The May Queen Murders


The May Queen Murders

  • Author: Sarah Jude
  • Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Genre vibe: Cult horror, Southern gothic
  • At a glance: First animals, and then girls. Terrifying murders are once again cropping up all over Rowan’s Glen, and sweet Ivy might be next.


Some books just kind of…happen. You see a lovely cover at first and say to yourself, “I’ll read that soon,” and then all of a sudden you find yourself in an indie bookstore the day your writer’s conference ends and well…

So I pick up THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS, a book that houses a delightfully textured cover, the perfect shade of pink, and the promise of something best read with the lights out.

I got all of those things in my two-day reading-binge in attempt to keep up with my reading schedule. This book is the perfect quick read. Just under 300 pages, fast-paced and interesting, decent characters and only slightly awkward intimate relations. Murder, romance, atmosphere et cetera. I enjoyed the ride quite a bit.

The problem happened when the climax started to climb. Reveal after reveal happened within pages and sometimes paragraphs, huge-seeming subplots that got little-to-no pagetime. Which, for the sake of shock and ohmygodohmygodohmygod WHO IS THE MURDEROUS PSYCHO, worked pretty well. But outside of that, it just wasn’t…enough.

MAY QUEEN MURDERS is a slightly-less-than-300 page book with a story that could easily have filled just-under-500, with just a little bit of extra air added to each of the little plot points along the way. So while I enjoyed my quick ride through murder and mayhem, and it filled a need in my reading life that’s been lacking for quite some time, the part of me that devours scary things kept wishing there was more more more.

But overall:

  • Rating: 3.5/5 stars
  • Recommended to: People looking for a brutal, quick scare, and also people that like freaking gorgeous covers.
  • Lasting impression: Butterfly kisses, creek water lapping over your ankles. Blood spilling through the cracks in the hardwood.




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