Category Archives: The Perfect Guests

Review: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

Title: The Perfects Guest by Emma Rous
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Historical (’80s), Domestic Mystery, Suspense
Length: 302 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel—about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she’s truly part of the family…until they ask her to help them with a harmless game—and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It’s strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she’ll be staying at, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she’d imagined—even with damage from a fire decades before—but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there’s something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone…including her.


The Perfect Guest by Emma Rous is a devilishly suspenseful domestic mystery.

In 1988,  fourteen year old orphan Beth Soames is invited to live with the Averell/Langdon family at their country estate, Raven Hall. While Marcus travels for work, Leonora Averell and their daughter fourteen year old daughter Nina rarely venture into town. Over the course of several months, Beth and Nina become close friends and Beth’s temporary stay is extended. The pair have the run of the estate grounds and they are occasionally joined by Jonas Blake, the son of a local B&B owner. Although Beth is delighted by her current living arrangements, she is a little unnerved by a game that Leonora requests she play on different occasions. After tragedy strikes nothing for the family and Beth is ever the same.

In the present, aspiring actress Sadie Langdon is thrilled to accept a high-paying role in a murder mystery game. She delights in the lavish costumes and  luxurious limousine ride to the isolated estate in the country. But Sadie soon wonders what she has gotten herself into as the evening progresses. She grows anxious after reading the information on her character card. Pushing her uneasiness aside, Sadie joins the others for their evening meal.  Most of the other guests are eager participants but she grows concerned when one of their companions vanishes.  It is not until Sadie and others start to feel a little off that she grows even more suspicious about the roles they have been hired to play. Is it possible there is another reason they have all been selected for their weekend gathering?

The Perfect Guest is a delightfully riveting mystery with a clever plot and an isolated setting. The various characters are interesting and easy to like. The various chapters unfold from different perspectives and one of the narrators’ identities remains tantalizingly unknown for a good part of the novel. With shocking twists and turns, Emma Rous brings this marvelous mystery to a jaw-dropping conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this engrossing domestic mystery to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Domestic Mystery, Emma Rous, Historical (80s), Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Perfect Guests