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52 Reviews
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as a serial or all at once!
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...
Published 14 months ago by New Girl

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and setting
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...
Published 14 months ago by LondonS


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as a serial or all at once!, 14 Jun 2013
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and setting, 10 Jun 2013
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Mystery, 19 Jun 2013
From the opening paragraphs, we all know who is expected to "get it in the neck" (poor lady), but who, pray tell, will be doing the dirty deed? And why? Not to mention when and how?

What follows is a marvelous cast of well-fleshed characters, each one with a quirk (or two) that could very well lead to the committing of a villainous act.

I'm delighted by the chosen setting for the story: a conference for romance writers. When a group of talented, creative, extremely ambitious women are thrown together, anything can happen. (And I mean anything. Believe me! I've attended my fair share of romance writers' conferences. The stories I could tell would curl your hair. Perfect setting for a murder mystery.)

I deem this a highly recommended read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast pace story, 10 July 2014
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Emily Castles is a most unusual detective who manages to stumble upon murder and solve it through the use of her notebook. logic and tenacity leads to the solution in a page turning story.
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2.0 out of 5 stars lightweight, 3 July 2014
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Read better!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!, 21 Feb 2014
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Really liked the main character have added the other books to my wish list, good old fashioned murder mysteries which I love not unlike Agatha Raison series but more more modern. Good easy read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good really English Murder, 13 Oct 2013
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Mike (suffolk uk) - See all my reviews
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I thought that this book was a great read from start to finish and The plot was as good as any Agatha Christie
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 17 Sep 2013
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Quite a good book. Started it and thought I would not like it, but after a few chapters I was hooked
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to Die, 15 Aug 2013
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I found that this book was quite hard to get into and was rather too basic for my liking, I like action.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to die, 19 July 2014
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This is one of the rubbish book's I have read couldn't believe the characters l kept leaving it and going back ( I hate not finishing a book) it was drawn out to much detail on silly things not enough action felt very let down because it sounded great so if you like fast moving books give this a miss I can honestly say in all the years of reading it my only 3 bad book !! Sorry but you need more action:((
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