ARC Review- Ernest Cunningham #1

Everyone in My Family has Killed Someone

by Benjamin Stevenson

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Summary from NetGalley:

Knives Out and Clue meet Agatha Christie and The Thursday Murder Club in this “utterly original” (Jane Harper), “not to be missed” (Karin Slaughter), fiendishly clever blend of classic and modern murder mystery.

Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it is the truth. Some of us are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate.

I’m Ernest Cunningham. Call me Ern or Ernie. I wish I’d killed whoever decided our family reunion should be at a ski resort, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

Have I killed someone? Yes. I have.

Who was it?

Let’s get started.

EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE

My brother

My stepsister

My wife

My father

My mother

My sister-in-law

My uncle

My stepfather

My aunt

Me

ARC provided by Mariner Books via NetGalley for an honest review.

Confession:

While I wouldn’t call this a cozy mystery, it sure was a lot of fun to read! Not only was it funny, but very clever with its clues and twists so it was very hard to figure out. I was slightly disappointed with the end, but I think that was more on me, and not the ‘twist’ at the end.

Ernest was a great narrator with a very reflective and funny perspective of his very dysfunctional family. I loved that he is a writer of how to books, mostly about writing. He has written a book on how to write mysteries which he lets you know right off the bat. The book starts off with a list of rules on how to write a mystery, which even though it dates back to the thirties, is still used by many writers today. Ern often breaks that fourth wall and talks directly to the reader, often with insights as to what is going to happen later in the story. Many of these insights were amusing. His interactions with his family were also at times quite hilarious, but also disturbing.

The other characters in the story were all quirky and fun, even when they were behaving badly, like most of the family members were. I loved them all. There were a couple of characters that weren’t family in the story and they were surprisingly fun too.

The setting of a remote Australian ski lodge was perfect for this story, and gave it the feel of a locked room mystery. Especially as they become stranded by a snowstorm. The manner in which the murders were committed was also quite original and not one I have come across before.

I won’t go into the plot too much as you really need to go into it not knowing very much about it. The family drama is of course what sets everything in motion, and you learn very slowly throughout the story, just how everyone is responsible in some way for someone’s death. The plot catches you right from the start with its wry humor and interesting characters and you will keep turning those pages until the end.

If you love mysteries, especially those that feel a bit like a game of Clue, then this is one you want to get on your TBR. It is a lot of fun, and a little bit dark, but the twists will keep you guessing until the end.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.