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What Strange Creatures by Emily Arsenault: Review and Giveaway!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Scandal, love, family, and murder combine in this gripping literary mystery by critically acclaimed author Emily Arsenault, in which a young academic’s life is turned upside down when her brother is arrested for murder and she must prove his innocence.

The Battle siblings are used to disappointment. Seven years, one marriage and divorce, three cats, and a dog later, Theresa still hasn’t finished her dissertation. Instead of a degree, she’s got a houseful of adoring pets and a dead-end copywriting job for a local candle company.

Jeff, her so-called genius older brother, doesn’t have it together, either. Creative, and loyal, he’s also aimless in work and love. But his new girlfriend, Kim, a pretty waitress in her twenties, appears smitten.

When Theresa agrees to dog-sit Kim’s puggle for a weekend, she has no idea that it is the beginning of a terrifying nightmare that will shatter her quiet world. Soon, Kim’s body will be found in the woods, and Jeff will become the prime suspect.

Though the evidence is overwhelming, Theresa knows that her brother is not a cold-blooded murderer. But to clear him she must find out more about Kim. Investigating the dead woman’s past, Theresa uncovers a treacherous secret involving politics, murder, and scandal—and becomes entangled in a potentially dangerous romance. But the deeper she falls into this troubling case, the more it becomes clear that, in trying to save her brother’s life, she may be sacrificing her own.

Goodreads Summary

Theresa live a pretty measly life with not a lot going right. She is a divorced woman, has a million pets at her place, is not finished with her dissertation, and a job that is not going anywhere. It is not a surprise though as her family has a history of failure. Her brother Jeff wanders through life as well and somehow his girlfriend is found dead. Theresa then sets out to prove her brother's innocence and finds herself in a world of trouble that she may not be prepared for.

What I found myself really clinging to in this book was the witty dialogue. It will leave you smiling and laughing all the way through. One thing that I did find to be a little slow was the constant talk about the dissertation, however it still did not draw my opinion down about the book as a whole. The mystery of the cause of her brother's girlfriend's death is also a fun part of the story to watch unravel. Another nice thing about this book is that it is a mystery novel that has the main protagonist being a normal person. It is a breath of fresh air and a treat to read.

4 Stars

*Reviewed by Chris*


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  1. Christine said...:

    This sounds like a really interesting read! And I'm such a sarcastic person, so any mention of witty dialogue automatically makes me 100x more likely to check out a book! Thanks for the review :)

  1. MG said...:

    You got me with "witty dialogue." I'm needing some of that.
    mgifford01 @

  1. I love a good murder mystery and I have heard good things about this author.
    videoclimber (AT) yahoo (dot) com

  1. bn100 said...:

    The characters would be interesting to read about

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  1. This sounds like a really good book that I would really enjoy reading. I am always on the lookout for a good mystery with an ordinary person, but for the most part have a hard time finding one that sounds interesting enough for me to get. This is one that sounds really. interesting and I would really like to read it.

  1. this doesn't sound like my normal read, but i must admit it sounds intriguing. sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is a must, so maybe this one will be a good way to do so.