Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 books about a death

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

We’ve done births and marriages so far and this week, it’s time to look at books about a death so we can complete the Hatched, Matched and Dispatched trio.

My initial thoughts were that I would pick 5 of my favourite murder mysteries but then I began to think about how a death is often the catalyst for change for those left behind so my ideas changed a bit. After quite a bit of thought, here are my top 5 books about a death.

Under a Whispering Door by T J Klune

I wonder how many other people are going to feature this one in their top 5? It does seem like an obvious choice as it is all about a death, specifically the death of Wallace Price. Workaholic Wallace dies suddenly but he isn’t ready to pass over yet so has to spend time at the Charyon Tea Room where he meets Hugo, the ferryman and begins to learn about what actually is really important.

One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Another book about death. This time it’s the impending death of 17 year old Lenni as she lives out her life in the terminal illness ward of the local hospital. In an art class, she bumps into 83 year old Margot and a bond is formed between them as they realise that they have lived 100 years between them. They decide to paint pictures to illustrate their lives and we learn about them through these including what it might be like to live, knowing that you don’t have long left. This is another amazing book and one of my best reads of 2021.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Death often means huge changes for those left behind. The death of the Emperor and his heir in a plane crash changes his youngest son’s life completely. As a half goblin child in a court of elves, Maia has been banished to an out of the way estate with just a guardian to care for him. Then he receives the news of his father’s death and finds out that he is the new emperor. This is definitely one of all time favourite books and I have reread it several times. The story of how Maia negotiates a hostile court is simply brilliant.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Another book where a death has a huge impact on others. The death of Mr Henry Dashwood has a devastating effect on the lives of his widow and daughters. They are forced to move out of the family home and into a small house belonging to a distant relation. This is one of my favourite Jane Austen novels and I love the relationship between the two sisters although I feel that I have far more in common with Elinor than Marianne.

The Night Singer by Joanna Mo

I couldn’t have a top 5 about death without including at least one mystery. This is the debut novel by Swedish Author Joanna Mo and is one of the best I have read this year. Detective Hanna Duncker returns to her childhood home to find that she has to investigate the death of her best friend’s 15 year old son. She has to deal with traumatic events that happened in the past as well a complex investigation in the present. Definitely a great debut.

Thanks Meeghan, I really enjoyed thinking about my choices for this week’s theme.


Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

12 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 books about a death”

  1. These were such interesting choices! I’ve only read Sense and Sensibility, but after loving The House in the Cerulean Sea so much, I really want to try Under the Whispering Door at some point! 🤗

  2. I love the inclusion of Sense and Sensibility on this list. I wavered on adding a classic novel (Little Women) but then decided not to in favour of more recent books. I hope you enjoyed this month’s topics (hatched, matched and dispatched 😂)!! 💕

  3. What an interesting topic! So original! I still have The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot on my TBR

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