Tuesday, April 9, 2024

An Interesting Sequel


TITLE: Everyone on This Train is a Suspect
AUTHOR: Benjamin Stevenson
PUBLISHER: Mariner Books
PUBLISHING DATE: January 30, 2024
PAGES: 320   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: When the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society invited me to their crime-writing festival aboard the Ghan, the famous train between Darwin and Adelaide, I was hoping for some inspiration for my second book. Fiction, this time: I needed a break from real people killing each other. Obviously, that didn’t pan out.
The program is a who’s who of crime writing royalty: 
the debut writer (me!) 
the forensic science writer 
the blockbuster writer 
the legal thriller writer 
the literary writer 
the psychological suspense writer 
But when one of us is murdered, the remaining authors quickly turn into five detectives. Together, we should know how to solve a crime. Of course, we should also know how to commit one.

MY THOUGHTS: I really loved this author's debut last year, so I was thrilled to pick up this sequel.  After writing a book detailing his family's murder adventure last year, Ernest has been able to claim some fame and is now working on his second book.  He is invited to be a panelist on a crime-writing festival where he will get to sit alongside of some of the biggest names in the crime fiction game.  It doesn't take long before Ernest finds himself in the middle of another murder mystery, except this time he and his girlfriend are on a train traveling through Australia with very few stops and even fewer ways to not be the next victim.  Surely, Ernest and the others can figure out who murdered their fellow writer before someone else dies.

What works best for me about this book and the previous one is the way the writer breaks the 4th Wall with the main character, which adds an extra level of intrigue and sarcasm.  The book is full of devious characters doing devious things and it's fun to be along in the mind of Ernest as he tries to unravel what is happening.  In addition, Ernest's uncle again makes a brief appearance and while you kind of have to suspend some belief regarding the role he actually plays in everything, he does add a big dose of comic relief and made me shake my head on more than one occasion.

If you haven't tried this series yet, you really need to do so.  I think the first book is slightly better, but this one is a strong follow up and I'm curious to see if the author has anything else planned for Ernest in the future.  Even if he doesn't, I'm still interested to check him out.


1 comment:

  1. I think I'd enjoy this series, especially since it involves writers. And breaking the fourth wall could be fun!