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Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone

Reviewed by

Amy

Posted by

Countylib

Category

Posted

February 28, 2024

Staff member holding book

If you’re looking for an exceptionally fresh new mystery, you’ve got to try this debut novel by award winning Aussie stand-up comedian Benjamin Stevenson. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone is the perfect pick for you if you love clever whodunnits, a narrator with a dark sense of humour, a dangerous, dysfunctional family and a plot like no other. 

I was hooked before I even started the first chapter. The prologue includes the membership oath of a secret society of mystery writers from 1930, as well as the 1929 Ten Commandments of Detective Fiction from Ronald Knox. 

Reluctantly, the members of the Cunningham family have gathered at a picturesque snowy lodge for a reunion. Old hurts, personality clashes and secrets soon rear their ugly heads. When a body is found, what happens next?

Our narrator, an author named Ernest Cunningham who “write[s] books about how to write books,” is the first to spoil the twists as he provides commentary on how this murder mystery follows Knox’s commandments (or not). Ern’s voice is full of dark humour, keen observations and questionable actions. But just wait until you meet his family. “Everyone in my family has killed someone: my brother, my stepsister, my wife, my father, my mother, my mother-in-law, my uncle, my stepfather and me.”

Reminiscent of classic murder mysteries in the vein of Agatha Christie and throwing every rule in the book for a loop, the author winks at traditional mystery conventions with irreverent humour and breathless suspense. If you loved watching Knives Out and Only Murders in the Building, you’ll want to read this book and the second in the series, Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect. 

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