When I first picked up The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, I have to say I was underwhelmed. We come to as Sebastian Bell does, bereft of any memories or context, wondering who he is and what we’re all doing here. Plus, murder. It was hard to get in to, I have to admit, tagging along at Bell’s heels while he knew nothing and I as the reader knew less.
And then, Bell went to sleep and we woke up as the butler instead; the same day was begun anew.
Then, I was interested! From a slow beginning that belied the rest of the novel, 7 1/2 Deaths expanded into what I always wanted Clue to be when I was a kid playing the board game. We follow Aiden Bishop as he jumps from host to host, trying to solve the mystery of a murder before it happens, living the same day eight times. He finds friends, for however long, in Anna and Daniel, two others who share his predicament. They all are trying to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle so they can present the name of the murder to the Plague Doctor and earn their freedom, but they must unravel the lies and intrigues of a generation’s worth of secrets to win.
Also, there is a lot of incidental murder along the way, and I mean a lot. (Full disclosure: I loved every second of it!)
So anyway, if you want a massively compelling murder mystery where nothing turns out like you thought it would, please read this amazing novel by Stuart Turton.
Thank you to NetGalley and Raven Books for the (sort of) advance copy! The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton, was published on February 8th, 2018.