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SQUADPOD REVIEWS: The Final Party by A.A. Chaudhuri

Published May 25th by Hera Books
Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Crime Thriller, Domestic Fiction, Urban Fiction, Travel Literature, Coming-of-Age Story

Today I’m delighted to be opening the Squadpod Spotlight tour for The Final Party. Thank you to Hera books for my gifted eBook.




In a luxury villa set high in the hills above the glamorous town of Sorrento, southern Italy, three couples gather for the perfect 40th birthday celebration.


Before the week is out, one of them is dead.


Their perfect reunion quickly becomes the holiday from hell when one of the group starts receiving anonymous messages, threatening to expose a dark secret from their university days.

As old friendships are tested to the limit, it’s clear that what happens in the dark past won’t stay buried…

A heart-racing psychological thriller that will hook you from the very first page, with twist after twist that will make your jaw drop. Fans of B.A. Paris, My Husband’s Killer and Lucy Foley won’t be able to put this down. If you were hooked by The White Lotus or The Watcher, you’ll love this.



“Six friends had started the week on seemingly good terms, here for a rest and the perfect birthday celebration. 
But the perfect week in paradise has turned into the holiday from hell. 
Because one of them is dead. 
One of them is a killer. 
But which one of them here is guilty?” 

A multiple point of view and dual timeline novel, The Final Party takes place in Sorrento, Italy in August 2019. Six friends have got together for the fortieth birthday of one of their group, but tensions are high as four of the friends battle with their conscience over secrets they have been keeping for eighteen years. Secrets surrounding the night that another one of their group was attacked and left forever changed by her inability to remember who attacked her or why. What is it her friends know about that night? And which one of the group will end up dead before their celebrations are over?

A.A. Chaudhuri just gets better with each book. Tense, twisty and totally thrilling, she has delivered a first-rate thriller that will knock your socks off! This is suspense writing at its best; a seven-layer cake of a thriller where each slice holds something unexpected. And I couldn’t get enough. From the start there is a sense of something dark and sinister. Of overwhelming dread, long-held secrets and deception. And you can tell that these secrets have the power to blow up their lives if revealed. Chaudhuri expertly drip-feeds the reader little pieces of the puzzle before whipping the rug away from under us every time I thought I’d got things figured out. The uncertainty only heightened the tension and I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. 

When a multi-narrative thriller is done right it is one of my favourite tropes, and this is sheer perfection. The characters are a group of fractured, flawed and relatable people who, quite frankly, are a train-wreck. But they are compelling and I couldn’t help but feel totally invested in their twisted web of friendship, secrets and lies. It was soon apparent that each one of them holds different pieces of this puzzle and no-one has the full picture, not even the ones who think they do. They are eaten up by guilt, regret and the fear of exposure; of one of the secrets being revealed and triggering a domino effect that would see their lives explode in a fiery blaze of betrayal. I really felt for Padma, who is still so eaten up by not knowing the truth about the night that changed her life. Knowing that those closest to her have held the keys to answering her questions all along yet chose to keep her in the dark only compounds the devastation. But even in my wildest theories I didn’t suspect the true horror that was waiting to be uncovered.

Unpredictable, intricate and suspenseful, The Final Party is a nerve-shredding thriller you won’t be able to put down. This is one any self-respecting thriller-lover HAS to have on their TBR.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮.5



A.A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer, turned thriller writer, who lives in Surrey with her family.

Once a highly ranked British junior tennis player, competing in the national championships and a member of the national squad, she went on to tour the women’s professional satellite circuit as a teenager and achieved a world ranking of 650.

After returning to full-time education, she gained a BA Honours 2:1 in History at University College London, and a commendation in both the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at the London College of Law, before training as a solicitor at City firm Norton Rose and then practising as a commercial litigator at two other City firms, Kendall Freeman and Travers Smith.

She left law in 2008 to pursue her passion for writing and in 2010 passed the NCTJ fast-track newspaper journalism course, in respect of which she was awarded The Oxford University Press Public Affairs Award for the most outstanding public affairs central government paper.

In 2013 and 2014 she self-published two women’s fiction novels under the name Alexandra Sage: Love & Limoncello and the sequel Love & Loss. Love & Limoncello has sold more than ten thousand copies to date, reaching number 53 in the Amazon Kindle Bestsellers List in October 2014.

THE SCRIBE and THE ABDUCTION, published by LUME BOOKS in July and December 2019, are her first crime book series, plunging readers into London’s glamorous legal world and featuring series’ heroine, Maddy Kramer, fiction’s first female City lawyer amateur sleuth, who teams up with charismatic DCI Jake Carver to solve a gruesome series of murders and a puzzling abduction.

Both books have hit the bestsellers lists in the UK, Australia and Canada, with bestseller tags in Australia and Canada.

THE SCRIBE and THE ABDUCTION were published as audio books by Isis Audio on 1st  January and 1st March 2021, both read by David Thorpe.

She has also contributed an original short story THE ENCOUNTER to crime anthology GIVEN IN EVIDENCE published by LUME BOOKS in May 2020, has written many articles and short stories for The Crime Writers’ Association.

In February 2021, Alex signed a two-book contract for two standalone psychological thrillers with HERA BOOKS, the first entitled SHE’S MINE was published on 18th August 2021 in ebook and 26th August in paperback. THE LOYAL FRIEND was published by Hera Books on 23rd June 2022 in paperback and ebook and on 26th June in audio with Saga Egmont. In June 2022 Alex signed a deal with Hera Books for three more psychological thrillers. The first of these, THE FINAL PARTY, will be published on May 25th 2023.

Besides being an avid reader, she enjoys fitness, films, anything Italian and a good margarita!



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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxxx

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Book Features Emma's Anticipated Treasures Most Anticipated 2022 Paperback Publication Day Squadpod Squadpod Book Club Squadpod Recommends

Paperback Publication Day: All About Evie by Matson Taylor

Published: March 30th, 2023
Publisher: Scribner UK
Genre: Historical Fiction, Saga, Humorous Fiction, Adventure Fiction, LGBT Literarure, Gay Fiction, Holiday Fiction, Book Series

Happy Paperback Publication Day to All About Evie! This book is the second in one of my favourite series of all time. These books are guaranteed to lift your spirits and I challenge anyone not to fall in love with Evie.

Thank you to Scribner UK for the gifted copies of the book and the delightful Matson Taylor for arranging them for the Squadpod.




‘A golden ray of sunshine. If you’re after a funny, uplifting summer read then this is for you!’ Libby Page, author of The Lido

‘A joyous way to spend an afternoon.’ Joannna Nadin, author of The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings

Yorkshire Post: ‘Taylor’s writing is sublime, effortlessly combining humour with pathos and spot-on period detail while sensitively exploring themes such as loss, grief, love and death. It’s sure to be another hit.’ Yorkshire Post

‘A thoroughly uplifting and unputdownable sequel to the bestselling The Miseducation of Evie Epworth.’ Waterstones

1972. Ten years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth and Evie is settled in London working for the BBC. She has everything she’s ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving Princess Anne and a Hornsea Pottery mug, she finds herself having to rethink her life and piece together work, love, grief and multiple pairs of cork-soled platform sandals. 

Ghosts from the past and the spirit of the future collide in a joyous adventure that sees Evie navigate the choppy waters of her messy twenties. Can a 1960s miseducation prepare her for the growing pains of the 1970s?

Big-hearted, uplifting, bittersweet and tender, All About Evie is a novel fizzing with wit and alive to the power of friendship in all its forms. 



When the previous book in a series is not only one of your favourite books of that year, but of all time, there is some trepidation about reading the follow up. Would I enjoy this one as much and still love Evie with the same fierceness? The answer is yes! Once again Matson Taylor has knocked it out of the park with this hilarious, heartwarming and addictive novel that feels like a cup of Yorkshire tea and a piece of parkin on a cold day.  

This time, Taylor transports us to the Summer of 1972, 10 years after the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, to reunite us with the eponymous heroine for more entertaining exploits. Evie is working for the BBC and living the life she’s always dreamed of  in London when a mishap involving Princess Anne and a Hornsea mug leads to her dismissal, and Evie is now forced to reassess her life. But what direction will she choose from the overwhelming number of possibilities open to her? And then there is her love life. At the ripe old age of 26 and a half she feels in danger of becoming over-the-hill and wonders why she hasn’t yet met Mr. Right. There is fun, laughter and lots of emotion, as Evie embarks on her greatest journey of self discovery yet.

Oh, Evie. How I love her. She truly feels like an old friend and I never get tired of reading her. She’s an iconic northern heroine who pole-vaults off the pages and straight into your heart. It is a slightly more sophisticated and wise Evie we meet in this book, yet she’s still the same feisty, funny, quirky and unforgettable Yorkshire lass we love. It has been great to watch her grow and I loved her metamorphosis from teenager to young woman in this story. And the snippets of information about her ex boyfriends were hilarious. 

Matson Taylor is a comedy genius and had me laughing out loud within the first few pages. He has a talent for writing witty, offbeat and uproarious characters and storylines that are also heartfelt. He paces the story perfectly, switching seamlessly between the serious and lighter moments to ensure things never feel too heavy. There are so many moments that were pure comedy gold and still make me laugh when they randomly pop into my head many months after reading the book. The evocative imagery and attention to detail brought 1970s London to life so vividly it felt like I’d stepped into a time machine and appeared in 1972. The book is filled with blasts from the past: Old Jamaica bars, Wimpy burgers, cheese and pineapple hedgehogs etc. I was assailed by memories and the nostalgia took over and thoroughly enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

Uplifting, witty and utterly magnificent, All About Evie is another must-read from Mr. Taylor. And that ending! I need book 3 now!

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮



Matson Taylor grew up in Yorkshire (the flat part not the Brontë part). He comes from farming stock and spent an idyllic childhood surrounded by horses, cows, bicycles, and cheap ice-cream. His father, a York City and Halifax Town footballer, has never forgiven him for getting on the school rugby team but not getting anywhere near the school football team.

Matson now lives in London, where he is a design historian and academic writing tutor at the V&A, Imperial College and the Royal College of Art. Previously, he talked his way into various jobs at universities and museums around the world; he has also worked on Camden Market, appeared in an Italian TV commercial and been a pronunciation coach for Catalan opera singers. He gets back to Yorkshire as much as possible, mainly to see family and friends but also to get a reasonably-priced haircut.

He has always loved telling stories and, after writing academically about beaded flapper dresses and World War 2 glow-in-the-dark fascinators, he decided to enrol on the Faber Academy ‘Writing A Novel’ course. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is his first novel. 



Waterstones*| Amazon* |* (Indie Edtion) | Berts Books (Indie Edition)

You can buy the Indie Edition with yellow spredges from your local independent bookshop.


Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxxx

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