Feb 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Reviews and Giveaway! Showstoppers and Three Sisters by Helen Smith

About Three Sisters and Showstoppers

Three Sisters and Showstoppers are two novella-length stories in the Emily Castles mystery series. The first full-length novel, Invitation to Die, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in October 2013.

The Emily Castles mystery series is set in present-day London. It features twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles and her neighbor, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel Crowther. 

Showstoppers by Helen Smith (Emily Castles #2)


When twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles helps out at a local stage school, she’s soon mixed up in murder. She teams up with eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel to solve the case.

This 75-page comic mystery novella will appeal to fans of M C Beaton and Alexander McCall Smith.


Showstoppers by Helen Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: In this installment of Emily Castles Mysteries, Emily is helping her neighbor at her drama school when someone turns up dead. Again she teams with Dr. Muriel to solve the mystery of his death.

Review: Again I was a little disappointed by the writing. The long-winded sentences threw of my reading. I was interested to find out who-done-it so I did want to finish the story, there was enough build up that made it easy to continue reading.

I still think Emily is a bit off, I need more character development for her. She is very uninterested in the goings-on of others but very involved in the case solving, and it is weird. I think back to great mystery writers like Agatha Christie, who made you love the detectives…even if they weren’t actually detectives but instead a random old lady. I think that if me to love these stories I need more attachment to the people solving the mysteries.

There is a full book, not novella, coming out, so hopefully the characters grow.

Three Sisters by Helen Smith (Emily Castles #1)



Twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles has been invited to a party in the big house at the end of her street. How could she know, as she left her house that evening, that she was making an appointment with death?

This 70-page comic mystery novella will appeal to fans of M C Beaton and Alexander McCall Smith.

Three Sisters by Helen Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: In this Novella, Emily is invited to a party in her neighborhood and witnesses some strange activities and people. She does not normally come to these types of things. While there she witnesses a murder and it is up to her and another neighbor Dr. Muriel to solve the puzzle.

Review: First impressions I had while reading this were, ‘boy are these sentences super long.’ It made it very hard to read since it was hard to gauge where a sentence would finally end. I felt like I was taking too much time re-reading these sentences rather than paying attention to the plot of the mystery. And when I read a mystery I want to try and remember all the details to see if I can figure it out before the end.

As for the story, I did enjoy it. There were a few quarks that were interesting, there is a carnival performance theme to the party Emily attends and the characters are funny and weird. It also forced me to remember some facts about drama that I learned while in Grad school and that was cool.

I felt like Emily, the main character, is a little off, she was almost annoyingly talking to everyone about the death of her dog. Now I know this is a big deal, and when my dog passes I will not leave my house for weeks, BUT if I were Emily going to a party that had a bunch a weird artsy people and shows and things, I could at least TRY to have some fun while there, she just obsessed and then figured out a murder had occurred.

I think that it is hard to really develop a story in a novella…so there were things I was confused about. All in all the mystery was interesting and I am about to read Showstoppers, the next book, so maybe more character development there.

Tour Giveaway
10 winners will each receive a Kindle Ebook copy of Showstoppers & Three Sisiters
Ends 2/28/13
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She's the author of bestselling cult novel Alison Wonderland and other books and plays.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reviewing the books and posting the giveaway.