The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again. It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a book that is most confusing because of its name. Being so similar to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and also being named The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle before publishers trying to make a bigger difference between the two confused the book community for quite some time. So much so that I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading it.
I would like to point out that I didn’t know there was a fantasy element to this book at all! So it was a nice little surprise for a fantasy lover. First and foremost though, this book is a murder mystery needing to be solved. I could compare it to a game of Cluedo, except our main character gets to see through the eyes of those in the house and get up close and personal with our suspects. It’s definitely best to go into this book with as little information as possible – as it gives you the best reading experience as parts of the puzzle keep falling into place.
Whilst this uses many of the tropes seen in murder mysteries (of which I am familiar with mostly from Mum’s avid watching of Poirot whilst I was growing up), I felt that the added twist of fantasy and time loops increased the tension, and gave an edge to The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I adored the nostalgic feel of the Blackheath – of being reminded of many an old country home where a rich heiress is killed under mysterious circumstances.
I adored the multiple characters we interacted with throughout the book. They each had their own backstories and motivations – the story being set with characters that had known each other for years had a great set up as everyone had different opinions about different people. These perceptions also led to our main character being an unreliable narrator for most of the book, as he knows so little about what is happening and must rely on those around him.
The writing style was absolutely gripping. I was so invested from the start even though the actual pace was extremely slow as it set up Blackheath and the characters. The twists and turns had me keep turning every page because I just had to find out what was happening. We also get to go backwards and forwards in time, which was an amazing way to allow the reader to keep looking for additional clues in each scene.
Most importantly is that I didn’t guess the end. I always like mystery books that are set up to be understandable once you know what has happened, but that I can’t guess because it’s been so well written. Although I think maybe more avid mystery readers may have been able to guess. I had so many questions throughout the book, and this book tied up the answers neatly into a good ending too.
Thinking about it, I really would love a reread to pick up on the hints throughout that I must have missed. It was a fantastic mystery book, and it was so hard to write this review without spoilers because of it!
- Fantasy element
- Writing style
- Sometimes slow paced
I received The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton from the publisher via Netgalley. This is an unbiased and honest review
Uptown Oracle Reads... 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed... again. It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.