A fast-paced and hilarious debut crime novel, in which a burnt-out Millennial medium must utilize her ability to see ghosts and team-up with a band of oddball investigators to figure out which member(s) of a posh English family are guilty of murder.
Almost-authentic medium Claire and her best friend, Sophie, agree to take on a seemingly simple job at a crumbling old manor in the English countryside: performing a seance for the family matriarch’s 80th birthday. The pair have been friends since before Sophie went missing when they were seventeen. Everyone else is convinced Sophie simply ran away, but Claire knows the truth. Claire knows Sophie was murdered because Sophie has been haunting her ever since.
Despite this traumatic past, Claire and Sophie are still unprepared for what they encounter when they arrive at the manor: a ghost, tragic and unrecognizable, and clearly the spirit of someone killed in a rage at the previous year’s party. Given her obsession with crime shows—not to mention Sophie’s ability to walk through walls—Claire decides they’re the best people to solve the case. And with the help of the only obviously not-guilty members of their host family—sexy ex-policeman Sebastian and far-too-cool non-binary teen Alex—they launch an investigation into which of last year’s guests never escaped the manor’s grounds.
What follows is somewhat irregular detective work involving stealing a priest’s cassock, getting too drunk to remember to question your suspect, and of course, Chekhov’s sparkly purple dildo. As Claire desperately tries to keep a lid on the shameful secret that would definitely alienate her new friends, the gang must race against their own incompetence to find the murderer before the murderer finds them.
The UK edition of the novel is published by Corvus, and out now!
Here are just some of the great reviews the novel has received so far…
‘Read this fabulous book — you will not regret it!’ — Ben Aaronovitch
‘Fast, funny and furious, this book has bags of humour, bags of heart and a proper murder mystery at its core’ — Janice Hallett
‘A delicious mashup of grisly murder, country house and semi-helpful ghosts – imagine a really cockeyed game of Cluedo heavily seasoned with whimsy … it’s a lot of fun’ — Stuart MacBride
‘Knives Out vibes with added ghosts. Fresh, funny and hugely enjoyable.’ — Catherine Ryan Howard
‘A great read, with great characters, lots of humour, some misty-eyed moments and lots of swearing. Utterly delightful – like the BBC show Ghosts mixed with Cluedo’ — Simon Toyne
‘This book positively lit up my weekends with its cosy, affectionate, funny, awkward brand of ghostly crime-solving. Perfect for fans of BBC’s Ghosts, Alice Bell has a keen eye for characterisation and the ridiculous, creating a story that will both send chills down your spine and wrap you up in a hug.’ — Ally Wilkes
‘Witty, addictive, and breathes some much needed (undead) life into the cosy crime murder mystery genre’ — Adam Simcox
‘Bell shines in her sharp, funny debut, a supernatural whodunit centered on medium-for-hire Claire Hendricks… The adroit plotting, which cannily plays with mystery tropes, is amply leavened with humor.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘As murder mysteries go, this one is certainly unique… A fun and surprising character-driven whodunnit.’ — Heat (UK)
‘Alice Bell weaves a fun, gripping murder mystery with a supernatural spin.’ — Woman’s Own (UK)
‘[T]he lightly acerbic style is a delight and the interaction between inept-but-dogged millennial Claire and eternal teenager Sophie – whose death remains a mystery – offers plenty of spooky fun. More, please.’ — Guardian