Friday, January 31, 2014

review: invitation to die by helen smith

In the first full-length Emily Castles story, three book bloggers are invited to the Romance Writers of Great Britain conference after being declared winners in a short story contest. No one involved with the conference seems to remember voting for those three entries though. It becomes all the more suspicious when one of the bloggers, who had just posted a 1-star review of a book written by one of the attending authors, is found murdered.

Reviewing a book about a book blogger who gets murdered after posting a 1-star review feels a little meta (it also made me a little nervous!), but that aspect of the plot made Invitation to Die pretty great. There were plenty of funny moments related to book blogging and what the authors thought of their reviews. The humorous murder mystery kept me guessing at every turn and Emily made for an excellent protagonist. Where Invitation to Die suffered was in the beginning when the numerous characters were introduced. It seemed like they could’ve been brought in a little more organically (having Emily meet Nick, for example, rather than giving Nick an introductory scene of his own) than they were.

About the audiobook: When Invitation to Die started off with the American Winnie, I wasn’t too sure about the choice of Alison Larkin, who grew up in England, as a narrator. As it turned out, she was the perfect choice. Her varying accents made it easier to distinguish between the many characters.
Review copy provided by the author.

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