Cover Image: One Puzzling Afternoon

One Puzzling Afternoon

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Member Reviews

I truly enjoyed this story. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. I write this review voluntarily.
One Puzzling Afternoon was very well written. It describes the experiences of someone with dementia in an insightful and compassionate manner. A fog or feeling muddled, an inability to find the right word for everyday objects that can be unsettling for the person with dementia. Also, unsettling for those around them but the person still notices the expressions and gestures which demonstrate frustration of the loved ones. The dual timeline slowly reveals memories that have long been buried to achieve a resolution about what really happened to Lucy. Highly recommend.

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What an emotional and thoughtful read this is! Told in dual time line of 1951 and 2018, it's the story of Edie and Lucy, two unlikely friends separated when Lucy goes missing. Now, in 2018, Edie is struggling with dementia but she's determined to figure out what happened to Lucy, not only as salve for her soul but also to prove to her son that she's more with it than he believes. Unfortunately she's not but she's determined. These two came from very different economic circumstances but they bonded and when Lucy had a secret- Edie kept it. I felt for Edie, for her fight against the fog and her commitment to finally outing the truth. This is beautifully written and it did keep me guessing. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A very good read.

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I’m not sure why I was expecting something more lighthearted given the premise but found this to be very grim and sad. The dual timelines were a bit jarring and I was disappointed when the central mystery was solved. I don’t think Edie was a very good friend to Lucy.

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I enjoyed reading One Puzzling Afternoon, and it was a very quick read. However, this is a very sad book. So, if you don't like sad books this may not be the pick for you.

Edie has become an elderly woman with dementia, and she is on the brink of having to leave her home so she can live with assistance. During this process she has very foggy memories of her friend Lucy who disappeared 50 years earlier while they were in high school. Lucy was never found.

Edie believes that if she can help find Lucy she may be able to prove that she can continue living on her own. Because of this Edie embarks on a journey to improve her memory of that time period, despite her on set of dementia.

Edie's narrative of her foggy memories is extremely compelling and certainly made me very sad for my grandmother who experienced dementia.

Booksellers this would be a great hand sell with books like A Man Called Ove and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett

trigger warning: child abuse, and inappropriate relationships with children

This review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Huge thanks to #netgalley and #sourcebooks for my review copy

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I didn’t care about the characters. Their personalities didn’t make me root for them. The time jumps were constantly taking me out of the story. I found the end result to be predictable. Overall not a read I would personally recommend.

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted ARC

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This is a beautifully written story that is just unfortunately a bit too slow for my reading tastes right now. I have read some of the great reviews and I’m so glad that this book is getting lots of love.

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This unique and innovative mystery was a huge hit for me. I loved the dual timeline between Edie’s story in 1951 and 2018, and the author really built the tension between Edie’s involvement with her friend’s disappearance and what she remembers as an elderly woman suffering from dementia. As someone who has had several close family members go through the horrors of Alzheimer’s, I appreciated the perspective of Edie as the memories slip through her fingers. It gave me a better understanding of what my loved ones may have gone through and was very emotional for me. The author does a fantastic job of portraying the family members as well and the seesaw of embarrassment and concern they have for Edie. The mystery was well plotted and suspenseful with Edie’s faulty memory lying at its heart. I highly recommend it for mystery lovers and anyone who has experienced the ravaging effects dementia can take on a person.

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What made this book compelling had nothing to do with the mystery itself.

We get present-day Edie, who has been diagnosed with dementia that seems to be progressing very quickly, and flashbacks to Edie in 1951. In the present day, Edie suddenly thinks she's seen a friend, Lucy, who disappeared back in 1951 and sets out to find out what happened to her.

The flashbacks that lead to the truth of the mystery were fine. I found it largely predictable. However, I did very much enjoy the present-day storyline. Watching Edie try to remember, find ways to remind herself of what she's discovered, and overall fight against the constraints that her family has put in place for her safety made for a compelling read.

A huge thank you to the author and the publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

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🧩 One Puzzling Afternoon - Emily Critchley

4.5 ⭐️ - I had to sit with this one for a few days. I really enjoyed this book and was pleasantly surprised by it. I felt so many different emotions while reading this book, it’s hard to describe. You might say I was puzzled. It’s sad, hopefully, mysterious, and unexpected. The fact that this book is a debut, blew me away.

I had grandmothers that suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and it’s very tough emotionally to see our elders lose their memories. I could identify with Amy as a granddaughter and how she felt watching the disease take over. I admired Edie and her drive to prove she remembered important facts and events. The way this story was written to expose the disease without making it scientifically heavy was awesome. You’re able to see how hard it can be on the person experiencing the memory loss AND the loved ones around them. I was sad but also hopeful while reading. I definitely recommend this book as it has so many amazing qualities; heartwarming family storylines, a mystery, and a nice bow at the end. I look forward to what else Emily Critchley writes in the future.

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I picked up this book because I was in the mood for a mystery and the description sounded interesting.

Description:
A mystery she can't remember. A friend she can't forget.

I kept your secret Lucy. I've kept it for more than sixty years . . .

It is 1951, and at number six Sycamore Street fifteen-year-old Edie Green is lonely. Living alone with her eccentric mother - who conducts seances for the local Ludthorpe community - she is desperate for something to shake her from her dull, isolated life.

When the popular, pretty Lucy Theddle befriends Edie, she thinks all her troubles are over. But Lucy has a secret, one Edie is not certain she should keep . . .

Then Lucy goes missing.

2018. Edie is eighty-four and still living in Ludthorpe. When one day she glimpses Lucy Theddle, still looking the same as she did at fifteen, her family write it off as one of her many mix ups. There's a lot Edie gets confused about these days. A lot she finds difficult to remember. But what she does know is this: she must find out what happened to Lucy, all those years ago . . .

My Thoughts:
It's funny how when you get older you look back at things that happened in the past and try to make them right. That's what Edie was trying to do as she slipped into losing her memory to dementia. She needed to remember what happened to her friend Lucy and find her. It was sad to see her attempts to start something and then forget what she was doing and why. I lost my husband to Alzheimer's and aspects of Edie's plight hit home. The author treated Edie's affiction with sensitivity while still showing both how Edie was feeling as well as other people's perceptions of her. I liked Edie's character and my heart went out to her. The book is well-written and well plotted.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark through Netgalley for an advance copy. This book will be published on October 3, 2023.

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This might be my favourite book of the year so far mostly because I was absolutely surprised by it. I love books with senior protagonists who are sassy and don’t give a damn about what others think. They are usually silly and wild and fast paced. This book was not that…it was better! Edie is losing her memory but remembers that a childhood friend went missing and was never found. By solving the mystery she hopes to prove to the world that she is not “muddled”.

The mystery in the book is intriguing and investigated by interviewing people from the past which leads to memories and flashbacks surfacing for Edie. Her granddaughter helps her investigate as a sidekick.

This book was the best for me because I did not know what I was getting myself into. I thought it would be a cozy mystery but the novel explores deep issues such as mental health, dementia and family life.

The way the book was written really makes you feel what it would be like to start losing your memory. I was pleasantly surprised by what Emily Critchley was able to accomplish by playing with Edie’s perspective.

All in all I would recommend this for lovers of books with senior protagonists, armchair mysteries, and historical fiction.

***Posted to Goodreads

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I thoroughly enjoyed this read! I got to read it at the perfect time of year when the seasons were changing from summer to fall, it paired well with this small town mystery. The plot hooked me, but the character development was so well done it made it difficult to put down. I think a wide range of people would love this, those who enjoy thrillers, and those who enjoy the comfort mysteries as well. Would definitely recommend!

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This book was absolutely beautifully written.

Over 60 years ago, Edie's friend Lucy went missing when the girls were 15 years old. Edie has now been diagnosed with dementia and is determined to solve the mystery of Lucy's disappearance before it is too late.

The dual timelines were written so well. The story flips between 1951 with the events leading up to Lucy's disappearance and 2018 with Edie trying to piece together her memories before she loses them. The feel for each timeline was so spot on, and I fell in love with all of the main characters and had such strong feelings of hate for some others.

The book explores some deep concepts of friendship and family, both as a teenager and as an elderly woman. When the story finally wraps up, the whole thing is rather heartbreaking.

Overall, I highly recommend this one. I read it in one day because I couldn't put it down.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC of this book.

This book takes place in 2018 (current day) and 1951. We follow Edie through current day and when she was 15 while trying to piece together what happened to her friend Lucy in 1951. Current day Edie has developed dementia and is starts to get flashes of memories from 1951 involving Lucy. She becomes insistent that she has to find what happened to Lucy even though it's been 67 years since she disappeared. Clues guide Lucy to memories and to the truth and give us a sad yet satisfying ending. A mystery that sucks you in and keeps you there until the end.

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Nearly 7 decades after they first became friends, octogenarian Edie Green is excited because she thinks that she may have spotted her old friend Lucy Theddle in her hometown of Ludthorpe.

The problem is, no one can actually be sure that Edie has in fact seen Lucy. Because for one thing, Edie gets confused nowadays. And for another, Lucy went mysteriously missing many decades ago.

When the two first became friends, it meant the world to Edie, stuck in a humdrum existence with an eccentric mother and very little excitement on the horizon. Lucy, lively and popular, changed all that. But all too soon the good times were over, and Lucy was gone.

Yet one thing that Edie knew at the time was that Lucy had a secret. One that she was determined to keep. So even after she disappeared, Edie kept it for her. But should she have done that?

This is a well written story that will linger in the memory. Some aspects are a little heartbreaking, but it is also very moving. Recommended for readers who like stories that make them think and feel deeply.

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A good twist on your typical mystery. I really enjoyed the plot, though I was a little bored in the middle. However, it came together in the end and was resolved well. Subject matter made it more than a cozy but not quite a thriller.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read the ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley. This was not a thriller but it was a murder mystery written in a dual timeline (1951 and 2018). It is about a secret that has been kept for 67 years. There is a lot of focus on dementia which made it very realistic. The story was well written and very realistic. It was written with sensitivity and quite an emotional read. I did enjoy the book and gave it a 4 star rating. I do recommend this book to others.

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𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐏𝐮𝐳𝐳𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐨𝐨𝐧
𝐁𝐲 𝐄𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐲
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫: 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬
𝐏𝐮𝐛 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: 𝟏𝟎.𝟑.𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝒞𝑜𝓂𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒮𝑜𝑜𝓃!

I love elderly protagonists, and eighty-two-year-old Edie Green won me over. The story is told in dual timelines - that we float effortlessly between. I found myself completely captivated by this story.

In 1951, Edie is a lonely schoolgirl who is bullied. Her eccentric mother conducts seances for the community. Surprisingly, Edie makes a friend in the Mayor’s daughter, Lucy. Lucy, a bit of a wild teen - suddenly disappears.

In 2018, Edie, now in her eighties, believes she sees her friend Lucy - appearing still young and vibrant. No one ever discovered what became of Lucy. Edie, who is in the early stages of dementia, is determined to find out what happened to her friend all those years ago. She believes it will prove to her family that she is still capable of remembering things. But Edie is not prepared for what the truth reveals.

Besides an engaging, somewhat heartbreaking story of friendship and coming-of-age in the 1950s, this story involves a mystery whose resolution I think will surprise you. Edie’s character is written beautifully and with sensitivity; you see her innocence as a child, and later you feel her waver between lucidity and unreliability.

I highly recommend this one for lovers of endearing character-driven fiction.

Thank you @bookmarked for this gifted ebook.

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Thank you @bookmarked for the #gifted copy of this book!

What it’s about:

Set in 1951, there is a young girl named Edie who feels alone and bored in her current life. Her mother has a new boyfriend who she does not care for and she doesn’t have any friends. One day, she crosses paths with Lucy who is a glittery opposite of herself. Lucy comes from a wealthy family and things come more easily to her. When Lucy befriends Edie, Edie is shocked but cherishes their relationship. Edie stumbles across one of Lucy’s secrets that could ruin her life. Edie is very loyal however and just wants her friend to be ok! A life changing event happens and Edie and Lucy must take matters into their own hands. The Lucy disappears off the face of the earth and no one sees or hears from her ever again.

Sixty years later Edie is much older and struggling with forgetting things. She cannot tell what is real and what is her memory starting to go. She ends up having visions of Lucy and tries desperately to piece together what happened to her friend all those years ago. Will she be able to do it? Will anyone believe her?

Thoughts:
I thought this was a very well done mystery book. It was beautifully written and loved the alternating timelines. This may be kind of sad but one of my favorites parts was the way the author wrote Edie as she was older. Her decent into her forgetful memory seemed so realistic and I felt so frustrated for Edie…even though Edie didn’t remember why she should even be frustrated! 😂 Although it is a sad topic I think the author was very sensitive and realistic. Bravo for accomplishing that! The mystery was laid out in a way where you could see some of the plot points happening but I didn’t guess them all and the ending was satisfying! I would say if you’re a fan of historical mysteries this would be up your alley!

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This was quite an interesting read! Told from then and now dual timelines, 84-year-old Edie, who suffers from dementia, believes she sees her friend Lucy from the past. Lucy disappeared in the 1950's and Edie is trying to make sense of the memory of that puzzling afternoon. With her confused and failing mind, she is determined to prove to her family that she is capable of piecing together the details of what happened to her friend 60 years ago. Poignant, heartfelt, and gut-wrenching at times. The character development is beautifully written, and for such a sensitive topic, Critchley did a wonderful job of portraying the emotions. A gorgeous debut. 5 undoubtable stars!

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