Audiobook Review: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Read by Barton Welch

Mystery novels tend to begin with a crime—a robbery or maybe a murder—and build the story around it.  But in the audio edition of Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, the bodies pile up in this clever tale of murder, mayhem, and family dysfunction.

The story follows Ernest (“Ern”) Cunningham, author of books about how to write books, as he travels to a ski resort for a family reunion.  Unfortunately for Ern, very few of his family members are happy to see him, due to a fateful night involving his brother, Michael, a few years ago.  And, unfortunately for the entire family, the first dead body turns up shortly after they arrive.  After all, the Cunningham family is rather notorious for their misdeeds.  And as they find themselves stuck at the resort with a corpse and a killer, Ern relates his family’s storied past.

As the book’s title suggests, readers will encounter a whole lot of dead bodies throughout this story of one wild and crazy family reunion on the slopes.  In fact, Ern starts his story by sharing exactly which chapters include at least one dead body.  As an expert in the mystery-writing field, he also discusses the rules for mystery novels, promising to work within them as much as possible as he tells his tale.  And that openness and self-awareness—along with his easygoing, conversational style—makes this mystery stand out from every other whodunit on the shelf. 

The author offers up a ridiculously clever take on the typical mystery, telling story after story within the story as Ern investigates the murder of a mysterious man at the resort, often taking time out to explore his family’s history of criminal behavior, negligence, and just plain bad luck.  There are a whole lot of characters here—siblings and step-siblings and aunts and uncles and soon-to-be-ex-in-laws—which makes it all pretty involved.  For that reason, this isn’t the kind of light, fluffy cozy mystery that you can have playing in the background and still follow without a problem.  As the bodies pile up, so do the clues—and you’ll need to pay close attention to figure it all out in the end (and, even then, you still probably won’t). 

For avid mystery readers and fans of director Rian Johnson’s quirky, clever brand of whodunits, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone is a smart and fun-filled read.  You may not want to spend time near the Cunningham family, for fear of winding up dead, but you’ll definitely enjoy getting to know them.

Clever, playful, and often humorous
– Fun for mystery novel fans

– Lots of characters and clues – so it’s not an entirely brainless listen

You can listen to this audiobook through Audible on Amazon.


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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