Twenty-six-year-old Emily Castles is out of work...again. So when famous romance author Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, Emily accepts. Just as eagerly, American blogger Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation from Morgana to attend as a guest, not realizing she has, in effect, accepted an invitation to die.
As a cast of oddball characters assembles at the conference hotel, grievances, differences, and secrets begin to emerge.
When Winnie goes missing, and then is found murdered nearby, Emily begins to suspect that someone involved with the conference is responsible. Could it be one of the organizers, one of the authors, a member of the hotel staff, or even the supplier of the chocolates for the conference gift bags?
Emily teams up with guest speaker and eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel to find out. Offbeat and engaging, this entertaining comic mystery is the first to feature amateur British sleuth Emily Castles.
©2013 Helen Smith (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
It is a very easy read. A pleasant amusing style combined with an adequate plot results in an entertaining and relaxing few hours..
Good holiday reading.
"Hilarious, quirky, engaging mystery"
Laugh out loud
Emily Castles, because I can see me in her- which is good, in a protagonist. The characters around her are mostly larger than life, and we see them through Emily's off-beat perspective.
Oh, I couldn't possibly pick! Alison Larkin does an amazing job with all of them.
It made me (and also my boyfriend) snort with laughter. We are still quoting bits of the story to each other, and laughing.
Only that fans of Michael Innes and Edmund Crispin, people who have perhaps given up on any modern writer of detective fiction coming up to the high comic standard of these authors, would do well to give this work a try, and to keep an eye on Helen Smith's work in the future.
"Murder at a Romance Convention of a British Sort"
An American Blogger wins a writing contest and ends up invited to a Romance Novelist's convention in England. She is delighted. She loves reading and she is eager to meet the authors of the books she has been reviewing. Of course she isn't to know that this is her last invitation.
Smith's part time sleuth, Emily Castles has been hired to perform temporary services at the convention. She finds herself in the midst of as fine a group of English eccentrics as she is likely to meet and ends up investigating the death of the Blogger.
I really liked this novel. It's a bit shorter than I normally listen to, but I did like Smith's satire. I found myself backing up the file to listen to the romance scene written by one of the characters in the story for the contest. I thought it was wickedly funny and reminded me a bit of the old Purple Prose contest that used to be hosted by one of the early popular Romance blogs-- (AAR? I can't remember the name unfortunately.)
Anyway, while not a fabulous mystery this was a very fun read and come recommended. Also look out for the next book in the series!
"Invitation to Die unabridged audiobook"
Such a fun story. Yes it was somewhat silly in places but that added to the charm and endearment of the characters. All in all this was a good clean mystery. I gave it four stars instead of five because I had no difficulty in solving the crime and that was somewhat disappointing for me. I also thought that some of the silliness was over the top and warranted a less than perfect star rating. I will recommend both this book and this author in future.
"Not For Me"
I found this book boring and flat. I forced myself to listen to a few chapters and found myself falling asleep.
"Started slow but then very entertaining"
After a slow start, this turns into an enjoyable and funny murder mystery. I found the voice performance a little annoying at the beginning but it grew on me.
"Cute Storyline :-)"
I listened to the book Invitation to Die: Emily Castles Mystery Series, Book 1 on Audible in one day, as it is short enough to do so, but still long enough to feel like a full story from start to finish. This is my favorite length of audiobook because it fits into my schedule perfectly. :-)
I thought this book was really funny and the storyline was clever! I enjoyed the characters and their quirky ways. The author, Helen Smith, now has a new fan...me! This is the first full book I have listened to of hers, and I plan to read more!
For those of you interested in cozy mysteries, you are in for a treat! The narrator does a fantastic job. I love her accent, though I'm sure that to some of you, she doesn't have an accent at all. I hope she is the same narrator in future books written by Helen Smith. She did a great job with her volume, pace, and inflection. She was a joy to listen to, and I recommend you give this book a go!
Again, for those of you who love cozy mysteries, you will enjoy both the book and the audio for this story. It is funny, and it kept me engaged. I look forward to finding out what else Helen Smith has in store for her listeners!
Thank you for reading my review!! :-)
"Narrator Saved Story"
this story was predictable and the foreshadowing of who was going to be killed did not help at all. Also comma when there are black people in a story, the narrator should work harder to make them more Genuine Voice as she did with the Indian woman. The narrator is the only thing that made me push through the story while I was driving. Applied just was not good nor was it holding my attention. I found a few times then my mind wandered from the story and when I got back to it I hadn't missed much to make a plot change or for me to remind to see what I've missed. I won't be listening to this other again but I will be listening to the narrator.
"COULD NOT FINISH"
Long and drawn out
Very little do I give one stars. I could not finish it which is rare for me...I listened 2 more hours then I should have after I kept thinking it would get better.
Too many characters. All of a sudden one dies. No depth. Hints at another story. Must gphave missed it. W
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