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‘When [the story] finally enfolds you, its grip is strong and terrible.’ Literary Review

‘Very intriguing’ Heat, Book of the Week

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 Octopus is a stylish exploration of power: the power of memory, the power of perception, the power of one person over another.


A novel you will easily devour in just a few sittings, it's unexpected and immensely gripping, leaving you with lots to consider.
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 AT 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. In trying to understand who murdered Richard, Elspeth begins a kind of katabasis--and what she finds down there in the dark with Persephone might destroy her. 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. What starts as a murder mystery soon turns into a carnival of LA parties, blending and bleeding into each other, as time doubles over on itself. Ultimately, The Ninth Guest is the moving story of power, cruelty, and one woman's quest to reclaim her daughter, her past, and ultimately, herself