The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

eBook - 2018
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Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin ... Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others ... The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781492657972
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Oct 13, 2019

If you like murder mysteries with complex, clever plots, this book is for you! It combines elements of Groundhog Day (the movie), Agatha Christie, Hunger Games, time travel, and much, much more!

We meet the main character as he wakes up in a strange body with almost no memories. He is in a dilapidated, formerly grand country house, with a group of people who have been assembled on the anniversary of a family tragedy 19 years earlier. Over time we learn he will inhabit 8 hosts and will relive the same day from each of their perspectives. His goal is to determine who killed Evelyn Hardcastle, who dies at 11 p.m. that day.

I can not imagine how hard it must have been to construct this plot and keep track of all the details that took place at exact times each day! I did not even try to keep track of all of those details.

What was most fascinating to me was the experience of the main character inhabiting the various hosts. He could influence them, but their characters were strong and often hard to overcome. His experience of their personalities and preferences was fascinating. Their physical limitations also affected what he could do.

There are so many twists and turns in this plot that made me exclaim out loud! Right to the very end, the author kept me guessing.

Other authors praised this book, saying they wished they had written it themselves. It is amazing this is the author's first novel!

Interestingly, people either love this book or hate it. Apparently there are readers who do not want to bother following a complicated plot. But if you like books (especially murder mysteries) with great, complex plots, do not miss this book!

Sep 22, 2019

On the back cover this book is described as Downton Abbey meets Twin Peaks with a splash of red wine. (It’s not). If it were as such, head- house keeper Mrs Hughes would of instructed Daisy the chambermaid to toss this mish-mash of confusion straight away to the dustbin.

Aug 19, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - the story is creative, moves well, and it was really interesting to see the full story delevop and the pieces to come together over each chapter. I’ll offer that this also reminded me of the movie Memento, in addition to the others that have been offered. At the same time, I also agree with the main criticism I see below, that the story can be confusing and hard to follow; the author mentions using a wall of post-its to track it all and that makes a lot of sense.

I realized that the way I read it - start to finish in about a day’s time while travelling - was what really helped me enjoy this book. I was able to track the characters and story threads without forgetting key elements and connections - I guess I should thank the airline I was flying on for the 10 hour delay on a cross country flight for that mixed blessing? My word of advice is to try to read this in as short of a time as possible, and not to read it out over too many sessions with big gaps in time between.

Aug 17, 2019

If you've read any reviews - or even the jacket notes - you already know that the premise is quite different. It was touted as a cross between Groundhog's Day and Gosford Park, but I think that is a superficial description of the underlying plot devise. The problem with trying to more precisely explain the premise is that a truly accurate description would take much of the surprise (and therefore fun) out of the reading. This book had me guessing to the end and that is very unusual. By the time I got to the end of the book, I realized all the clues had been there, but long before the end, I decided to just stop trying to figure it out and hold on for the ride. One thing to keep in mind: In our book club (which gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up) we had some who read it and some who tried the audio version. Those that listened, rather than read it, got a little more confused in the plot.

Aug 02, 2019

The premise was so intriguing I really wanted to like this book, but just could not. Most of the characters were unlikeable and the plot too confusing even though I was taking notes and trying to keep up! Could not finish it.

Jul 22, 2019

I thought this book was terrible. Bloated, confusing, but the worst part is, once it's finished, the story that we end up with is completely preposterous. Things happened that couldn't possibly have happened, given what we know about the characters.

Jun 19, 2019

Really? A mystery? I tried to stick with it but after the same stuff over and over and, well, you get the idea, I threw in the towel at 35%. The book seems to be very popular so I guess I'm missing something.

May 27, 2019

I did not enjoy reading this novel. Rather, I kept moving forward through the quagmire of the plot hoping to make sense of it all. It was described as an Agatha Christie type murder mystery. But Agatha Christie has never been a chore to read. This book has too many characters, too many days and times to keep track of. The author, himself, admitted he had to utilize a wall of Post-it Notes and an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all. It's a clever premise, I suppose, but way too confusing. When I read a work of fiction, I want to be transported into another time and place. I don't want to have to take notes and make cross references. That's too much work and detracts from the pleasure of reading. I do not recommend this novel.

Apr 18, 2019

As I read this I tried to picture how the author managed to keep track of all the details and how he kept track of the perspectives of the different people involved in hosting the body. I am glad I persevered to the end. The story was original with lots of twists. Even if it wasn’t my favorite book, I applaud the author for creativity.

Apr 12, 2019

Solid 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 for storyline creativity!
I loved the uniqueness of this mystery - it was well crafted and extremely outside of your typical mystery novel. You really have to use your imagination to follow the storyline.
One of the downfalls I had with this book was that there were A LOT of characters to keep track of and you will need to constantly check the cast of characters referenced in the beginning of the book - it was almost too much for me to keep up with. The revealed mystery conclusion wasn't a jaw dropper - I was expecting a more shock value as to the "who dunnit" was.
If you are needing a book cleanse of your typical genre, I highly recommend giving this quirky book a try!

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