Review: The Cornish Campsite Murder (Nosey Parker #7) by Fiona Leitch

The Cornish Campsite Murder (The Nosey Parker Mysteries, #7)The Cornish Campsite Murder by Fiona Leitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



My new favorite of one of my go-to Cozy Mystery series. This was so much fun. At this point, this cast of characters feels like a part of my friend group. I adore them all.

These books follow Jodie Parker, who resigned from the Metropolitan Police in London after a close call and returned to her native village of Penstowan, in Cornwall, with her teen daughter, Daisy, and their Pomeranian, Germaine.

Jodie opened her own catering company, but old habits are hard to break. She’s ended up helping the local police with a few challenging cases. In fact, she’s now in a relationship with the handsome DCI, Nathan Winters.

In this installment, Jodie agrees to help a friend by taking his catering van, Pie Hard, for a weekend at a local music festival. The friend makes a killing that weekend, but this particular year he can’t make the event, so Jodie offers to run the van for him.

Nathan takes time off work to join her, and Daisy had already want to go for the weekend with some girlfriends. Then, you know, Jodie’s Mom will want to go too, so she rents a posh yurt on site with one of her friends.

The mystery involves a once famous singer being found dead on the beach on the second day of the festival. Jodie had actually witnessed him getting into an argument with some of his former bandmates the night before.

Could one of them be responsible for his death?

Even though he is on vacation, Nathan of course begins to loosely oversee the investigation. And surely, Jodie isn’t going to keep her nose out of it.

This is a classic whodunit-style of Cozy and I had so much fun with it. I love stories featuring musicians, and this one, set at a music festival, was perfectly catered ((pun-intended)) to my tastes.

I can’t recommend this series enough to other Cozy Mystery Readers. Particularly, if you enjoy stories with a fun family dynamic, or small town setting.

I truly adore this cast of characters. Jodie’s family, her Mom and daughter, and even little floof-ball, Germaine, bring so much humor and light-heartedness to these stories. It’s an absolute joy to read. Also, it has just the right amount of humor for my tastes.

It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s still incredibly well-written, paced and plotted. Fiona Leitch is a gem. I am really hoping for more in this series.

Thank you so much to the publisher, One More Chapter, for providing me a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to hear if there will be more books coming!

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Review: The Queen of Poisons (The Marlow Murder Club #3) by Robert Thorogood

The Queen of Poisons (The Marlow Murder Club, #3)The Queen of Poisons by Robert Thorogood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up **


The Queen of Poisons is the 3rd-installment in The Marlow Murder Club Cozy Mystery series. I really enjoyed the first 2-books and have been anticipating this one.

This series follows Judith Potts, a septuagenarian crossword setter, and her two best friends, Suzie and Becks, as they nose around their community of Marlow solving mysteries.

This particular story is set amongst the world of local politics, as the Mayor of Marlow, George Lushington, died mysteriously during a town council meeting.

After traces of the poison, aconite, are found in his coffee cup, it’s clear to all that Mayor Lushington was killed on purpose. Known for a track history of barging in to solve crimes, the police preemptively bring in Judith, Suzie and Becks, from the start as civilian advisors.

The women are allowed to interview suspects and search for clues to their hearts’ content. The ladies are excited for their role and dig in with great gusto.

This is going to be a tough case to crack though, but aren’t they all? Who could have gotten the poison into the mayor’s coffee, and for that matter, who could have gotten a hold of the poison in the first place?

This is such a cute Cozy series. I do love this friend group and the dynamics amongst them. IMO, this was a bit of an odd whodonit, like some of the details at the reveal just seemed strange to me, but nevertheless, I enjoyed it a lot.

I’m in for the long haul with this series, and am def hoping for more books. I’ll admit, my mind wasn’t 100% on task with this one, since I’m traveling.

With this being said, I still found this engaging and fun. I would recommend this series to all Cozy Mystery fans, in particular if you enjoy friendship groups solving mysteries together, or elderly amateur sleuths.

Thank you to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press and Recorded Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’ll be waiting for more Marlow Murder Club!!!

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Review: Against the Darkness (In Every Generation #3) by Kendare Blake

Against the Darkness (Buffy: The Next Generation)Against the Darkness by Kendare Blake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up **


Against the Darkness is the 3rd-and reportedly, final, installment to Kendare Blake’s In Every Generation series.

I have enjoyed this series from the very first moment, but this is my favorite of all. These audiobooks are so much fun!

I was in college when the iconic Buffy series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, first aired. My best friend and I were obsessed with it, and her, and it became part of our routine to watch it together every week.

Understanding the level of nostalgia that I feel for the tv show, I actually entered this series with a bit of trepidation, but it was quickly apparent that the Buffyverse was in good hands. You can tell Blake is a fan.

Blake was able to channel the vibes and humor of the original series without ever coming even close to copycat territory. This is a Slayer story for a new generation and that theme is carried throughout.

I love how it felt like a true passing of the torch from one generation to the next. The new Slayer, determined in the first book and by no means a spoiler, is Frankie Rosenberg, Willow’s daughter. She’s the first ever Slayer-Witch and she knows she has big shoes to fill.

Throughout the series there are some constant character arcs, so you definitely need to start at the first book and work your way through the trilogy. They’re all so good though, it’s definitely worth a read for long-time Buffy fans, or to newer fans looking for additional content.

Many characters from the original series are included within these books. My favorite being Spike. I felt like he got a lot of page time in this one as Frankie’s Watcher. I was living for every snarky, sexy moment of it!

I mentioned the humor above, but feel it’s worth mentioning again. I was really impressed with how Blake was able to make the stakes feel high, while also channeling so many funny moments. Listen, if you can’t laugh while slaying demons and battling the darkness, when can you?

There was a very interesting aspect of this plot involving Willow that definitely brought me back a bit, say to Season 6. I had concerns. I loved how Blake wrote that whole thing. There were some nail-biter moments, for sure.

This also tugged at the heart-strings a bit, being the finale. There was this one scene, it was fairly short, but still made an impact, involving Spike and Giles. It really got me. It was just the sweetest moment.

At the end of the day, I am so sad that this is the final book, but I do think it’s a perfect conclusion to the trilogy. I actually wish it could have been longer. I am not ready to say goodbye to this new Scooby gang.

Thank you to the publisher, Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. The audiobooks are fantastic. The narration by Sarah Mollo-Christensen is a great match to these stories. I definitely recommend that format as well.

Kendare Blake, if you change your mind and decide to write more of these, just know, I will be first in line for a copy!!!

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Review: Thunderhead (Arc of the Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The World:

I hate reading sequels.
Ew, the dreaded second book syndrome strikes again.
Can it ever live up to the magic of the first book?

Neal Shusterman upon writing Thunderhead:

Honestly, and I mean this, Thunderhead is one of the most delightful sequels to ever sequel. There is absolutely no dreaded second book syndrome here.

I feel like I am the last person in the world to read this, but just in case I’m not, Thunderhead is the second book in Neal Shusterman’s Arc of the Scythe series.

This YA series is set in a future where natural death has been eradicated. While natural death may be a thing of the past, population control is still necessary. Thus, we have the Scythes, whose job it is to glean people, aka. end their lives.

These books start by following some Scythe apprentices and then we sort of escalate from there. I was concerned this would lose some of the initial intrigue. Sometimes that happens with series, all of the magic lies in the world-building in the first book and then it will sort of dissipate.

Luckily, Shusterman was far from done building out this world. We’re introduced to new things in this book, including characters that really added to the overall story.

I also loved the trajectory for our two mains from the first book, Rowan and Citra. Rowan’s arc, in particular, really evolves in this one, heading in a different direction than what I would have originally anticipated for him.

There’s also a vein of this story that starts investigating the intentions of the founding Scythes. That avenue helped to build out the lore of the world. It brought in history and really got my brain cranking about how vast this scope actually is. It’s truly impressive.

Shusterman has a plan for everything with this one: past, present and future. There’s also so much commentary here, it’s overflowing with religious symbology and if you are searching for those types of connections, it certainly offers up a lot of food for thought.

Additionally, for a longer book, the pace of this never lets up. It builds and builds until one of the most shocking conclusions that I have ever read. It’s perfection.

My jaw was on the floor. I never in a million years could have predicted the end. It was one of those finales that made me so glad that I waited until all the books were released before I started it. I never could have waited.

I did start The Toll immediately upon finishing this and am so glad. If you haven’t made time for this series yet, you absolutely should. I recommend it to all Readers. It’s so unique and engaging. It’s definitely worth a go!

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Review: Forging Silver into Stars (Forging Silver into Stars #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Forging Silver into Stars (Forging Silver into Stars, #1)Forging Silver into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forging Silver into Stars is the 1st-book in the series of the same name. This is a companion/follow-up to Kemmerer’s popular Cursebreakers series. This YA Fantasy series started as a loose reimagining of Beauty & the Beast, but it has certainly come a long way since then.

I really enjoyed my time throughout the Cursebreakers books and was extremely happy to be reunited with Grey, Rhen, Harper and Lia Mara, here. Additionally, seeing sweet baby Tycho all growns up was such a treat!

This story is set approximately 5-years after the final events of the Cursebreakers series. In this one we follow three different perspectives: Tycho, who you may remember from the Cursebreakers books, where he had a small role, as well as Callyn and Jax, two new characters.

Callyn and Jax are best friends, living in the small village of Briarlock. Callyn runs her family bakery and takes care of her little sister, Norah. Jax is a blacksmith, who runs his father’s shop, while his Dad is busy gambling, drinking and otherwise spending all their money.

As he is passing through Briarlock for a spell, Tycho ends up meeting both Callyn and Jax. The plot centers mainly around a underground movement growing against the new King of Syhl Shallow because of his rumored magic.

The members of this rebellion claim to be loyal to the Queen, but they view the new King’s magic as a threat to their entire kingdom. They’re determined to stamp out that threat.

Tycho, as we know, has connections to both Syhl Shallow and Emberfall. Callyn and Jax, whose village is a part of Syhl Shallow, soon find themselves on opposite sides of the issue. Can their friendship survive all the new drama, and potential new loves, surrounding them?

This was so good. Kemmerer is such a great writer with fantastic world-building and characters. She never fails to pull me in and keep me invested.

Her characters are so likable. Even the ones you aren’t supposed to like, you sort of love to hate them. I loved how the main characters from Cursebreakers were included in the periphery of this one, and as we got further along, they began to appear more and more.

From the conclusion of this, I am left thinking that we are going to be seeing a lot more of them all in the next book, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

There is some romance in this for both Callyn and Jax. I liked the way that built up, the uncertainty of their feelings and all that, but there was a section where there were a few chapters in a row that were quite romance-heavy in lieu of the rest of the plot.

That sort of lost my interest a little, as I would have preferred that more interspersed amongst the rest of the book. Nevertheless, it was a fairly short section when considering the bigger picture, so didn’t really affect my overall enjoyment that much.

The action definitely picked up towards the end and we are in a great position to jump into the next book. There’s a lot of unfinished business and so much more to explore as our characters head in new directions.

I’m so excited for the next book to release. I love that this world didn’t have to end with A Vow So Bold and Deadly. I’ll read anything Kemmerer wants to write involving Emberfall and Syhl Shallow.

I would recommend reading Cursebreakers first, but it’s not absolutely necessary. This is written in such a way that you wouldn’t feel lost without that background, but it definitely adds to the experience if you have read that trilogy.

Content Warning: Animal Content — (view spoiler)
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Review: The Girls on Floor 13 (Detective Maria Miller #3) by Helen Phifer

The Girls on Floor 13 (Detective Maria Miller #3)The Girls on Floor 13 by Helen Phifer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Helen Phifer’s Detective Maria Miller books are all super solid, page-turning Paranormal Mysteries. These books follow Maria Miller and her partner, Frankie, as they investigate cases that lack a normal, scientific explanation, and trust, these stories get DARK.

Located in New York City, there’s certainly no lack of bizarre happenings for them to investigate. Maria and Frankie have quickly become one of my favorite detective duos.

In this, the 3rd-installment to the series, Maria and Frankie are summoned to the Parker Hotel, an infamously haunted NYC-hotel, after the bodies of two teenage girls are found murdered in one of the rooms on the 13th floor.

The girls are laid out on the twin beds, as if on display. It’s a gruesome scene. As the investigation begins, the hotel manager shares some information with Maria that surprises her. A newspaper article reporting on an almost identical double murder that occurred in the hotel decades earlier.

In fact, a lot of people have suffered a tragic end at the hotel, some of the spirits reportedly still stalk the halls. Is there possibly some connection to the past in this case?

The more time they spend at the hotel, the more it seems to be effecting Maria. It feels like something has poisoned her body. It’s truly a race against the clock as they try to find the murderer, before they have the opportunity to strike again.

I found this mystery very intriguing. Phifer wastes no time diving into the main case we’re going to be examining. I appreciate how Phifer’s not afraid to get graphic. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart.

I loved the inspiration I felt from IRL Haunted Hotels. I know the author had a particular hotel in NYC in mind, but it immediately made me think of the Cecil Hotel. I mean, the watertower connection…

There’s def some creepy imagery in this. I feel like Phifer excels in that area. Let it be known, this is a true Paranormal Mystery. It’s not one of those, is it, is it not, cases. Go into this knowing it is absolutely, 100% Paranormal.

As with many Adult Mystery series, you can read this as a standalone. I would recommend reading the other books in the series though, as there is a lot of great character development for Maria and Frankie, as well as some really fun side characters, over the course of the three books.

With this being said, you could actually read this one first and then if you loved it enough, go back and read the other two. I would certainly have no problem with doing that.

This gets absolutely wild at the end. It’s so gripping. It’s compelling throughout, but the pace and the stakes really increase the closer you get to the end.

Overall, this was an entertaining, fast-paced, creepy mystery. I love how Phifer pulls a historical perspective into her stories as well. The back and forth and the way everything builds out is just very pleasing.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Paranormal Mysteries, or Horror Mysteries. Maria and Frankie are like the Mulder and Scully of the NYPD.

Thank you to the publisher, Storm Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to see what comes next for these characters!

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Review: Icon and Inferno (Stars and Smoke #2) by Marie Lu

Icon and Inferno (Stars and Smoke, #2)Icon and Inferno by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Icon and Inferno is the 2nd-book in Marie Lu’s fast-paced Spy Thriller series, Stars and Smoke. This romantic YA series features a Pop Star and a Secret Agent.

I had a lot of fun with the 1st-book, Stars and Smoke, so I was excited to continue on with these characters and this world. Unsurprisingly, Lu’s exceptional writing drew me in from the start and kept me hooked throughout.

In this installment, we are reunited with our MCs, Winter, an international pop superstar, and Sydney, an operative for a mysterious organization known as the Panacea Group.

Winter and Sydney were paired together on a mission in London in the 1st-book, but have now, at the start of this, gone a year without any contact between them.

They’re about to be thrust together again though, when Panacea calls upon Winter to assist them with a mission in Singapore, where he is set to perform a show.

The mission involves a lavish party, an assassination plot, and is the very highest of stakes. Panacea needs their best ops on the job.

The chemistry between our mains is still simmering directly under the surface, but we have their exs in tow as well, so that sets up some interesting tension.

Lu excels at character development. I love how well developed these characters are, particularly Winter and Sydney. It’s impossible not to fall in love with them and yearn for them to be together.

I appreciate the slow burn feel of the development of their relationship. Even the pining isn’t overdone. It feels natural and leaves the Reader wanting more.

The action is also gripping and believable. I love the idea of the Panacea Group, the mystery of it all; the operatives and missions. The possibilities for this series are truly endless.

My only small gripe about this is that I wanted more. I feel like the mission went almost too quickly. I could have definitely spent more time in Singapore.

That’s obviously a personal preference, but I definitely could have done with it being built-out even more.

Overall though, I had a lot of fun reading this. The audiobook narration is fantastic, bringing the story to life.

Winter and Sydney compliment each other. Their personalities play off one another so well. He’s always in the spotlight, she’s always in the shadows. They’re like two sides of the same coin and I only want the best for them.

The way this story left off at the end was great. I love that Lu left a bit of mystery. There’s obviously more that could be explored, or we could leave it here. Personally, I am hoping for more, but we’ll see…

Thank you so much to the publisher, Roaring Brook Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. This series is highly underrated!!

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Review: Dead Tired (The Expectant Detectives #2) by Kat Ailes

Dead Tired (The Expectant Detectives, #2)Dead Tired by Kat Ailes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Dead Tired is the 2nd-installment to the Cozy Mystery series, The Expectant Detectives. I had a lot of fun with the 1st-book and have been anticipating this release ever since.

The main character, and our narrator, is Alice, a new Mom, who lives with her boyfriend, baby, and high-spirited dog, Helen, in the quaint country village of Penton.

In the 1st-book, the couple had recently moved to Penton after discovering they were pregnant, and Alice ended up meeting the other characters, her now best friends, in a prenatal class. That’s where they solved their first murder.

As this story begins, it’s been a year and the women are closer now than ever. It’s on one of their regular picnics with the babies that they first encounter Rowan and Layla, eco-protesters, who are buck-naked at their first meeting.

In an awkward conversation, Rowan and Layla mention that they are prepping for a photo shoot to help bring awareness to a wind farm that will soon be overtaking this lush and vibrant natural countryside.

Alice and her friends agree to help with the protest, thus finding themselves shortly thereafter chained to trees on an overnight protest. Ah well, anything for a bit of rest, I guess.

The next morning, Layla is found dead, still chained to her tree and a new investigation begins. Can Alice and friends discover the killers before anyone else is cut down?

I had so much fun with this. As with the 1st-book, I listened to the audiobook and cannot recommend it enough. Kitty Kelly’s narration is Alice to me a this point. Her delivery, with the humor and everything else, is just so spot on!

I also love Ailes sense of humor. These books don’t take themselves too seriously and I cherish that. Ailes knows, we’re here for a good time. Let’s have some fun. Just because it involves murder, doesn’t mean it can’t be cute and cozy.

I’m so properly attached to these characters now, which is one of the best things about Cozy Mystery series. The longer they go on, the more attached to them I get.

Alice, Ailsa, Poppy and Hen (the other mum) are such a dynamic group of women. I love being with them and spending time with them. There’s a lot of differences among them, but they just fit so well together, as they navigate new motherhood, and amateur sleuthing, all at the same time.

This went by too quickly. I tried to savor it, but I just couldn’t. The mystery was so compelling, the hijinks and banter, so good, I just ate it up.

Additionally, Helen, Alice’s dog, is such a special treat. I appreciate so much the way she is written and Alice’s relationship to her. I can relate to the non-stop chaos those four dirty paws can sometimes bring. Even reading about Helen’s predictably wild ways puts a smile on my face.

Towards the final reveal, I did find it a little muddled. I was actually surprised by the whodunit, like so much so, I wondered what I missed; like, did we get all those clues?

Nevertheless, in the whole scope, I didn’t really care that much about all that. It was really the journey getting to that point that I loved the most.

The way this left off, I’m definitely anticipating a 3rd-book, and cannot wait for it. You’ll find me first in line!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. This series is an absolute blast. I recommend it to all Cozy Mystery fans!

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Review: Murder, She Wrote: Murder Backstage by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Murder, She Wrote: Murder BackstageMurder, She Wrote: Murder Backstage by Jessica Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Murder, She Wrote: Murder Backstage is the 58th-installment in this long-running, much-loved Cozy Murder Mystery series, starring amateur sleuth, Jessica Fletcher.

This is the 5th-installment to be written by Terrie Farley Moran, who took over the series beginning with Killing in a Koi Pond back in 2021. I have read all of the books authored by Farley Moran, and have been so pleased with her contributions to the series thus far.

I feel she’s really captured the original tone and characterizations, sticking with the classic format that I think works so well for long-time fans of the series. You know what you’re getting when you pick up a MSW book and I appreciate that TFM hasn’t tried to change that.

In this installment, we go along with Jessica, as well as her closest friends, Mort Metzger, his wife, Maureen, and Dr. Seth Hazlitt, as they travel to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to reunite with Jessica’s cousin, Emma.

Emma is a theater actress from London, who long-time fans of the show may remember first meeting in an episode during Season 1 of the television series.

And before you come at me for being the biggest dork on the planet, the only reason I remember this so well is because they had Angela Lansbury play the role of both Jessica and Emma in the episode, which was a little strange, TBH.

The only difference really was Emma had red hair and a London theater actress accent. So, there was a scene where Jessica and Emma were having a serious conversation while riding in a car, and they could only show one of them at a time, and it’s slightly choppy and hilarious.

Anyway, I digress. Back to this book. I was delighted that TFM decided to include such a classic character from the series. I’ve never forgotten cousin Emma and it’s always lovely to see her. She’s energetic and a lot of fun.

In this, Emma is going to Canada to star in a theater production featuring an internationally famous star, Derek Braverman, who has created his own old-fashioned musical review. Approaching the end of his career, he wants to go out on his own terms, performing his own show.

Emma contacts Jessica and extends an invitation to her and her friends, thinking it would be a great time for them to reconnect. While Edmonton is a long way from Cabot Cove, Jessica and crew jump at the opportunity.

The mystery involves the death of stagehand, whose body is discovered in the theater after hours, but of course, Jessica and Emma are there.

From that point on, Jessica puts her master-sleuthing skills to the test, as she yet again sets out to solve the murder, and find the killer, before the tables are potentially turned on her and her loved ones.

Y’all know, I cherish my time with Jessica Fletcher. This is my all-time favorite Cozy Mystery series. It’s my go-to as a way to escape life for a while. These stories are so pure and fun. I always know what I am going to get when I pick one up, and there’s real comfort in that.

This is the 43rd-book that I’ve read in the series. I still have a way to go, but I will never stop. As long as they keep being released, I will keep picking them up and I certainly hope that Terrie Farley Moran sticks around the long-run as well.

This did take over my life while I was reading it. Once we had our body, I was hooked. Everyone was suspicious and a lot of people had motive, but whodunit?

I enjoyed the whole cast of characters, as well as the setting of the hotel and theater. Jessica and her friends took full advantage of being in Edmonton, managing to get in a lot of touristy things, even whilst solving a murder.

In fact, if I’m honest, there’s was a bit too much of the sight-seeing bits for my taste. It tended to drag down the pace of the story a little.

While I am glad the friends had the opportunity to see some sights, and learn some history of the city, I didn’t necessarily need to go along with them on every excursion.

With this being said, I still really enjoyed this. I thought the mystery was fun and the full cast of characters was great; a nice mix of theater, and non-theater people. The conclusion was exciting and my heart was full by the end.

For the uninitiated, these books can be read in any order. If you are interested in checking any of them out, I would recommend just reading a few synopsis and deciding which one sounds most intriguing to you. Once you found it, just give it a go. You could end up loving them as much as me!

Thank you to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’ll never turn down a Murder, She Wrote Mystery, so please keep ’em coming!!

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Review: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect (Ernest Cunningham #2) by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect (Ernest Cunningham, #2)Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect is the 2nd-installment in the Ernest Cunningham Mystery series.

I read the 1st-book in this series, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, immediately preceding this one. I listened to the audiobook for both and absolutely loved the experience. Barton Welch, as Ernie, is bloody brilliant!

In this story, Ernie is now a published author, having written a book following the events of the 1st-novel. He continues directly addressing us, the Readers, so his recognition that he wrote about the events we read in the first book is all very meta. It makes these stories stand-out.

Ernie has been, in a way, invited by the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society to their crime-writing festival aboard the Ghan, the famous train between Darwin and Adelaide. He accepts, hoping something will happen aboard that could inspire ideas for his next book — fiction, this time.

There are five other crime writers attending as part of the festival, in addition to Ernie. One of them ends up dead. After that happens, the remaining writers do what they do best, they investigate the crime.

There’s so much experience amongst them, they should be able to figure it out. Of course, this logic also works the other way. They are all students of crime. They can solve it, but they could also probably commit it; and well.

The train setting of course makes one think of Murder on the Orient Express. It was such a lovely doff of the cap to that classic, even bringing solid Locked Room Mystery vibes.

I loved having all the various writers, all thinking they have the expertise to figure everything out, bumbling around together, sleuthing it up left and right. At times it was utter chaos and I was delighting in every minute of it!

I’m a huge fan of this series. I think Stevenson has maintained such a sense of fun within these mysteries. They’re so clever and charming.

As with the 1st-book, I did feel like things got a little muddled towards the end, but honestly, I didn’t really care. I love Ernie Cunningham and I’m a devotee of this series for as long as it runs. Bring ’em on, Stevenson!

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