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Invitation to Die: An Emily Castles Mystery, Book 1 | [Helen Smith]

Invitation to Die: An Emily Castles Mystery, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Melanie GLADWYNE, PA, United States 10-20-13
    Melanie GLADWYNE, PA, United States 10-20-13 Member Since 2013

    I like mysteries, especially funny mysteries. No heavy forensics, except when an author makes that somehow not boring.

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    "Hilarious, quirky, engaging mystery"
    If you could sum up Invitation to Die in three words, what would they be?

    Laugh out loud


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Alison Larkin – was your favorite?

    Oh, I couldn't possibly pick! Alison Larkin does an amazing job with all of them.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me (and also my boyfriend) snort with laughter. We are still quoting bits of the story to each other, and laughing.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sires Chesapeake, OH, United States 02-26-14
    Sires Chesapeake, OH, United States 02-26-14 Member Since 2004

    I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. BATON ROUGE, LA, United States 05-31-14
    Dr. BATON ROUGE, LA, United States 05-31-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Boring"
    What disappointed you about Invitation to Die?

    Too many characters. All of a sudden one dies. No depth. Hints at another story. Must gphave missed it. W


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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