Member Reviews

Sequels can sometimes be scary especially if you’ve absolutely loved the first book, but Benjamin Stevenson, rose up to this challenge because I actually loved this book more than the original and I absolutely loved the original. I love Ernest’s character, even though some of his decisions are not the brightest. I especially love the wall breaks he does with the reader, his banter always cracks me up. I really hope a third book is on its way.

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The sequel to “Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone” was similarly structured and paced to its predecessor. It was filled with details, and tongue in cheek references to “how to write mystery novels,” and whatever the literary equivalent of “breaking the fourth wall” is. There’s gotta be a name for it, but it escapes me. Anyway, I liked this one better than the first book- the setting was excellent, I got a clearer picture of a bunch of the characters, and it was even funnier than the first. It’s definitely a book you need to focus on though- a lot happens very quickly, and my ADHD brain had a few misfires that led me to have to reread parts of it. If you like funny narrators and complicated mysteries, this one is for you. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-arc.

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This was a fantastic book and such a fun read! I really got into it and it lead me on a journey into the crazy world of murder! I thought it was well written and a book I would read again and again!

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I absolutely loved [book:Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone|60879779] and was so excited about this book and it did not disappoint.

I love the authors writing style, and he is a master storyteller. This is a locked room, er locked train mystery with authors on board for a conference of sorts.

The characters are fantastic and I absolutely loved how the mystery unfolds.

I honestly cannot wait for another book from this author.

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I loved the creativity of this book. I enjoyed the author's conversations with the reader as the book switched back and forth between giving commentary and telling the story. It was entertaining to me.

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This very much gave the vibes of Murder on the Orient Express and our protagonist Ernest Cunningham is back! When Ernest is invited to a writing festival, he boards the Ghan (a famous train in Australia that will take him across the country). When one of the authors on the train is murdered, everyone becomes a suspect.

I do enjoy Stevenson’s writing style which is so unique from other books as once again Ernest breaks the fourth wall and addresses the reader directly to help us as readers become amateur sleuths. There is a large pool of suspects and I honestly did not see the twists and turns coming which always makes for a more enjoyable read.

The only call-out I would have is the pacing. The first 40% of the book was the set up and it just felt a little long. It wasn’t until after the first murder that the storyline started to pick up. If you enjoyed the first book in this series you will definitely like this one as well!

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Another absolutely delightful mystery from Benjamin Stevenson! Everyone on this Train is a Suspect is meta-narrative, self-referential and conversational—poking fun at all the tropes of a murder mystery while simultaneously showing why those stories are so fabulous and satisfying. It’s a love letter to the genre, while never taking itself too seriously. A fair amount of jabs are thrown at publishing companies as well.

This sequel is shorter than its predecessor, which I liked. The mystery came together a bit suddenly at the end, but it was a fun ride and I laughed aloud multiple times while reading. You can read this as a stand-alone, but there are a few references to the first book, Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone, so I’d recommend starting with that one.

Funny, clever, wholesome (besides all that murdering!), and entertaining. Worth the read. Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

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The second installment in this wildly enterraining Aussie mystery series finds the main character (and meticulously reliable narrator) Ernest Cummingham enjoying (or not) some newfound success and recognition after publishing his novel about the events from the previous book. He and his partner (who shall remain nameless here to avoid spoilers for the first book) are about to embark on a luxury rail journey across the Australian desert on board The Ghan as guests of a mystery writers' festival. Their fellow passengers include authors (of varying degrees of fame), literary agents, publishers, fans, and railway staff, all of whom are vividly depicted and who have secrets of their own. Ern has never actually written fiction before - his previous book was based on surviving a true crime - so he is at a loss for ideas for his promised second novel. It would be lot easier than making up a story from thin air if there were to be a (ahem) real murder mystery for him to write about - not that he hasn't witnessed enough murder already thank you very much. And of course, this is exactly what happens.

Like last time, Ern plays fair as a narrator by presenting up front the rules with which he will hold himself accountable to readers, including travel markers of sorts, by which point the murder victim(s), suspect(s), and murderer(s) are introduced, and the exact number of times the killer's name appears in the story (in case anyone is keeping track - and Ern is). Also, like last time, the story is clever, witty, twisty, colorful, fast-paced, and compulsively readable. I love the distinctly Aussie flavor of these books, and I'm absolutely a fan of the series and the author. The plot has enough twists and turns, red herrings, secret layers and connections, that I was genuinely surprised without ever feeling unfairly "tricked" - quite a feat for an author, and a treat for the reader. Despite his reliability as a narrator, Ern is a flawed human who makes mistakes and is rightfully challenged when he does - and he learns from them and tries to do better. I will say that I found a particular character's motivation to be a little hard to believe (well, to believe they'd truly be willing to kill for it), but I'm prepared to suspend disbelief because the story was so much fun.

Many thanks to the author, the publisher, and to Netgalley for providing me with a free advance reader copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

P.S. I actually purchased the audiobook instead of reading my free ebook because I enjoyed Barton Welch's narration of the previous book so much, and he did an outstanding job once again.

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This book was a combination of things I enjoy in books and things I find irritating. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough of the things I like. The plot was clever. The idea of a murder aboard a cross country train carrying a mystery writers’ festival was definitely intriguing. And, there were some giggle worthy moments. However, for the most part, it just seemed like the author was trying way too hard to be cute. His constant talking to the reader, along with the lists we were subjected to, soon became annoying.

My copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to the the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review it.

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This was just a fun, light mystery. I would recommend this to someone who wanted something akin to a cozy mystery but with a first person perspective and a narrator with a unique perspective.

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My problems with this book were totally me problems.

A murder aboard a literary train is fun. I liked the subtle callbacks to the golden age of mysteries. What I didn't jive with were the constant references to publishing. While this hasn't bothered me in other similar writer-mysteries (Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne & Horowitz series for example), it didn't work for me here. The overall tone wasn't for me.

Would definitely read more by this author, just not this series.

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I adored everything about this book, from its delightful narrator Ernest to the unconventional narrating (the prologue! the epilogue!!). The way it pokes fun at the genre and the world of writing and authoring had me literally laughing out loud and stopping to read passages out loud to my husband (who was trying to focus on his own book but that's too bad for him). The blend of humor and mystery and action (omg seeing Ernest try to jump onto a moving train nearly sent me) and just general lovability makes for an incredible reading cocktail.
Read it! You will 100% enjoy it, I personally guarantee it. =)

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I had such fun reading this old fashioned style murder mystery. Written in first person, it feels like the narrator, mystery author Ernest Cunningham, is actually talking to you. This is a sequel to Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone (which I haven't read YET, so this works as a stand alone). Set aboard the Ghan, a train that runs through the Australian desert, it features seven mystery writers who are invited to a writers retreat, but only five remain alive. You can tell the author doesn't take himself too seriously, it reads very tongue in cheek. There are plenty of twists and morally grey characters, so everyone appears to have a motive for the murders that take place. Overall it's clever and entertaining, with a shocking climax, and an ending that left me with a smile on my face. If you enjoyed Knives Out or Murder on the Orient Express, this is for you. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

Thank you to NetGalley and Mariner Books for a gifted copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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I did not read the first book in this series yet, and I feel like that impacted my experience. While it was referred to often, I also had some things spoiled for me. There were so many characters in this book that I had a hard time following who was who. I think I enjoy the writing style, however sometimes it seemed forced and trying too hard to be quirky.

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If you read and enjoyed “Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone” then get ready for more meta-fiction from our hero Ernest Cunningham in ”Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect”, another homage to golden age mysteries from Benjamin Stevenson.

The action takes place soon after Ernest’s last escapade with a serial killer, which he managed to turn into a best-selling novel (true crime?). Ernest has been asked to attend a special Australian Mystery Writer’s Festival’s 50th anniversary celebration, which is being held on the Ghan, a train ride that bisects Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. He brings along his girlfriend, Juliette from the last book, and he is only one of seven mystery writers who are attending the conference. The remainder of the writers span the gamut of the genre and include the forensic specialist, the legal thriller writer, the snobby literary author, the psychological suspense writer, and of course the blockbuster author, who’s the real draw for the festival and also the one person everybody hates. In addition we also have a larger cast of characters, from fan club presidents to literary agents (including Ernest’s agent who is pressuring him to earn his advance) to publishers to everyday fans.

For anyone who has ever read a mystery set on a train, you know that the stage is set for a brief introduction to everyone and a chance to learn that they all have secrets. In homage to “Murder on the Orient Express” among others, the first murder takes place at night and the victim is the one who’s been asking for it from the start of the trip, the bestselling author. We have all of the standard items from a train mystery: overheard snippets of conversations, people caught in the hallways for various reasons, drunk characters saying too much and acting out of sorts, and of course hidden pasts, secrets, and identities. Even Ernest isn’t free from suspicion, after the author gave him a horrendous review and people think he is murdering just to get ideas for his second novel.

Ernest once again takes the role of amateur detective and tries to figure out who the killer is, in spite of the fact that everyone on the train is an expert at crafting murders! With the discovery of a second victim and a personal crisis at hand, will Ernest be able to solve the case before the final station?

If you enjoyed the first book you will definitely like this one as well. Mr. Stevenson knows how to break the fourth wall while keeping the action moving, he challenges the reader and plays fair while crafting a modern take on a golden age mystery. Plus he’s very funny as well, so don’t take this too seriously.

I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from Mariner Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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I was so happy to see that Benjamin Stevenson is back at it with book #2 - I am a big fan of his unique writing style and closed in mysteries.

Synopsis: When the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society invited me to their crime-writing festival aboard the Ghan, the famous train between Darwin and Adelaide, I was hoping for some inspiration for my second book. It's a program is a who’s who of crime writing royalty, but when one of them is murdered, the remaining authors quickly turn into five detectives. How can you find a killer when all the suspects know how to get away with murder?

My thoughts: Benjamin Stevenson is always a fun read! His writing is clever and hilarious and his schtick of having Ernest talk directly to us readers is brilliant. On this expedition, Ernest has writers block up until the first murder drops, something that feels so true to Ernest. The opening of the book directly mentions the rules for writing a sequel, and in a humorous way looks at some of the expectations readers can have of them. This is the beauty of Ernest - his love of rules and the mentioning each them during a book.

Packed full of misdirection and twisting surprises, it’s easy to get lost in Stevenon’s smooth and distinct prose. Everyone on this Train has obvious similarities to Orient Express and yet, it's a genius and wildly satisfying new take on the classic whodunit.

Rumor has it book that HBO has bought the film rights to Benjamin Stevenson's Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone. I look forward to seeing it and reading book #3 of Ernest Cunningham.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Mariner books for bringing us into Stevenson's world. Its a fun and interesting place to be.

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⭐️ Ghastly

Jkjk… I found that this sequel was not quite as delightful as the first - I was really in love with Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone. The humor and breaking of the fourth wall was wholly new and inventive. So, the sequel - to me - couldn't quite live up I think.

But this was another good story full of humor, complex characters, good twists (not too many). It is really a fun "golden-age" feeling mystery and I hope for more in this series from Benjamin Stevenson.

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Although I didn't read the first book, I did enjoy the humor and wordplay in this one. I especially thought that the solving the mystery hinging on the "Oxford comma" was clever. Entertaining and a salute to Agatha Christie.

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Ernest Cunningham speaks directly to us as he boards a train hosting the Australian Mystery Writers' Festival in Benjamin Stevenson's novel Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect. This first person narrative breaks all the walls as Ern outlines the "rules" for credible mysteries and walks us through his own adventures on the train, that include, of course, murder.

It's clever, it's cheeky, it's funny. It's a blatant attempt to advertise Ern's prior book, Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone. Very meta. A successful attempt, as I've added it to the TBR pile.

My thanks to NetGalley and Mariner Books for the ARC.

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This was entertaining and fun. I read it for the wordplay and interesting characters and situations. I realized that, while I enjoy mysteries, the "whodunit" aspect isn't my favorite part. I don't really want to keep track of slippery clues and red herrings and "oh you missed that ha ha" details. I'm more interested in "whydunit"!

This was still a really good book, and I look forward to more titles from this author.

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