The Appeal (Paperback)
  • The Appeal (Paperback)
  • The Appeal (Paperback)
  • The Appeal (Paperback)
  • The Appeal (Paperback)
  • The Appeal (Paperback)
  • The Appeal (Paperback)
The Appeal (Paperback) The Appeal (Paperback) The Appeal (Paperback) The Appeal (Paperback) The Appeal (Paperback)

The Appeal (Paperback)

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Paperback 464 Pages
Published: 01/07/2021
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Waterstones Says

A drama production and a fundraiser lead to murder in this fiendishly clever whodunit, presented as a series of documents – emails, messages and transcripts – that hold the keys to the mystery.

Waterstones Thriller of the Month for July 2021

Shortlisted for The British Book Awards 2022 Crime & Thriller Book of the Year

Winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2022

In a town full of secrets... Someone was murdered. Someone went to prison. And everyone's a suspect. Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Reader - enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death. Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What's more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players' staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick's life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered. Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?

The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel. 

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788165303
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 364 g
Dimensions: 198 x 128 x 34 mm
Edition: Main


This dazzlingly clever cosy crime novel in emails completely trumps Richard Osman... Hallett uses the epistolatory form to superb effect in this terrific debut - Sunday Times

Agatha Christie for the 21st century. A dazzlingly clever murder mystery, told via emails, about sinister goings-on in an amateur dramatics group - The Times

Witty, clever and completely addictive - Mail on Sunday

This witty thriller is giving Richard Osmond's Thursday Murder Club a run for its money in the cosy crime stakes, as it continues to charm readers. Hallett's debut, set in a sleepy town where an am-dram production of All My Sons is in the works, is funny and full of twists. Amateur sleuths and thespians alike will love it - Evening Standard

It's hilarious, intriguing and absolutely unputdownable - Stylist

This ingeniously conceived whodunnit encourages the reader to turn detective in a murder case set against the backdrop of an amateur dramatic club. Brain-twistingly clever - Metro

If you're looking for a crime novel that is very different but very satisfying I thoroughly recommend The Appeal by Janice Hallett. I loved it - Elly Griffiths

The whole thing is a delight... Teasing out the mystery in the madness is nearly as fun as searching for the solution - New York Times (Best Books of 2022)

A breath of fresh air in the thriller market. Cleverly constructed - because it is not only about what is being said, but also about what is not being said - it is peopled with characters who are both believable and relatable, including a murderer hidden in plain sight. A literary triumph - B.A. Paris, author of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Very gripping. I loved the ambitious and unusual approach - Sophie Hannah, bestselling author of HAVEN'T THE GROWN

[A] daring debut... Hallett will soon have you laughing out loud... The Appeal is clever and funny - The Times

This debut mystery from British author Hallett is a kick: a whodunit epistolary novel in which a pair of young lawyers sort through a mountain of emails, messages and letters to try to sort out a mysterious death in an amateur theatrical troupe - Seattle Times

I couldn't put it down. [Hallett's] take on the epistolary novel is so involving AND funny at the right moments. Puts the reader right in the thick of it, as we become the spyware eavesdropping on all these private emails and messages. Brilliant idea and SO cleverly executed - Diane Setterfield, author of ONCE UPON A RIVER

If you're looking for something insanely gripping to take to the sofa with, then run to The Appeal by Janice Hallett. It's a brilliantly fresh, ingenious and original whodunnit that is heading to the top of the bestseller chart if there's any justice. So, so good - India Knight, author of IN YOUR PRIME

The Appeal grips from the start, expertly stage-managing emails and messages to create an intriguing mystery with a cast of vivid, memorable characters. Original, clever, devious - and never less than utterly compelling - this is a case you're about to become obsessed with. A real triumph - Alex North, bestselling author of THE WHISPER MAN

Takes the whodunnit to a whole new level. Intriguing, clever and above all, wholly original. A rare feat indeed, and to be savoured - Elizabeth Haynes, bestselling author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER

One of the most enjoyable books I've read all year. Extremely addictive, it will reel you in, one piece of evidence at a time. Ingenious and highly original - Alex Pavesi, author of EIGHT DETECTIVES

Wholly original, constructed as delicately as a spiderweb, and as heartfelt as it is intelligent, I could not stop reading The Appeal - Catriona Ward, author of THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET

Fiendishly clever, highly original and totally gripping - Cass Green, bestselling author of IN A COTTAGE IN A WOOD

Sly, funny, perfectly observed and clever. A superior and sophisticated Midsomer Murders packed with delicious red herrings - Kate Griffin, author of KITTY PECK AND THE MUSIC HALL MURDERS

What a book. It has galvanised me to do better! Exceptional - Matt Wesolowski, author of SIX STORIES

Fresh, funny and impossible to put down. The Appeal is about an amateur dramatics group and an appeal to raise funds for a sick child and it's brilliant - Mark Edwards, bestselling author of THE HOUSE GUEST

Brilliantly crafted, The Appeal is a refreshingly different take on the modern crime novel. Full of suspicion and secrets, I raced my way to the end - and what an ending! - Lisa Hall, author of THE PARTY

What a cracking book. Fresh, original and very clever - Mel Sherratt, author of TAUNTING THE DEAD

Brilliantly original, inventive and clever. I loved this book and you will too - Phoebe Morgan, author of THE DOLL HOUSE

Ingenious and page-turning traditional crime given an original twist... like a modernised Agatha Christie - Maxim Jakubowski, CRIME TIME

Highly original with characters that leap off the page. An addictive read - Michelle Frances, author of THE GIRLFRIEND

I loved this - it's utterly compulsive and unlike anything I've read in a while. It is such a cliché to say it, but I genuinely could NOT put it down. Bravo - Katie Lowe, author of THE FURIES

A very clever novel that puts you in the place of an investigator. A hugely enjoyable challenge and a most original book - Jane Lythell, author of THE LIE OF YOU

A totally original take on a thriller - intriguing and dark but with a dash of humour - I raced through it - Catherine Cooper, author of THE CHALET

A wonderfully revealing portrait of how we communicate - what we hide and show of ourselves. It's sharp, funny, a brilliant game, and once you start playing you won't be able to stop - Rachel Elliot, author of WHISPERS THROUGH A MEGAPHONE

So cleverly written. I felt like I was a trainee lawyer sifting through evidence and trying to discover the culprit. It was exciting, fresh, and forces the reader to be an active investigator. I loved it - Louise Mullins, author of I KNOW YOU

What a book. Right up there with the best I've read this year. Great characters, smart structure, and kept me guessing all the way to the end - Dan Malakin, author of THE REGRET

A brilliant hybrid of Agatha Christie and Silk - Guy Morpuss, author of BLACK LAKE MANOR

I haven't enjoyed a book this much since Standard Deviation. Congratulations, Janice Hallett! - Louise Voss, author of THE LAST STAGE

Fantastic. Gives you that deliciously satisfying feeling of reading other people's private emails - S.V. Leonard, author of THE ISLANDERS

An utterly compelling whodunnit putting the reader at the centre of the action. A must read for thriller fans. A blistering, page-turner of a debut - Michael Wood, author of THE SEVENTH VICTIM

Highly original... for a first novel it is a tour de force - Crime Review

Will have you reading between the lines to discover whose hands are covered in blood - USA Today (Best Beach Reads)

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I read this due to the positive reviews but I was a little disappointed by it. I have to say I don't think it is that innovative. Told as a series of emails the basic premise is that of a series of letters or... More

Paperback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 25

“A big disappointment”

I think this is very much a Marmite book and for me it was a huge let down. I found trawling through the endless emails a chore and by the half way point I really wasn’t bothered who’d committed a crime!

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 10


The format, while original, become tiresome after a very short while. The quirky presentation of the characters and story seemed more important than the actual content. Although an avid reader of crime novels, this... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

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