Family secrets, Inheritance and Murders: Three mysteries for the Holidays!

Hi everyone! Am I the only one who likes a good mystery around the holidays? Especially if it’s about family secrets, if there is a bit of murder, and if it is all happening behind closed doors. I don’t know why, but it feels the perfect time of the year for this kind of read/movie, and this is why I wanted to recommend three to you that I really enjoyed!

1.The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

I just finished reading this one last night (or this morning? I guess it depends on your perspective!). I could not put it down. It had everything I was hoping to find in it: family secrets that we slowly discover through the pages (but we are far from knowing them all as this is just the first book of the series!), riddles upon riddles to understand why a girl out of nowhere inherited family billions, and a great set of characters! We follow here Avery, a teenage girl who was struggling with her sister financially and who finds herself iheriting billions from a man she has never met. As you can imagine, she is a bit shocked. And the family is not taking the news very well either. As she tries to adapt to this new way of living, to a new school, and to pretty sexy « housemates », Avery will also do everything to understand why this happened to her. I was so hooked on this story! I had some suppositions that didn’t happen in the end ( and I’m still mad about it lol, it made total sense), and my only regret is that the end felt a tiny bit anti-climatic compared to the pace of the rest of the book. But otherwise, this was exactly what I wanted to read!
Thank you HBG Canada for providing me wih a finished copy!

2. The Cousins – Karen M McManus

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised… and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

Again, this one did not disappoint! It was my first Karen McManus, so I cannot compare it with her other books, but when it comes to family secrets and murder, she knows her stuff! Ok yes, it happens during Summer on an island, so not the most winter-y setting, but I was hooked all the same. Here again, great characters, so many secrets to unravel, mysterious deaths from the past coming back to light, there is no rest for us in this book! Here we join three teenager cousins who have been invited by their super rich grandma to her resort island to work for the Summer. And this might be the chance to go back on her will, as she had cut all her children from it years ago. What happened all those years ago? What are the secrets in each cousin’s life? That is what we discover in this captivating book!
Thank you Penguin Teen Canada for providing me with an eARC of the book!

3. Knives Out

Not talking about a book here, but a movie (and here is the trailer). I discovered it first in France, with my mom and grandma, and rewatched it recently too. A murder, millions given to a nurse, family members all wanting the money and having a lot of secrets, and a pretty good detective to slove it all. I just love how we discovered each family members here, how we slowly connected the dots, til we had the final picture. So good, so well done, and I loved the way it was filmed! It definitely reminded me of some Agatha Christie novels too, and the general atmosphere was perfect. Plus, it will probably make you really appreciate your family compared to the one in the movie! I think one of the reasons I enjoyed The Inheritance Games so much is because it reminded me a lot of this movie! Definitely something to add to your watch list for the holidays (plus, there is Chris Evans in it, who can say no to that?)

Hope you enjoyed this little selection, please let me know if you also enjoy this kind of « behind closed doors » stories during the holidays, and if you have some to recommend!

See you for a cup,

Elise

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