Saturday 9 July 2011

Review: Three Sisters - Helen Smith

Series: The Emily Castles mysteries 1
Genre: Cozy mystery
Pages: Short story, Ebook, 42
Published: 2011
Review by Lis

It's bonfire night in London. Emily has been invited to a party in the big house at the end of her street by the new owners, whom she has never met. Emily's dog Jessie has recently died so Emily is feeling a little raw and emtional. How could she know, as she left her house that evening, that she was making an appointment with death?


Alright, as a rule I don’t like short stories. They usually leave a lot lacking and give you the bare minimum, but Helen Smith’s Three Sisters fell straight into the likeable category. While short, it has it all: a mystery, a likeable main character and humorous elements to keep the mystery light.

Emily is still sad about the death of her dog Jessie, who she understandably misses a lot. So in an effort to cheer herself up, she goes to a Halloween party she’s invited too. However, nothing goes quite as she’s hoped. She’s witness to a murder but there’s no body, and the hosts are more like performing artists. In fact the part is more like a Murder Mystery night… or is it? And no, it’s not the butler ;-) 

The story is fast paced – it has to be since it’s so short. A lot happens in those 70 pages and you have to keep your head in the game. The characters are fun, but sometimes a little of the top. 

I would have liked to have seen more of Emily and get to know her a little more apart from Emily the woman who just lost her beloved dog. 

Three Sisters is a good solid story with a fun mystery. It’s not as humorous as the description would like you to believe as it has a bit of a dark tone – but you have to like that. 

All in all, I can really recommend Three Sisters as a short cozy read if you like a good mystery. 


  1. I found Three Sisters to be quite an entertaining read. However, I also wish that we had got to know Emily a bit more. She seemed quite a mystery to me.

  2. A great review, Lis and a short story I would like to read, although I fully agree with you that generally short stories end way too early and are a bit simplistic. BTW I love the cover!!!

  3. Sounds good and what a cute cover!

  4. Thanks for the review. I miss bonfire night in England which was always celebrated with hot soup, sausages and an umbrella.

  5. I read this one and enjoyed it very much, but I just wish it were longer.

  6. I'm going to look for it because I usually feel the same way about short stories as you. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. How can you not like this book - that doggie on the cover! Awww.

  8. sounds like a nice, short mystery!

  9. It's like the Clue board game...I used to play that with my sisters when I was little.

  10. Oh couldn't do it. I'd just cry about the dog being gone. Especially with that cover. However, great review. Sounds like it was worth the short read!

  11. I'm also not a big fan of short stories, but somethimes they do deliver! ;) This sounds like a great, little mystery book. ;)

  12. Thanks Lis for the review :D

  13. Misha
    Good to hear that is is entertaining :)

    Lol, you do?I think it is horrid, but then I am very evil


    That sounds wonderful indeed. I would love to go to one

    As the case often are with short stories :/

  14. Mary
    I do often feel that short is just too short, but sometimes it works :)

    Hm..I fear I am surrounded by doglovers

    Seems that way :)

    I played that recently for the first time and it was so fun

    Poor doggie :(

    They sure do that some times :D

  15. Like you Lis, I don't usually read short stories. I guess I've read too many with not enough room for proper world building and such... but then again, not all of them. Sometimes I do come across a gem or two... this book sounds like one of them :) Thank you for sharing your views!

  16. Awww look at that little face! I usually have trouble with short stories too for just the reasons you listed, but I love when one surprises me with its depth:)

  17. I love short stories. And I am intrigued by this one.
    I have really liked Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth ( a collection of short stories), I hope you try it someday.

  18. Cherry

    Oh yes seems everyone here loves the dog :)

    More dogloving...ok fine he is cute *gives in* ;)


    I have seen that one at the library and the author is on my I want to read list

  19. I am one of the few who enjoy a good short! Thanks.

  20. Sounds like a fun read. And I love the cover.

  21. Liz
    Well there has to be people who like short stories too :D

    Ryan :)

  22. This sounds like it might be good although I'm not sure I could get past the sadness of the dog passing yet. I've been avoiding all those kinds of things.

  23. Darlene
    I know :/ Not a good book when you have lost someone

  24. This sounds like a nice little mystery, perfect for this time of year.

  25. Two things sold me on on this book, your review and the book cover. I love animals so the dog is really working for me and then the review about a mystery that takes place that is actually entertaining in only 42 pages...heck yeah, I've got to read this!

  26. Deanna
    Lol, read it and tell me what you think :)



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