The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Summary and Reviews

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

UK Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

by Stuart Turton

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton X
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
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Book Summary

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Award (New Writers)
One of Stylist Magazine's 20 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Harper's Bazaar's 10 Must-Read Books of 2018


The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let's begin...



Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others...

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Book Awards

  • award image Costa Book Awards, 2018

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Dazzling. A revolving door of suspects (and narrators); a sumptuous country-house setting; a pure-silk Möbius strip of a story. This bracingly original, fiendishly clever murder mystery - Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day - is quite unlike anything I've ever read, and altogether triumphant. I wish I'd written it." - A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

"Turton's debut is a brainy, action-filled sendup of the classic mystery." - Kirkus

"This novel is so ingenious and original that it's difficult to believe it's Turton's debut. The writing is completely immersive...there are certainly echoes of Agatha Christie here, but it's Christie ramped up several notches, thanks to the malevolent twist on the Groundhog Day theme. Readers may be scratching their heads in delicious befuddlement as they work their way through this novel, but one thing will be absolutely clear: Stuart Turton is an author to remember." - Booklist

"This book blew my mind! Utterly original and unique." - International bestseller Sophie Hannah

"If Agatha Christie and Terry Pratchett had ever had LSD-fuelled sex, then The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle would be their acid trip book baby. Darkly comic, mind-blowingly twisty, and with a cast of fantastically odd characters, this is a locked room mystery like no other." - Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author

"I hereby declare Stuart Turton the Mad Hatter of Crime. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is unique, energizing, and clever. So original, a brilliant read." - Ali Land, Sunday Times bestselling author Good Me Bad Me

"Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey with a splash of red wine and Twin Peaks. Dark and twisty, lush and riddled with gorgeous prose, part of me will always be trapped in Blackheath." - Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times bestselling author

"A kaleidoscopic mystery that brilliantly bends the limits of the genre and the mind of the reader. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is urgent, inventive, creepy and, above all, a blast to read!" - Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

"Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! It's a work of sheer genius. An amazing, unique book that blew my mind." - Sarah J. Harris, author of The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder

"Gloriously inventive, playful and clever, this is a must for mystery fans. I wish I'd written it myself..." - Robin Stevens, author of the Wells and Wong mystery series

This information about The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

Original and very clever
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the first novel by British freelance travel journalist and author, Stuart Turton. When Aiden Bishop wakes, inhabiting the body of Dr Simon Bell, on the floor of the forest, he has no memory. He does not know his own name, nor that of the body he’s occupying. He has not a clue how he came to be there. And he doesn’t realise that he is destined to spend the next eight days reliving the same day, over and over, hosted in different bodies. Some will be hale and hearty; others elderly and frail, or suffering injury; some are cowards, some intelligent, some malicious, others fools.

What Aiden is certain about is that Anna is in danger, if not dead: he has seen a woman flee through the wood, chased by a man, then hears a gunshot. Finding his way to a country mansion in disrepair, he learns he is a guest at Blackheath for a party celebrating the return, from Paris, of the daughter, Evelyn Hardcastle. And he is subsequently told that the only way to escape Blackheath is to discover the identity of the person who murders Evelyn at 11pm.

What an interesting closed-room mystery! As Aiden cycles through his hosts, he gains a new perspective on the day’s events, and gathers clues that may help him escape. Adding an element of surprise and danger is the fact that Aiden is not the only person trying to solve this murder. And because there are so many characters, so many facets to the day, so many intrigues, so many secrets, and so many (in excess of ten) murder victims, the reader will do well to take notes. And even then, many things are not what they first appear.

The plot is quite complicated, with plenty of twists and tricks and intricate details. There is quite a lot of blackmail, a 19-year-old murder not entirely solved, impersonation, and a footman who likes to use a knife on people. There is an array of interesting and sometimes quirky characters. While the jumps between days are clearly marked, the convoluted nature of events requires a good memory. The map of the house and grounds, and the character list, are essential. Original and very clever.

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Author Information

Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton is a freelance journalist who lives in West London with his wife. Stuart is not to be trusted-in the nicest possible way. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his first novel.

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