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. 

29 thoughts on “Review: Three Sisters – Helen Smith

  1. Misha says:

    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. anachronist says:

    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. Mary says:

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

  4. Nina says:

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

  5. Blodeuedd says:

    MishaGood to hear that is is entertaining :)AnaLol, you do?I think it is horrid, but then I am very evilBermuda:)CozyThat sounds wonderful indeed. I would love to go to oneYvonneAs the case often are with short stories :/

  6. Blodeuedd says:

    MaryI do often feel that short is just too short, but sometimes it works :)StephHm..I fear I am surrounded by doglovers NaidaSeems that way :)JennyI played that recently for the first time and it was so funMelissaPoor doggie :(NinaThey sure do that some times 😀

  7. Cherry says:

    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!

  8. Jenny says:

    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:)

  9. Veens says:

    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.

  10. Blodeuedd says:

    Cherry:)JennyOh yes seems everyone here loves the dog :)CarrieMore dogloving…ok fine he is cute *gives in* ;)Staci:)VeensI have seen that one at the library and the author is on my I want to read list

  11. Darlene says:

    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.

  12. says:

    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!

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