A good title can do a lot for a book. I’m not normally one to pick up a murder mystery, but this title, The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, intrigued me. Why seven and a half? How does someone die seven and half times?  Before I even opened the book, I was insanely curious.

That curiosity turned into a gripping experience as I read this book at every opportunity. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, a debut novel by author Stuart Turton, was unlike anything I have ever read. It tells the story of Aiden Bishop, a man trapped in a Ground-Hog-Day-like experience on the grounds of the mysterious Blackheath Manor, reliving the same day over and over again. No matter what he does, the day ends with the death of Evelyn Hardcastle. The only way to escape the repetition? Solve Evelyn’s murder. But there is a catch. Every morning Aiden wakes up at Blackheath Manor in someone else’s body. Each host is some how connected to Evelyn’s death and it is up to Aiden to unravel all the connecting threads before he is trapped at Blackheath Manor forever.

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie, Turton crafts a fascinating multi-layered mystery with a cast of complex characters and an eerie setting that kept me up at night, my head spinning with questions and wondering what in the world was going to happen next. Part murder mystery, part science fiction thriller, this book continually surprised me as it twisted and turned around the murders at Blackheath. If you are looking for a thrilling mystery, I dare you to enter the pages of The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

Reviewed by Meg

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