Member Reviews

This book is nothing like any other book out there. The originality is mind blowing. Stuart Turton qualified into my auto buy author list.

Thank you Sourcebooks Landmarks for providing this book for review consideration via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I'm quite the fan of Stuart Turton, and I loved the premise of this The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It made me reminiscent of the writing style of Kate Atkinson (another author I love), which made me eager to finish this novel. I was confused for part of the novel, but it kept me turning the pages! There is a lot of intricacy and depth in this novel and it makes the reader think. If I was a kid, I would have been under the covers with a flashlight for this book.

I actually recently re-read this book, and appreciated it even more this time around. The way the story played out, and all the complexities of the characters kept me riveted. It was one of those books where I now want one of my book clubs to re-visit it so I can have a group of people to discuss with. Just the whole premise really had me in love with the book. I really have enjoyed Stuart Turton's books and recently purchased his new book. There was one sentence in the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle that made me pause and wonder if it was an easter egg, as it contained, "the murder at the end," and it immediately stuck out to me. I'm really disappointed that on this current book tour the author will not be anywhere close to me, but maybe the next go round!

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you for the opportunity to review - interesting but not as resonant as I'd been told to expect.

Was this review helpful?

People love this. It's seeing a major resurgence in popularity. I tried to read it three years ago and I picked it up again recently and I couldn't get into it. I gave it a good go--maybe 50 pages--and it was a chore to try to pick it up.

Was this review helpful?

I loved everything about this - a proper dark, Gothic murder mystery. The conceit is bold and the execution flawless. I plan on reading it again to savour how all the pieces fit together.

Was this review helpful?

This was a really enjoyable book for me BUT there's also a huge part of it that I didn't like.

I LOVED the mystery and pretty much everything about it. I really enjoyed following along with each of the characters, the curiosity of Aiden being able to embody each of these guests that were somehow involved, and seeing those characters interact with themselves. It was a little mind-blowing seeing the story develop throughout the novel and how many times each character brought everything full circle. I was super impressed with that manner of story telling because it took a lot of care and precision, and I also really enjoyed the mystery in itself. I felt like the concept of the book sort of distracted from the reader solving the mystery so there were plenty of twists in story for me as far as revealing who the actual killer of Evelyn Hardcastle was and how the characters figured it out.

So basically I loved everything that was the story in itself.

What I didn't love, and actually actively disliked, was the reason why Aiden was able to embody all of these different guests and what it all meant. I won't spoil anything here but I knew it was going to take me out of time period and do some genre crossing, so it took some of that atmosphere and magic away for me. I actually thought it cheapened the story instead of this just being a really awesome period mystery, which if you took away a couple elements and added others, it really could have been just that. There was just enough of it to introduce something that didn't fit the feel of the book for me and not enough of it for me to feel anything about it except that I kind of hated it. Basically, I'm going to pretend it didn't happen and just consider this a mystery novel because I really, really enjoyed that part of it.

Was this review helpful?

I started reading The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in 2018, the year of its release, and found it overly confusing, so I put it down. The novel got a ton of acclaim, however, and I would occasionally see references to it online, so I wondered what I missed and finally picked it back up.

The quote on the back from controversial crime writer and prolific blurber A.J. Finn calls it “Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day.” I’d counter with “murder mystery dinner theater meets The Good Place meets Groundhog Day.”

A man wakes up in a body not his own, only to discover that he’s going to continue doing so day after day, cycling through a variety of different “hosts,” until he solves the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. Evelyn is the only daughter of Lord Peter and Lady Helena Hardcastle, who are hosting a grim celebration at Blackheath, their run-down manor: the 19th anniversary of their beloved son Thomas’s death. A person dressed in a plague doctor mask informs the man that he will have eight chances to figure out whodunit, or his memories will be wiped and the entire process will begin again.

The man gradually recognizes that his name is Aiden Bishop, and he came to Blackheath voluntarily—but why? There are about a thousand different mysteries besides who killed Evelyn, including the real culprit behind Thomas’s long-ago murder; the whereabouts of Lady Helena; why a bloodthirsty footman keeps trying to kill Aiden; why Aiden’s first host, Dr. Bell, has a big empty trunk in his room; and on and on.

Intellectually, I can appreciate that The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is an incredible achievement; just keeping all of the timelines and characters straight must have required a jumbo-sized murder board. Personally, it left me cold, as I didn’t care about Aiden any more than I would care about a video game character who dies and comes back to life when you restart the game. I read the entire (long) book mostly because (a) I’m stubborn that way and (b) I wanted to know if the payoff was worth it, which it wasn’t, really.

One of Aiden’s hosts is a fat man named Lord Ravencourt, and maybe it’s because I’ve listened to so many episodes of “Maintenance Phase,” but the depiction of this character was really over-the-top. “I can hear myself eating, the crush and the crack, the squelch and the gulp. Gravy runs down my chins, grease smearing my lips with a ghastly, shimmering shine. Such is the ferocity of my appetite that I leave myself panting between mouthfuls. The other diners are watching this hideous performance from the corner of their eyes…” Ravencourt is highly intelligent but basically immobile, and needs to rely on an aide, which is relevant to the storyline. There must have been other, more sensitive ways to depict that particular situation rather than “look at the gross fat person.”

One mystery that is not solved within the pages of the book: why was it titled The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the U.K. and The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the U.S.? The change was made in order to avoid confusion with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, although it didn’t quite work, according to the author (“I get so many people telling me they bought one, meaning to buy [the] other,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Public Library blog).

Was this review helpful?

This is most definitely my new favorite book! Absolutely loved it! I have recommended this book to several friends and will continue to recommend to several more. Would love to see this book made into a movie.

Was this review helpful?

Due to a sudden, unexpected passing in the family a few years ago and another more recently and my subsequent (mental) health issues stemming from that, I was unable to download this book in time to review it before it was archived as I did not visit this site for several years after the bereavements. This meant I didn't read or venture onto netgalley for years as not only did it remind me of that person as they shared my passion for reading, but I also struggled to maintain interest in anything due to overwhelming depression. I was therefore unable to download this title in time and so I couldn't give a review as it wasn't successfully acquired before it was archived. The second issue that has happened with some of my other books is that I had them downloaded to one particular device and said device is now defunct, so I have no access to those books anymore, sadly.

This means I can't leave an accurate reflection of my feelings towards the book as I am unable to read it now and so I am leaving a message of explanation instead. I am now back to reading and reviewing full time as once considerable time had passed I have found that books have been helping me significantly in terms of my mindset and mental health - this was after having no interest in anything for quite a number of years after the passings. Anything requested and approved will be read and a review written and posted to Amazon (where I am a Hall of Famer & Top Reviewer), Goodreads (where I have several thousand friends and the same amount who follow my reviews) and Waterstones (or Barnes & Noble if the publisher is American based). Thank you for the opportunity and apologies for the inconvenience.

Was this review helpful?

This book was nuts, but in all the right ways. It was a bit confusing at points, but I don't mind being confused if it's part of the plot and helps to establish one of the themes in the story and I think that was definitely the case here. This is one I will be recommending.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so intricate that it is truly a marvel. Sometimes my head hurt a bit but it is a smart, well plotted mystery. To do it the way that Stuart does shows the plotting and attention to detail that can sometimes be lacking. I would love to view the notes on how he kept everything so well organized.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely incredible, original and thrilling. This book gripped me from page 1 and finally got me back into the reading zone again. I have never read anything like this and I was so unbelievably impressed.

Was this review helpful?

It took me ages to finally read it, but when I did, I found my attention waning fast. I really thought the premise sounded incredible and it's well liked, but I couldn't get into it maybe if do better with the audiobook

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for letting me read and review this book. I don't usually read thrillers or mysteries, but this was pretty fun and interesting. Some of the story was a little too complicated though, and confusing. I enjoyed the writing style and the characters.

Was this review helpful?

It's been quite some time since I read this book, so I wanted to send along an appreciation way after the fact. It was a great read, I was lucky to get to spend time with the character. Thank you!

Was this review helpful?

What would you do if you were stuck in a perpetual murder mystery?

Aiden Bishop finds himself in just this scenario when he awakens, afraid and disoriented, in the lands surrounding Blackenheath Manor. This lavish house is not only preparing for a dinner party thrown by the owners, Peter and Helena Hardcastle, but also for the death of the Hardcastle's daughter, Evelyn. But they don't know that yet. There's only one problem: The entire day is a sick and twisted game run by a man in a costume whom Aiden calls The Plague Doctor. Every day, Aiden wakes up as a different partygoer and relives the same day, which ends in Evelyn's death. He has eight days, or rather eight hosts, to solve the mystery of who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. Otherwise, he will wake up again on Day 1 without any of the memories or knowledge that he learned during the past eight days, ready to start the loop again. Aiden soon finds out that he has been in this loop for years...can he finally escape it?

This mystery is full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. However, the story was very complex. This was in part due to the extensive character list-- I counted 37 total, and I believe I missed a few. Due to the complexity of the plot, it is not a book that you can pick up and skim-- it requires concentration. Otherwise, you will miss key details and feel lost until you go back and reread. Overall, I rate it 3/5 stars. Full review: https://marybeth1583.wixsite.com/southernersreadtoo/post/the-murder-mystery-with-the-neverending-cast-list

Was this review helpful?

This book is different from any other book I’ve ever read. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I truly enjoyed the storyline and the author’s way of writing. It also kept me guessing, which I enjoyed. I couldn’t put it down and would definitely recommend it to anyone, as I think many would enjoy this book no matter what their favourite genre may be. Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley!

Was this review helpful?

A fast paced story with lots of twists and turns! This who dunit mystery will leave the reader guessing until the very end.

Was this review helpful?

The concept was amazing, but reading on Kindle wasn't the best reading experience.
Didn't like the finale, it felt rushed.

Was this review helpful?

What a strange, strange book. Excellent plotting, uncomfortable and not quite likeable characters - it was impossible not to finish. Highly recommended.

Was this review helpful?