Book Review: Trick of the Eye

Trick of the Eye
cover_trick-of-the-eye Jane Stanton Hitchcock

Premise: An artist is hired by a wealthy widow to paint an old ballroom using trompe-l’œil techniques. The artist discovers that the ballroom had originally been constructed for the widow’s daughter, who was later murdered; the murder was never solved. The artist begins investigating, but unearths much more than she expected.

Stay away if you dislike: Stilted language. Subtle worship of wealth and status. Plots where everything is a bit too tied together at the end.

Recommended if you like: High society. Dark family secrets. Mysteries without any police or court elements. Surprising revelations/twists.

Don’t expect: Very much detail about painting techniques, or about art movements and styles. These aren’t really a focus of the story, despite art being a superficial theme.

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Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

cover_woman-in-cabin-10The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware

Premise: A travel journalist is sent to report on the first voyage of an exclusive cruise ship for wealthy passengers. While at sea, she witnesses a murder—but can’t see who committed it, and can’t prove it happened.

Stay away if you dislike: Protagonists who make frustrating mistakes. The word “orientated”. Couples who communicate so poorly you wonder whether they could order pizza without breaking up. Settings that are sparsely described.

Recommended if you like: Mysteries with elements of a psychological thriller. Mysteries where the protagonist is a believable person, rather than a superhuman deduction machine. Flawed protagonists who try their best to do the right thing in a scary situation.

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