It’s the occasion of Beatrice (Nana) Darker’s 80th birthday and her family has gathered at her home, located on a small island. The gothic home is unique in that it can only be accessed by a causeway that is unusable when the tide comes in. This isn’t your typical family either, as just about everyone has a secret they’re desperate to keep hidden. That night, Nana shares the details of her will and just about everyone is unhappy with the outcome. Around midnight, however, Nana is found dead in the kitchen with a cryptic message left on the chalkboard. An hour later, another family member is discovered…until there was…?
the heart of the story…
The story is told from granddaughter Daisy Darker’s point of view. She’s the youngest of the three sisters and was the subject of Nana’s first best selling children’s book. She’s a caregiver at nursing home facility and has her own unique circumstances. She provides the background history for each family member, providing context for those cryptic messages. I sometimes questioned whether she was a reliable narrator but not because she gave me cause to think it was deliberate. It was solely because I was struggling to figure out motives and opportunities. But at some point, it slowly began to dawn on me what might possibly be going on.
I loved the narrator because what was most required was great storytelling skills and she was outstanding in that regard. I never had any trouble figuring out the character voices but that seemed less important here. She did the story justice.
the bottom line…
Locked room mysteries are one of my favorites and this nod to Christie’s And Then There Were None is one of the better ones. The twist near the end was one that had slowly started to develop for me so it wasn’t as shocking as it could have been but the details behind it were. The revelation of who was knocking off family members was pretty delicious and a great payoff. The author never seems to fail me and she came through once again.
- Release Date: August 30, 2022
- Narrator: Stephanie Racine
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 54 minutes
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio