Friday, February 18, 2011

Three Sisters / Helen Smith

Genre: Mystery

Approximate word count: 16,500-17,000 words

Availability Kindle: YES        Nook: NO       DTB: NO


Recipient of an Arts Council of England Award, Helen Smith is another author who started out traditionally published and is now choosing to release her books as an indie. She’s written novels, children’s books, poetry, and plays. In the works are a play she was commissioned to write and a pilot for a TV series in development. In addition to this book, Smith has three other novels available for your Kindle.  For more visit the author's blog.


It’s Bonfire Night in London. Along with most of her neighbors, Emily attends the party down the street. What she finds is murder.

This novelette is the first in the Emily Castles mystery series.


Imagine one of the murder mystery dinner shows that are popular many places, only make the murder real with only one person actively trying to solve the crime. In essence, that describes at a very high level the plot of Three Sisters. You have a cast of characters with strange quirks and uncertain allegiances. A murder even the police aren’t convinced happened. A house and yard full of potential suspects. Someone has to figure out what really happened. As a short mystery, it all works quite well.

However, as I’ve found with other books of Smith’s, the big picture – the actual plot or storyline – is a relatively small part of the pleasure I got from reading Three Sisters. Instead, it’s the way she has of describing people and places. A subtle wit. Generally, just an evocative and clever way she has with words that those who appreciate language will love for its own sake as much as the story.


You’ll find a few extra U’s in some words and other UK style spelling. In addition, you may see some Brit expressions you haven’t heard before. Context is usually enough to work them out.

For those, like me, who are clueless about Bonfire Night (also known as Guy Fawkes Day) a good start is the Wikipedia entry to find out more.  
In short, it’s a night of get-togethers around a bonfire, often with fireworks, commemorating the failure of a plot to assassinate King James I of England in the 1600s.

For those offended by adult language or sexual content, you’re safe with this book.

Format/Typo Issues:

No issues.

Rating: **** 4 Stars


Michael Crane said...

Sounds like a great read! I'd like to enter the giveaway! :)

Deborah Batterman said...

I keep coming across Helen Smith's name . . .'A subtle wit' is all the more reason to want to read her work. Would love to be entered in the giveaway.

Vicki said...

Al, totally agree with your "subtle wit" comment. I loved Alison Wonderland, so I have no doubt I'd enjoy this, too. :)

Rebecca said...

I would like the opportunity to be introduced to this author, I'd like to enter this giveaway!