast you might get a paper cut.” —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance

“Donovan takes what might have been a derivative tale and colors it with poignancy and self-discovery . . . Artful and arresting.” —Library Journal

“Smart and observant. . . A strong, omniscient narrator anchors Donovan’s deconstructed, opposites-attract love story where emotional stakes deepen as the story unfolds. References to pop culture, classic literature and movies—along with snappy dialogue and well-drawn characterizations, especially in the cast of supporting players—infuse a clever plot filled with surprising twists that will keep readers entertained and in suspense.” Shelf Awareness
Product Details
ISBN: 9781496744531
ISBN-10: 1496744535
Publisher: A John Scognamiglio Book
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English