Cover Image: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect

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Member Reviews

As Everyone on this Train Is a Suspect points out, sequels are hard. But this is another book with a great title that is as fun and creative as it is meta.

This time around, Ern is on a train through Australia with several other mystery writers. Once again the story is told through his perspective and with hindsight which is a great combo. There are few murders this book and the reveal isn’t as overly complicated and consulted as in the first book, but it’s still an excellent read I’d highly recommend.

I think because this isn’t the first mystery involving writers I’ve read, some of the twists and turns were a bit more familiar and not as shocking as with the first book. Having said that, I’d still read anything Mr. Stevenson writes and hope to hear from Ern again.

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This is a great follow up to Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone’. I love his conversational writing style.

Ernest gets to ride on a train up and down the length of Canada with several other mystery writers. When murders start happening, of course Ernest starts investigating.

I can’t wait to see what happens next for Ernest!

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As a huge fan of Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, I was delighted to get the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Netgalley. I quickly re-read the first book to refresh my memory, and I loved it again. I'm happy to report that this one is also excellent. I loved the setting of the Ghan Train, and I've added it to my bucket list. Once again, the author's humor really added to my enjoyment. Since I read a lot of mysteries, it was fun to have a group of mystery writers, all suspects, trying to solve a murder. I also liked the insights into the publishing industry and the references to AI. Stevenson is fast becoming a new favorite author of mine, and I look forward to the next installment. I highly recommend this unique book.

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I really enjoyed Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, so I was very excited when I was given an ARC for Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect.

The epigraph includes the quote "A sequel is an admission that you've been reduced to imitating yourself." - Don Marquis, however the epilogue states that a sequel is a "chance to fix up the mistakes you made the first time around." I think Benjamin Stevenson has done the latter. While I am not sure what mistakes Benjamin believes he made in his first book, this sequel is superb.

Ernest Cunningham continues to remind you that you are reading a book, following a special formula for mystery novels. That breaking of the fourth wall, so to speak, is what makes this book such a unique experience. He gives you all of the clues, and somehow he makes a narrative from those that is beyond your wildest dreams. I spent some time trying to figure out the anagram, but was unsuccessful.

Whodunits are not my first choice in books, but Benjamin Stevenson has solidified himself as a must-read author for me. If Life, Death and Whiskey is really "coming soon", it will immediately be added to the top of my TBR.

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4.5/5 stars!

I definitely want to read more mystery books by Benjamin Stevenson.

This is the sequel to "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" which was an excellent start to this series. This book has our main character Ernest playing amateur sleuth and has so many witty hilarious lines. I loved this book more than the first one and I hope there will be more! I loved the take on the classic murder on the train and it definitely had me guessing till the end. I will definitely be listening to this book as an audiobook when it is released as I really enjoyed listening to "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone."

Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for the arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Going to start this review with a non sequitur. Hang in there. I know the book I just read. I even know the genre. Promise.

If you've read a single book in the Caroline Kepnes series You, then I'm sure you've seen the meme: people will read a Joe Goldberg book even if Kepnes made him a Walmart greeter. After reading the two Ernest Cline books written, I've decided this meme is better suited to Ern. I would read a book where he was relegated to a job as a circus clown. These books are that good.

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect is firmly rooted in reality. It's not a novel where a person with no career experience can just waltz in and take over a potential murder investigation—not without ridicule, skepticism, and proper obstacles. It wouldn't be easy for a normal person to do (it would be damn near impossible), and I appreciate that Stevenson doesn't suspend that logic just because it's a novel. It means that Ernest and his fellow authors have to be more creative than a traditional detective.

Ernest is quite clever, although he spends a lot of the novel not coming off as such. I appreciate that, too. No one likes an insufferably perfect hero, do they? We like to see characters that make the same mistakes we do. Ern puts his foot in his mouth, he's defensive, he overcomplicates things way too early to be acceptable. But Stevenson pulls it off well because it's not cringy to read. Obviously, like the first book, the whole book glitters with wit, humor, and vivid descriptions.

The only criticism I have, I suppose, is all the adverbs. (Kidding.)

I want to thank NetGalley and Mariner Books for letting me read an advanced copy of this book. As soon as I finished the first and saw there was a second, I was dying to read it—figuratively, of course. It shot to #1 on my must-read list, and I'm so happy for the opportunity.

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A lot of times, a sequel can be a dud. And sometimes, the sequel can out do its predecessor. In the case of this book, I feel it outshines its predecessor.

I love how Ernest is just am accidental writer and amateur detective. He does it so hilariously in this, that even as someone who is neither, I find him so relatable.

Now he does give us clues as to the murderer pretty much from the start. And right before the reveal, he gives you the opportunity to solve it. Did I? Nope. And I love this for me.

I'm just going to say there's two best parts of the book: the epilogue and the Tom Cruise scene.

I really do hope we get more. More bumbling. More Andy. More Juilette. More who done it. More Ernest.

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I had adored everyone in my family has killed someone and this one was even better! I loved the take on the classic murder on the train, laughed out loud a couple times reading it! I enjoyed seeing the character growth and thought it was a bit easier to follow than the previous one. Thank you so much to Mariner books for the ARC!

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From the author of "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" comes "Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect," a wickedly fun locked-room murder mystery set on a train full of mystery writers, agents, editors, and fans.

When Ernest Cunninham is invited by the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society to their crime-writing festival aboard the Ghan, the famous train between Darwin and Adelaide, he is hoping for some inspiration for his second book. The program is a who's-who of crime-writing royalty: the debut author (Ernest), the forensic science author, the blockbuster author, the legal thriller author, the literary author, and the psychological suspense author. When one of the writers is murdered, the remaining authors quickly become detectives. Together, these five writers should know how to solve a crime--but they should also know how to commit one. How can you find a killer when all the suspects know how to get away with murder?

I am completely obsessed with this book and running to the bookstore to buy Stevenson's backlist. This was one of the funniest and cleverest murder mysteries I have ever read, and it is undoubtedly one of my new favorite books. Written in first-person narrative, "Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect" begins with Ernest writing his second novel after the success of his memoir, "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone." This is the second book in the series, and I regret not reading the first novel because there were a few spoilers. It does work as a standalone, though, with new characters and a new setting. I can't wait to read "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone," and I really hope Ernest decides to write another novel!

Thank you to NetGalley and Mariner Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Question: who among you will use the ebook search feature on every train suspect’s name when the author states early on “I’ll tell you that I used the killer’s name, in all its forms, exactly 106 times from here”? Um, I did. I’ll tell you how that worked out later.

Ernest Cunningham, self-proclaimed reliable narrator and non-murderer (this time) of “Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone” has boarded a train (the legendary Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin) which is also hosting an upscale mystery writer’s conference during the journey. He has a contract to do a fiction book (so, obviously not a sequel unless Ernest gets mixed up in another murder) and he’s struggling with the manuscript. Luckily, for him, there is a murder (and therefore this book). Also a lot of suspects and would-be detectives since there were 6 writer members on the panel, plus agents, publishers, obsessive superfans (with copies of Stephen King’s “Misery”) and plus-ones. If you’ve read Stevenson’s previous book, you know that he and his alter-ego are sticklers for fair play mysteries and there “must be rules.” So we know in advance that the first 10,000 words introduce all the pertinent characters, at 20,000 we know potential motives, and by 30,000 words, there’s a murder. Later there will be investigations, character development, maybe romance or second murder, red herrings, action scenes, and an “ALL IS LOST” moment before the mystery is solved.

Seems straightforward, but there’s an awful lot to keep track of if the reader wants to solve the mystery before Ernest. I enjoyed the main character more than in the previous book — that proclamation that he’s not going to be an unreliable character relaxed me (and eliminated a bunch of possible theoretical outcomes) and Ernest seemed less uptight. It’ll be your choice to become seriously involved or just go with the flow — in any case, Mr. Stevenson has hit his stride in this novel even if it possibly mirrors any real anxiety about creating a sequel. It’s twisty and complicated (but it follows “the rules”), yet still a lot of fun. 5 stars!

About the count regarding whether the killer is named exactly 106 times: Before I could protest that my ebook search didn’t add up, I realized that I had an advanced uncorrected copy that could still be edited. But when the protagonist says the killer could have an alias and/or a nickname, you’ll have to combine the counts (and subtract a random name from the acknowledgments). Sigh.

Literary Pet Peeve Checklist:
Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): YES Jasper has “Gatsby-lantern” green eyes.
Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): NO We’re on a train in the desert with mostly opal mine holes to avoid. We do get a pun about Uncle Andy, formerly a turfgrass horticulturalist, a man who is often trodden on (oof), while Andy is investigating a burglary at a florist shop.

Thank you to Mariner Books/HarperCollins and NetGalley for a free advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!

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"Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect" by Benjamin Stevenson is a fiendishly fun and witty locked room murder mystery that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

Ernest Cunningham, the debut crime writer, finds himself on the Ghan, a legendary train journey between Darwin and Adelaide, invited to the Australian Mystery Writers' Society crime-writing festival. As a respite from real-life crime, Ernest is looking for inspiration for his second book. Little does he know that the adventure he's about to embark on is stranger than fiction.

The cast of characters aboard the train is like a who's who of crime writing, featuring a mix of debut writers, forensic science experts, blockbuster authors, legal thriller specialists, literary writers, and psychological suspense gurus. When a murder occurs, the authors, each with their unique expertise, suddenly turn into detectives, determined to solve the crime.

Benjamin Stevenson masterfully weaves a tale filled with humor and suspense, where the line between fiction and reality blurs. The narrative takes you on a delightful journey of deduction as the characters pool their knowledge to uncover the truth. The author's playful exploration of the mystery genre, complete with its clichés and tropes, adds a layer of meta-humor that crime fiction enthusiasts will appreciate.

As the plot unfolds, you're left guessing who the murderer could be, and just when you think you've figured it out, another twist keeps you on your toes. The setting on the train adds a classic locked room mystery element, heightening the tension and making for an engrossing read.

"Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect" is a delightful and clever homage to the world of crime fiction, and it's perfect for fans of authors like Richard Osman and Anthony Horowitz. This book offers a unique blend of humor, suspense, and wit, making it an excellent addition to the mystery and thriller genre.

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Ernest Cunningham is trying to write his next book. The problem is that his first book came from a fantastic string of murders all around him. Where could he find inspiration like that ever again? In the hopes of boosting his career and meeting some fellow authors, Ern boards the Ghan to be part of a panel of authors on the Australian Mystery Writers festival. Things aren't starting off well and only get worse once one of the authors on the train dies quite suddenly. But, was his death natural? Ern is on the case, but soon finds there really aren't worse suspects than a group of people who make their living writing books about crime and murder.
Rating: 4.5 ⭐️ I was not nearly as dazzled as the rest of the reading community with Stevenson's first novel in this series, but I wanted to give him a second chance. I'm so glad I did because this novel was so much more clear-cut and accessible than the first Ernest Cunningham mystery. I enjoyed all of the writers and their personalities more than Ernest's family in the first book. This was definitely a fun read that I would recommend to any mystery lover.
Thanks to NetGalley for my copy of this ebook!

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I was really thrilled to be to able read this book, but I must admit, a tad bit disappointed after finishing it. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun, interesting read—but I going that there were just too many elements that weren't as cohesive as the author’s first book. I found the main mystery to be a bit dull, and that a few of the chase scenes were unrealistic. The majority of the characters were undeveloped and left me feeling a bit eh. I give it a middle of the row grade.

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I loved the sequel and actually was completely surprised by the reveal! I also have to say, that I have been lucky enough to take The Ghan, so it made the book that much more special to know exactly what it’s like. Clever, entertaining and terrific, I hope this novel shoots up the charts. Bravo!

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I was very excited for this book, but a little let down after reading it. It was a fun, compelling read—but many elements didn’t jell as nicely as the author’s prior book. The central mystery just wasn’t as interesting, several chase scenes were ludicrous, and the characters were kind of meh. So overall a recommendation but with reservations.

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Fun mystery but I admit the style was a bit too stilted and full of asides for my taste. Still, interesting characters and enough plot twists to keep me happy.

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This is the second book in the Ernest Cunningham series. I found that this novel started off very slowly and I was tempted to put it down and not finish it. I continued to read it and the story finally moved to a faster pace. I will say that Stevenson does a great job with his developing his characters and having Ernest explain all the unanswered questions that you might have at the end of the book. Ernest is having a terrible time coming up with his second novel and his publishers keep on hounding him. He was able to write his first novel because it was on murders that happened at his family reunion. Ernest decides that he needs inspiration for this second novel and takes the Ghan, a train from Darwin to Adelaide for a crime writers festival. When a murder happens during the train ride, Ernest now has an idea for his novel and decides to find out who, how, and why. What Ernest finds exciting is that he has plenty of suspects trapped on a train. Pick up this novel and travel with Ernest while he tries to solve the murder on the Ghan. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Fresh off the success of his book recounting the events of "Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone," author Ernest Cunningham is participating in the Australian Mystery Writers' Festival. The festival is taking place on board the Ghan, a train which travels the length of Australia from Darwin in the north down to Adelaide in the south. While on board, Ernest and his fellow authors will hold panels and discussions about their work. Ernest has been given an advance to writer another book, and he's hoping to get some work done on board the train. He's stuck for ideas, though, since his other book was based on a series of murders that happened while at a family reunion. Without murders to write about, inspiration is hard to come by. Ernest is narrating the events in the current book, and as he sets them out, he is determined that his book will be a Fair Play mystery. He is determined to follow the rules set out by Ronald Knox, including such requirements as no supernatural elements, the murderer should be a major player in the action, the reader should have all the information to solve the mystery, and so on. As most of the other characters are authors, there are egos and personalities at play. The question is, which one is bruised enough to murder? As the train travels south, there are overheard conversations, secret meetings, exposed secrets, and of course, a few murders. Ernest, who is recounting the story after all of the events have transpired, stops frequently to update us on how his story is following the rules he set out for himself (he says early on that the killer's name is mentioned a total of 106 times, and he gives several running totals on how many times each character has been mentioned).

I thought the story was a very interesting homage to both Golden Age mysteries and authors. While I'm not sure it would be possible to figure out all the clues and unmask the killer, the way Ernest does at the end, there is a big reveal at the end where everything that was puzzling, or misdirection is explained. The motives and actions of even the "not guilty" characters are also exposed in the march to the truth. I enjoyed the story and look forward to finding out what Ernest can possibly find to write about for his third book!

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Benjamin Stevenson is a genius!

Ernest Cunningham returns again (the start of Everyone in my family is a Serial Killer) this time on an author's tour, representing the story he wrote after his last near-death experience.

Witty as alway, Ernest has quite the experience navigating amongst the well known and the hoping to be well known authors that have been invited on the tour. The tour itself, takes place on the well known Ghan train. The authors are essentially stuck on the train with all of their fans - providing a locked room experience when of course some one is murdered!

Providing wit and laugh out loud commentary, Stevenson has created another daring and delightful story that will entertain you as well as engage you - who is murdering authors?
#Mariner #EveryoneonThisTrainisaSuspect #BenjaminStevenson

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