“Daisy Darker” by Alice Feeney is hard to classify: it’s a ghost story wrapped up in a who-dun-it wrapped up in several murder mysteries, so I guess a fantasy/paranormal/mystery/thriller. What I do know is that the mystery part draws strongly from Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” and since that is one of my all-time favorite books, I of course found “Daisy Darker” somewhat disappointing. The book tells the story of the Darker family, who all come together for the first time in years to celebrate Nana’s 80th birthday. When a storm leaves the family stranded in their ancestorial home located on an island, things quickly spiral out of control. A poem appears detailing how each family member will die that night and of course, the poem starts coming true. This is a direct nod to “And Then There Were None,” especially when the names begin to get crossed off the list as they die. There are several other direct storylines drawn from Christie’s original novel, but I don’t want to give anything away. The problem is that I figured out one of the mysteries right away (it was not that deep and according to Goodreads, a lot of other readers figured it out pretty quickly too). The rest of the book had enough little twists to keep me reading, but not enough for me to really recommend it to others. Since I liked Feeney’s other books so much, this one left me disappointed. If you’re wanting to read a good closed-door murder mystery, skip “Daisy Darker” and just read Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” instead. It’s better and basically the same book.
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