Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

I read the first book featuring Ernest Cunningham, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, last year but apparently never wrote a review. I totally enjoyed it and its gimmick worked well, which is why I picked up #2, Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect. I don't typically like meta elements in mysteries, but I like how aware Ernest, our first-person narrator is. He knows the rules of his genre and often references us as the reader and what we might be expecting from his sequel. This time around, Ernest is a guest speaker at the 50th Australian Mystery Writers Society festival, which is taking place on a train. Of course, one of the authors is murdered and Ernest decides to investigate - and write his second book. This book is funny and almost too clever. The characters are an interesting bunch, with plenty of secrets and more history than one might expect. Ernest is still witty and self-conscious. The plot...
Read More
You’ve Been Summoned by Lindsey Lamar

You’ve Been Summoned by Lindsey Lamar

You've Been Summoned's setup reminded me a lot of the board game, Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, mixed with Clue. It's designed to be interactive, casting you, the reader, as the newest employee at PI, Inc. Apparently they're a bit short-staffed, so you're assigned a case right from the top. You have all the files regarding the incident at Sophomore Manor at your disposal - to be read in the suggested order. You also have several historical items from the 1940s when Mary Sophomore and her twin sister also went missing. You do receive some helpful pointers from the boss along the way. The case you've been asked to look at involves Sillian Parks. She was throwing a party with several friends and her twin sister, Jane, at the Sophomore Manor, when she went missing. She was eventually found, but comatose, and foul play was suspected. It's up to you, the reader, to put all the information and clues together to present...
Read More
A Midnight Puzzle by Gigi Pandian

A Midnight Puzzle by Gigi Pandian

A Midnight Puzzle is the third in the Secret Staircase series, and I do think they are best read in order. Tempest, a former stage magician, is enjoying her work with her father's Secret Staircase Construction company. So, when a customer who is filing a lawsuit against the company is murdered, Tempest decides she has to investigate to save the family business. This time around the connection to Tempest's family is clear. The man is murdered by a booby trap at the theater Tempest is renting for one final show, the theater where Tempest's mom disappeared. I'll be honest, this overarching mystery about the family curse has not been my favorite part of the first two books. I'm glad we get a solution here, but for me, this book just wasn't as fun as the last one. And I did guess the killer before it was revealed, although there were a couple of decent twists before we got there. I listened to...
Read More
The Third Pole by Mark Synnott

The Third Pole by Mark Synnott

I came into The Third Pole not knowing much about Mt Everest and, to be honest, not caring much about it either. But, the book looked interesting and I needed an Everest book for a bingo square. I ended up enjoying it. The mountain, the climbers, the support staff, it's all fascinating. Synnott and his team set out specifically not to summit, but to locate the body of Sandy Irvine, one of two men widely believed to have summited Mt. Everest from the north in 1924, decades before the much better-documented success of the Chinese in 1960. While the body of Irvine's partner, George Mallory, was discovered in 1999, Irvine's had yet to be definitively located, although there was speculation about where it was likely to be found. Armed with a drone to scope out the area before they made the climb, the team set out on a journey that was bound to significantly bend quite a few rules, if...
Read More