The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

It isn’t often I buy and read a book that is newly out but this one caught my fancy and intrigued me so I bought it and started reading it straight away rather than adding it to the pile.

To summarise the book I would describe it as Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day.

Aiden Bishop is trapped at Blackheath Manor and keeps waking up in other people’s bodies trying to prevent and/or solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle, daughter of his host and hostess. In his various guises he doesn’t know who is friend or foe, who the mysterious “Footman” is and how to piece together the puzzle.

Eventually, he works out what happens but rather than leaving he remains to rescue Anna, who may or may not have been helping him.

I found the first chapter of the book dull and tedious to read. If I didn’t have a stubborn streak that won’t let me not finish a book I’ve started I probably would have gone no further. I’m glad I did continue with it.

I liked the main character and his responses to his various host bodies. I enjoyed working out who might be friend or foe and who the murderer might be. I also enjoyed not being able to piece it all together before the denouement.

I found it a bit frustrating that once I’d worked something out it occasionally took Bishop a chapter or so to catch up! It was a bit like those times when you shout at a TV detective to stop being a numpty as the answer is staring them in the face.

As I debut novel I thought this book was excellent. If you like odd, quirky stories and historical detective series I’d definitely recommend this book to you. And I look forward to reading Turton’s next.

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