Three Sisters by Helen Smith, the first of her Emily Castles mysteries.
In present-day London, Emily Castles lives alone among a diverse group of neighbors, which includes eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel Crowther. Emily usually keeps to herself and has recently lost her beloved pet. Hoping to raise her spirits a bit, she manages to accept an invitation to a party at the big house down the street.
This gala features fabulous entertainment, including a knife-throwing show by a set of sisters. It appears one of the sisters is killed during the show, but when she appears very much alive flaunting a prop rubber knife, the crowd believes it was part of the entertainment. Emily isn't convinced, however, and now she needs to find out what truly happened and get people to realize they just witnessed a murder.
The first book of a series is so crucial. It sets the stage for the books that will come after it. Smith has in under 50 pages created an interesting and unique mystery set in present-day London. She fills this story with a cast of engaging characters that captivate the reader. Her strength resides in her ability to create quirky characters like Emily and Dr. Muriel, but also the DJ, the knife-throwing sisters, and a small group of potential suspects. They were all unique and fun to get to know.
I felt, however, that the mystery plot was a bit too easy. Early on I had figured out what happened, and though I didn't know every detail, the majority of the pages were merely seeing how it all came together. I wanted a few more twists and turns; a few more pieces to fit into the puzzle. That's probably challenging to do in such a short book, but I needed it to make it a perfect reading experience.
Three Sisters is a good pick for cozy mystery lovers and those who like quirky characters. I'll be reviewing the next book in this series, Showstoppers, later in the month. Hope you'll stop by on the 20th to read my thoughts.
File Size: 142 KB
Print Length: 44 pages
Publisher: Tyger Books (February 5, 2011)
10 winners will each receive a Kindle Ebook copy of Showstoppers & Three Sisters Ends 2/28/13
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I received a free Kindle version of this book from the author through her publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.