Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone
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.
“A witty twist on classic whodunits… Stevenson not only 'plays fair,' he plays the mystery game very, very well.” -- Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The trickiest type of mystery is one that makes it look like all the cards are on the table. Benjamin Stevenson’s postmodern riff on the classic Agatha Christie–style mysteries revolves around mystery writer Ernie Cunningham, who gives us detailed information on the murders we’re going to read about, down to the page numbers on which the murders are going to happen. Ernie’s family members (who live up to the book’s title) have assembled for a reunion at a snowy mountain retreat, so when a body turns up, there are plenty of suspects. As the body count rises, so does the mayhem. Stevenson, an Australian comedian, takes great pleasure in constantly knocking our expectations for a loop as Ernie consistently breaks the fourth wall. Filled with quirky humor and meta commentary, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone is a fun and freewheeling take on the old-fashioned mystery.
Ernie Cunningham, the narrator of this exceptionally clever and amusing mystery from Stevenson (Either Side of Midnight), hooks the reader immediately with his opening words: "Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once." Ernie, who acknowledges up front the recent trend in crime fiction for narrators such as himself to be unreliable, self-publishes how-to books for aspiring authors. As another character comments, "You write books about how to write books that you've never written, bought by people who will never write one." It's been three years since Ernie's testimony sent his brother Michael to prison for murder after Michael asked Ernie to dispose of a corpse that turned out not to be quite dead yet. While attending a tense family reunion at an Australian ski resort, Ernie winds up in the middle of a real-life whodunit. The death of a stranger, apparently killed by a fire in the snow that didn't melt any snow, resembles the work of a serial murderer known as the Black Tongue. Along the way, the author tosses in other deaths, past and present. Stevenson carries off this tour de force with all the aplomb of a master magician who conducts his tricks in plain view. This is perfect for Peter Lovesey fans.
I absolutely loved this book. I haven’t read something I couldn’t put down in years, until this one.
Mystery meets Comedy
This was my first murder mystery book and I must say I think I’m hooked! Loved Stevenson’s writing style. It was flawlessly casual and the continuous break of the fourth wall made me feel like I was an actual participant. Loved his sarcastic and satirical tone; found myself chuckling along with him a couple times. He weaved everyone’s story and created a fun and engaging mystery that honestly kept at the edge of my seat to the end. I could not put this down and that ending. I was just flabbergasted.
I picked this book up for the title but I could not put it down because of the genius writing. Loved it. I am definitely recommending this one to everyone I know.
Thank you Mariner Books and Netgalley for the advanced ebook copy.
Amazingly great book! Creative, inventive, funny…it even breaks the 4th wall! Loved, loved, loved!