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Beth Gutcheon books in order

Beth Gutcheon is an American bestselling author who has written books on mystery, thriller, literary fiction and a non-fiction quilting book.

A native of western Pennsylvania, she holds a honors degree in English literature from Harvard.

Prior to becoming a fiction writer, Beth worked in the editorial department of a publishing house in Boston, as a free-lance in the arts, and also earned a living through a number of for-hire writing projects—one of which was the narration for the Academy Award nominated feature documentary, The Children of Theatre Street.

Her novel Still Missing (1980), was adapted into motion pictures in 1983, starring Kate Nelligan, Judd Hirsch and David Dukes.

Beth, who has contributed to New York Magazine, Savvy Magazine, The New York Times, the NYT Book Review, the San Jose Mercury News, and the San Francisco Chronicle, currently resides in New York City.

Her novels have been translated into 15 languages. 

More about Beth Gutcheon

Genres: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller

United States


Non Series

  • The New Girls (1979)
  • Still Missing (1980)
  • Domestic Pleasures (1991)
  • Saying Grace (1995)
  • Five Fortunes (1998)
  • More Than You Know (2000)
  • Leeway Cottage (2005)
  • Good-Bye and Amen (2008)
  • Gossip (2012)

Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin

  1. Death At Breakfast (2016)
  2. The Affliction (2018)


  1. The Perfect Patchwork Primer (1973)
Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The New Girls

The New Girls is a resonant, engrossing novel about five girls during their formative prep-school years in the tumultuous mid-sixties.

Into their reality of first-class trips to Europe, resort vacations, and deb parties enter the Vietnam War, the women's movement, and the sexual revolution.

As the old traditions collide with the new society, the girls lose their innocence, develop a social conscience, and discover their sexuality -- blossoming into women shaped by their turbulent times.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 1979
ISBN: 978-0060977023
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Still Missing

Alex Selky, going on seven, kissed his mother goodbye and set off for school, a mere two blocks away. He never made it.

Desperate to find him, his mother begins a vigil that lasts for days, then weeks, then months. She is treated first as a tragic figure, then as a grief-crazed hysteric, then as a reminder of the bad fortune that can befall us all.

Against all hope, despite false leads and the desertions of her friends and allies she believes with all her heart that somehow, somewhere, Alex will be found alive.

Beth Gutcheon builds a heartrending suspense that culminates in a climax you will never forget.

NB: This book is also known as Without a Trace.

Without a Trace
Director: Stanley Jaffe
Cast: Kate Nelligan, Judd Hirsch, David Dukes, Stockard Channing
Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 1980
ISBN: 978-0060977030
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Domestic Pleasures

After her ex-husband dies in a plane crash, Martha Gaver is horrified to learn that the executor of Raymond's estate is Charlie, the conservative, insufferable lawyer who represented Raymond in their bitter divorce.

Yet soon after they reenter each other's lives, Martha, Charlie, and their teenage children find they have more in common than they imagined as they struggle to rebuild their lives...and that opposites really do attract.

Engaging,, witty, and entertaining, Domestic Pleasures is a touching, piercing tale of love lost, found, and embraced once again.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 1991
ISBN: 978-0060934767
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Saying Grace

Rue Shaw has everything--a much loved child, a solid marriage, and a job she loves. Saying Grace takes place in Rue's mid-life, when her daughter is leaving home, her parents are failing, her husband is restless and the school she has built is being buffeted by changes in society that affect us all.

Funny, rich in detail and finally stunning, this novel presents a portrait of a tight-knit community in jeopardy, and of a charming woman whose most human failing is that she wants things to stay the same.

Saying Grace is about the fragility of human happiness and the strength of convictions, about keeping faith as a couple whether it keeps one safe or not. Beth Gutcheon has a gift for creating a world in microcosm and capturing the grace in the rhythms of everyday life.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-0060927271
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Five Fortunes

Witty, wise, and hope-filled, Five Fortunes is a large-hearted tale of five vivid and unforgettable women who know where they've been but have no idea where they're going.

A lively octogenarian, a private investigator, a mother and daughter with an unresolved past, and a recently widowed politician's wife share little else except a thirst for new dreams, but after a week at the luxurious health spa known as "Fat Chance" their lives will be intertwined in ways they couldn't have imagined.

At a place where doctors, lawyers, spoiled housewives, movie stars, and captains of industry are stripped of the social markers that keep them from really seeing one another, unexpected friendships emerge, reminding us of the close links between the rich and the poor, fortune and misfortune, and the magic of chance.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-0060929954
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
More Than You Know

In a small town called Dundee on the coast of Maine, an old woman named Hannah Gray begins her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Hannah has decided, finally, to leave a record of the passionate and anguished long-ago summer in Dundee when she met Conary Crocker, the town bad boy and love of her life.

This spare, piercing, and unforgettable novel bridges two centuries and two intense love stories as Hannah and Conary's fate is interwoven with the tale of a marriage that took place in Dundee a hundred years earlier.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-0060959357
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Leeway Cottage

In April 1940, as the Nazis march into Denmark, Sydney Brant, a wealthy girl of the Dundee summer colony, marries a gifted Danish pianist, Laurus Moss. They believe they are well matched, as young lovers do, but Laurus's beloved family is in Copenhagen, hostage to what the fortunes of Hitler's war will bring.

By the time the war is over, Laurus's family has played an active role in Denmark's grassroots rescue of virtually all seven thousand of the country's Jews. Meanwhile, in America, Sydney has led a group knitting for the war effort, and had a baby.

Combining the story of one long American twentieth-century marriage with one of the most stirring stories of World War II, Leeway Cottage is a beautifully written tour de force of a novel.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0060539061
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Good-Bye and Amen

In a summer cottage on the coast of Maine, an unlikely love was nurtured, a marriage endured, and a family survived. Now it is time for the children of that marriage to make peace with the wounds and the treasures left to them. And to sort out which is which.

The complicated marriage of the gifted Danish pianist Laurus Moss to the provincial American child of privilege Sydney Brant was a mystery to many who knew them, including their three children. Now Eleanor, Monica, and Jimmy Moss have to decide how to divide or share what Laurus and Sydney have left them without losing one another.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0060539085
Publisher: Harper Perennial

The critically acclaimed author of Good-bye and Amen, Leeway Cottage, and More Than You Know, Beth Gutcheon returns with Gossip, a sharply perceptive and emotionally resonant novel about the power of knowing things about others, the consequences of rumor, and the unexpected price of friendship.

A story set among the rich, famous, and well-dressed of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Gossip is a bravura display of this exceptional author’s breathtaking talents, addressing important themes of motherhood, friendship, and fidelity.

Every reader who admires the strong, character-driven women’s fiction of Sue Miller, Alice Hoffman, Elizabeth Berg, and Kaye Gibbons should lend an ear to Beth Gutcheon’s Gossip.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0061931437
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin

Death At Breakfast

Indulging their pleasure in travel and new experiences, recently retired private school head Maggie Detweiler and her old friend, socialite Hope Babbin, are heading to Maine. The trip—to attend a weeklong master cooking class at the picturesque Victorian-era Oquossoc Mountain Inn—is an experiment to test their compatibility for future expeditions.

Hope and Maggie have barely finished their first aperitifs when the inn’s tranquility is shattered by the arrival of Alexander and Lisa Antippas and Lisa’s actress sister, Glory. Imperious and rude, these Hollywood one-percenters quickly turn the inn upside-down with their demanding behavior, igniting a flurry of speculation and gossip among staff and guests alike.

But the disruption soon turns deadly. After a suspicious late-night fire is brought under control, Alex’s charred body is found in the ashes. Enter the town’s deputy sheriff, Buster Babbin, Hope’s long-estranged son and Maggie’s former student. A man who’s finally found his footing in life, Buster needs a win. But he’s quickly pushed aside by the “big boys,” senior law enforcement and high-powered state’s attorneys who swoop in to make a quick arrest.

Maggie knows that Buster has his deficits and his strengths. She also knows that justice does not always prevail—and that the difference between conviction and exoneration too often depends on lazy police work and the ambitions of prosecutors. She knows too, after a lifetime of observing human nature, that you have a great advantage in doing the right thing if you don’t care who gets the credit or whom you annoy.

Feeling that justice could use a helping hand--as could the deputy sheriff—Maggie and Hope decide that two women of experience equipped with healthy curiosity, plenty of common sense, and a cheerfully cynical sense of humor have a useful role to play in uncovering the truth.

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0062431974
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
The Affliction

Since retiring as head of a famous New York City private school, Maggie Detweiler is busier than ever. Chairing a team to evaluate the faltering Rye Manor School for girls, she will determine whether, in spite of its fabled past, the school has a future at all. With so much on the line for so many, tensions on campus are at an excruciating pitch, and Maggie expects to be as welcome as a case of Ebola virus.

At a reception for the faculty and trustees to "welcome" Maggie’s team, no one seems more keen for all to go well than Florence Meagher, a star teacher who is loved and respected in spite of her affliction—that she can never stop talking.

Florence is one of those dedicated teachers for whom the school is her life, and yet the next morning, when Maggie arrives to observe her teaching, Florence is missing. Florence’s husband, Ray, an auxiliary policeman in the village, seems more annoyed than alarmed at her disappearance. But Florence’s sister is distraught. There have been tensions in the marriage, and at their last visit, Florence had warned, "If anything happens to me, don’t assume it’s an accident."

Two days later, Florence’s body is found in the campus swimming pool.

Maggie is asked to stay on to coach the very young and inexperienced head of Rye Manor through the crisis. Maggie obviously knows schools, but she also knows something about investigating murder, having solved a mysterious death in Maine the previous year when the police went after the wrong suspect. She is soon joined by her madcap socialite friend Hope, who is jonesing for an excuse to ditch her book club anyway, before she has to actually read Silas Marner.

What on earth is going on in this idyllic town? Is this a run-of-the-mill marital murder? Or does it have something to do with the school board treasurer’s real estate schemes? And what is up with the vicious cyber-bullying that’s unsettled everyone, or with the disturbed teenaged boy whom Florence had made a pet of?

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0062432001
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks


The Perfect Patchwork Primer

In The Perfect Patchwork Primer every phase of patchwork quiltmaking is covered — choice and handling of fabrics, design, detailed sewing and quilting instruction.

Departing from other quilting books, Beth Gutcheon tells us how to use modern technology to speed the making of patchwork without sacrificing quality.

She shows how to adapt traditional patterns and techniques to speedy machine sewing (without affecting the “handmade” appearance) and offers up-to-date information on using new fabrics, silicone-coated quilting thread, dacron batting, and the like.

There are plans for more than 70 projects to make with patchwork — tote bags, wall hangings, coasters, mats, hot pads, skirts, vests, pillows, playpen liners, coffee-pot cozies, bibs,…

Author: Beth Gutcheon
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-0140462128
Publisher: Penguin Books