Narrator: James Cameron Stewart
Published by Tantor Audio on September 18, 2018
Length: 17 hrs 13 mins
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The Rules of Blackheath:
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin . . .
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others . . .
I don’t want to tell you much about The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I don’t want to ruin it for you. Someone described it as “Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day” and I think that’s pretty dead on. If you enjoy a good country house mystery, but like to take a chance with a book that’s outside the usual, that may confuse/frustrate you at times, you should definitely pick it up.
Aiden Bishop is our detective, but he doesn’t remember being Aiden. He only knows that he’s here, in Blackheath, and has to solve a murder that doesn’t look like a murder. He repeats the same day eight times, but in eight different bodies. There are clues and red herrings, helpers and adversaries. We’ve got the standards of a house party, relatives who don’t get along, guests with tons of secrets, scandals and drugs. And then we’ve got the almost sci-fi aspect of switching hosts and affecting how the day progresses – and why is Aiden trapped here anyway?
I listened to the audio and it took me a few chapters to really settle into the story. Even at that, although the narrator did a great job differentiating characters and keeping a good pace, there were times I wanted to turn back and see what happened last time.
I think this may be one of my favorite odd mysteries, if that makes sense, the ones that don’t fit the normal rules of the genre.