Review: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone // Benjamin Stevenson

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June is National Crime Reading Month, and to kick it off I’d like to recommend one of my favorite ‘crime reads’ of the year. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone is a thrilling Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery with a cast of vibrant but murderous characters all gathered for the deadliest family vacation imaginable. This novel is overflowing with mysteries within mysteries, a Russian doll of puzzles, so much so that you’re never quite sure if what you’ve deduced (or been told) is the whole of it.

If you were a fan of the Knives Out movies, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s thrilling and suspenseful without dipping into any real horror, and maintaining a fun, light voice that narrates throughout. I listened to the audiobook of this novel and must recommend it for anyone looking to fully experience the story. Barton Welch delivers a truly astounding performance as Ernest Cunningham, expertly exemplifying the immersive experience that audiobooks can offer when they’re being narrated by someone willing to dig in and unearth the emotions of the words. Welch, in symphony with Stevenson’s prose, adds a depth of character to Cunningham that made my enjoyment of the story that much greater.

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone begins with spoilers. It tells you where and when deaths will happen, down to the page number, and reminds you of this throughout the story. This put me off-kilter at first, as it was something I’d never experienced before, but it grew on me as I worked my way through the book. It didn’t help with my attempts to solve the mystery, in fact, in some ways Stevenson utilizes this as a red herring, drawing your attention away from the plot unfolding to point out that a death would occur soon. The reader then focuses on how, and why, and who has an alibi in this scene and who is glaringly absent rather than focusing on what is happening in the moment. Genius.

At no point within this book did I truly feel as if I knew what was coming next, or who the murderer was. Perhaps someone more apt to navigate the puzzles of mystery novels would be able to crack the case sooner, but, like all good ‘crime reads’, the haze of obscurity did not hinder my enjoyment of the book. The delight is in the unknowing.

If you’re a fan of crime novels, or just an enjoyer of fun books, check Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone out. You won’t regret it.

Words by Marlee Gaitanis

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