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*** - How To Solve Your Own Murder


HOW TO SOLVE YOUR OWN MURDER

KRISTEN PERRIN

***


FRANCES ALWAYS SAID SHE'D BE MURDERED...

SHE WAS RIGHT.


In 1965, when Frances Adams was seventeen, a fortune teller told her that one day she'd be murdered. Thus began a lifetime of trying to prevent the crime that would be her eventual demise.


No one took Frances seriously for sixty years - until, of course, she was murdered. But for Frances, being the village busybody was a form of insurance. She'd spent a lifetime compiling dirt on every person she met, just in case they might turn out to be her killer. In the heart of her sprawling country estate lies an eccentric library of detective work, where the right person could step in and use her findings to solve her murder.


When her great-niece Annie arrives from London and discovers that Frances' worst fear has come true, Annie is thrust into her great-aunt's last act of revenge against her sceptical friends and family. Frances' will stipulates that the person who solves her murder inherits her millions, and she's challenged a group that includes Annie to prove to the world that Frances was right all along about her future.


Can Annie unravel the mystery and find justice for Frances, or will digging up the past lead her into the path of the killer?


MY REVIEW

***


When Annie Adams receives an invitation from her estranged Great Aunt Frances about a change to her will, she is looking forward to a family reunion. Frances has been plagued by a fortune that was given to her as a child and is obsessed with her own murder. However, when she is discovered dead in her house, the race is on to see if her fortune came true.


How to Solve Your Own Murder is quite a cosy murder mystery – there are certainly some cliches, particularly to the beginning of the story which made me feel that it isn’t very original. It is an easy read though and it kept me gripped throughout - although I don’t think it has the humour that Knives Out or The Thursday Murder Club does, so I think this comparison on its description is misleading. The narrative alternates between Annie’s present-day investigation and diary entries from Frances telling of events that happened in the 60s after her fortune was told and before her best friend disappeared.


The diary technique is a little weak – there were certainly a lot of plot points not revealed until a lot later which are conveniently hidden from both Annie and the reader because she put off reading it or fell asleep before finishing the story. It gave the feeling that the murder could have been solved earlier if she had just read it in one sitting (which you would do surely, if a murderer was on the loose and your family house was at stake) and this made it feel too convenient and unrealistic.


I didn’t feel that I particularly sympathised with Annie – she makes some questionable decisions throughout. I did however, feel that we got to know Frances quite well, despite not meeting her ‘in person’ and I enjoyed the diary entries about her. I didn’t feel that we got to know the other characters as well because there was too much suspicion that one of them was the murderer which was a bit of a shame. I also wanted to hear more about the ‘Ford’ character in the present day narrative as well.


Overall, How To Solve Your Own Murder is a cosy murder mystery that feels a little too unrealistic and cliched in places. Thank you to NetGalley & Quercus Books for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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