Fiction - Mystery - Murder
135 Pages
Reviewed on 11/24/2020
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Author Biography

Her name is Nanette L. Avery, and her nickname is a palindrome. She is an excellent dart player, international film enthusiast, and eats ice cream every night before bed. Her novel, Orphan in America, earned distinction as one of the "Best Indie Books" of the year from Kirkus Reviews. Drawing upon her experiences and the backdrop of life growing up in the Virgin Islands, she is an eclectic author who transcends many genres. Her latest novel, "Who" is a mystery-parody that will kill you! Nanette lives outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and orange cat.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite

Who by Nanette L. Avery begins with a classic Agatha Christie setup. We meet a collection of men and women who have been invited to an all-expenses-paid weekend at a manor house. Some know one another to a greater or lesser degree, some are strangers. All have a dubious past. Their host is the mysterious librarian—yes, librarians are allowed to be mysterious too!—Ms. Rosebud. As the plot thickens, Ms. Rosebud reveals that this oddly familiar collection of characters has been the subject of defamatory books published by the notorious company, Babbitt Publishing. Now the cast is gathered, there’s a discussion of compensation. Naturally, any agreement comes at a price and what ensues is the perfect setup for murder.

This kind of satire, which pays homage to Agatha Christie in spades, is difficult to do well. It runs the risk of becoming self-parody. However, Nanette L. Avery has done an excellent job of crafting her tale. Who is a very layered story, containing stories within stories and more references to other stories than you can throw a smoking gun at. She manages the humor with a deft touch, with dialogue that reads like deadpan comedy, sly authorial asides, and crafty descriptions that made me chuckle as many out of the ordinary events are presented in a mundane manner. While I believe murder mystery fans are going to get the most out of this very enjoyable book, I think it will appeal to a wide range of other readers too. Well worth the read.

Susan Sewell

A group of publicly maligned and persecuted characters brought together for a weekend to seek remuneration is unexpectedly trapped on an island with a killer in the fascinating murder mystery, Who by Nanette L. Avery. Mr. Wolfe, Goldie, Tisbe and Javotte, and the giant Norman are invited to attend an all-expenses-paid weekend on an island home. With a promise of compensation for their misery and hardships caused by a biased publication, their mysterious host has assembled them together along with a representative of a publishing company, a lawyer, and of course, the butler. However, things go awry when due to inclement weather and a downed ferry, they are stranded on the island. Matters go from bad to worse when someone starts killing them off one by one. Who could harbor such hostility towards them all? Or is it possible there is more than one murderer?

Who by Nanette L. Avery is a brilliantly written sleuth murder mystery with a unique twist. The story contains memorable characters and an intriguing plot that takes the reader on a journey that dates back to childhood. The enigmatic characters and their obscure identities gave the storyline an added sense of mystery, and as the murders pile up, the ambiguity of their personalities intensifies the suspense and intrigue. Between the characters' inscrutability and the intricate plot, the identity and motive of the murderer are shrouded in anonymity until the denouement. Suspenseful and engaging, it is an entertaining novel that will delight amateur sleuth fans who enjoy mysteries laced with just a hint of fantasy.