BOOK REVIEW: 'The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle' Is a Stellar Mystery Yarn [PREVIEW]

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is Stuart Turton's debut novel, but one wouldn't know it's a debut, as it's incredibly polished and self-assured, and an utterly delightful yarn. When you learn that Turton is primarily a travel journalist, the ease and flow of the narrative make that much more sense.
We open with an unnamed protagonist who has been shorn of his memories, stumbling in the woods around the mouldering English estate Blackheath sometime in the early 20th century, danger ringing in his ears and fear coursing through his veins. Blackheath is filled to bursting with all kinds of guests, ranging from the once-wealthy Hardcastle family, the owners of the place, to the guests they've invited to celebrate the return of the young heiress Evelyn Hardcastle from years of study in Paris.

But why is our protagonist here at Blackheath, mingling among suspicious servants, the family doctor, a playboy, servants, an artist, and a smattering of other complicated personages, and why can't he remember who he is? Most importantly: why does Evelyn Hardcastle die at the end of the day? Who killed her?

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