I had a really good time with this book. I am honestly pleased with most mysteries that I read because something about the genre makes me inherently happy, but I am always very excited when I find one that goes above and beyond the expectations of the genre, and plays around a little. This one definitely did that. It was like brain candy for me. A little treat.
The book is split into two parts, the first being a rough draft of a murder mystery novel someone is writing about a murder that occurs in the Boston Public Library, and the four people who meet and become friends during the investigation because they were sitting near each other when they all heard the scream of the woman being murdered. (One of these people, our main character, is a novelist herself, working on a novel set in Boston.) The second part is a series of letters from the author’s critique partner, as he comments on the story, often giving advice about Boston (where he is from; she’s from Australia) so the characters’ actions can be more plausible.
Firstly, I liked the mystery itself, but knowing that it was a book within a book, and that it could change at any time as we watched the author receive feedback from this guy in Boston, and that she could be responding to things in “real-time” added another level of fun to it that I really enjoyed. The letters themselves, as you clue in pretty quickly if you’re paying attention, also start to have a stink of the odd about them. So that’s another level to have fun with.
I didn’t guess the murderer or the twists in the “novel,” in fact I was completely fixated on the wrong thing the entire time. But I did guess what was going on in the frame story, and that gave me some much needed validation. If you like mysteries, I would definitely give this one a shot. It’s not long, and I found it super entertaining.
Chipping Away at Mt. TBR, July 2022—Book 23/31