Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Published: 2022 1. First lines: 2. Cover: Penguin 3. Snow footprints [Public Domain] via Pixabay 4. Ronald Knox’s “10 Commandments of Detective Fiction”, 1929

Ernest Cunningham is a writer of how-to-write mystery novels. When his brother Michael is brought to trial accused of murder, Ernest testifies against him. Years later, a family reunion is organized to coincide with Michael’s release from jail. The family convenes at a remote chalet in the Snowy Mountains, Australia. Several deaths occur, and Ernest opens up some family secrets in solving the crimes.

“Look at yourselves, Cunninghams. You’re all killers, aren’t you?”

From the title, to the cover, to the first words, and to the witty dialogue throughout, this is a very enjoyable read. The author uses a creative approach, writing from the point of view of the main character, Ernest Cunningham, a writer of “how-to-write crime novels”. His “asides” throughout the book make this a very entertaining read. Arts Hub thinks the reader will be “reluctant to put this latest mystery from Stevenson down. With a set of finely crafted characters, and a plot that is equal parts guile, humour, and ingenuity, this is a book that promises to satisfy readers from all points.” However, The Guardian thinks it is “doggedly glib, so irksomely quirky”.

Quotes:


“The phone rang, startling us. Of course it did. You’ve read these kinds of books before.”

“I woke to a hammering at my door. Of course I did. You’ve read these kinds of books before.”

“Look, we’re not a family of psychopaths. Some of us are good, others are bad, and some are just unfortunate.”


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