Excuse the comparisons for a moment, but I think they might be the only way to describe this book. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a cross between Quantum Leap and Groundhog Day if they were set during a murder mystery party, only it’s not a game. Intrigued yet?
Blackheath’s only alive so long as people are in it. Without them, it’s a depressing ruin waiting on the mercy of a wrecking ball.
Aidan wakes up with no knowledge of who or where he is. He is in the woods outside Blackheath House, a place he will soon come to loathe. He assumes his memory loss is medical, but the very next day he awakes in a different body, and the day has been reset.
I think perhaps the joy of this book is not knowing too much about it before you start, so I won’t go into too much detail. However Aidan learns he has eight hosts and eight days to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. I loved the puzzle and how it slowly fits into place. The footman adds an edge of fear to the proceedings. Just as you think you’ve got everything worked out, you see it from a different angle.
My brother was murdered nineteen years ago tomorrow, Sebastian. I don’t know why, but my parents have decided to mark the occasion by reopening the house where it happened and inviting back the very same guests who were here that day.
The characters are lacking a little depth, though arguably to keep it in the style of older murder mysteries. You’ve got all the stereotypes present, the butler, the artist, the detective, lord of the manor… the list goes on. Not many of them are particularly likeable either, but it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying this book.
I did form a theory on what Blackheath was all about and I was happy to be right about that. I was worried it would never be explained (although, of course I am curious about what the world outside Blackheath is like). If you’re looking for something a bit different from a murder mystery, you will certainly find it here.
Finding their soul cut loose from their body would suggest death to some, but deep down I know this isn’t the afterlife. Hell would have fewer servants and better furnishings, and stripping a man of his sins seems a poor way to sit in judgement on him.
POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 10. A book about death or grief
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Book Source: Purchased
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