When a woman mysteriously vanishes, her sister must tally up the clues to discover her fate.

Marguerite, a beautiful woman, has disappeared from her small town in Upstate New York. But is foul play involved? Or did she merely take an opportunity to get away for fun, or finally make the decision to leave behind her claustrophobic life of limited opportunities?

Her younger sister Gigi wonders if the flimsy silk Dior dress, so casually abandoned on the floor, is a clue to Marguerite’s having seemingly vanished. The police examine the footprints made by her Ferragamo boots leaving the house, ending abruptly, and puzzle over how that can help lead to her. Gigi, not so pretty as her sister, slowly reveals her hatred for the perfect, much-loved, Marguerite.

Bit by bit, like ripping the petals off a flower blossom, revelations about both sisters are uncovered. Subtly, but with the unbearable suspense at which Joyce Carol Oates excels, clues mount up to bring to light the fate of the missing beauty.

Don't just take our word for it...

“In 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister, Oates has added another disturbing character to her bountiful cast of strange people and devised another chilling work, one that will slot into the vast canon for which she is justly renowned.”
– New York Journal of Books

“Another masterpiece of storytelling from a writer who jumps between genres and styles with amazing aplomb.… A thematically and stylistically ambitious novel that displays the author’s literary gifts to their maximum effect.”
– Booklist (starred review)

“A kaleidoscopic portrait of an unforgettable woman whose memory everyone honors only by distorting it.”
– Kirkus

Taste the very first page

Silky White Fabric, Bodiless. Pool of silk, in languid-liquidy folds on the floor where (the viewer/voyeur avidly assumes) she’d shrugged her naked body out of the shift, let it fall slithering like a snake, but a sheerly white, purely white, camellia-white silky snake falling past her hips, her thighs and to the floor in a hiss.

Though bodiless, boneless, smelling faintly, fragrantly of a (female) body.

Is that a clue? The flimsy white silk Dior “slip dress” belonging to my sister M. discovered on the floor of her bedroom…