One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley lives up to its title

One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley. Image Courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark.
One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley. Image Courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark. /

September might have been the start of spooky season but October is truly a spooky season as evidenced by One Puzzling Afternoon.

When it comes to spooky stories, there are so many different avenues to go down including detective and mystery stories. In a way, it feels like One Puzzling Afternoon is a mixture of a bunch of different genres because there’s so much to unpack.

I feel like I have so much I want to discuss when it comes to this story and I don’t want to give away spoilers but I’d like to thank Sourcebooks Landmark for sending me an ARC so I was able to read it and review it for all of you.

If you’re looking for something fun and surprisingly spooky to read, then One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley is a must-read for October.

One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley is a puzzle in itself.

Let me start by saying that One Puzzling Afternoon is out of my usual wheelhouse because I read romance. Upon hearing the pitch for this, I knew I wanted to read and review it. The story is about Edie in two timelines. The first is Edie now in which she is in her 80s and thinking back about her friend, Lucy, and how she disappeared without a trace. Then we’re flashing back to her as a teen in 1951.

In the current timeline, Edie is trying to figure out what happened to Lucy and in the past, we’re learning about Edie, her life, and her friendship with Lucy. We’re also finding out about Lucy and what’s she going through. As you might imagine, Lucy is not having a great time as she has a lot of secrets she’s keeping from everyone but Edie including a massive bombshell.

When it seems like things are starting to come together, the author throws you for a loop and you don’t know what to think. Honestly, the more I think about this book, the more questions I have, and in a way, it feels a bit unfinished. Edie is dealing with dementia so it adds a bit of unreability to her character and the story she’s telling.

Ultimately, it’s one of those books where you have to decide what you’re willing to believe and if you’re able to piece everything together. I have some ideas of what I think happened and how things ended up working out for both Edie and Lucy. I think Emily Critchley does a great job of giving us the pieces without putting everything together in the end.

While One Puzzling Afternoon is outside of my normal wheelhouse, I think it’s a great one to read during October. This one might not be spooky in the traditional sense, but it’s definitely unsettling in the best way.

One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley is out now where your favorite books are sold.

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