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Invitation to Die (Emily Castles Mysteries) Kindle Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Length: 209 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Invitation to Die is a quintessentially English murder mystery featuring an astutely drawn mix of larger-than-life characters... The book is very funny indeed... There seems to be a winning line on every page." -The bookbag.co.uk

"An intelligent, likeable contemporary heroine and a clever plotline… Like a modern day Agatha Christie." -Just a Normal Girl in London

"Quirky, whimsical, smart, and engaging... I flat-out loved it. A must-read for romance readers." -Connie Brockway, bestselling romance author and two-time RITA award winner

"Entertaining, gripping and fast paced with laugh-out loud moments." -Bookfabulous

"This book is full of great lines. I was giggling through the book." -Wall-to-Wall Books

"Invitation to Die is a fast, funny, easy read with many enjoyable comic moments." -Mystery People

"I love Helen Smith's writing. Her brand of mystery, shot through with clever observational humour and the sharpest of wit, is something that's been missing from the genre for far too long." -Alex Marwood, bestselling author of The Wicked Girls.

About the Author

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. In addition to the Emily Castles mysteries, she is the author of Alison Wonderland, Being Light and The Miracle Inspector.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3617 KB
  • Print Length: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (19 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BCLBHSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Whilst I love psychological thrillers and police procedurals, sometimes I need a lighter, quirkier crime book to read. In the past I've turned to Alexander McCall Smith for this but I've now discovered Helen Smith. This is the third book of her Emily Castle series that I've read and I love them. Poor Emily just can't get a full time permanent position and seems destined to temp for the rest of her life. As a result, well meaning friends offer her little snippets of work to do so she ends up helping to run a Romance Writers' Conference. It isn't long before one of the delegates is found dead, most definitely murdered. Armed with her notepad and pen, Emily sets out to solve the murder of book blogger Winnie a.k.a. Tallulah.

I don't want to give anything else away but I didn't guess who had done it - much to my annoyance! I really enjoy Helen Smith's style and the way she pokes gentle fun at writing in general e.g. Zena's subject for the conference ' 'What am I? A Piece of Wood?' - a look at the depiction of people of colour in literature'.

But mostly, I just love Emily. She's as innocuous as Miss Marple so let's hope she has as many temp jobs as 'Aunt Jane' had relatives and friends to visit.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Having read both of the Emily Castle Mysteries, I was excited to read the new one and I think that the idea of it being a serial story is exciting. This first segment does a great job of setting up the story and introducing the characters. I love how Helen Smith creates these very real and very quirky characters in her stories. She has a wonderful ability to describe people and places so well that you feel like you are right there in the story. I am anxious to see more of Emily, who was only briefly introduced in this episode!

Now that the series is complete, I want to add to my original first episode review and give a better idea of the book as a whole. Every book in the Emily Castles Mysteries has painted a better picture of who Emily is. There is something very appealing about this character. She finds herself in these random and bizarre circumstances and yet remains inquisitive and unflappable. I think part of what I like the most about Emily is that she is so down to earth and "normal" and yet she is constantly surrounded by these eccentric personalities that are so well developed and described by Helen Smith.

It is not necessary to have read any of the other two Emily Castles stories to read and enjoy Invitation to Die but if you haven't I highly recommend that you check out Three Sisters (Emily Castles Mysteries) and Showstoppers (Emily Castles Mysteries). They are both great!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Invitation to Die had enormous potential and the makings of an entertaining "whodunnit" and while it did entertain I felt that something was missing. To my own discredit, I can't tell you what that something missing was, exactly. Part of my issue was the end of the book-it felt really rushed and I wanted more... more pages... more Emily... just more explanation even. The conclusion felt a bit rushed to me. To be fair, Invitation to Die was originally issued as a Kindle Serial so maybe knowing that threw me off a bit?

I also got the hint that there was a backstory to heroine Emily Castles; Smith drops in little clues about Emily's relationship with Detective Rory James and Dr Muriel among other things that I didn't get at all. I'm assuming that's because I've not read either of the short stories (Three Sisters, Showstoppers) featuring Castles. As a standalone novel, Invitation to Die could have done with a bit more backstory on Emily.

Enough negativity! Helen Smith's writing style is very easy to read and enjoy. She's very clear and concise without seeming sharp but also doesn't dither away on little details and "fluff" in her writing. There's nothing worse than a writer going on for paragraphs about the "dewey morning" or what-have-you.

And the characters-whoo wee! I Loved (that's right, big L!) the writers in the RWGB, particularly Zena and Nic, the hotel manager, had me in fits. I currently work in the conference and events industry so it was fun to read a book based in a setting that I'm (very) familiar with-minus the murdering. So far, anyhow.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Having read the Emily Castles mysteries (The London Stories), I looked forward to reading this full length novel. I wasn't disappointed (correct spelling, sorry I couldn't resist it! Read this book to understand it...). I loved this book!

A fantastic assortment of eccentric characters - but unlike some books where a lot of characters equals one dimensional shadows - these are real and fully formed. The reader is pulled into their quirky world completely and utterly. Emily Castles is the voice of sanity and composure in a swelling sea of blogs, bags, and books.

Cosy, witty, laugh out loud funny, and deliciously entertaining - I can't wait for more Emily Castles!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sshh... whisper it, but I do have a secret passion for the subgenre of cosy crime! Before I gravitated to the altogether more hard-boiled, darker side of crime fiction I found my feet in the world of cosy crime. Still, to this day, I am a devotee of M.C. Beaton and the Agatha Raisin series and like to indulge in a lighter, quirkier and altogether more humorous read on occasions. Better still, when this comes from the pen of an author who writes well, introducing a cast of colourful and idiosyncratic characters and producing a fast moving and captivating storyline. And Helen Smith can certainly write... Invitation to Die is an absolute hoot from start to finish and should be compulsory reading for all book reviewers and bloggers.

Finding herself once again out of work, twenty-six year old Londoner Emily Castles accepts a temporary position helping out at the hosting of a romance writers' conference in Bloomsbury, central London. For the first time this year, bloggers have been invited to the conference and this has caused a little disquiet amongst the organising committee, all of whom are authors with egos highly sensitive to the reviews their books receive! Taking place in a posh hotel which has a new manager who is keen to impress, and with all the authors seeming to have their own niggles about the attending bloggers this is all set up for a delightful slice of British mystery action at its most farcical and Invitation to Die does not disappoint!

The three bloggers who have been invited to attend have 'won' an online competition to produce a 200 word romantic setting. Bizarrely none of the organising committee can even remember casting their vote on the entrants and the invited trio, including one hailing from the USA appear a diverse batch.
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