How to Solve Your Own Murder

Kristen Perrin


England, 1965: Teenager Frances Adams and her friends are at a fair near their village of Castle Knoll when the fortune teller tells her she’ll be murdered. This chilling prediction stayed with Frances for the rest of her life, turning into an obsession. It caused her to collect information about everyone she came into regular contact with in case that person should be her future murderer. The practice doesn’t endear Frances to those around her.

Modern Day: Annie Adams is summoned to see her Great-Aunt Frances at her stately home near Castle Knoll. She joins a party of Frances’ friends and relatives who were also summoned, only to find Frances dead in her library. The police confirm the murder, but in a dramatic twist her will leaves solving the crime in the hands of her relatives. They have one week to do so, otherwise the estate will be broken up. Annie sets out to solve the murder and save her own inheritance using Frances’s exhaustive records as a guide. A handsome police detective is a distraction, and rivalries from the other relatives a serious hurdle before Annie figures out there’s a connection to the 1966 disappearance of Frances’s friend Emily. The trouble is someone wants the past to stay buried, and will do anything—including murder—to keep it that way.

How to Solve Your Own Murder is a clever Christie-style whodunnit full of enough twists and turns to satisfy readers of the genre. However, it would be better if both author and editor worked harder to keep jarring Americanisms and anachronistic speech patterns out of a story set in England with English characters in two different decades.