Book Review – Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. But two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead.

Even in a family of alcoholics, Zelda Antipova was the wild one, notorious for her mind games and destructive behavior. Stuck tending the vineyard and the girls’ increasingly unstable mother, Zelda is allegedly burned alive when she passes out in the barn with a cigarette. But Ava finds the official explanation a little too neat. A little too Zelda. Then she receives a cryptic message—from her sister. Just as Ava suspected, Zelda’s playing one of her games. In fact, she’s outdone herself, leaving a series of clues to her disappearance. Ava follows the trail laid just for her, thinking like her sister, keeping her secrets, immersing herself in Zelda’s drama. Along the way, Zelda forces Ava to confront their twisted history and the boy who broke her heart. But why? Is Zelda trying to punish Ava for leaving? To teach her a lesson? Or is she simply trying to write her own ending?

My Opinion:

This book may not have the most attractive cover in the world, but if you judge this book by its cover you’ll be missing out on a fun mystery involving twin sisters.

Ava and Zelda are twins, from A to Z their parents used to say. Ava is reliable, conservative, and ambitious, which is quite the opposite of her sister Zelda who is eccentric, wild, and erratic. Ava receives an email from her mother, Nadine, informing her that Zelda has died in a fire. Ava, who lives in Paris, returns home to upstate New York to find out what happened. While searching Zelda’s Airstream for some kind of clue as to how this could have happened, Ava finds a phone which holds the first in a series of clues her sister has left her to solve.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a story of a mysterious death that needed to be solved or a find me if you can mystery. I started this book with the audio version on my morning walks but moved into the hardback about halfway through, sadly I took too long and the library took it back. I don’t do a lot of audiobooks but I found this one very enjoyable. This book is under the mystery/thriller genre but it’s really more of a mystery, not so much of a thriller. I liked how the author used emails that were previously sent to Ava from Zelda in order to give Zelda dialogue and let us readers know who she is. I thought I had a pretty good idea where this book was going but I was wrong. I just love when that happens. Who wants to read a totally predictable book? Not me!

My Rating: 4/5

Genre: Mystery

Series: None

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2/21/2017

Pages: 352 (Hardback)

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Happy Reading!


6 thoughts on “Book Review – Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

  1. I really enjoyed this book! I’m usually decent at guessing where mysteries are headed, but this one totally threw me. I absolutely loved the ending though. It fit the story perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it! If you can get ahold of the audio version I highly recommend it. Once I switched to the hardback I had the audio voices in my head and I believe it helped bring the story to life.

      Liked by 1 person

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