Title: All Dressed Up
Author: Jilly Gagnon
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
The weekend getaway at a gorgeous hotel should have been perfect. But Becca is smarting from her husband Blake’s betrayal and knows that the trip is just an expensive apology attempt. Still, the drinks are strong, and the weekend has an elaborate 1920s murder mystery theme. She decides to get into the spirit and enjoy their stay.
Before long, the game is afoot: Famed speakeasy songstress Ida Crooner is found “murdered,” and it’s up to the guests to sniff out the culprit. Playing the role of Miss Debbie Taunte, an ingenue with a dark past, Becca dives into the world of pun-heavy clues, hammy acting, and secret passages, hoping to take her mind off her marital troubles.
Then, the morning after they arrive, the actress playing Ida’s maid fails to reappear for her role. Everyone assumes she flaked out on the job, but when snooping for clues as “Debbie,” Becca finds evidence that the young woman may not have left of her own free will.
Told over a nail-biting forty-eight hours and interspersed with in-game clues, set pieces, and character histories from the flapper-filled mystery nested inside a modern one, All Dressed Up is a loving tribute to classic whodunits and a riveting exploration of the secrets we keep.
Why This Book
All Dressed Up wasn’t exactly my favorite book, though I did enjoy both mysteries. What it does have is a married couple. This married couple has decided to try attending a themed murder mystery weekend as a last ditch attempt to save their marriage. Except the husband left out some key details when he told his wife about it. I honestly have no idea how this weekend was supposed to put them back together, especially when the husband, Blake, always seemed to take every opportunity he could to not be with Becca. But, hey, they’re an established couple playing dress up and detective with three other established couples, all of whom seemed to be dealing with interesting things of their own.
My review: “All Dressed Up has a couple whose marriage is on the rocks trying to work things through while attending a themed murder mystery weekend. It sounds like it should be a lot of fun, perhaps a little humorous and maybe a bit suspenseful. I mean, there are two mysteries going on at the same time even if one is completely fabricated. Unfortunately, there just seemed to be too much going on and the characters were mostly flat, each playing one or two roles and doing nothing else”
Storeybook Reviews gave this a 4, saying “Becca is one hot mess. She and Blake have had some issues recently, and this is his way of trying to get them back on track. However, Becca can’t seem to get past her insecurities which throw a monkey wrench into most of the weekend. While I understood her reactions most of the time, I thought she should have tried to move past it a little bit more”
Women in Trouble Book Blog gave this 4 stars, saying “The murder mystery aspect was a lot of fun and drew me in. The characters were richly drawn and believable. And I even felt like I understand the dynamics behind Blake and Becca. My one complaint was that I felt like it was a little bit of a Scooby Doo ending”
Diane Reviews Books gave this 3 stars, saying “Angsty! Angsty! Angsty! Becca’s constant rehashing of Blake’s affair gets old very quickly. There are no reader findable clues to either mystery so just settle in for a long slog through Becca’s heartbreak. I wanted an Agatha Christie novel and ended up with women’s fiction”
The Booked Mama said “I loved the concept of “All Dressed Up” and found myself tearing through this one to get to the resolution. I could have done with a little less of being in Becca’s head when it came to her relationship but other than that I really enjoyed this”
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Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.
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