THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE by Stuart Turton
Aiden Bishop has been invited to a Masquerade by the Hardcastle Family, taking place at their estate – Blackheath House. But Aiden isn’t himself. No – really! He isn’t himself. At any given time, he’s one of eight other people – hosts whose bodies he will inhabit for twenty-four hours each, until he solves the mystery of who killed Evelyn Hardcastle, the daughter of the family.
Each morning Aiden awakes in a new body, struggling to remember the events of the previous day, trying to put together the puzzle that will lead him to Evelyn’s murderer and his eventual release from his torment. His life is on a loop as he struggles to “keep down” the person whose body he inhabits while trying to remember who he really is.
Author A. J. Finn describes this novel as “Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day” and I can’t think of a better description for it. It’s edge-of-your-seat fiction and completely unpredictable, with characters who run the gamut from odious to demure. Truly a page-turner if I’ve ever read one.
DREADFULWATER SHOWS UP by Hartley GoodWeather
You might know the author of this hilarious mystery by his real name: Thomas King. King brings the same kind of humour to this novel as he did to his radio show The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, which aired on CBC Radio from 1997-2000.
The characters in this novel are as colorful as the names they’ve been given. Thumps DreadfulWater is a Cherokee ex-cop who has settled in the little town of Chinook, somewhere in the northwestern U.S. He’s given up his badge for a camera and bit by bit we begin to learn why. When he’s asked to take pictures of a dead body found in a condo, he defaults to police-mode and is soon investigating the death, against the advice of the local sheriff. The prime-suspect is the son of Thumps’ sometimes lover, and Thumps is positive that he’s innocent. But you cannot prove someone innocent if you cannot find them. So in addition to trying to find the murderer, he must also find the person who didn’t do it.
There’s a chuckle on every page and I found myself laughing out loud consistently throughout the book. Thumps DreadfulWater is such a great character – I look forward to reading more of his adventures in The Red Power Murders and Cold Skies: A DreadfulWater Mystery, released in May of this year.