Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Cover image for The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
Sourcebooks Landmark, 2018, 435 pages, Mystery

The Hardcastle family is hosting a masquerade at their home, and their daughter Evelyn Hardcastle will die. She will die over and over again until Aiden Bishop is able identify her killer and break the cycle. But Aiden wakes up each day in a different body as one of the guests. Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to comprehend. But nothing and no one are quite what they seem. 

This book is pretty close to my Platonic ideal of a good book. A murder at an English country house party, with time shifts and body swapping? Yes please! While there were a few small continuity issues as Aiden relives the same day over again in different bodies, I was mostly just so intrigued with this premise, and so curious as to how Aiden would finally break the cycle, that I really didn’t care. Those who love Agatha Christie mysteries and Downton Abbey, and don’t mind that the two were put in a blender and mixed with a fantastical premise somewhat akin to the movie Groundhog Day, will enjoy this book. It was a great combination for me.



Tommie @ Ilene Books said...

This was a fantastic read and highly enjoyable. The mystery was intricate and unique, with beautiful writing and historical details. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending and appreciated the plot twists. The clues are there to figure out the mystery, but not so easy that they are handed to the reader. The reader is presented with a number of personal questions about self, forgiveness, and trust in authentic ways. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, mysteries, or just good writing.

Breanne said...

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
By Stuart Turton

I picked up this book because it was marketed as, "Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day." A man wakes up in a murder mystery at an English mansion, and re-lives the day in the bodies of different people 8 times over. He must solve the murder in order to escape the loop. It sounds pretty straightforward, but I can honestly say this is one of the most unique books I've ever read, especially considering that the traditional English countryside house murder mystery is a formulaic story that's been told many times. This book turns convention on its head. The writing lends a lot of color to the story, with details brought to life: "The clothes are silk, beautifully tailored but tugging and pinching like a roomful of elderly aunts." I listened to the audiobook and the narrator does an excellent job of creating different personas for the many characters in the book.