Welcome to my stop of the Beyond Belief Blog Tour!
When famed psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts a murder will occur at England’s Belief and Beyond conference, her science-minded colleagues recruit twenty-six-year-old budding sleuth Emily Castles to attend the event as a “future crimes investigator.” The suspected victim: celebrated magician Edmund Zenon, who plans to perform a daring stunt at the conference—and is offering fifty thousand pounds to any attendee who can prove that the paranormal exists.
In the seaside town of Torquay, Emily meets a colorful cast of characters: dramatic fortune-teller Madame Nova; kindly Bobby Blue Suit and his three psychic dachshunds; Sarah and Tim Taylor, devastated parents mourning their late son; and religious cult members Hilary, Trina, and the Colonel. Tensions rise as believers in science, the supernatural, and the spiritual clash with one another. But once a body count begins, Emily must excuse herself from the séances and positivity circles, and use old-fashioned detective work to find the killer.
I love a good mystery. I have mentioned that several times in the past that suspense/crime thrillers is my favorite genre. So when I read the book summary, the mystery part along with some magic thrown into it, captured my attention. What really drew me in was the book cover. It’s one of the most apt book covers I have seen. It’s very much magical!
I have never read a book where even before a crime has occurred, a detective is appointed. That too a future crimes investigator!. I found it funny. I started reading and found that the author has a good sense of humor and she weaves it into almost every chapter, in a very clever manner. There are a lot of characters introduced to us. Some of them are just superfluous but I guess they are named anyway simply to show that a lot of different people are attending this big conference happening in the seaside town of Torquay. The author must have known that it’s too difficult for a reader to keep track of all the characters being introduced to us. So she reminds us, where a character was first introduced throughout the book. It was quite helpful!.
In the beginning, the mood for the big event is set. Though this is a murder mystery, it’s surprisingly casual. The whole attitude and the setting of the novel is very casual. I would have liked it to be a bit more serious when it should be. I found some characters to be outright rude, even when it was uncalled for. The town, the food, everything is beautifully mentioned. In the first 150 pages, actually I thought there might not even be a murder!. That was how the events went on. By then, truthfully, I just wanted the pace to pick up, for something interesting to happen.
And finally it did!. The body count started rising and all of a sudden, it was really interesting. Emily, as the investigator, did a good job. She is very perceptive and quick at putting two and two together. This book is not a hardcore mystery book. However, the mystery is maintained until the very end and you will never guess who the murderer was. So I am impressed.
I give this book a rating of 3 out of 5, which by Goodreads standards mean ‘I liked it’.
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About the Author
Helen Smith is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, The Crime Writers Association and English PEN. She travelled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both – from cleaning motels to working as a magician’s assistant – before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel, which was published by Gollancz (part of the Hachette Group). She writes novels, children’s books, poetry, plays and screenplays, and was the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She likes dancing but she doesn’t like driving. She likes knitting.
Helen Smith’s books have reached number one on Amazon’s bestseller lists in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. Her first book, Alison Wonderland, was one of the top five bestselling books from Amazon Publishing when it was launched in the US in 2011. In July 2013, following the publication of Invitation to Die, Helen Smith reached the top spot as “America’s most popular mystery author” on Amazon.
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Source of book : I was given a copy of this ebook by the author for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.