The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle

Book - 2018
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Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : , Sourcebooks, Inc., , 2018.

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Thriller/Suspense- Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden Bishop must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle in order to escape the curse in a world filled with enemies where nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden Bishop must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle in order to escape the curse in a world filled with enemies where nothing and no one are quite what they seem. The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected cre... Read More »

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. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, he must solv... Read More »

"It seems like a classic British Manor House mystery. But it is that and so much more. And things keep on changing up. And it works. Even if you are not a mystery fan it is worth reading."


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ArapahoeTiegan Nov 02, 2020

What a clever idea for a mystery. I still have questions about the world outside Blackheath and how this kind of prison works. I actually want to see more. It's just such a neat idea - insert people into past crimes and have them relive it until they can solve it. Not sure about the idea of it being a good rehabilitation for criminals, but I'd actually be intrigued to step in myself and experience such a thing (though, probably not to spend 30 years of my life on it..). This was quite a fun read and I found myself getting so anxious for the answers and did not expect the twist at the end. I could have used a little more explanation about Felicity and Evelyn, the footman, and Daniel, but everything else seems alright to me. Thus, 4 stars.

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monicajain12
Oct 22, 2020

This murder-mystery novel follows a protagonist who finds himself near a party at an ancient family manor, with no recollection of his identity, embroiled in the events surrounding a mysterious death at this mansion. As the narrator delves further into the lives of each of the attendees, discovering sinister truths, he also uncovers more about himself, his situation, and those who placed him there. The unique elements in this story combine to create a wonderfully intricate narrative and atmosphere which explores themes of identity, morality, memory, and time. I found this book riveting and would recommend it to anyone interested in mystery and the stately aesthetic of works like Knives Out. Overall, it’s an extremely engrossing read that never failed to surprise me and raises almost dystopian questions as the story takes its course.

BostonPL_JordanD Oct 14, 2020

I can't say I loved this. For the first half of the book I wanted to punch the plague doctor in the face, and I wanted the main character to forget the murder he was supposed to be solving and go read a book in the library instead. But things did pick up in the second half when we learn more about the murder and the family behind it. It turns out this book has so many twists I didn't see coming in the second half, and some that could easily have been something else with minimal replotting. I do applaud the author for keeping all the loose threads in place at the end! I wish the main character, a man, had slipped into at least one female body in this story. It's hard not to notice the lack of women here. Overall, this was a good book, an interesting book, even though I didn't love it, and I think it will bring an interesting discussion for my book group coming up. Also make note there is a lot of fatphobia here, so if that bothers you, you may want to skip this one.

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Mlbridell
Aug 07, 2020

Loved this story, and how cleverly it was crafted. I can see where some might not like this style, but for those who hang on it's a great read.

b
bsdmchenry
Jul 16, 2020

Very confusing and very far fetched. Still not quite sure how it ended even though I read the whole thing. Easy to read, but I cannot recommend this one.

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EljayJohnson
Jun 02, 2020

The problem with a one-gimmick book is that if the gimmick doesn't catch your fancy, the experience can be painful. That's the case for me with this endless book. So many reviews calling this a page-turner and I could barely slog through (pretty much did the read a paragraph or two per page for the last 150 pages) and only finished so I could see how it was wrapped up. When you have a huge cast of characters, you better have great skill in characterization and that wasn't happening here. And the final twist was an eye-roller. Bleah.

This one wasn't my favourite, but I can see its appeal now that the slog is complete and I can look back on it with lukewarm fondness. The writing is intelligent, complex, and detailed, and though the story didn't hook me like I wanted it to, I still have such a clear image of the events of this book in my head now that I'm finished with it.

Evelyn Hardcastle is going to die. She dies every night at 11pm, in the same way, at the same place, and Aiden Bishop must figure out whodunnit. Not only that, though, he also has to figure out exactly who he is; you see, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different host every day, with all of their extremely complex thoughts, desires, and drives. In order to solve Evelyn's murder, he also needs to sort out his own values and beliefs, while also determining who he can trust, who is out for his blood, and who he wants to be in the dark, stormy world of Blackheath Manor.

Sounds super cool right? Time manipulation, hints of the supernatural at play, excellently complex character development that left me shaking my head at just how much work it would have been to not only develop each of the hosts but also keep them all straight while also weaving a murder mystery into the backbone of the entire book.

It's...a lot. And it felt like a lot, which I think is why it fell a bit flat for me.

I was into the story for about 100 pages before it started to drag. I am a sucker for good characters, and I really, really love seeing them develop. But the longer I was in Aiden's head, especially in the middle of the novel, the more I just wanted him to get on with it. Figure it out and get yourself out of here already. There was so much development, almost maybe at the expense of the mystery; I really wanted to get lost in the whodunnit aspect of this, but it was mired in all of the character-driven plot points.

And because it was so complex, I think that's where all the clues became impossible to put together. Because I tried, and I did not at all guess where this one was going. I pride myself on my ability to read for the details and figure it out before the characters, but this time, I was shocked, and though I do like that, I also think this was just a bit too much to be justifiable.

So, is it original? Yes. Intriguing? Yes. Slow af? Also yes. Did I hate it? No. But would I ever reread it? Also a resounding no.

AndreaG_KCMO Jan 21, 2020

An inside-out plot and back-and-forth character switches kept me reading even when I had to exchange my copy for one that wasn't missing thirty pages in the middle. My main complaint is melodramatic writing at key moments that should have felt more genuine.

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jessica_ebacher
Jan 07, 2020

One of the best things that I've read in a while! It's a bit of a slow starter, but it rewards patience by opening up into an inventive page turner, revealing it's mysteries slowly over the course of the novel.

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elyse0513
Dec 29, 2019

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monicajain12
Oct 22, 2020

monicajain12 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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