Release Date: November 9th, 2021
CW/TW: Mentions of murder, blood, use of guns and violence. There are also some scenes of description of dead bodies, but no graphic details
When up-and-coming true crime podcaster Liza and her corporate financier wife Hanna head to a luxurious hotel in the Scottish Highlands, they’re hoping for a chance to rekindle their marriage – not to find themselves trapped in the middle of an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery with no way home. But who better to take on the case than someone whose entire profession relies on an obsession with all things mysterious and macabre? Though some of her fellow guests may consider her an interfering new media hack, Liza knows a thing or two about crime and – despite Hanna’s preference for waiting out the chaos behind a locked door – might be the only one capable of discovering the killer. As the bodies rack up and the stakes rise, can they save their marriage — and their lives?
I think as my first ever Alexis Hall book, this is a good place to start! It’s got so many things that I absolutely love and what really caught my attention was the lesbian couple struggling with their marriage and solving a murder mystery in the Scottish Highlands! I mean, you read that and you know you need to get your hands on it too.
Murder Most Actual is a story of what happens when Knvies Out meets Only Murders in the Building. Liza and Hanna are visiting a gorgeous castle turned hotel for the Easter weekend as a means to get their marriage back on track. They’ve been losing each other slowly over the last few years and their 10 year marriage needs a little fixing. Liza is a well known voice in the podcast world as a host of Murder Most Actual, while Hanna works with money – in her words: she helps the rich get richer. Their lives are not bad, but they’ve been drifting apart and this getaway is a means for them to sort through all the chaos and find themselves again.
Little do they know that their weekend getaway is about to turn into the scene of an epic crime!
Alexis Hall weaves such an interesting story that sucks you in and makes it feel like you’re truly watching a movie. The characters are all so interesting and captivating, and I spent most of the book predicting who would be next. I’d like to report that I never once got the murders right or even solved the twist before the end! I felt that reading a book with so many supporting characters and twists and turns would be confusing, but there wasn’t a single moment where I felt lost or confused. In fact, I was pretty excited about all of the reveals! I definitely gasped, screamed NO and laughed more times than I thought I would.
Liza and Hanna’s rocky marriage is a big part of the story, but it still takes a secondary role in the grand scheme of things. I loved the quiet moments where they talk and try to understand where they went wrong. It might sound weird to say, but marriage in crisis is such an intriguing trope and I absolutely love the way it was depicted in the book. Everything that happens outside of their marriage makes them look at their relationship in a new light, and you get some of the most incredible scenes between Liza and Hanna.
Every minute of this reading experience was wonderful. The little details, the intricate storytelling and the laughs hidden where you least expect it were such a great combination. I would highly recommend this to those who love a little bit of mystery in their stories – whether you like romance or not.
Thanks to NetGalley, Valentine PR and Alexis Hall for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.