The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was not a book I was looking forward to read, but I needed a book and the title was interesting. The reason I wasn’t excited is that I read one of Stuart Turton’s other books (The Devil and the Dark Sea) and wasn’t impressed. Still, Evelyn Hardcastle was recommended to me and I thought I’d give it a try.
And I’m so glad I did! This was a great mystery with an interesting concept. Described as “Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day,” I thought this was an accurate comparison. The whole story takes place on the grounds of a historic mansion in the middle of the woods. Each night, Evelyn Hardcastle dies and it’s up to Aidan Bishop to figure out who killed her. The problem? Until he does, he is forced to live the same day over and over, but in a different body each day. One day he’s the butler, the next the lawyer, the next the policeman….you get the idea. And with each different persona he adopts, he finds different clues to the mystery. It’s an unusual storyline for a mystery book, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
It’s not a light read, but I found myself so engrossed that I read it in two days. I had to find out who killed Evelyn and if Aidan eventually solves the mystery and breaks free of the loop! If you’re looking for a fun take on a murder mystery, I would recommend this book.