Murder She Read: March Book Discussion

Welcome to Day 999 of the COVID-19 Quarantine.

OK so that’s a bit dramatic, but when you’re stuck at home day after day, it all blurs together amiright? All jokes aside, staying home is extra important RN to protect the health and safety of everyone out there, so just do your damn part and #stayhome.

Besides, this gives you the perfect excuse to jump into our Murder She Read Virtual Book Club. Ya know, cus you can’t meet up with your friends and you legit have nothing better to do than read a murder mystery and discuss it online with people you don’t know.

If you’re new here, you may want to read this post before continuing on – it explains the rules of the club (first rule of book club is that you should legit always talk about book club to anyone who will listen. Extra points if you convince them to join).

If you’ve been here since the beginning of 2020, congrats! This is the third book we’ve read together so far! That’s pretty dang good considering the world is practically falling apart. So give yourself some props people.

In March, we read The Turn of the Key, by Ruth Ware.

I chose this book because I love the author, and the unique circumstances and settings she chooses for her novels. The other two I’ve read involve a seemingly-accidental murder that takes place at a bachelorette party held at a remote house in the woods, and a journalist uncovering a missing person case aboard the maiden voyage of a luxury yacht.

And now, a nanny claims she’s been falsely accused of murdering a child in her care, while living in a creepy, haunted mansion in the middle of nowhere in Scotland.

Each scenario is equally intriguing and captivating, and that’s what keeps me coming back for more and more from the same author.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER UNLESS YOU’VE FINISHED THE BOOK!

Haven’t read the book yet? Buy it here.

When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Full of spellbinding menace, The Turn of the Key is a gripping modern-day haunted house thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

First and foremost, if you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I was shit talking this book quite a bit for a while. Honestly, I found it extremely slow for the first 200 pages. The only thing that compelled me to keep reading was that my mom – who is also a member of this book club! – finished it in week 1, and said the ending was INSANE. She absolutely loved the book, and we tend to have similar taste in that regard, so I knew that I just had to keep pressing on.

I will say that once I got past page 200, I could not put the book down. I was totally hooked. Were you instantly hooked, or did you feel the book was slow to action? At what point, if at any, did you feel that you couldn’t stop reading?

The book opens in a really interesting way, with Rowan Caine’s desperate plea for help from prison in the form of various letters. If you received this letter as Mr. Wrexham, would you keep reading? Did you like the way the novel opened?

Personally, I enjoyed the opening. I found it intriguing, and I did want to know more about Rowan and what happened. But I did feel that her constant pleading and beating around the bush was a bit annoying and made for a slow start. I understand the technique, and the reasoning for wanting to tell the whole backstory before getting to the meat of what happened, but, damn, I was bored.

Rowan describes the Elincourt estate in detail when she visits for her interview. What is your first impression of the house? What aspects were appealing or unappealing to you?

I was instantly creeped out. Having grown up in a Victorian home, I easily pictured the features Rowan described, and having always felt my childhood home was haunted, I felt myself going right back to that place of childish fear. That…and the fact that Mr.s Elincourt outright says their previous nannies thought the house to be haunted. I was, however, interested in the kitchen, and how the Elincourt’s worked to make the place their own.

Maddie has an unexpected reaction to Rowan’s departure after the interview, and makes that creepy proclamation: “Don’t come here. It’s not safe.” After everything Rowan saw and learned in the previous 24 hours, do you think she should she have heeded Maddie’s warning? Would you have listened to Maddie?

I’d like to think I would have, but honestly, with that pay, I doubt I’d turn and run. I probably would have blamed it on attention-seeking behavior or something of the like.

When we finally learn who Rachel Gerhardt is, and of her personal connection to the family, everything makes sense. Were there any clues that led you to suspect this before the big reveal?

I was stunned. Honestly. I DID NOT see that coming. Not one damn bit. But suddenly, I could see all the clues in retrospect and it all clicked. I absolutely loved that twist. How did you feel about that revelation?

In the last chapter, the truth of what happened to Maddie is finally revealed. And of course, the ending is left open to interpretation. I took it to mean that Rachel never sent the letters to Mr. Wexham, and she never continued to claim innocence, as she didn’t want Ellie to be punished for the crime. Would you have done the same?

Overall, I loved the book once I got over the slow parts in the beginning. I actually found myself scared when reading certain parts – like I legit had to go and turn on more lights at home. How did you feel about the book?

Hey kids! Just a heads up that this post may contain affiliate links to products I love and use. If you take action after clicking one of these links (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase, etc.) I’ll earn a bit of a commission, which helps me keep this blog up and running – so you can keep finding dope recipes like this one to recreate yourself! Thanks in advance for supporting The Northeast Ginger – xoxo Gossip Girl

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