A Simple Favor
A Simple Favor
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A Simple Favor
A Simple Favor is the debut thriller novel by Darcey Bell. It was first published on March 21, 2017 by Harper. The novel centers on Stephanie, a mom blogger

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A Simple Favor: A Novel Hardcover editionAuthor Darcey BellCountry United StatesLanguage EnglishGenre
  • Thriller
  • Murder mystery
Publisher HarperPublication date March 21, 2017Media type Print (hardback and paperback), e-book, audiobook[1]Pages 304ISBN 978-0-06-249777-2

A Simple Favor is the debut thriller[2] novel by Darcey Bell. It was first published on March 21, 2017 by Harper.[3] The novel centers on Stephanie, a mom blogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily's sudden disappearance from their small town in Connecticut.[1] Employing the unreliable narrator technique, the story is told through Stephanie, Emily, and Emily's husband Sean.[4]

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Reception
  • 3 Film adaptation
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Mommy blogger Stephanie Ward is asked a favor by her best friend Emily Nelson one day, to help pick up Emily's son after school. Emily never shows up to collect her son from Stephanie however, and after days of searching, she is believed to have been found dead. Stephanie starts digging deeper into Emily's secrets as she seeks to uncover the truth.[1]


Writing for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jay Strafford described the novel as: "Gone Girl gone nuclear, Gone Girl on steroids, amphetamines and cocaine." Strafford added that, "But let it be said that Bell possesses a wicked imagination and a firm grasp on plotting; she fills A Simple Favor with multiple twists, all the while providing subtle clues for the astute reader."[5] The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Laura DeMarco gave the novel a "B" grade and called it a "pageturner".[4] Toronto Star's Jack Batten noted that it was a "stylish and unsettling thriller," and that, "The plot stretches into increasingly dark territory, the narrative mixing familiar gimmicks in the thriller repertoire and producing an overall story that’s just mysterious and weird enough to supply maximum satisfaction."[6]

On the other hand, Publishers Weekly felt that Bell "squanders an intriguing setup with ill-defined stakes and tired, telegraphed plot twists," describing the novel as "convoluted".[1] The Belfast Telegraph's Georgina Rodgers agreed, saying that "Stephanie and her blog were very two-dimensional and not believable and parts of the plot felt forced and too far-fetched."[7]

Film adaptation Main article: A Simple Favor (film)

20th Century Fox pre-emptively acquired the film rights for the novel in January 2016. In June 2017, Paul Feig signed on to direct the film adaptation, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. It is due to be released in September 2018.[2]

  1. ^ a b c d "Fiction Book Review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell". Publishers Weekly. January 9, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Lee, Ashley (June 20, 2017). "Paul Feig to Direct Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively in 'A Simple Favor'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ "A Simple Favor - Kirkus Review". Kirkus Reviews. January 3, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b DeMarco, Laura (March 16, 2017). "Spring break reads: March mysteries take readers to London, Utah and New York City (reviews)". The Plain Dealer. 
  5. ^ Strafford, Jay (April 15, 2017). "Mysteries: 'Devil's Breath.' 'Almost Missed You,' 'A Simple Favor,' and 'All By Myself, Alone'". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 
  6. ^ Batten, Jack (March 25, 2017). "Controlling husbands, fires, injustice: the latest reads for mystery lovers - A Simple Favor". Toronto Star. 
  7. ^ Rodgers, Georgina (March 25, 2017). "Far-fetched domestic thriller falls flat". Belfast Telegraph. 
External links
  • Official HarperCollins page

Simple Favor, A [Blu-ray]
Simple Favor, A [Blu-ray]

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A Simple Favor [Movie Tie-in]: A Novel
A Simple Favor [Movie Tie-in]: A Novel
A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train—now a major motion picture from Lionsgate starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and Henry Golding, and directed by Paul Feig“Debut-novelist Darcey Bell ramps up suspense with authority in this domestic thriller, in which actions seem as inevitable as they are chilling. The audience that made Gone Girl a publishing sensation is likely to take to this one, too.”—Booklist (starred review)It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When glamorous Emily asks Stephanie to pick up her son after school, Stephanie happily says yes. Emily has a life that would make any woman jealous. She is the perfect mother with a dazzling career working for a famous fashion designer in Manhattan. Stephanie, a widow with a son in kindergarten, lonely in their Connecticut suburb, turns to her daily blog for connection and validation. Stephanie imagines Emily to be her new confidante and is shocked when Emily suddenly disappears without a trace, leaving her son and husband with no warning.Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong. Unable to keep away from the grieving family, she soon finds herself entangled with Sean, Emily’s handsome, reticent British husband. But she can’t ignore the nagging feeling that he’s not being honest with her about Emily’s disappearance. Is Stephanie imagining things? How well did she really know her “best” friend? Stephanie begins to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.A Simple Favor exposes the dark underbelly of female friendship in this taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.  

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[By Darcey Bell ] A Simple Favor: A Novel (Paperback)【2018】by Darcey Bell (Author) (Paperback)
[By Darcey Bell ] A Simple Favor: A Novel (Paperback)【2018】by Darcey Bell (Author) (Paperback)
But Emily doesn't come back. She doesn't answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong-Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily's husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It's the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over. Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing-not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor-is as simple as it seems. A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense-a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.

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Then She Was Gone: A Novel
Then She Was Gone: A Novel
Fifteen-year-old Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenage golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone.  Now her mother, Laurel Mack, is trying to put her life back together. It's been 10 years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie's case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafe, she is surprised at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she's meeting Floyd's daughters - and his youngest, Poppy, takes her breath away. Looking at her is like looking at Ellie. And now the unanswered questions she has tried so hard to put to rest haunt her anew...as well as some new ones about Floyd and Poppy....

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