15 Jan 2019

Review - A Murder of Crows by Annie Kirke

Title: The Murder of Crows (The Ravenscourt Tragedies #1)

Author: Annie Kirke

Release Date: 1 November, 2018


A dead father.

A missing Spirit.

An ancient manor with way too many locked doors.

But Abigail Crowe won't let locked doors, corsets, or the straight-laced rules of Victorian society get in the way of finding the truth behind her father's death. Of course, where illegal magic is involved, things are rarely as simple as they appear. Screams in the night, an insane gardener, and a murder blamed on her late father are only the beginning. Could her father actually be a murderer? What is Uncle Edward hiding in the attic? And perhaps most importantly—which family secrets are worth keeping locked up?

I received a free ebook copy of this book from Dying Arts Press in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

I was a lucky girl; 2018 went out with a bang for me reading-wise. A Murder of Crows by Annie Kirke was the last book I read in 2018 and to tell the truth I'm grateful I could finish the year with such a delightful novel.

Abigail Crowe's father died and his spirit disappeared. Not long after, Abigail's mother brought her and her brother to this strange mansion where screams pierce through the walls at night. The uncle they haven't seen since she and William were little, most probably tampers with forbidden magic. The grounds around the house are off limits after sunset. There are closed doors wherever they go and Abigail keeps thinking about how her father couldn't deliver a probably important last message to his family. She suspects foul play. The living members of her family might be in danger too...

I was pleasantly surprised by this lovely gothic detective story

Abigail, the young protagonist is hell-bent on finding out who murdered her father. It seems like he passed because of natural causes but she thinks she knows better. His spirit never showed during his resting (where the departing usually say their final goodbyes) and it was enough to raise her suspicion.

I enjoyed the pacing and how the tale was put together – there is real detective work; Abigail and her brother William are fiercely looking for answers and with the help of memorable side-characters (Emily, who Abigail keeps calling "Keeper of the Dead" and Beatrice the gardener who acts crazy most of the time) they soon start getting glimpses at the bigger picture.

The environment in which they investigate is dark and menacing, the mansion holds secrects just like the people who inhabit it. The fantasy/paranormal bits that colour the story (like the magic and the presence of spirits, fey creatures and even zombies) are all nice touches, they definitely make the world of the book engaging. There were quite a few scenes that were playing out in cemeteries and.. well yeah... you can imagine, the mood was set. Loved them!

I kind of knew where the author was leading me (which was not a problem at all, I bore in mind that the book is marketed for a younger audience), but still, the ride was so worth it! A Murder of Crows is a clever execution of a series of clever ideas, and it's only the beginning of a series. I have to say the bar is high, however I'm sure the author can work her magic in the second instalment too. I'm more than willing to join Abigail on another adventure.

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