Daisy Darker, the sheltered, 29-year-old narrator of this tempestuous homage to Agatha Christie’s
And Then There Were None from bestseller Feeney ( Rock Paper Scissors), and her dysfunctional kin—divorced parents, two older sisters, and 15-year-old niece, Trixie—rarely gather thanks to an incident nobody will discuss. Regardless, Daisy’s grandmother, Nana, maintains she’ll die this year, so the group grudgingly visits Nana’s Cornish tidal island estate on her 80th birthday. The mood sours after Nana reads her new will, which bequeaths almost everything to Trixie, but since the island’s causeway is accessible only at low tide, everyone must stay put. When Trixie finds Nana dead in the kitchen, most assume it’s an accident—never mind the macabre poem on a nearby chalkboard. Then Nana’s body vanishes, and someone murders another family member, leaving the trapped survivors distrustful and terrified. Feeney elevates a familiar setup with evocative prose, fully realized characters, and an intimate, insightful first-person narrative. Flashbacks add depth while expanding the suspect list, and twists abound. Sarah Pinborough fans, take note. Agents: Jonny Gellar and Kari Stuart, Curtis Brown. (Aug.)
Praise for Daisy Darker: “A novel with tons of delicious twists and secrets…Alice Feeney is an author you need to check out.” —Harlan Coben, on the TODAY show “[Readers] will be familiar with her habit of diligently engrossing us in a story and then wrenching it in a new direction with Daisy Darker qualifies as a worthy, if bonkers, addition to this endlessly entertaining genre… a shocker of a twist.” —New York Times Book Review “This book is all kinds of twisty, and it's SO much fun.” —Cosmopolitan “ Daisy Darker is clever, compelling, confounding and absolutely delicious.” —Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of The Family Upstairs “I absolutely loved it. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was an absolute thrill.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo .Readers will be intrigued by the setting, the action, and the question of whether or not they can trust narrator Daisy.” “A sinisterly satisfying play on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.. —Booklist, starred review “Wow! Echoes of Christie's but turned into something And Then There Were None wonderfully original and wrapped in a genuinely creepy dysfunctional family fairy-tale of a novel, this takes Feeney to the next level. I LOVED IT!" —Sarah Pinborough, bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes and Insomnia “With an overarching sense of doom and danger lurking at every turn, Feeney has created something both entirely creepy and completely riveting in Daisy Darker. I couldn't put it down! A thrilling locked room mystery.” —Mary Kubica, bestselling author of Local Woman Missing " Daisy is twisty, loaded with gloomy atmosphere, and what’s more fun than watching a family rip each other to bits? It’s like Christmas in August.” —CrimeReads “So many nasty secrets. And that's before the bodies start to pile up! I've been an Alice Feeney fanbut I think she's outdone herself with this startling murderfest!" —R.L. Stine, author Goosebumps and Fear Street “ Daisy Darker is an astonishing book, packed with incredible characters and a lot of surprises. I devoured this in record time because I had to know what happened next. Alice Feeney is one of my absolute favorites.” —Samantha Downing, bestselling author of For Your Own Good“ Daisy Darker is a first rate, gripping thriller. Alice Feeney's gorgeous writing will sweep you up like a runaway train. Hold on for the ride!” —Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling co-author of The Wife Between Us“What a book! A dysfunctional family meets Agatha Christie's . Exceedingly clever, stylish, and emotionally astute, your visit to Seaglass is one you won't soon forget. This is the book you've been looking for.” And Then There Were None with a truly gasp-inducing twist —Catherine Ryan Howard, bestselling author of 56 Days “Clever, sinister, claustrophobic, beguiling and utterly compelling. I was totally hooked from the first sentence.” —Peter James, bestselling author of the Roy Grace novels “A dark, twisty tale about a dysfunctional family… Feeney’s nod to Agatha Christie’s classic mystery Aficionados of locked-room stories and family dramas (plus Feeney’s large fan base) will enjoy this highly recommended title.” And Then There Were None adds a delightful twist to this quirky thriller. —Library Journal “Evocative prose, fully realized characters, and an intimate, insightful first-person narrative. Flashbacks add depth while expanding the suspect list, and twists abound. Sarah Pinborough fans, take note.” —Publishers Weekly “BANANAPANTS.” —Book Riot “Come for the dysfunctional family fun. Stay for the wicked twist at the end.” —The Optionist newsletter…In a modern take on “May just be her crowning achievement And Then There Were None, Alice Feeney presents twist after twist after twist.” —Teen Vogue “A beautifully written, suspenseful, and twisty tale told through Daisy’s eyes… Alice Feeney has outdone herself here. Read this novel very carefully. It will keep you turning the pages as the tension (and the body count) rises.” , Grade A —Deadly Pleasures “A gripping mystery full of twists and turns you won’t see coming - well worth losing yourself in while you wait for the tide to change.” —Heat magazine (UK) “Fans of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None will savor this, but Feeney makes it so much more than a witty homage.” —Daily Mail Online (UK) “Completely riveting.” —Good Housekeeping (UK)
Rock Paper Scissors) returns with another dark, twisty tale about a dysfunctional family. Daisy Darker, her siblings, and her estranged parents all gather at her grandmother's house on a tiny tidal island to celebrate Nana's 80th birthday. Nana's quirky behavior and the strained relationships within the family all conspire to create an air of unsettledness that wraps around the Darkers like the high tide that laps at the base of the house, preventing anyone from leaving. When Nana announces she's going to read her will (she's convinced her death is around the corner), tensions rise even further as family members turn on one another. At the stroke of midnight, with a storm raging outside, Nana is found dead in the kitchen. Trapped on the island with her killer, the Darkers begin to fall one by one. VERDICT Feeney's nod to Agatha Christie's classic mystery And Then There Were None adds a delightful twist to this quirky thriller. Aficionados of locked-room stories and family dramas (plus Feeney's large fan base) will enjoy this highly recommended title. —Cynthia Price
A birthday party on a remote island turns into a series of bizarre murders.
“I was born with a broken heart” is how the title character and narrator of this murder mystery opens her story. Daisy is happy, however, to be celebrating the 80th birthday of her beloved nana, Beatrice Darker. Nana is a children’s author who several decades ago made a fortune on a book titled
Daisy Darker’s Little Secret. Her family gathers for the birthday party at Seaglass, Beatrice’s eccentric old house on the Cornish coast, on an isolated island at the bottom of a cliff that’s only accessible at low tide. It’s a family affair: Beatrice’s son, Frank Darker, a globe-trotting classical musician who was often absent when his children were growing up; Nancy, his ex-wife and the coldly critical mother of those children; and Daisy’s two older sisters, beautiful and brainy Rose and vain and lazy Lily. Also on the island are Lily’s teenage daughter, Trixie (whose paternity is unknown), and Conor Kennedy, whom Beatrice took in when he was a neighbor boy abused by his father; he’s now a successful journalist. As the tide cuts off the house from the mainland, Beatrice serves a feast and then announces the reading of her will—a reading that makes almost everyone in the family unhappy. Then someone in the small group is found dead in a pool of blood. Soon bodies are stacking up, each killed in a strikingly personal manner, and the dwindling number of living people are frantically trying to identify the killer. (No calling for help—there’s no cell service, and Beatrice has stopped paying her landline bill.) Between the murders, Daisy fills us in on everyone’s backstory, which sometimes bogs down the suspense. If this all sounds a little like Agatha Christie’s bestseller And Then There Were None, that’s probably no accident. But this tale has a different twist ending that, despite some clever construction throughout the book, doesn’t quite convince.
Murder is all in the family in this novel, but the surprise ending lacks punch.
Stephanie Racine’s talented narration helps create an atmospheric backdrop for this dark mystery. The story is told from the viewpoint of Daisy Darker and switches between the present day and Daisy’s 1980s childhood. Daisy and her dysfunctional family are keeping a secret. As the story begins, they have returned home to attend a rare family reunion. Tensions build as family members are killed one by one. Racine is the perfect narrator for this story. She creates highly believable characters, emphasizing their personal traits. Her narration is carefully crafted not to give away a key plot point and to allow the twists and turns of the mystery to unfold. Her timing helps the tension build as the events head to a revealing climax. K.J.P. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine
DECEMBER 2022 - AudioFile