I am in the midst of binging some mystery books, and recently read Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels. I was unfamiliar with these authors and coincidentally read them one after the other. I was pleasantly surprised how complementary they were with each other.
Everyone tells the story of a dysfunctional family reunion that quickly turns into multiple murders told from the point of view of one of the family members who happens to be a mystery writer and the black sheep of the family. The book jumps around from the present to the past to better explain the family dynamics as well as explain how each of the family members has in fact killed someone. Of course, in the end the narrator solves the murders and heals the old family wounds. Even though there is a lot of murders and some of the deaths are quite gruesome the tone of the book is surprisingly more lighthearted than serious.
The Mysterious Case is a bit more complicated. This book is a collection of documents that is presented to the reader as being found in a safe deposit box and all relate to the research of a book about a cult mass murder that happened twenty years ago. The documents are a mix of emails, newspaper clippings, letters, and transcripts from phone and in-person meetings. I was impressed that the documents created a seamless story about the search for a story that quickly becomes a race between two authors with a past: Amanda Baily and Oliver Menzies. The Mysterious Case is much more fast paced than Everyone and I would describe it more as a thriller than a standard murder mystery – especially since I tore through it in less than 3 days. It’s a quick read with many more twists than expected but do have to say that in the end that the initial precept that the reader is coming across these documents and after reading them needs to decide what to do about them – continue to keep them secret or reveal the secrets, isn’t a necessary trope.
[Everyone: 3 out of 5 stars]
[Alperton Angels: 3.5 out 5 stars]