Winter Reading: Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

A perfect one for when the snow is falling, and you want to snuggle up with a fire, a beverage, and a unique take on a whodunnit. Or after it snows by a fire pit outside. Better yet at a ski resort after a day of skiing.

I read it while sitting by a fire at our newly purchased cabin in the woods.

What is going on between the covers

Ernest Cunningham chats with us, readers, in a conversational narrative as he tells us about his family, who everyone has killed someone. Ernest provides the testimony that convicts his brother Michael of murder, and is ostracised from the family. Michael is being released from prison, and the Cunninghams are reunited in the Snowy Mountains for a family reunion to make amends. When a body is found in the snow, Ernest, a self-published writer of how-to guides – “I write books about how to write books” appoints himself to find out whodunnit as more bodies mount. Of course there is a snow storm, however they can leave the resort but choose not to.

My two cents

The title got me; I had so many questions from the title alone, and I just had to read it. I love stories with unusual family dynamics, and with that title, I knew I was in for something different here, and I was. I enjoyed how clever and amusing the story is told to us, as Ernest, who “writes books about how to write books that he has never written, bought by people who will never write one,” tells us the story of his family by blending the golden age classic elements with a modern spin to it. He is entertaining, witty, likable, and reliable. He would never hoodwink his readers.

The twists and turns/Payoff

Things got too complicated and felt convoluted in the end. I struggled to keep up with the twists and turns near the end, even though Ernest uses the classic element of summarizing all the clues, events, and how he figured out whodunnit. The pacing is even taking away the tension and suspense of the story. I didn’t get that payoff I was looking for; some things didn’t add up, and I felt a bit hoodwinked in the end.

Overall

While the story was not a page-turner or has a believability element, it is clever, amusing, and different, with unique spins on tropes. Ernest is entertaining, and I enjoyed his narrative.

Genre: Mystery

Expected publication: January 17 2023 by Mariner Books/ Read Jan 2023

Source: Edelweiss

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