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Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect

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Member Reviews

A rollicking adventure awaits Ernest Cunningham in Benjamin Stevensons' Everyone On This Train Is a Suspect. Fully embracing the "murder on a train" trope with his tongue-in-cheek style, Stevenson presents another witty and well-constructed mystery.

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Big thank you to Mariner Books, Netgalley, and Benjamin Stevenson for an advance copy of Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect in exchange for an honest review! I loved this book, Benjamin Stevenson did an excellent job weaving together a story full of intrigue and twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading. Everyone on This Train is a Suspect is a sequel to Benajmins Stevenson's best selling original novel, but I didn't realize that originally and had a fine time reading it as a stand alone novel! I highly recommend this novel!

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Thank you to Mariner Books, Netgalley, and Benjamin Stevenson for an advance copy of Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect in exchange for an honest review. This is a sequel to the authors first book in the Ernest Cummingham series and I read it fine as a standalone. The style of writing was extremely new and unique to me but it made the story that much more enjoyable to me. Our MC, Ernest, finds himself on a train that is holding a crime-writers festival of sorts. You will be captivated and sucked in as Ernest tries to figure out who the killer is, the motives of the different writers, and so much more. This book reminded me a bit of some of the styles of Agatha Christies books so if thats something you enjoy, pick this one up! This cat & mouse mystery is out now!

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I really enjoyed this book, and did actually like it more than the first in the series (Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone). The wry sort of tone felt more measured in this one, not quite as in-your-face — and the reveal I thought was much better executed.

I often purposefully try to read mysteries fast and just enjoy the ride rather than trying to figure them out myself. But I caught myself stopping a couple times to try to parse through clues — there were so many fun ones dropped!

I really have no complaints. Thought it was a nice blend of mystery with a couple more thriller-y elements, so lovers of both might enjoy. Definitely recommend!

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I enjoyed this book even more than the author’s last book. The style was similar, but the setting and storyline were especially engaging and entertaining. There were several clever twists. and a satisfying ending.
Thank you #Netgalley for the ARC e-book.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery! There are so many great twists and potential suspects. He had me stumped, I didn't know who it was until near the end. When I figured it out, all the little details along the way fell into place. I really love that it's written as if you are reading it right after it unfolds. It feels like you are figuring it out with the "author". This is a genre I don't explore frequently but this one made me want to read more of Stevenson's work and others in the genre.

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LOVED THIS BOOK. I was already primed to be a fan as I really enjoyed the first book in this series, "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone," but this exceeded my expectations. It's a rare sequel that's better than the first. I really enjoy the breaking of the fourth wall, the clever set-ups that always pay off in an unexpected and enjoyable way, and the fact that the book doesn't take itself too seriously. I'm really hoping for more books in this series!

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I gave Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone 4/5 stars. I enjoyed the fourth wall breaks and the humor, but the pacing didn’t do it for me. There wasn’t enough of the good to keep me from putting the book down - and in a mystery/thriller, I *want* to be absolutely unable to stop reading. That’s a huge sign of a 5/5 for me. Additionally as, the book itself proclaimed, sequels are, well… more difficult. I didn’t see how Ernest Cunningham, our faithful narrator, could find himself realistically amongst a book-warranting case again considering the premise of the original novel. Overall, simply, I wasn’t expecting much - maybe a 3, not likely even another 4. 

I was sorely mistaken. 

Stevenson took everything I loved about book 1 and dialed it up to TEN. Having taken a class on detective fiction, one of the things that really amused me book 1 was all the awareness of the genre and tropes - well now we’re at a book conference where EVERY character knows what comes next. The fourth wall breaks were great book 1 - now we are reading letters to the editor and getting notes about rules and pacing as we’re immersed in the story. Action sequences? Shorter. Dialogue? Quippier. Plot? Train-paced. Reader-inclusion? Fun! Crime? Solvable, yet still not overly predictable (for me at least, although I historically like suspending disbelief and going along for the ride whenever possible - aka not thinking too hard.) Even the jokes went from huff-worthy, to actually out-loud laughing. I feel like I was smiling from cover-to-cover, and I wish I had roped more friends into reading along with me because I want to talk about how clever and modern some sections were. 

It may feel like I’m laying it on a bit thick, but consider it because of my genuine surprise of how delightful I unexpectedly found this read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allotting me a digital e-copy in exchange for a honest review! And I promise - honest it is, give it a go if you liked the same things I did about book 1, or modern pop-culture references, self-awareness, and humor is your classically structure murder mysteries. 

That being said, book 1 is potentially skippable but events ARE mentioned. While we may know the book is fictional, our narrator, Ernest, is acting as the author AND protagonist of both books depicting events as “real-life first-hand accounts”. Due Book 2 taking place at a book conference where Ernest is being recognized for his novel, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone - it and the writing style is mentioned. The plot of book 1, however, is not spoiled and this plot revolves around nearly an entirely new cast and a completely new premise.

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How does Benjamin Stevenson do it?

How does he craft these meta whodunnits, in which Ernest Cunningham spoils so much for the reader, but still make them so completely, deliciously unsolvable?

I think Everyone on This Train is a Suspect is even better than Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone. In this second installment, Ernest Cunningham has been invited to participate in the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society festival aboard a famous train traversing Australia, the Ghan. He’s hoping for some inspiration for his second book (a novel this time, rather than the true crime memoir he previously published), and that’s exactly what he gets – but not in the way he expects. As the train makes its way across the country, someone is murdered, and now everyone aboard is a suspect. But who knows how to get away with murder better than people who write about it for a living?

Just like the first book, Everyone on This Train is a Suspect is full of fun metafictional moments, in which Ernest Cunningham addresses the reader directly and provides us with plenty of spoilers and clues to solve the crime on our own. All the best parts of classic detective fiction – a locked room setting, well-hidden clues, a slew of suspects, numerous red herrings – are here, but again they are presented in such an inventive, refreshing, modern way. This is perhaps even more meta than the first book, given that the subject of publishing is at the forefront, and although the cast of characters/suspects is large, the mystery is much less complicated than it was in the first book, which I appreciated. There’s also a lot of atmosphere, with vivid descriptions of the breathtaking Australian landscape as the Ghan traverses the country.

I just really love Ernest. He is self-deprecating and bumbling, but also incredibly intelligent – a truly endearing character to follow. I also massively enjoyed the way this book ended, and it makes me excited for possible directions the series could take. I can’t wait for book three, which appears to be a Christmas story – what a gift that will be!

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I really enjoyed this book. I like the humor of the protagonist. I also enjoy the reference to "breaking the 3rd wall" since sometimes the protagonist is speaking to us the readers. Personally I could piece it together faster than I did with the first book of the series. The first one kind of unsuspectingly sneaked up on you. While this sequel kind of unveiled itself from the shadows. I enjoy both books and I would recommend this series to a friend as well.

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Ernest Cunningham is such a great character and I am glad to hear there will be more. I will absolutely continue to recommend this series. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy.

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I really enjoyed this book. It was different than anything else I've read recently. I couldn't put it down! I will keep an eye out for this author's future work!

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A locked room mystery on a train? Sign me up! I loved this book, the setting, the entertaining characters and humor written into the book and how the author writes. I love that he breaks through the wall and speaks right to us readers, giving us clues to help solve the mystery too. This was even better than book 1!

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I don't think it's possible to have a murder mystery set on a train, without at least 5 references to Murder on the Orient Express, but this book still offers a unique read. I did not read the first book of this series, so I cannot say how well it flowed as a sequel, but this book was well-written and able to stand on its own. This book had well-written characters, with very fleshed-out backgrounds and importantly, motives.

I wasn't a fan of Ernest, (The author) tone of voice. He felt very chatty and I was bored of having to hear all of the wheels in his mind turning. There was also a lot of confusion for me at first with reading the book. It might have been because I had an ARC but I thought I was reading an email when I first opened the book on my Kindle and found the sections of the book confusing.

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Such a fun and different whodunnit novel!! I am obsessed. I loved the first book but I am so surprised to say I love the second one even more. I love how the book carries on from the first one but can also be read as a standalone (best read with the first to enhance it). Lots of surprises and so many fun and different details to keep you turning the pages, this was the first book in a while that I was constantly excited to pick up. The main character being the "author" is one of my favorite touches, any mystery lover will love this book!!

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This is the second book in this series but can be read as a standalone. (I did not read the first book.)

This was such an interesting book. I could not figure this out until the end and I loved how the writer wrote as if you were reading an interview versus and book. Very captivating.

Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for an early copy of this book in exchange for my review!

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Benjamin Stephenson

Word on the street is Benjamin Stephenson is the author to watch. He published the hit EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY IS A SUSPECT in 2022 and now its sequel EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT has arrived in stores. I did not read the first book in the series, so I had nothing to compare it to. Everyone is saying that this one is better than the first.

I’m curious what you think so please leave a comment if you’ve read this one and let me know what you think of it.

In EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT we are following Ernest Cunningham. Ernest was invited to a crime writers' festival, and he must take a train to get there. Almost everyone on the train is in the publishing industry or an author.

On the way someone dies and everyone on the train is a suspect. It’s up to you and Ernest to solve the mystery.

Are you up for it?

I feel like I should like EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT more than I do. It’s about publishing and books and writers and the mystery and thriller genres. Every other line is a joke or pun or a lighthearted poking.

It’s almost like you’re reading two books. One is following the murder mystery and secondly, you’re following the production of a mystery novel. It’s meta and I can see the appeal.

It’s just not the type of material that is going to keep me up all night reading. It’s not the type of material that will have me rapidly turning pages and although I enjoyed it, it doesn’t have me wanting to continue in the series.

Thanks to Netgalley and Mariner Books for the advanced copy!


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I am in love with Benjamin Stevenson's unique approach to mystery writing-A mystery within a story about a writer writing a mystery. With Stevenson's humorous voice coming through in his writing, this works! I enjoyed the Australian setting and with so many suspects, clues and red herrings, I was kept guessing until the end. I hope there are more Earnest Cunningham mysteries to come!

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Everyone on This Train is a Suspect is the follow up to Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone and still follows our main character Ernest, but with the addition of his girlfriend Juliette. The premise of this book is that there is a writer's convention on a train trip through a part of Australia, where of course, people start dying and Ernest feels that he has to solve the mystery. I thought this book was ok, but it didn't really stand out in the greater pantheon of locked room, or train, murder mysteries. We find out in the first book that Ernest makes a living writing how to write books and it feels like Stevenson is writing from one of these how to books, which was a neat device in the first book but is tired here. Also, Ernest is constantly feeling outclassed by the other authors and is a bit whiney about it and that grates after a bit. All in all, not a bad book but definitely room for improvement.
Thanks to NetGalley & Mariner books for the free e-book.

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Another great entry in this series. The meta commentary still works without feeling stale. It is smart, funny, and works. The twists and turns were warranted, yet still surprising. Highly recommended.

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