Friday, October 28, 2022

Book Review: Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 30, 2022
Publisher: Flatiron
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author: Rock Paper Scissors
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows… Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed. With a wicked wink to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Daisy Darker’s unforgettable twists will leave readers reeling."





Daisy Darker was born with a heart condition that shortens her life expectancy tremendously. With this in mind, her parents keep her at home, sheltered, and "protected." Daisy has always connected with her Nana, who lives at Seaglass, a remote coastal home that can only be accessed when it's low tide.  Nana, otherwise known as Beatrice Darker, is a children's book author who made a name for herself with a book based on Daisy. Now at 80 years old, Beatrice invites the entire family to Seaglass for the weekend to celebrate her birthday, which happens to be on Halloween. Beatrice's son, Frank, is there, his ex-wife, Nancy, and and their three daughters: Rose, Lily, and Daisy, and Lily's daughter, Trixie.  Also, Conor Kennedy, their family friend, shows up to celebrate as well. Oddly enough, Beatrice reads her will at the party, which sends everyone for a tailspin. Then things start to go badly....very badly! There's a murder! Alice Feeney's Daisy Darker is a entertaining locked-room murder mystery that kept me flipping the pages.

I really liked Daisy from the start of Daisy Darker and felt badly for her as she hasn't had the easiest life. Her parents have sheltered her due to her health condition and her sisters treated her horribly. She only has good memories of her time at Seaglass with her Nana. I really liked their relationship, even if it was a bit odd at times, and was rooting for Daisy who seemed to be the only sane person in a house full of crazies.  Her Nana, while seemed to have Daisy's best interest at heart, is extremely eccentric and strange. I mean how many clocks did she have in her house? No landline or cell phone? Well, during her birthday party, things start to go badly after she reads her will. Did I mention there was a murder?!? 

What a cast of characters in Daisy Darker! Beatrice's son, Frank, is a horrible father, always absent and only into his career as a classical musician. Then there's Nancy, who is also very odd, probably clinically depressed, and only truly interested in her garden at Seaglass. The eldest sister, Rose, is the brainy one who is now a vet and then there's Lily, who is vain, a narcissist, and a horrible mother to her daughter Trixie. I felt badly for Trixie and having to deal with the verbal lashings from her vapid mother. Conor, their childhood friend, definitely intrigued me and his backstory was also very complex as he did not have the best childhood. Beatrice came to his rescue more than once. So, with all these people there to celebrate Nana's 80th birthday, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot, especially when the tide comes in that separates the house from civilization, there's a group of highly dysfunctional people, and there's a killer amongst them.

Someone is found dead at Seaglass and that's when this locked room mystery really takes off. I enjoyed Feeney's nod to Agatha Christie and I was definitely glued to the pages. More bodies pile up in Daisy Darker and I was wondering who is the suspect! With there being no cell service, no access to the mainland, things start to get really stressful for the group, which leads to my only complaint. I felt there was the lack of depth with the characters. All of this horrible stuff is happening, but it felt very surface level. Did the characters really process this? They fell a little flat and one dimensional to me in that sense and in turn, it made the plot a little unbelievable at times.  

Other than that, I thought Daisy Darker was an entertaining thriller (with a big plot twist!) that reminded me so much of an Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. While I did like Feeney's Rock Paper Scissors a bit more, I still think this is a solid thriller that Feeney's fans will enjoy.

So, are you a fan of Alice Feeney? Have you read Daisy Darker? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  


  1. I really enjoyed this one! It was definitely different!

    1. I agree! Loved the Agatha Christie vibe. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. I love a locked-room mystery! Even with the limited suspect pool, I never seem to figure it out!

    1. I know, right? I think you'd like this one! Thanks for visiting, Angela.


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