RSVP TO MURDER by Carol Pouliot
SERIES: The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries #4
GENRE: Time-Travel Mystery (Clean with mild language)
PUBLISHER: Level Best Books
RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2023
A new twist on the 1930s English country house mystery.
Embarking on their most daring time-travel experiment to date, Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and his 21st-century partner-in-crime Olivia Watson travel to the Adirondack Mountains for a Christmas party at one of the legendary Great Camps. Their host, a wealthy New York publisher, has planned a weekend filled with holiday activities, but, as the last guest arrives, temperatures plummet and a blizzard hits. Before long, the area is buried in snow, the roads are impassable, and the publisher is poisoned.
Unwilling to wait until the local police can arrive, the victim’s widow convinces Steven to launch an unofficial investigation. Soon, a family member goes missing and Steven and Olivia discover a second victim. Trapped with a killer, Steven and Olivia race against the clock before the murderer strikes again.
praise for RSVP to Murder
“A classic holiday movie and Agatha Christie novel mashup”
~ Shawn Reilly Simmons, author of the Red Carpet Catering Mystery Series
“RSVP to Murder is Agatha Christie with a time-travel twist. Pouliot supplies us with just what we crave in a great locked-room mystery: a blizzard, closed roads, dead phone lines, roaring fires, and lots of suspects and motives—all set in a luxurious Adirondack Great Camp in 1934. Snap on your seatbelt and travel with Steven and Olivia, you’ll be happy you did!”
~ Tina deBellegarde, Author of The Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery Series
“A Great Camp in the Adirondacks serves up a sumptuous setting of plump armchairs, roaring fireplaces, and the heady scent of Christmas pines—all begging to be settled into with this thumping good vintage whodunit set in the 1930s. Cleverly plotted with plot-twists aplenty and some time-travel to boot, this immersive mystery is a gem.”
~ Laurie Loewenstein, Author of the Dust Bowl Mystery Series
“Readers are invited to the glamour of the Thirties, where the rich are putting on the Ritz, until there’s a murder to solve. Join time-travelers Blackwell and Watson in a race to the Racines’ Adirondack Great Camp to catch a killer. A clever…and a thoroughly unique must for fans of the paranormal and historical. RSVP today!”
~ Gabriel Valjan, Author of the Shane Cleary Mysteries series
“The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries’ latest installment, RSVP to Murder, combines the thrilling and “timeless” aspects of Jack Finney’s classic TIME AND AGAIN mixed with the wit and charm of a modern, puzzling mystery. Highly recommended for all lovers of time travel, history, romance and wily sleuths.”
~ L.A. Chandlar, Best-selling author of the Art Deco Mystery Series
I’m a big fan of time-travel stories with a twist – in this case, a pair of mystery solvers who share a house with a portal between their two worlds of 1934 and 2014. In RSVP to Murder, Detective Steven Blackwell (who is from 1934) and former journalist Olivia Watson (who is from 2014) test the time-travel parameters by heading for a long weekend at an elite Great Camp in the Adirondacks. I haven’t read the previous books and it did take me a bit to acclimate to the whys and wherefores of their situation and connect with the characters. But once I had the feel of things, I thought the time folding premise was really intriguing and the author did a good job of making it plausible.
Reminiscent of Christie’s locked room or country house plots, RSVP to Murder is an interesting blend of classic mystery and modern sensibilities, courtesy of the time travel aspect. Trapped by a fierce snowstorm, Steven and Olivia, the Racine family and their other guests and staff must not only dodge the elements but a murderer as well. The narrative sticks mostly with Steven and Olivia’s perspectives but we occasionally get other characters’ POVs as well. I thought this gave the story a certain mood, as if we were in the audience, watching a play, and the spotlight shifts to divert our attention and possibly distract us. The insights we’re given on the various players in this drama, because of this technique, serve as important clues and red herrings alike. Can you stay ahead of the killer and solve it before Steven and Olivia do?
Bottom Line: RSVP to Murder is a well-plotted mystery with a time travel twist, gracing the 1930s with a touch of the modern world and a hefty dose of Christie, too. The clues are cleverly placed, the characters layered, and some surprising plot turns keep readers on their toes. It’s not easy to take me by surprise, given how many mysteries I read, but Pouliot did just that, more than once. An interesting thread involving Steven’s detective partner Will and a humdinger of a twist at the very end have me wanting to read the next book to see what will happen! Overall, this is an entertaining escape into a historical mystery that lets you keep one foot in the present too – the best of both worlds!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that this book contains a moderate amount of some mild curse words.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 3.5 stars / liked it!
A former language teacher and business owner, Carol Pouliot writes the acclaimed Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, traditional police procedurals with a seemingly impossible relationship between Depression-era cop Steven Blackwell and 21st-century journalist Olivia Watson. With their fast pace and unexpected twists and turns, the books have earned praise from readers and mystery authors alike.
Carol is a founding member of Sleuths and Sidekicks, Co-chair of the Murderous March Mystery Conference, and President of her Sisters in Crime chapter. When not writing, Carol can be found packing her suitcase and reaching for her passport for her next travel adventure. Connect with Carol at her website.
This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Carol Pouliot. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
This tour will have FOUR (4) winners (US ONLY). TWO (2) winners will each receive a print edition of RSVP to Murder by Carol Pouliot AND TWO (2) winners will receive a $15 Amazon.com Gift Card.
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