Member Reviews

What a touching and tragic tale this novel is. Edie is a character you want to hug and reassure, both in the past and the present. The dual timelines are handled beautifully, especially as Edie's dementia worsens and the two begin bleeding into each other. Plenty of red herrings. I was unprepared for the answer to what happened to Lucy. The characters were my favorite part, with the setting descriptions being my second. I had no trouble visualizing the story in my mind as it played out on the pages. I will warn you, this isn't a happy book or a light read. Questions are answered, but One Puzzling Afternoon left me with a hollow heart for the rest of the day after I read it. I'm happy I did, though. Sometimes, it's good when a book makes you wallow in your emotions.

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Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to receive this book for an honest review.

I love this book. It had me hooked from the first page.

This book is about dementia and how it is to grow old .
I found it so interesting and there was even some mystery twisted in there.
I would highly recommend this book to find out the details and enjoy.

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What a heartbreaking book! Edie is 84 and suffering from dementia. She sees her friend one afternoon exactly as she looked 60 years ago before she disappeared. What happened to Lucy? This is a dual time line story, one following when Edie and Lucy were young and now with Edie with dementia. I loved Edie and my heart broke for her and her mental challenges. This book did a fantastic job showing how awful this disease is for the person and their family. I received an advanced readers copy and all opinions are my own.

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What an absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking book.

The book is written in dual timeliness. In 2018, Edie is an woman in her 80s suffering from dementia. She is at the post office where next door young man advertising a new retro candy store is handing out candy samples. When she receives a roll of Parma Violets her rapidly diminishing mind is trigged by the memory of a friend who went missing over 50 years ago.

1951 Edie accidentally learns Lucy's secret. They become close friends, Lucy promising to never tell what she knows about Lucy.

Without giving anything away, I caln say this book was excellently executed. Flipping back and forth as multiple stories are told you follow the mystery of Lucy's disappearance and watch as current day Edie struggles to discover/remember what really happened to her friend before it's too late.

Reading Edie's perspective as an old woman is heartbreaking and honestly terrifying to read. How dementia takes its toll on not just the sufferer, but their entire family is just cruel.

Just as cruel is the fate of Lucy and events that lead up to her disappearance.

Friendship. Loyalty. Betrayal. Secrets. Regrets. This book runs a gauntlet of emotions. I can't simply not recommend it enough. So absolutely beautifully done.

Enormous thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy. This is a story that will stay with me for a very, very long time.

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Emily Critchley wrapped up all my favourite genres into one propulsive, moving and intelligent read. One Puzzling Afternoon tells the story of Edie - in 2018 and in 1951 in the small English town of Ludthorpe. In 2018, Edie is dealing with the effects of dementia and is certain the key to lifting her brain fog is figuring out what happened to her friend Lucy when she went missing in 1951. In 1951, Edie is a 16 year old grammar school girl, dealing with a widowed mother whose side hustle are seances, an unpleasant stepfather, and the dramatic life her upper-crust friend Lucy is leading. Chritchley offers all the feels - nostalgia, suspense, empathy. The novel reminded me of a similar novel I adored - Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. Highly recommend. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for the privilege of an advanced read.

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I found this book very difficult to get into and ultimately it did not grab me which is not great for a mystery novel. I found the narrative style just did not suit me but that was not due to any inherent flaw in the work but just my general preferences.

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I loved this book! I will definitely recommend it. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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Can you go wrong with a murder mystery? Well, I guess you can but this book didn’t. Super twisty, exciting and I loved the dual timelines.

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One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley
Edie has lived with the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance for nearly all of her life. Now at the age of 84 she finds herself in a bit of a muddle. She can’t quite remember nor can she quite forget. Memories and the occasional viewing of her long lost friend Lucy have her disquieted. Does she know what really happened ? Can she get to those cloudy memories before it’s too late?

I loved this book! For me it would have been a 5* read: memorable characters, intriguing storyline, interesting dialogue & setting. And then it happened, the epilogue. In my opinion nearly wrecked the entire reading experience. I finished the book a week ago and I’m still angry.

Thanks Sourcebooks Landmark, NetGalley and the author for an opportunity to read this book.

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Poignant and bittersweet, this is a beautifully told story about Edie, a woman in her 80s who is living with dementia and who starts having visions of her friend, Lucy, who went missing over more than 60 years ago and was never found. With the help of her granddaughter, Edie is determined to find out what happened to Lucy.

Told in two timeframes (2018 and early 1950s), we see the story through Edie’s eyes as an old woman who is struggling to piece together what happened to her friend all those years ago and as an awkward, lonely teenager when she and Lucy met and became friends in the time leading up to her disappearance.

Edie is a wonderful, likeable character and the reader is easily pulled into her life. The descriptions of Edie’s state of mind, the moments of confusion and lucidity as the dementia progresses are well done and there is a solid resolution to the mystery of what happened to Lucy.

This will be one of my favourite reads this year. Beautifully done story and a debut to boot! I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this author!

My thanks to Sourcebook Landmark and Netgalley for this complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

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The story of Edie Green and her struggle to figure out what happened to her friend Lucy years ago, was both compelling and satisfying. In 1951 Edie and her friend Lucy planned to run away together, but when Lucy disappeared, Edie ended up staying in the same town the rest of her life. Now at 81, she is fighting with dementia and hoping to put together the pieces of what really happened to Lucy before it is too late. I liked this story a lot. It is told in a dual time line of 1951 and present day 2018. Both are equally interesting and I was invested in both of the story lines. I could feel Edie's emotion as she becomes consumed with working out what happened to Lucy. In the past, we learn about Edie's childhood and eventually the truth. The story is very satisfying in the way it pulls together.

Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy. This is my honest review.

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This story is absolutely gorgeous as it unfolds. Feeling the startling and sometimes terrifying effects of early dementia, Edie is given flashes of memories about her childhood best friend. Lucy Theddle disappeared in 1951 and was never heard from again or found. As Edie feels herself slipping away more frequently, her quest to remember and find out what happened to Lucy grows ever stronger.
The story is told in flashbacks between 1951, when Edie was a teenager, and 2018 when she is an elderly woman often finding herself "in a muddle." I've read books whose character had dementia, but this is the first one I've read that really gives the reader a taste of what it's like - the shame of losing common knowledge, the terror of realizing, all of a sudden, that you have no idea where you are.
Critchley does a fantastic job weaving the story of 1951 Edie with 2018 Edie. The resolution of the Lucy mystery was completely unexpected and I was glued to the page.

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In 2018, Edie is in her 80s and still living in her childhood village of Ludthorpe. When she thinks she sees her old school friend Lucy, looking exactly the same as when Edie last saw Lucy in 1951, Edie embarks on a quest to find out what happened to Lucy, who disappeared with no explanation sixty-seven years earlier. The novel unfolds in a dual timeline, and I was equally invested in both periods. In 1951, 15-year-old Edie is lonely and bored, tired of living alone with her eccentric mother who conducts seances for a living. When she sees something she shouldn't, she ends up in a new friendship with the pretty and popular Lucy Theddle. In 2018, Edie is fighting through a growing confusion as dementia is setting in, and she is desperate to find answers about Lucy's fate before her son moves her into his new home in another village. The mystery is engaging, the characters are really well-drawn, and Critchley's writing is excellent. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a digital review copy.

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One Puzzling Afternoon is a sad story about a woman suffering from dementia while trying to find out what happened to her friend who went missing in 1951. This book was not what I expected. It's labeled on Goodreads as thriller and suspense when it is really more women's fiction. It was not the mysterious whodunnit I imagined it to be. When the truth was revealed, it wasn't much of a shock. I found it a little odd that Edie would forget so much of her past. Dementia patients often have no trouble remembering their youth, so it was strange to me that she forgot so much of what happened when she was fifteen. My dad had dementia and it was heart-breaking and horrific. I realize not everyone is the same, but Edie's experience was so different from my dad's that it didn't ring true to me. I'm sorry to say that this book just never drew me in, and I never warmed up to the characters other than Amy. I'm clearly in the minority and I think other readers will love it as long as they know what genre to expect.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC. Publication date is October 3, 2023.

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This book is beautifully tragic. Edie is a stunning character who is fighting a battle with wanting to remember her friend Lucy and time taking her memories as it sometimes does. The narrative of this book is beautifully laid out with things happening both in the past and the present. I just loved everything about this book. Readers are going to be swept away with Edie as she tries to figure out what really happened to her friend Lucy all those years ago. This book is perfect for a book club or a cozy winter read. To keep a secret for so many years to slowly have it slipping away.
Thank you so very much to Sourcebooks Landmark and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.

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Interesting premise and wonderful writing. I found the pace a little slow and repetitive at times, and was anxious to get to the "good stuff". In the end the unraveling of the mystery was scratching an itch, and I was pleased at how it came together.

I would definitely read more from this author. Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy.

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Edie Green is 84 years old and living in a small village in England. She is a widow with a comfortable home and a devoted son and grand-daughter. Ever since 1951, Edie has kept a secret for her friend Lucy Theddle. Lucy and Edie had been good friends until one day in 1951 Lucy went missing and has never been found. It is now 2018 and out in the village one day, Edie sees Lucy, looking exactly as she did in 1951. Edie desperately wants to figure out the mystery of Lucy’s disappearance, if only she could remember.

This is a fascinating and quick read, with a likeable character in the strong-willed and sensitive Edie. The story unfolds in flashbacks to a young Edie in 1951, growing up with the tragedy of her father’s death overshadowing her life and the embarrassment of her mother’s evening seances being the talk of the village. The author provides a sadly realistic portrayal of a woman trying to cope with her decline in cognitive function and maintain her independence.

The mystery aspect of the storyline could have been fleshed out a little more however. There are compelling motives for both Max Wheaton and his wife, as well as Rupert Mayhew, which could have richly expanded the mystery narrative and turned into a real whodunnit. This didn’t appear to be the author’s intent for the story as she focused on Edie’s internal struggle to overcome the gaping holes in her memory due to trauma, time and illness.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the copy to read and review.

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Edie is 84 years old and living in the small town that has been home for her entire life. She often gets confused and has a hard time remembering things, but she knows she must figure out what happened to her high school friend, Lucy, who disappeared more than sixty years ago. Lucy had a secret, which only Edie knew, and Edie has kept that secret all this time – but now can’t remember what that secret was.

Somehow, I got the impression that this was going to be a cozy mystery, possibly the first book in a new series by a new-to-me author. While it was a mystery of sorts, it wasn’t the cozy I was expecting. What I got instead was a very well-written, engaging story about a woman in what appears to be the early stages of dementia/Alzheimer’s who doesn’t want to give up her independence and is determined to figure out what happened to her friend all those years ago.

Maybe because I see the same thing happening with my mother, but it was easy to identify with Edie’s family members. It’s also easy to identify with Edie and to feel her frustration at becoming confused and not remembering. Somehow, she was eventually able to remember what happened on that long-ago afternoon, but she was met with skepticism with every new revelation. I figured out some of it, and when put together from beginning to end, the whole story made a lot of sense, but parts of it were surprising.

I hope Ms. Critchley writes more books like this, and will keep an eye out for any future releases.

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One Puzzling Afternoon
by Emily Critchley
Pub Date: 03 Oct 2023

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 with her eccentric mother and her mother's new boyfriend, she is desperate for something to shake her from her dull, isolated life.

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

Then Lucy goes missing.

Now in 2018, Edie is eighty-four and still living in the same small town, when one afternoon 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. But Edie knows she's the key to finding Lucy.

Time is running out and Edie must piece together the clues before Lucy is forgotten forever.

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One Puzzling Afternoon is kind of a mystery, but kind of not. The story is told by Edie, alternating back and forth between when she first becomes friends with pretty, popular Lucy in 1951, and 2018 when she is increasingly struggling with dementia, which leads her to trying to figure out what happened when Lucy disappeared so many years ago. The reader will figure out that it’s likely Edie has known the entire time what happened, but is in the unique circumstances of an unreliable narrator that both knows and doesn’t know what happened. This is definitely a more creative spin on the unreliable narrator, that also addresses how frustrating it can be for a person that’s losing their memory. In the later timeline Edie goes back and forth between being lucid and being lost, knowing her family and her surroundings and then not knowing how she got somewhere or what time she’s in. The earlier timeline addresses another issue-a relationship between a student and a teacher. While it’s viewed from the student’s side, it’s a reminder that the teacher is the adult and should never be involved in that kind of relationship, not least because the student is highly unlikely to understand the consequences of the situation and will view it in a very different manner. I wish I could say that I got more into it than I did, but I think knowing that Lucy’s disappearance happened almost seventy years in the past took away any sense of urgency to knowing what happened. The whodunnit was interesting, but not terribly unexpected, and by that point kind of felt inevitable to me. A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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