Cover Image: Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect

Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Unfortunately this one was not for me. I couldn’t connect with the characters. I found the writing was all over the place and not to my liking. Life’s too short to read books I can’t get in to. It’s not for me, but may be for someone else

Was this review helpful?

🔪 Everyone on this Train is a Suspect
By Benjamin Stevenson

Well Ernest Cunningham is back and if you haven’t read Everyone in my Family has killed Someone you probably should read it before reading this one. It’s not a must but it will fill you in on the back story and will make more sense. So Ernest is invited on a famous train for a crime-writing festival but when one of the famous authors turns up dead it’s quite a different story.

🤔- I wanted to love this one but it was just an ok read. While I still enjoyed the writing style ( very different) which I appreciate it just got a bit boring. There were just too many characters and I actually found it hard to keep track who was who. It felt like i never got to know any of them. It was a slow start and just lost its appeal. I wanted to be more mysterious but overall it was an ok read.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to #NetGalley, #MarinerBooks, and #BenjaminStevenson for the ARC of #EveryoneonThisTrainIsaSuspect. I am happy to leave a candid (though embarrassingly late) review.

Let me start by saying that I hadn't read the first book (Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone), but was easily able to follow along with this sequel, so don't feel obligated to read them in order. That said, I wasn't even 2 chapters in before deciding that I was ABSOLUTELY desperate to read the first book. The humor is sharp and clever and snarky and I LOVE it! There were several passages that did have me LOL for real. Our narrator, Ern Cunningham (a new writer), frequently talks directly to the reader about this book's structure and gives several clues (legit, but easily misleading) to solve the current mystery before the final denouement (de-noo-moh - another LOL).

The only [sorta] complaint I'll make is about the overwhelming cast-of-characters... there were a few instances where I lost track of who was who and how they were possibly related to other characters. Especially tricky when there were at least two alter egos floating around and a number of past crimes involving different people came together in a surprising manner. You need to pay attention as you go along.

If you like to be challenged in your murder mysteries, read this book - you will not be disappointed.

Was this review helpful?

This is s terrific mystery. Really enjoyed seeing the character again. And I loved the concept of the train ride. Got this book in book form

Was this review helpful?

This was everything I could’ve wanted from a sequel the the author’s first book and I truly can’t think of anything I didn’t like. We get a whole new cast of characters except for our main character Ernest obvi and two others from the first book. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and just like the first book, did not guess the killer! I really enjoy the narrative style of these books and how it breaks the fourth wall so to speak, with the main character talking directly to the reader at points throughout the book. I think this style is so unique and cool for a mystery novel and it makes for a fun experience. Definitely hope to see another book in this Ernest Cunningham world!

Was this review helpful?

I LOVED this one so much! I really enjoyed the first in this series, it was unique and funny and aussie and enjoyable. I was very excited to get to this one and it didn’t disappoint! I thought it was hilarious (I’m still laughing at the pale imitation/tan line lololol – I read it aloud to my boyfriend I thought it was so funny. He didn’t find it as funny) and interesting. Loved the setting (yes, I looked at how much the train journey cost), loved the characters, loved the story. The only thing I didn’t like is that I don’t automatically have the next one/another book from Benjamin Stevenson to read write meow. I did see that it’s going to be a show though, and I am very excited for that!

Was this review helpful?

This book kept everything great about the first book, but streamlined and polished the plotting and dialed back the distracting levels of meta commentary to a delightful level. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Ernest.

Was this review helpful?

Everyone on This Train is a Suspect brings more of the witty charm Benjamin Stevenson gave readers in his debut novel, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone. Playing with familiar murder-mystery tropes, Stevenson delivers a satisfying whodunit complete with quirky characters and red herrings galore.

The story takes place on a luxury train that’s hosting the 50th Australian Mystery Writers’ Festival. The main character—whom we first met in Stevenson’s debut—is Earnest Cunningham, an author struggling to write his sophomore novel. When one of the writers on the trip turns up dead, every other writer—including Earnest—is a suspect.

Lots of sleuthing hijinks ensue, but the most fun for me was the relentless poking fun at the publishing industry. Smart and snappy from start to finish.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance review copy.

Was this review helpful?

The is the second book in Ernest Cunningham series. You definitely need to read book one first. I really enjoyed the first book and liked this one even more. Although the setting of a murder on a train is certainly not original, the way this mystery is carried out is unique. I hope the author continues this series.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this more than the first! It gave me Agatha Christie/Arthur Conan Doyle in the best way, so good! Highly recommend!!!

Was this review helpful?

Ernest is back and surprise, surprise he is thrust into another murder investigation. EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT brings the reader to a crime-writing festival with Ernest Cunningham as one of the members of the panel. Again, Stevenson’s combination of unique choice in the narrator, wit, and carefully plotted reveals allow the reader to be brought into the examination of the crime(s) taking place.

I have to say, this book was better than the first. The concept and general idea are the same where Ernest writes a book about the murders he is present for. His signature candidness and humor are present on every page you read. The noticeable difference is the cast. Though Juliette and Andy are intertwined with the story, there is a whole new group of characters consisting of authors, people who work in publishing, and attendees of the festival. These personalities were just the right blend of caricature and relatable traits.

From beginning to end, this book was pure entertainment and downright addictive. I cannot wait to see what craziness Ernest gets into next. And if what I read at the end is any indication, it looks like we will be seeing a little more of Juliette too. Bring on book three!

Audiobook Note: The audiobook for the second book in the Ernest Cunningham series brings back Barton Welch with the addition of Megan Smart. Having the same narrator is the cherry on top when you are listening to a series. Welch, again, brought Ernest to life with perfect pacing and just the right amount of inflection. I loved this story just as much as the first, but listening to this audiobook truly allowed me to feel like I was there on the train.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley and Mariner Books for providing this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

After reading Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone, I looked forward to the release of Everyone on This Train is A Suspect, which is somewhat surprising since I didn’t rate the first book very highly. However, my appreciation for Ernest’s narration style outweighed my hang ups going in.

While I liked this storyline more overall, this installment didn't quite hit the mark for me either. The pacing of the book failed to keep me engaged and the large cast of characters confused me. Even through the final chapters, I would encounter a character by name and have to flip back through the book to remind me who they were. Ernest's overtly promised reliable narration usually makes him come across as so stable and logical, that when he makes erratic decisions it feels like those scenes are about someone else completely.

However, I did find the resolution of the mystery to be satisfying and easier to comprehend compared to Book 1. Even with all of the struggles, if there's a 3rd book, I'll probably try it too.

I'll be recommending this book to:
- Anyone who enjoyed Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone
- Finlay Donovan fans

Was this review helpful?

Everyone on This Train is a Suspect is an absolute delight to read! Building on the success of his first book, the author once again delivers a witty and engaging story that is both charming and clever. From the moment I started reading, I found myself effortlessly drawn into the world of this captivating mystery. The writing is fantastic, striking the perfect balance between humor and intrigue. It's a light-hearted yet thoroughly entertaining read that keeps you guessing until the very end. A must-read for fans of cozy mysteries and anyone looking for a fun and enjoyable escape!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgally, the publishers, and Benjamin Stevenson

When I requested this book I was unaware that it was apart of a series, one that requires you to read the previous books for this one to make sense. I am unable to read all the previous books along with this one before the publish date. Therefore, I will rate this a fair 3/5 stars and will adjust the rating and review when I am able to read all the books in the series along with this one.

Was this review helpful?

This is the second book in the Ernest Cunningham series, and Ernst is back in action. This story line takes place on a cross country train where the Australian Mystery Writers Society has invited Ernst (along with other authors) to network. However, when one of the authors is found dead on the train everyone on board is considered a suspect. The first half of this book is slow moving with a lot of details and the second half picks up the pace. This book is full of wit, humor, and mystery. Someone described it as Murder on the Orient express meets Knives out and I couldnt agree more.

Thank you to the author, publishing team, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a review. Book was released 1/30/24

Was this review helpful?

Would recommend for fans of…
🛤️ Finlay Donovan
🛤️ West Heart Kill
🛤️ Agatha Christie

Ernest Cunningham is back in another fourth-wall breaking mystery, this one an homage to Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

I was pretty ambivalent about the first book in this series, as the constant fourth-wall breaking was a quirk in the writing that was hard to get around. But I found the mystery intriguing enough, so I figured I’d continue on with the series.

Having adjusted to the unique narration style, it was easier to jump right in and start following along with the mystery. The plot, which focused on a murder among mystery writers, had a lot of fun “wink wink nod nod” moments to tropes and classic elements of the genre, and there was plenty of humor mixed in, which added a dash of fun. Ernest’s constant acknowledgements to the reader and references to things that are about to happen do get a little tiring at times, but if you’re able to power through that, you’ll find a great mystery underneath.

While this is the second in the series, I think you could jump in right with this one, as it offers a pretty good recap of the first book. And good news, there are more stories coming, including a holiday novella later this year.

Everyone on This Train Is A Suspect is out now. Thanks to Mariner Books and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a great murder mystery! The story is engaging, and the narrative is hilarious. I love how the author not only encourages the reader to solve the murder along with him, but discusses clues and hints throughout the story. Even with all the clues, I wasn't able to figure it out before the end! Wonderfully entertaining!

Was this review helpful?

Following the much buzzed about Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, this is another meta mystery which is tonally more successful than Everyone and just as twistily plotted.

Following in the literary footsteps of Murder on the Orient Express, Ernest Cunningham and four other writers are on the Ghan, a luxury train going from Darwin to Adelaide, for the 30th Anniversary Australian Mystery Writers Festival. Following Ern’s formula for successful mystery fiction we are introduced and given some back story on the characters, before plunging into a murder, interrogations, a second murder, and the lengthy resolution expounded to the cast in the bar carriage.

As before, Ernest plays fair with the readers, not hiding anything or overtly misleading us, liberally sprinkling clues, indeed often pointing them out, and winkily using a traditional mystery structure. What’s different this time is that the murders themselves are much less gratuitously gory and the tone is somewhat less jokey which gives a more balanced tone. Additionally, Ernest completely shatters the fourth wall by playing a game to keep track of the suspects which I didn’t love.

As I hope you know, in Murder on the Orient Express, everyone did it, and while it would be too obvious for that to be the denouement here, all the characters have a motive, some of which are more obvious than others. There are revelations galore, a rather clunky coincidence, and much use is made of the Australian Outback scenery for diversion and metaphor.

As well as getting me to look up trips on the Ghan (cheapest 4 days/3 nights is $3705), I felt satisfied that the author had ironed out the issues I had with the first in the series, albeit had added a couple of new wrinkles. Having read the two in quick succession, I’m glad there will be a break before we have another entry in this series - there’s only so much archness I can take - as that seems to be where the author is going.

Thanks to Mariner and Netgalley for the digital review copy.

Was this review helpful?

Top Pick - 4.5 Stars

Ernest Cunningham survived a tragedy, then wrote a book about the events. He’s been paid an advance to write a second novel, but is struggling to write a fictional story. Ernest is happy to be invited to be part of an author’s panel on a luxury train ride through the desert of Australia. He’s hoping he can get ideas for his next book, but didn’t think the inspiration would come from another real life murder. However, when one of the authors on the panel is murdered, Ernest puts his writing skills and his detective skills to use again to catch a killer.

Everyone on this Train is a Suspect is the sequel to Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, but it works well as a standalone. I didn’t read the first book so it did take a little bit to get to know Ernest, the main character and narrator, and get used to the writing style of the book. However, once I did I could just sit back and enjoy this unique book. Ernest believes in authors playing fair to readers in mystery books, but often expects real life to work the same way. He is insecure, flawed, and doesn’t always make the right decision, but he is still likable. Ernest is a character to root for, both in the investigation, his writing career, and his personal life with his author girlfriend, Juliette, who is also on the train trip.

This book plays tribute to the golden age of detective stories and also cleverly talks about the publishing industry. It was also interesting the way Ernest talks to the other authors and uses their areas of expertise, such as forensics and psychology, to investigate the crime. The narration style is casual and chatty with Ernest speaking directly to readers, pointing out clues to help solve the case along with him. Even with all the clues and Ernest’s help, I wasn’t able to correctly identify the killer! I was surprised and entertained by the dramatic ending. I also loved the humor throughout the book. This is a mystery novel for mystery lovers and I highly recommend it.

~ Christine

Was this review helpful?

This follow-up to Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone was even more enjoyable than the first. This series is utterly original and entertaining. I love how the narrator breaks the fourth wall and takes the reader along on his journey to uncover the solution to the mystery. The tone is perfectly snarky, and the mystery is complicated and intricately plotted. I can't wait for more in this series. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?