Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Book Review: The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "Some bury their secrets close to home. Others scatter them to the wind and hope they land somewhere far away. Judith Kratt inherited all the Kratt family had to offer—the pie safe, the copper clock, the murder no one talks about. She knows it's high time to make an inventory of her household and its valuables, but she finds that cataloging the family belongings—as well as their misfortunes—won't contain her family's secrets, not when her wayward sister suddenly returns, determined to expose skeletons the Kratts had hoped to take to their graves.  Interweaving the present with chilling flashbacks from one fateful evening in 1929, Judith pieces together the influence of her family on their small South Carolina cotton town, learning that the devastating effects of dark family secrets can last a lifetime and beyond."

Judith Kratt has inherited the Kratt family estate along with all the other family heirlooms.  It's a crumbling mansion in South Carolina and it's filled with a lot of Kratt family secrets.  Judith's sister, Rosemarie, left home at thirteen years old and she hasn't heard from her since.  After many years, Judith receives a post card from her saying that she is returning home.  Judith hasn't seen her sister since her brother Quincy's mysterious murder.  The main suspect in Quincy's murder was an employee of the Kratt Mercantile Company, but he also missing, so the murder has always been shrouded in mystery.  Rosemarie thought that Judith committed the crime and this is what made her flee the house so many years ago.  Judith is determined to go through the house and all of its belongings, but as she uncovers each and every heirloom more and more Kratt family secrets float to the surface.  The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis is a debut mystery that fans of Southern fiction will enjoy, especially ones filled with dark family secrets.

The character of Judith is an interesting one and the Kratt family captivated me from the beginning in The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt. I mean how could it not? There's a murder mystery in her family, a crumbling mansion, heirlooms, and an estranged sister, and so much more.  Plus, there's the fact that Judith has a serious Miss Havisham vibe going on as she relies completely on her maid for just about everything.

In The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt, the mystery of Quincy's murder and why the killer did what he did kept me interested and I was surprised by the outcome.  Bobotis tells the story through flashbacks and that definitely kept me engaged as I loved the setting of 1920s in South Carolina.

Despite the slow start to The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt, I think it's a solid debut novel. Be forewarned, its themes are a bit darker as it does highlight some of the racial tension present in South Carolina in the 20s, screwed up sibling relationships, and some other darker themes as well.  But this is just a word of warning, especially if you like your beach reads to be a little less serious and a whole lot more fluffy.


  1. This screams, "southern gothic" and I'm down. :)

    1. Right? I think you'd like it. Thanks for visiting, Joy!


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