The Octopus

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What to expect

Agatha Christie meets Mulholand Drive in this stylish exploration of power, manipulation and murder . . .

There’s more than one way to capture a life.

When Elspeth arrives at her ex-husband’s LA mansion for his 50th birthday party, she’s expecting a crowd for the British film director. Instead, there are just seven other guests and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank.

Come morning, Richard is dead.

In the weeks that follow, each of the guests come under suspicion: the school friend, the studio producer, the actress, the actor, the new boyfriend, the manager, the cinematographer and the ex-wife, Elspeth herself. As stories of Richard’s past surface, colliding with Elspeth’s memories of their marriage, she begins to question not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited, and what sort of man would want to trap this mysterious, intelligent creature.

From the LA hills to the Norfolk marshes, The Ninth Guest is a stylish exploration of power: the power of memory, the power of perception, the power of one person over another.

(P) 2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critics Review

  • Dark, compelling Hollywood intrigue and a diverse cast of well-drawn characters make The Ninth Guest a unique locked-room mystery that readers will simply devour! It’s perfect for fans of Lucy Foley

    Wendy Walker, bestselling author of DON'T LOOK FOR ME
  • Tess Little is a modern Agatha Christie, setting up her nine suspects, locking them in a sprawling Los Angeles mansion, and knocking them down one by one over the course of a decadent, stomach-turning dinner party. The Ninth Guest kept me guessing until the very last

    Tanen Jones, author of THE BETTER LIAR
  • With a knowing satirical eye, Tess Little skillfully weaves a page-turner full of satisfying twists and turns

    Kyle McCarthy, author of EVERYONE KNOWS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU
  • With skewering intensity and taut, unsettling prose, Tess Little plunges us into the kaleidoscopic glamour of Hollywood, where the eccentric birthday party of a brilliant, sadistic director forces the eruption of long-buried pain. Timely, smart and satisfying

    Paula McLain, bestselling author of THE PARIS WIFE
  • Elspeth’s emotional journey both grips and gratifies. Little is a writer to watch

    Publisher's Weekly
  • A novel you will easily devour in just a few sittings, it’s unexpected and immensely gripping, leaving you with lots to consider.


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