Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Review: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude @SarahEJude

The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude book cover and review
A couple of things make The May Queen Murders stand out among murder mysteries. The strange, back-country setting adds an additional mysterious element. And I was shocked at the level of gore, especially the ending.

Ivy's best friend is Heather, who is also her cousin. Ivy follows the superstitious teachings of her grandmother to the letter but Heather seems to take these premonitions more lightly. Heather is keeping big secrets from Ivy, and Ivy feels them growing apart. When Ivy tries to warn Heather the signs indicate she's in danger, Heather once again pulls away.

The small town where they live called The Glen has been haunted for years by the disappearance of the last May Queen. She was brutally murdered by Birch Markle, who was never caught and still haunts the woods surrounding The Glen. You can't go out at night, and at times you hear Birch screaming.

Pets are being brutally murdered, and everyone is on edge. The town decides to put all the fear behind them and crown a new May Queen. Heather disappears during the festivities and this is the beginning of the real story of The Glen. Secret after secret is exposed, and you can't possibly predict them.

The folklore is interesting. There's a nice little romance brewing. And, on top of it all, there is some stomach-turning violence going on! I did think The May Queen Murders spent a lot of time on the buildup. At about 60% things really take off, and I couldn't put the book down. I loved that it seemed like everything was resolved after the murderer is found, but believe me, that's only the beginning of the end.

I think The May Queen Murders will appeal to teen mystery fans, especially those that like a very macabre story. You have to be able to take some bloody descriptions, but this is a compelling story that will keep your interest.

Published by HMH BFYR, May 3, 2016
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
304 pages

Rating: 4/5

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