Cover Image: Daisy Darker

Daisy Darker

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Member Reviews

Twisty, gothic, and utterly addictive, Daisy Darker is one of the most unique murder mysteries I've ever read. Beginning as a take on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None it soon veers into its own incredibly original territory! I'm a big fan!

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Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart, that is what they say. All her life she was treated with kit gloves and not really been able to live. Her two sisters got to do all the things Daisy dreamt of. They all gather at her Nana's house for her 80th birthday on Halloween. Then people start dying. Nana is first, followed by Daisy's father and so on and so on. Daisy still feels invisible to her family. Something happened years ago when she was 13 that put a strain on her relationships in the family. Everything makes sense when you get to the ending. You will definitely go Oh, that makes sense now. It is a slow route to get there but it is worth it.

Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron for a copy of this book for review.

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I was very excited for this one and while I enjoyed it, it definitely wasn’t my favorite. I felt like even though the characters were written to be unlikable, they had no redeeming qualities that made me care about them. I also thought the flow kept getting interrupted by these random serious quotes and it really took me out of the story. Overall while I’m still a fan. This wasn’t my favorite.

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Daisy Darker- Alice Feeney
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is the third book I’ve read by Alice Feeney and I think it’s my favorite so far! The twist on this one was perfect. It kept me guessing the whole time. I was so interested and I never wanted to stop reading. It was a little dark at times but don’t let that you stop you from reading it.

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I always look forward to a new thriller by Alice Feeney and Daisy Darker does not disappoint. This story went someplace that I wasn't expecting at all and it had my jaw dropping open as I read. The entire Darker family convenes at Nana's coastal house to celebrate her 80th birthday. However, everything seems to start falling apart shortly after the final guest arrives. No one is celebrating like they'd thought they would be. Read and enjoy on a dark and rainy night!

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Thank you MacMillan Press and NetGalley for the ARC of Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney. I was definitely surprised by this book. I thought I knew what was coming, but boy, was I wrong! Feeney created some incredible characters with intricate details about them and their pasts. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays but I may look at it differently now. So much hate and resentment between family that things come to a dark end. I am hoping that a sequel may be in the works!

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From my blog: Always With a book:

I have been a fan of Alice Feeney ever since reading her 1st book, Sometimes I Lie. She is not called the ‘Queen of Twists’ for nothing! Every book is written with such intricate plotting and while I have loved each one, this new one might be my new favorite!

Of course, with thrillers it’s hard to say too much without giving anything away and that is definitely the case here, but what I can say is that I loved the exploration of the dysfunctional family and how that played into this story – it certainly provided motivations for murder! Secrets abound in this book and it really kept me on my toes as to who was ultimately behind the murders and of course, there are the twists…once again, I was left shook by this one and now I find myself wanting to go back and reread this book to see how I missed it. So well played Alice Feeney, so well played!

This is just such an atmospheric, addictive read. The isolated island that is cut off for hours and the richly drawn characters that may or may not be likeable just keeps you reading to see what will happen next. I loved the poem that helps further explore some of their character traits and keeps you reading to see who is going to be the next victim and the reasoning for it. It reminded me a little bit of a game of Clue and kept me on edge the entire time.

This is the second book I’ve read with the nod to And Then There Were None, the other being Nine Lives by Peter Swanson, which I also really enjoyed. Before I read another – and I have to say I do love all these different takes on this classic – I am determined to read the original!

This would be the perfect book to add to your spooky season tbr if you haven’t read it yet. It is a page-turner for sure and will keep you guessing all the way through!

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I have read and loved other books by Alice Feeney. They were all 5 star reads for me, keeping me on my seat the whole time. I should have reserved some of those stars (not really) because this one deserves so many more! If her other books were 5 stars, this one should be 6+. This one blew my mind and blew me out of the water! OMG!

I can't believe how twisted the plot became and I was stumped as to how all of this could be happening. And then.... then.... when it becomes clear, or rather, sort of explained—mind blown! I felt like I needed to read the book again, just to make sure of what I just read and to see if it made more sense the second time around.

I highly recommend Daisy Darker for all of you psychological thriller readers out there! Be prepared to be blown away and make sure you have plenty of time to read when you open the first page. You will not be able to stop!

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I absolutely love Alice Feeney's writing. I just knew her latest book, Daisy Darker, would be another riveting read. But for those of you who haven't read Feeney yet, this description might interest you...
"A family reunion on a tiny tidal island leads to murder in this delightfully twisty and atmospheric thriller with a wink to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None."

Daisy Darker's family is most definitely dysfunctional. And each of them is harboring secrets. The characters are all so unlikable, barring Daisy. But, they've gathered as a family to celebrate their Nana's 80th birthday. The tide cuts off the island for eight hours. And the first hour brings the first body. A poem written about the deceased on the kitchen wall. And clues to ..... well you can see what might be about to happen, right?

Feeney's writing is so addictive. And her plotting is so devious, delivering a twist at the end that can't be predicted. I love being caught off guard! The setting was so atmospheric - the isolation and the rambling house itself. Daisy is the narrator and we see things through her eyes as well as her memories of the past. Take the time to enjoy Feeney's prose as well - there are some gems in Daisy's recounting.

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Alice Feeney's best book yet! An atmospheric, twisty, and truly shocking mystery, and a wonderful tribute to Agatha Christie.

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I am usually a big fan of Alice Feeney, but I just did not love this one. It was a 3.5 star rating for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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YES YES YES! Five Star Feeney fooled me once again. Daisy Darker’s Nana’s 80th birthday celebration was one I will not forget!

One of my favorite movies growing up was Clue released in 1985. This book by Alice Feeney, reminded me of that movie so much as the Darker family goes down one by one.

The perfect whodunnit and that ending was a twist I did not foresee.

Thank you Flatiron Books and NetGalley for the gifted copy for my honest opinion.

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Whether you read "Daisy Darker" or listen to the audiobook, be prepared for an adventure with more twists than an English country lane. I had the option for both, and I chose the audiobook. The narrator's voice and tone fit with my mental picture of Daisy Darker and her dysfunctional family. When they're all called to Sea Glass, a secluded seaside family estate, they thought they were called to celebrate the grandmother's birthday. Boy, were they wrong!

The grandmother had become famous and wealthy from a series of children's books with her granddaughter's name. But Daisy is so much more than a little girl in a book series. She now sees herself as a sibling who has been disrespected, unnoticed, and unheard for way too many years. Her parents were aloof and her sisters were too busy for her. The neighborhood boy, now a grown man, never noticed her crush on him.

As members of her family start dying during their Sea Glass gathering, a poem mysteriously appears on a wall with references to each family member. Both the living and the dead are stranded in the old home until low tide comes in and gives access to the mainland.

Who will live and who will die? And why? Novelist Alice Feeney parcels out clues, then takes them back. Nothing is as it seems. Not even Daisy Darker, the keeper of secrets, is prepared for what comes next.

Can't wait to read more from this imaginative writer with a passion for the macabre.

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Typical Feeney style with a plot twist you will NOT see coming! This family and others literally trapped on an island as they start to disappear… by death…

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An estranged family gathers for a birthday celebration in this gothic inspired locked room thriller.

The Darkers have not seen much of one another for years, but all agree to come to the remote family mansion, Seaglass, to celebrate Nana's 80th birthday. Sitting on a tidal island that is inaccessible except when the tide is out, the house has been in the family for centuries. All of them have spent a lot of time on this island, and most of that harboring secrets, telling lies, and carrying on in the most hideous ways. All is about to be revealed as the family is trapped during a storm. When they start dying, one by one, the truth is finally revealed.

I rate this 2.5 stars, rounding to 3 for the isolated setting and the gothic ambience. The story was a little bit harder to get behind as it moved slowly with arbitrary time shifts within the narration. I found all of the characters completely unlikable and I was able to suss out the upcoming twists fairly early on. I'm not particular fond of the devices or tricks used by the author and didn't enjoy this book as much as anticipated from reading other reviews.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for this e-book ARC to read and review.

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Daisy Darker was born with a heart defect, that stopped her heart to stop seven times before she was 13. Each time she was resuscitated in time, but was told she would likely not live to be an adult. Daisy’s mother kept her at home while her sisters went to school, where books were her only companions. With her father constantly travelling with his orchestra, Daisy would be sent to stay with her somewhat eccentric grandmother, Beatrice whenever her mother needed a break.

Beatrice, a popular author wrote ‘Daisy Darker’s Little Secret’, a bestseller for her favourite granddaughter. She also collected clocks, one for each birthday, which would all chime at once. Daisy spent many happy days at ‘Seaglass’, her grandmother’s ancient, decaying mansion, on a tiny tidal island on the Cornish coast. Daisy loved it best when her sisters were home from boarding school for the holidays, especially when a local boy, Conor came to play with them.

On Halloween 2004, Daisy’s dysfunctional family gathered at ‘Seaglass’ to celebrate her grandmother’s 80th birthday, and also to hear her read them her will. They arrived before the island was cut off by the sea, knowing that they would be trapped there for eight hours until the tide went back out. As the narrator of the novel Daisy recounts the strange and nightmarish events that followed.

The setting is perfect for this Christie-esqe ‘locked room’ mystery. The crumbling old Victorian mansion, cut off from the world by the sea, with a storm raging outside, sets the perfect tone for an atmospheric gothic mystery. As the evening played out with dinner and the reading of the will, the family member dynamics are revealed as their true natures surface along with their insecurities and grudges against each other. At midnight, just after Beatrice’s eighty clocks have finished chiming, a terrible scream is heard, a body is found and an eerie poem foreshadowing gruesome events has appeared on the board in the kitchen.

As the night goes on memories of of Daisy’s childhood are woven in to show how dysfunctional her family are and it becomes clear that Daisy Darker is not the only one keeping a secret. The atmosphere becomes very sinister and creepy with tension slowly building as the time for tide to go back out approaches. There are many red herrings along the way and several big twists at the ending, which are sure to divide readers opinions. For me the twists were unexpected, but felt too contrived in attempting to explain all the events. Perhaps one less major twist requiring less suspension of belief would have sufficed. Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed the writing, the evocative prose, the horribly flawed characters, the atmospheric setting and the gothic tale.

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"DAISY DARKER is just one more reason why Alice Feeney tops my favorites list!"

My full review can be found on FreshFiction.com. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review one of my favorite authors!

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#DaisyDarker:⁣

“She stole his joy and he stole her sorrow, and they balanced each other’s emotional books that way for years.”⁣

Daisy Daisy Daisy. I had extremely high expectations for Daisy Darker as my favorite book of all time is And Then There Were None. With the nod to Agatha Christie, I was worried I would analyze this book more than I would another. I am pleased to say I enjoyed the Darker family and how this story played out.⁣

We have the ultimate remote location of Seaglass, a home where you can only access during certain tide changes. If that’s not what my dreams are made of, I don’t know what is. A whodunit after a cryptic poem written in chalk is crossed out once each member of the family is gone. It was a wonderful concoction of atmospheric and creepy. The audio, read by Stephanie Racine, was great. She definitely added the elements to assist although the atmospheric vibe.⁣

There’s always this element in Alice Feeney’s book that always have me doing a double take, re-reading, rewinding audio. No exception here! I did figure out some of the twists, but the why got me for sure. ⁣

Overall, I honestly felt like this was a little love letter to all of us who have ever felt invisible…. in the most morbid of love letters I mean. 😂 I really enjoyed the audio of Daisy Darker and would highly recommend if you listen to audiobooks! If not, BOTM has this for you to select! Thank you @macmillan.audio & @flatiron_books for the gifted copy. Daisy Darker is out now!

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The setting of Daisy Darker setting is pure Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. A family is celebrating their matriarch’s birthday on a remote island. There is no way to return to the mainland, or even contact the police, when someone is murdered. The guests must race to find the killer before they all face the same fate.

The 1940s movie adaptation of And Then There Were None is my favorite Agatha Christie film. So, I had high expectations for this book. Was I justified in my feelings? Yes, Daisy Darker is terrific! This author is famous for her twisty plots but surpasses herself with this tale. The conclusion is really clever, and I never saw it coming. Every Christie fan should see how this book updates her meticulous plotting while incorporating modern themes. 5 stars!

Thanks to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.

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What's it about (in a nutshell):
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney is the dark and creepy story of Daisy Darker's life and the events surrounding her grandmother's 80th birthday. This locked-room mystery kept me guessing until all was revealed.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
When the author is Alice Feeney, I just accept that my only initial expectation can be to expect a lot of shocking twists and turns. The cover gives off a dark and creepy feel backed up by the blurb. The blurb also talks about how the book is a wicked wink to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which I like the sound of.

Actual Reading Experience:
Like ALL of Alice Feeney's stories, you won't want me to say too much in this section because half the fun is the surprises that will be around every corner – and since it's set in an old mansion, there are lots of corners.

At first, the story really felt like a gothic tale. It started out dark, and a bit pondering, like the darkness was so thick the narration had trouble breaking through it. The writing is so good, and the descriptions are so visceral that you feel the oppressive nature of the island as if you were there. I love Feeney's writing style; she tells the reader so much while only using a few words. I enjoy a focused story, and this one is just that. Even though it sometimes feels like it may be meandering back in time, you soon realize it's not wandering. Every word, paragraph, and page have a reason and a point.

Once the murders start happening, though, the pace picks up as my need to know who is killing off the family members one by one mounts. There are so many red herrings I honestly suspected each person until they turned up dead. As with Feeney's other novels, just when you feel like the shocking twists are over, a few more are thrown in for good measure, so I left the book having to pick my jaw up off the floor. I did not see the big twist coming in advance, but I saw a few others. That was okay, though, because there were plenty more twists for my enjoyment.

Characters:
Daisy Darker is the main character and narrator. She is a lonely young woman who feels rejected by her family and spends her time volunteering at a senior citizens' home. She feels closest to her niece Trixie and her grandmother, so she had to be at Seaglass for the birthday celebration.

Rose and Lily Darker are Daisy's older sisters. They are both beautiful and intelligent but have many dark secrets. Rose is a veterinarian, and Lily does not work. Instead, she and her daughter Trixie are supported by her mother.

Frank and Nancy Darker are Daisy's parents. They have been divorced for many years because of Frank's inability to stay committed to his marriage. Frank is an orchestra conductor, and Nancy is a wannabe actress. Both come off as self-centered and unlikeable.

Trixie (Beatrice) Darker is the niece and bright shining star of the Darker family. She is sweet and giving, though a bit immature, as she is still only a teenager.

Narration & Pacing:
The story is told using first-person narration through the main character, Daisy Darker. She tells a woeful tale of what it's like to grow up in a family that treats her differently because she was born with a broken heart. The pacing can be a bit slow in the past timeline but speeds up in the present timeline. As the body count builds, so do the tension and pace.

Setting:
I loved the setting! For all intents and purposes, the location, Seaglass, IS the story, and the characters are just the support players. It has a gothic feel which I loved for a "locked-room" mystery, as it is very dark and creepy and just lends itself to a tension-filled story. Nana's house is situated on a tidal island, so there is no getting off or on it as the tide rolls in and until the tide rolls out.

To Read or Not to Read:
Daisy Darker is a must-read if you love dark and creepy locked-room mysteries with a psychological thriller twist!

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