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Three Sisters: A British Mystery (Emily Castles Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Helen Smith
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $5.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Three Sisters introduces twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles in this entertaining new mystery series from best selling British author Helen Smith.

Emily receives an invitation to a party in a large house at the end of her street, hosted by a mysterious troupe of circus performers. She accepts, despite her misgivings, because her dog has died and she needs cheering up. But when she witnesses a murder in the midst of the surreal entertainment, no one will believe what she has seen. Is Emily befuddled with grief at the loss of her pet? Or has something wicked happened in plain sight of all the party-goers? Emily and her eccentric neighbours attempt to discover the truth in a charming story that will have you giggling at every funny line.

Readers of M C Beaton or Alexander McCall Smith will enjoy discovering a new mystery author.

Chosen as a “Book of the Year” by Elizabeth at The Frugal Ereader.

This short mystery is a standalone story set in London. The Emily Castles mysteries can be read in any order. Free with Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited.

Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious all at the same time… I can’t wait to see what Emily’s next adventure will be. Socrates Book Reviews

Helen Smith manages to pack in surprises and plot twists, creating a story that is fully engaging from start to finish. The characters are creative and multi-dimensional and I loved the unique personalities and talents of all the party guests. As a wallflower turned super-sleuth, Emily Castles was a wonderful protagonist and I'm eager to read more of her adventures. Her Book Self

Helen Smith has created a great little cozy series with the charming Emily Castles. Criminal Element

Very funny indeed... There seems to be a winning line on every page. The Bookbag

Helen Smith's books have reached number one in the Amazon store in the US, UK, Germany and Canada. Her books have appeared in "best of the year" lists by For Books' Sake, The Cult Den, The Independent, and the Guardian.

Editorial Reviews


I thought this was a great read from start to finish. Booked Up

Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious. Socrates' Book Reviews

Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one. Eva's Sanctuary

It grips you from the very beginning. Books Bistro

From the Author

Sign up for Helen Smith's Book News and receive a free Kindle book:

Emily Castles is a twenty-six-year-old Londoner who lives in Brixton, south London, where I live. The London that you'll find in the Emily Castles Mysteries has familiar locations and landmarks. But it has a village feel that is typical in cozy mystery books (and not very typical of a big city like London): neighbors know each other and help each other out.

I started out reading Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Arthur Conan Doyle, and I go back to their stories time and again, both on the page and on TV and film. Miss Marple has to be one of my all-time favorite characters in a book! More recently, I have enjoyed mysteries written by Charlaine Harris, Alexander McCall Smith and M C Beaton.

With the Emily Castles Mysteries, I wanted to create stories that use some of the enduringly popular ingredients from the golden age of British crime writing. But I have set them in the present day, so there's a little urban grit mixed in with the fun. Emily herself, with her dimples and her dark brown hair, her sweet nature, her good humor and her love of solving mysteries, is partly based on my daughter, who is around the same age. Unlike my daughter, Emily will never get older... only a little wiser, perhaps, and a little more adept at sleuthing as the series develops.

Like all my books, the Emily Castles Mysteries feature strong, interesting female characters, and plenty of funny lines. These are clean, comic mysteries that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. I hope readers will enjoy them and keep coming back for more.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1875 KB
  • Print Length: 104 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tyger Books Cozy Mysteries (February 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M5HK0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,631 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Start to a Mystery Series February 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought "The Three Sisters" before the product description was even up, because I am a big fan of Helen Smith and all her books, and I was not disappointed.

Helen manages, as always, to convey humour in even the most mysterious circumstances... in this case, a missing woman at a fabulous, yet freakish party... Helen? If you attend parties like this one, I want an invitation!!! (except for the disappearing part...)

At 70-ish pages, this story is longer than your average short story, yet even in a short space, Helen manages to create a sympathetic and likeable main character, Emily Castles. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Emily.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Cozy Story February 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Emily Castles is grieving the loss of her beloved dog, Jessie. She's feeling quite emotional and all alone in the world. Emily is invited to a neighborhood bonfire party by her new neighbors. This isn't your typical party and one thing Emily never expects is to witness a murder.

Readers are treated to a crazy evening complete with an eccentric group of performers who give Emily a run for her money. She's sure one of them has been murdered, but who could have done it? To make matters even more confusing, there's no dead body and she begins to wonder if anyone really died.

This is a short story, approximately 70 printed pages and a very quick read. Talk about leaving readers wanting more. This is the first of a series of Emily Castles mysteries set in London. It's fast-paced, funny, and mysterious all at the same time. I've never read anything by Helen Smith before, but she's a new-to-me author that I will be looking for in the future. I can't wait to see what Emily's next adventure will be.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start February 10, 2011
By D. Love
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a good short story. We meet Emily on her way to a neighborhood party, this after the death of her dog. She gets roped into a performance play, only is it real or not? We watch through Emily's keen observation, the actions of the party-goers as Emily searches for the truth.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to visit Helen Smith's London March 3, 2011
By Beth O
Format:Kindle Edition
I've been to London, twice, but I've never been to Helen Smith's London--and I really want to go! The London I visited had double decker buses, and cute red phone booths, and all the tourist sites and museums. But Helen Smith's London is someplace else entirely. Helen Smith's London is filled with knife throwers, fire jugglers, performance artists, giant, floating papier-mâché heads, and "squarish women the color of cement" (a Raymond Chandler worthy description, IMO). Now that's a party I'd like to be invited to!

Yes, this book is a murder mystery set at a party at the house of a neighbor of Emily Castle, the story's protagonist. But that's the plot. I don't fall in love with stories because of their plot. I fall in love with stories because of their characters and the author's narrative style. And that's why I fell in love with this story--the quirky characters and the unique world they inhabit that I suspect exists only in Helen Smith's imagination. I wish it existed in the real world because I'd love to visit. But since it doesn't, I'll have to resign myself to waiting for the next installment of the Emily Castle Mysteries.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great, fast, read for cozy mystery lovers March 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Emily is sad because her dog dies but decides to go to the party anyways. Her neighbor has hired a performance troop and everything seems...different. For these people are putting on a show, but everything else they're doing in-between performances can be part of the act too. So when Emily sees two of the performers fighting before their knife-throwing performance and one of them "accidently" stabs the girl in the chest, she's not sure if she should believe her miraculous resurrection or not.

This story was so fun to read! The tone was dark and mysterious, yet it really held on to a cozy vibe at the same time. I loved her reminiscing about her dog and in the end how that helped her to solve the mystery. The whole performance troop thing was really fun too. Some of the characters refused to talk to her about the mystery until their performance was over and she had to figure out what to do in order for their performances to stop. Overall it was a good, fast, read that I would recommend to all cozy mystery lovers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want more of Emily Castles, please! February 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I really MUST preface this review with a proud proclamation: I am a huge Helen Smith fan! I have read Alison Wonderland and Being Light and The Miracle Inspector, and I loved each book. I loved Three Sisters, as well.

In Three Sisters, we're introduced to Emily Castles, a perfectly normal woman who just happens to pay a little more attention to what's going on around her than most. This interesting trait leads Emily into the world of sleuthing, and the reader can't help but follow on her heels--wondering all the while what danger she might be getting herself into.

Helen Smith's descriptions are clever, creative and richly-textured, and her dry, understated wit never fails to bring a smile to my face.

I look forward to more Emily Castles adventures!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Fun Read February 8, 2011
By Shari
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first novel I have read by this author, although I do have a couple in my to be read pile :). This was a fast, short fun read..The author created a character that we like in Emily, and meeting her eccentric neighbors was great! Makes me look forward to seeing them in future books as well. I will have to admit to a major DUH on figuring out the Murder even though its very obvious in well I wont say... dont want to spoil it any...but yes Emily did figure it out before I did....then I had my well Duh moment like helloooo it was obvious lol...I would like to see maybe a little romance between Emily and Chris seeing as how she thinks his smile is sexy...

It was really sad though how Emily had just lost her beloved dog and I felt her pain in talking about her.

I will be pulling her books out of my TBR now since I found a new great author :)

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely cozy mystery
Fast , fun read. Loved this cozy little mystery , you meet Emily the main character , who is lovely. Now I must read all of the other books in this series . Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Willow
3.0 out of 5 stars unpolished
I bought this assuming it was a full-length's not. As far as a first installment of a series, it kept me interested enough to keep reading. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Deeder
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Read
I love reading mystery books and this was another great read. It is captivating.
Published 1 month ago by BansE
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Just okay. Nothing memorable.
Published 2 months ago by mtboots
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrong title
The title gave it away
Published 2 months ago by vickie hunt
4.0 out of 5 stars Short/Sweet
Short but sweet.
Published 3 months ago by Edith Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun cozy mystery
A fun cozy mystery. Emily is a girl who lost her dog and is trying to distract herself. She goes to a party on her street and things go crazy from there!
Published 4 months ago by mamaKim
3.0 out of 5 stars So so short story/novella.
Short story or novella? Take your pick, as definitions for both do not differentiate. Regardless, I expected more from this author whose reputation was that of a writer who... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Doc
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
descent mystery with twists and turns
Published 4 months ago by M. M. JETT
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining.
A short "who do it," with some interesting twists. A quick yet fun read. Looking forward to seeing more from this author.
Published 5 months ago by KB
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More About the Author

Sign up for Helen Smith's Book News and receive a free Kindle book:

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. Her books have reached number one on Amazon's bestseller lists in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. They have been praised in The Times, The Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Time Out and and appeared on "best of the year" lists in For Books' Sake, The Cult Den, The Independent and the Guardian. Her books have been optioned by the BBC.

Helen Smith traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both -- from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant -- before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel. Since then, she has read at literary events and festivals in London and New York and points in between -- including, most recently, a cruise ship en route to California via the Suez Canal. Her work has been read or performed at the National Theatre, The Royal Festival Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, Amnesty International's Headquarters, The Edinburgh Festival and The University of London. She's a Literary Death Match champion and the recipient of an Arts Council of England award.

Helen Smith is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Crime Writers' Association and English PEN.

"Smith is gin-and-tonic funny." Booklist

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