Friday, September 15, 2023

Book Review - Suddenly a Murder by Lauren Muñoz


Suddenly a Murder by Lauren Muñoz is about a group of high school students who take a trip together to celebrate their graduation.  Izzy Morales attends an elite private school, where her fellow students are kids of prominent and rich families. She always felt like an outsider because her family is impoverished and her mother works as a teacher in the school.

The only person that Izzy feels has her back is Kassidy, another student at the school. So when Kassidy invites Izzy to an all expenses paid trip to a glamorous manor, she has a hard time saying no. Izzy usually avoids accepting Kassidy’s offers to go on trips together as she doesn’t want to take advantage of Kassidy’s generosity.

This time Kassidy sweetened the offer by inviting Izzy’s crush, Marlow, along with a few of their other friends.  When they arrive Kassidy surprises the group by letting them know that they will be dressing up in vintage clothing and no modern conveniences like cellphones will be allowed. The group gets into some minor squabbles with each other but for the most part, everyone is having a great time, until Kassidy’s boyfriend ends up dead.

His death was ruled a murder and investigators were called to the scene of the crime. Every guest is a suspect. Kassidy is in despair and shocked by his death. Everyone is suspicious of everyone else and is wary that they might be next. However, things look especially bad for Izzy, as she was the one who bought the murder weapon with her on vacation.

The book started off interesting but it ebbed and flowed between interesting to dull. The chapters were told from each character’s points of view. While this was interesting, I felt like this could have been used more to progress the story. Instead, when the police were investigating the murders, Izzy found a secret hideout and found out a lot of secrets other characters were keeping after listening into their interviews. I believe the author was using this method to give the readers new information but I would have preferred to read it from each character’s perspective instead. 

I felt that there were a lot of coincidences and things that came out of nowhere. I still don’t understand why Izzy thought it was a good idea to bring a knife on vacation. The author mentioned the reason but Izzy’s entire plan didn’t really make sense, as a reader. It just seemed like another cheap ploy to make you wonder if she is the murderer or was she being set up. Then one of the investigators who was involved in the case only became involved because they are connected to someone at the manor. I did find one of the investigators interesting and wished they had their own series, but the other one seemed too bumbling to even be a detective.

The ending came out of nowhere and was a bit too unrealistic. The author seemed to portray the character one way and the ending seemed so out of character for them. The book was a bit predictable to who the murderer was but their ending also seemed weird and also too dramatic. Overall, the book was an okay read if one suspended some beliefs on certain elements of the story.


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