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Review: The Block Party by Jamie Day

The Block Party
Author: Jamie Day
Year published: 2023
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map)USA (Massachusetts)

SummaryThis summer, meet your neighbors.

The residents of the exclusive cul-de-sac on Alton Road are entangled in a web of secrets and scandal utterly unknown to the outside world, and even to each other.

On the night of the annual Summer block party, there has been a murder.

But, who did it and why takes readers back one year earlier, as rivalries and betrayals unfold―discovering that the real danger lies within their own block and nothing―and no one―is ever as it seems.

Review: I first read about this book on Ti's blog, Book Chatter (thank you Ti). This book is a quick read and kept me entertained.

There are a bunch of characters in this book (not as many as Tolstoy, say, but enough to keep the reader focused on remembering them all). There are the women (the main focus), their husbands, and their children. There is even a relevant "Bug Man," the local exterminator. This large cast of characters kept me guessing throughout the book: who is the murderer, what other mischief has each character been up to (and trust me, they have ALL been up to mischief), and who was killed. Much of this is revealed along the way, but the big questions are left to the very end.

This novel is ostensibly a murder mystery, but it also touches on much more: drug and alcohol abuse, sexual/domestic violence (there are no descriptions), infidelity, friendship, class, and neighbor issues. So, there's lots going on! At times it feels like there is too much happening: can one cul-de-sac really have all that? Is anyone just "being?" But maybe this novel just points out that we really don't know what's going on in the lives in our neighbors, friends, and family... something to ponder.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (Title)--B
  • Alphabet (Author)--D
  • Cloak and Dagger

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