Suddenly a Murder is a fun and engaging YA Mystery from debut author, Lauren Muñoz.
As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to pick it up. The setting is a 1920s-theme party that ends in murder…on an island! This was screaming Classic Mystery feel to me, and that’s something I have soooo been into this year.
This story follows a group of teens who have just graduated from high school. Before they go their separate ways, their queen bee, Kassidy, plans an OTT-all expenses paid, 1920s-themed week at the lavish, Ashwood Manor, set on Sparrow Island, off the coast of Maine.
Frankly, if that alone doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what else to say.
I suppose I should give you a little more though. So, basically, Kassidy is the organizer of the entire weekend.
She’s super wealthy and is footing the bill for the entire event. Not only does this include the rental of the extravagant, and completely secluded island property, but it also includes all the 1920s-themed wardrobes and accoutrements for the guests.
All is going well, I mean except for the occasional teen drama, or spat, obviously to be expected, until the very unexpected happens.
Before dinner one night, Kassidy’s boyfriend, Blaine, is discovered dead in his room. Desperate and afraid, the teens call the authorities, who make it just in time, before a ferocious storm stops ferry travel to-and-from the island.
Murder, they say. But can that possibly be true? Who of the group of friends could possibly commit murder, and why?
Y’all, this was a fantastic set-up by Muñoz. I love how she brought that classic feel we all know and love, whilst seamlessly making it modern and engaging enough for the next generation of Mystery Readers.
I was pulled in right from the very start, as our group of characters is making their way out to the island. We begin to learn a bit about each of the guests for the week, as well the relationships and history they have amongst themselves.
Isadora, Izzy, is our main character that we come to know and love, or at least I did, over the course of the story. She is a bit of an outsider with this group, even though Kassidy is her tried-and-true best friend.
Izzy’s Mom is a teacher at the prestigious academy from which the teens just graduated. Izzy was able to attend due to scholarship, unlike all of her other friends, whose parents could more than afford the pricey tuition.
Because of this, and other experiences, Izzy provides a bit of a different insight into the events than the other teens.
There are some hints dropped in this one where I was like, could this be the answer? But honestly, I didn’t figure this one out until about 80% of the way through, and even then, I didn’t figure it all out. Some aspects I still needed the characters to fill in the blanks for me.
I thought this was a ton a fun. I feel like Muñoz plotted the murder mystery aspects so well, while also including some more heavy-hitting topics for consideration.
In my opinion. the story overall was really well balanced and it definitely kept me engaged throughout.
I definitely recommend this to any Reader who enjoys a YA Mystery/Thriller with well-developed characters, lush atmosphere and rich people behaving badly. Bonus points if you enjoy reading about private school students and drama.
Thank you so much to the publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I had a ton of fun with this and cannot wait to read more from this author!!