Reading Reviews for Death on the First
  
38 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart Chapter Four

23rd May 2015:
Hi Sian!

I'm here for The Gryffindor Review Battle! Go Team Red!

I have to admit that I'm a bit conflicted by the ending, although not necessarily in a bad way. I kind of guessed that it would be between the three who were left standing at the end, but of all of them I suspected Pansy the least because she was the most obvious choice from the beginning. She potentially had another murder under her belt when she killed her husband. She hates Gryffindors. She has enough money to warrant being blackmailed. All the pieces line up. I just kept thinking that those were purposeful clues to lead us in her direction and set us up for a big twist in the end.

I'm actually kind of glad it was her though because I don't know if I could've handled Dean having committed the murder. I just adore Dean so much as a character that I don't really want to think of him doing awful things.

So now that this has come to an end, I want to asses the story overall as a whole. I think it worked really well. Keeping three of the potential suspects from giving their point of view really leaves one to guess at who the murderer could be and it was quite enjoyable coming up with all sorts of different theories. It was also great getting clues little by little instead of all at once. The way you reveal information in this is very well done.

Even though Parvati seemed a bit sloppy as an Auror, I'm happy that in the end that her training kicked in. Padma would be the most obvious person for her to tell, so she went against that instinct and told someone who would never be suspected. Harry. I really liked that. It was very clever.

All in all, I really enjoyed this piece. Like I told you in the beginning I like a good mystery and this was indeed a good mystery! Thanks for an enjoyable read!

~Kaitlin

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Review #2, by TreacleTart Chapter Three

23rd May 2015:
Hi Sian!

I'm here for the Gryffindor Review Battle! Go Team Red!

Wow! This is a tough mystery to crack! At this point I'm stuck between Daphne and Dean since we haven't really seen much of either of them. I suppose it could also be Pansy as well. It would be strange of her to talk in third person so much, but not impossible.

Poor Seamus and Theo. They just seem to want to ensure that they are suspects by acting as badly as they possibly can. Drunken fights certainly don't make either of them look any better.

A whole new level of intrigue has been added to this by this mysterious threat from Parvati. I wonder who she's threatening and why. This immediately made me think of Pansy since she's suspected of killing her husband, but again I feel like that would be almost too obvious and you seem to be steering clear of the obvious. My next thought is that maybe it was Dean and that Parvati caught on to whatever he was doing wrong, but that seems out of place as well since he sat far away from Padma at the dinner table. I think that would be oddly suspicious since he's her husband. So I guess that leaves Daphne, but I have no idea what she could've done to be blackmailed. I suppose it would have to be something pretty awful for this to happen.

Oh and can I just say I love the description in the beginning about Padma flopping over causing little splatters of Bernaise sauce to splatter all over the place and how a few strands of her hair are floating in a water glass. It illustrated the scene so clearly without it being too graphic or gory.

As per usual, this was another good chapter. Your writing never fails to amaze me because it's so diverse and always so good. I hope to have skill like you some day.

~Kaitlin

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Review #3, by TreacleTart Chapter Two

23rd May 2015:
Hi Sian!

I'm here for The Gryffindor Review Battle! Go Team Red!

So you've clearly blown away my original suspicions from the first chapter by killing off Padma as well. Can't be her if she's dead.

One of the things that I didn't really think about in the beginning, but probably should have is why this person is killing Padma and Parvati. Naturally one would suspect Pansy Parkinson since she seems to hate Gryffindors and has rumored history of previous murder, but that almost seems to obvious. I would normally think that it might've been Lavender, except the murderer observes her having a conversation with Padma. It's all so confusing, but in a good way. Really the only two people we haven't seen the murderer interact with are Dean and Pansy, so I have to think it must be one of them, although I struggle to find a strong motive for either.

I love that the other guests keep setting themselves up as suspects. I mean Theo should know better than to be so impatient. A murder happened just a little while ago and he seems more concerned about getting to work. And then Seamus getting drunk like that, I imagine it's due to grief, but it certainly doesn't look good for him.

I think you've got another solid chapter here. The only small bit of constructive criticism is that I'd perhaps enjoy just a touch more sensory detail in this. I know it's hard to give a lot of detail without giving too much away, but it can be a little bit stark at moments. All in all, I do find that the first two chapters are doing exactly what they are supposed to. They've built the suspense and intrigue quite nicely. Good work!

~Kaitlin

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Review #4, by TreacleTart Chapter One

23rd May 2015:
Hi Sian!

I'm here for the Gryffindor Review Battle! Go Team Red!

Mystery and horror are my two favorite genres, so I knew straight away that I had to read this. This honestly reminded me a bit of the game Clue (not sure if you have it in the UK?), but basically it's a game where one person is the murder and you have to guess who it is, what room they killed the person, and with what weapon. The way this is written, it seems to be set up fairly similarly.

I like the idea of not knowing who is narrating the story. It adds a whole different level of mystery to it. Running through the whole list of characters, I know who I would tend to be more suspicious of, but the narrator almost immediately clears all of those people, so I'm stuck once again with no solid theory on it.

I'm almost wondering if it's Padma whose done it. The only reason my mind goes there is because this person talking identifies the voice of Parvati in the interview. Since Parvati and Padma would be easy to confuse, I feel like it would be logical for it to be Padma. She obviously wouldn't confuse herself with her sister.

The Aurors involved in the investigation seem to be a bit daft. They didn't really even ask the murderer any tough questions. It's pretty clear that they don't see him or her as a suspect. It really is too bad that Harry isn't there to do a bit more thorough investigation.

All in all, I think this piece really does what it's supposed to. There is a clear sense of mystery and I am really left struggling to figure out who committed the crime. The rate at which you've revealed information is slow, but not so slow as to bore the readers. It's just the right pace to keep someone interested. I've really enjoyed this! Thanks for a good read as always!

~Kaitlin

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Review #5, by xinkheartedx Chapter Four

15th May 2015:
Wow I did not see that coming!

At first I thought it was Seamus but he was mentioned quite often by the narrator so I assumed that it couldn't be him. Then I was firmly convinced that it was Dean for the rest of the story because he was never mentioned and then when Harry was talking he said that Dean had the motive.

But now I totally see that it was Pansy, the clues were there all along.

She is one of the only people who could talk with Theo without arousing suspicion, it was her hotel, not to mention the rumours about her having committed murder before!

I loved it, the murders were so creative, if it was me I probably would have just Avada Kedavra-d them an been done with it... I'm not the most creative writer ever...

Anyway, I wish I'd read this sooner, it's a really good read! You were really good with keeping the narrator anonymous aswell, it was a good idea to keep a few characters unmentioned (is that even a word?) so the murderer wasn't obvious... I didn't suspect Pansy once!

I totally think you should write something else like this, it was a very interesting plot.

- Alisha

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Review #6, by tangledconstellations Chapter Four

15th April 2015:
So it was Pansy!

Crickey, I was barking up the wrong tree thinking it was a guy haha. Ahh, I didn't even suspect her - this was so good! I love that all the clues building up to this weren't 100% solid - it really felt like you were steering me towards Dean, so kudos to you for tricking me, haha!

Ahh, I really enjoyed reading this - you should definitely write another one, this was really fun. It's the perfect length as well - not too long, but just enough to really pack a punch! Thanks for sharing this! :D

Laura xxx

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Review #7, by tangledconstellations Chapter Three

15th April 2015:
Ahh! It's getting tense! It's getting tense!

I am so super excited to find out who it was and also why. The mention of the letter at the very end here just makes me wonder even more, and I just want to know now! Eep! I love that there's more context now, just as things are hotting up and the end is in sight. It's great that you've staggered the info about the characters and things as the chapters have gone by, because than in itself feels like a mystery being unraveled too.

I still don't have a clue about the narrators identity though - maybe I'm just the worst detective in the world, haha. I love the way the narrator is being so totally blase about everything as well - it makes me wonder whether they really are in as safe a position as they think they are... hmm! It's really great to see their observations as this has unraveled, and their internal reactions to some of the other characters!

Well, here goes...on to the final chapter! :D

Laura xxx

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Review #8, by tangledconstellations Chapter Two

15th April 2015:
Hey again!

Oh maan, this whole chapter I was trying to put the clues together to work out their identity and I still don't know! So, they don't dine with people much, and I assume (from the pool game) they're a guy, and they're a similar age to others. But how is it they can get away with killing of Padma so easily?! Ahh, I want to know!

I really liked this chapter - it felt as though you fleshed out the setting a lot more and I could really visualise it. I like the way the rooms have little plaques outside - it makes me think of a Cluedo board! The confined location is really cool too, because it means that the characters are gonna start to get under each others skin and things are going to get really tense!

Eek! Reading on!

Laura xxx

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Review #9, by tangledconstellations Chapter One

15th April 2015:
Hey Sian!

I realised I hadn't really read many of your stories so thought I'd swing by! I was straight away excited about reading a mystery, and your story summary grabbed my attention! :)

This was such a cool first chapter - I love that it's from the perspective of the murderer because it sets up so much intrigue. It puts the reader in a weird position because we're half on the narrators side because we're seeing the story unravel through their eyes, but at the same time it's like, they're a murderer! Gah! At this point I have absolutely no idea who it may be - though I assume they blend in with the other students so I'd put them at a similar age to the rest of them. I also assume they don't stick out much, so they're not an obviously shady character or anything. Hmm... I guess I just have to wait and find out!

This is really fun so far and I can't wait to read on :)

Laura xxx

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Review #10, by marauderfan Chapter Four

2nd January 2015:
I was close! She was my prime suspect in chapter 2, but then you fooled me with chapter 3 :P Well done on this whole story, it was so impressively thought out!

I do wonder how she knew so much about Muggle movies and crime novels - that was the only thing that threw me off the idea of her being the murderer. But given that we don't actually know anything about her parents in canon, it's entirely possible she has a Muggle relative or something. Or maybe she just likes crime novels and a lot of them happen to be written by Muggles. :p

I LOVED the way you revealed it all in the end and the way Harry has this measured accusation, giving all the evidence and really drawing it out to explain everything (and make the murderer sit there nervously for even longer :p ) it had me sitting on the edge of my seat! ahh this was such a great story and you should definitely write more mysteries! Awesome work! :)

Author's Response: Hello again!

Yes, you were close :P But I'm glad that I managed to fool you anyway since I wanted it to be ambiguous for as long as possible and it would have been no fun if everyone had been able to guess right from the first chapter!

Well, in my head canon (which is mostly connected to the one-shot I wrote about her), she was brought up partly by Muggles - in fact, the only person who managed to guess this correctly was basing it on that story :P

I was so nervous to write the reveal scene because I've never done anything like that before, but I'm glad that you liked it! Drawing it out was fun even if it was a bit mean :P

Thank you so much for all the lovely reviews you've left me!


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Review #11, by marauderfan Chapter Three

2nd January 2015:
Hi Sian! I realised I had never finished reading this or found out the identity of the murderer so I'm back to read the last two chapters! :P

Hmm. I think after this chapter I'm going to eliminate Dean from my suspect list because its well known that he was good friends with Seamus, and I see no indication that the narrator is particularly friendly with Seamus. Except... that the narrator knows that Seamus is horrible at keeping secrets. Okay, maybe he's back in the suspect list :p So it's either him, Pansy or Daphne. Last chapter I was leaning more towards Pansy, but now I'm thinking Daphne because she's more of an unknown - not particularly allied with Death Eaters and more likely to be overlooked? Ugh I don't know. I keep flip flopping :p What is the big secret Parvati knew about?!

This story is so full of clues and also red herrings and it's driving me nuts! I think it's so impressive how you've managed to keep the mystery going this far in this fantastic story and I'm so looking forward to reading the last chapter and finding out who it is!

Author's Response: Hey Kristin! Ah, it was so lovely to see these unexpected reviews on this story, and it means a lot that you wanted to come back and finish reading it!

Hehe, I can't say much about your reasoning and decisions to suspect certain people (although I know that you have read and reviewed the last chapter now and so know who did it), but I really like the way that you're thinking and it's so interesting to see how people try and work out the murderer's identity! The big secret that Parvati knew is... a secret ;)

I'm really pleased that you thought that I was able to keep the mystery going this far in the story so that you're still guessing - that's what I was hoping for! Thank you for this lovely review!


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Review #12, by marauderfan Chapter Two

22nd November 2014:
Review swap! So excited to read another chapter of this :D

Was definitely not expecting Padma to be murdered as well in this chapter! :O But there's so much new information... some of which I'm sure is red herrings because it doesn't all add up as well as I want it to, haha.

So... Dean, Daphne, and Pansy are the only ones who haven't been mentioned yet as interacting with the narrator. I'm inclined to think Pansy, as she seems more likely to walk around having a chat with Theo, and the bit about not wanting to use 'a woman's weapon' makes me think it probably is a woman. And since she was close to Draco, she might have done stuff with Disillusionment Charms during 6th year to help Draco into the Room of Requirement or something. But... Pansy is probably a Pureblood, and I got the impression that the murderer was not pureblood because they knew a bit about Muggle technology in the previous chapter. Hmmm.

But was Padma poisoned anyway, even after the murderer deciding against poison? What happened to her?! What is the motive of the murderer to kill both of the Patil twins? Sooo much mystery. And I just love how meticulously this entire story is planned out - there is information revealed in each chapter so far, enough to potentially make guesses, but not enough to know anything for sure yet.

The murderer is such an astute person, noting how Theo reacts and making note of it, and keeping so calm and collected while characters like Seamus break down and Theo gets angry he's being kept so long. That is really working well in the murderer's favour. But I wonder if the murderer is almost too calm and that will give them away in the end?

I can't wait to find out! Awesome chapter & thanks for the swap! :D

Author's Response: Hey, Kristin! I'm excited that you're excited!

Red herrings? Moi? I certainly wouldn't do something like that... ;)

Hmm, you think it's Pansy? Well I couldn't possibly say anything about that speculation, of course. Other than that you may be right. Then again, you may not be.

I will say that you're picking up on some of the clues that I left in this chapter and so you're not doing too badly!

Ah, but was Padma poisoned? (Haha, this is so fun, playing with your mind :P) There's someone with a motive to kill them both, it seems! I'm glad you think I managed to plan it out well, considering most of that was done in my head :P

Yes, the murderer is definitely attentive to what they need to be doing and how they should be reacting. As for whether that will go against them in the end - well, we'll see!

Thanks for such an awesome review! ♥


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Review #13, by crestwood Chapter Two

20th November 2014:
Hi Sian! I've been meaning to get back to reviewing this for so long now.

I can't say I've read many mysteries here on this site, but I'm quite sure they don't usually come this well written.. This is like an Agatha Christie novel in the sense that I truly have no clue what is going on here. The confusion is actually awesome though, I just love a mystery that can actually leave me guessing.

You write this tense atmosphere so perfectly and your narrator is delightfully stoic. I just really enjoy reading from the point of view of someone with such a calm disposition. It's really cool how they continuously manipulate the emotions of everyone else and anticipate what they're going to do and say. They had this all planned out so thoroughly, which really means that you had this all planned out thoroughly.

Their mental notes of how to act when accused are a very good idea on their part. I won't even attempt to narrow it down by way of counting out people mentioned because I'm pretty sure they've referred to themselves already. If I was really careful, I may be able to find places where they referred to actually interacting with people and count off those, but there's also the option of sitting back and enjoying the ride you're set to take me on.

Every time I wonder something about this story, it's like the speaker answers it directly after the thought occurs to me. I was just starting to wonder where they got the wand to cast a Disillusionment Charm and then, they thought of keeping a spare so that they still have the murder weapon. Because of course Auror's can preform Priori Incantatem on the wands and it'd be unwise to give them the one that did it. Genius!

Seamus being drunk definitely looks suspicious, but I know he isn't the real culprit because I'm looking for someone totally calm and collected. He must be quite drunk to be threatening to kill someone during a murder investigation haha!

Wow, Padma bit her cheek and then dropped dead...So something got into the cut and killed her, but I have no idea what. I don't know what I was expecting, but a death during the second chapter was not it. This is just excellent. Truly a cleverly pieced together plot and an amazing, unique idea. I love it. Thank you for the swap!

Author's Response: Hi, Joey!

Oh my goodness, that's such a compliment and I don't even know what to say to it. I love Agatha Christie and the fact that you enjoyed the writing in this is amazing!

My planning for this, apart from a few notes about deciding who the murderer and victims were, was actually all in my head as I wrote the thing over three days :P But I'm glad that it seems like I planned it out thoroughly, and that's reflected in the writing! The murderer certainly did plan this properly and I'm glad that you like their voice too.

Haha, I'm not mentioning anything about who the murderer may be or whether that would be a reliable way to count someone out!

I'll let you into a little secret - those parts when the narrator directly answers your questions occur because I ask myself those sorts of questions all the time when reading and I couldn't not include them, knowing that in a story like this readers would be picking up on any little details. I'm glad you liked the idea for the murderer to keep a spare wand!

Your assessment of the murderer's mentality is quite interesting :P Ah, poor Seamus... although his fiancee has just been murdered, so maybe he can be forgiven for his drunk behaviour?

You may or may not be right about how she died, you'll find out as you read on :P But thank you so much for this amazing review, I'm so glad you're enjoying the story!


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Review #14, by marauderfan Chapter One

19th November 2014:
This is the most unique beginning to a mystery story I've ever seen. From the fourth paragraph (actually, before I even started reading the story, if I count the summary) I know who did it. It was the narrator. But who IS the narrator?! Ah, it's brilliant!

The narrator is just so casual about the whole thing, no guilt at all, just commenting about it like one would about the weather, which is what makes it so strange to read.

The interview was really interesting too. Clearly this person has read a lot of crime novels, or at least enough to know how these investigations normally go in novels and who gets arrested and who doesn't. And they have very meticulously planned out things to say and how to act. Clearly the murderer is intelligent. And they are (most likely) not the son of a Death Eater. And they seem to know about Muggle technology. Not sure if these are all clues or just red herrings, but this is all the information I have so far and I'm going to keep this all in mind as I read future chapters haha.

It's not Theo, or Michael. I assume it's one of the characters listed in the beginning, and right now I don't have much of a guess. (At first my (incorrect) guess was Hermione, before I figured out it had to be one of those people listed haha.)

So anyway. I think this is such a great idea for a story, and I absolutely love how the mystery is in the identity of the narrator. I'm curious what motives the narrator had for murdering Parvati.

I'm really interested in the story so far and am eager to read on! Thanks for swapping with me! :D

Author's Response: Hi Kristin!

Ah, I'm so glad you liked it and thought this was unique! I really liked the idea of writing a murder mystery from the perspective of the murderer when I had it, but actually executing it was a whole different matter and I'm pleased you liked it!

The narrator is quite detached at this point... I'm not sure if that's a clue or not :P

I'm glad you found the interview interesting! You certainly picked up on some of the details that I slipped into that section although I'm not going to tell you if they're clues or not.

It's definitely one of the characters listed at the beginning, I can tell you that much! Thank you so much for the swap, it was great to read your thoughts on this chapter!


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Review #15, by Penelope Inkwell Chapter Four

1st October 2014:
Oh, well, bravo! You did trick me!

Dean was my first suspect, because (1) he comforted Seamus in what appeared to be a friendly manner, (2) he was Seamus' best friend (3) Therefore, he would have known both the Patil's well and might have had a motive, (4) He didn't know how to eat from a fancy dinner set, (5) He didn't want to be judged by his father, who Dean always believed had left him and his mother (but was really killed by Death Eaters), and (6) he was playing snooker with "the guys", although I did think that clue might be a trick, because it never actually says the murderer is one.

Daphne was my second suspect. I couldn't see any clear motive, but it was perfectly possible she would be comforting. It was possible she wouldn't want to be judged by her father, though we know little about him. It made sense that she'd talk to Theo so much, since they were both Slytherins. And she was the second least-mentioned character.

Pansy--wow, you got me. She was my third guess. I had noticed that, whenever the murderer referred to her, it was never in such a way that made it a sure thing that they were separate people. The biggest reasons I discounted her were (1) If there were already rumors that she was a murderess, I'd have thought she'd be higher up on the suspect list, and (2) As a wealthy Pureblood and the owner of the house, I thought she'd know how to use the dinner utensils. But of course, the rest of the clues all match up to her, and she'd know the place best. And, of course, that motive!

But that was very neatly done. I'm so impressed, Sian! Her motive makes perfect sense, too, but by then I was so convinced it was Dean (as you cleverly arranged by the structure of the accusations) that I totally overlooked the brief clue towards the end, where they mention the one murder that had been previously committed, that Parvati knew about. And really, of course we should have known whose murder that was--you'd been telling us all along!

As it turns out, my charts were no match for your brilliance. Bravo to you! And congratulations. You totally deserve that Dobby nomination for Best Plot Twist!

Really, incredible job. It was so well written and constructed. I am amazed. Amazed!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny! Wah, I've taken far too long to reply to these amazing reviews, but I really do appreciate them!

Yay, I'm so glad I tricked you! I was hoping for some sort of plot twist at the end of this, but for it to be nominated and become a finalist in the Dobbys for that was just incredible!

Haha, I have to say that your reasoning for both Dean and Daphne makes sense - at least, that's what I wanted you to think in this, especially with the different little hints that you picked up on. It was really difficult to write this without giving away the murderer's identity from the start, so while dropping clues I also didn't want to give too much away! Although there were a few rumours about Pansy's past, it was more just talk - there'd been an investigation and nothing had been proven, and she'd inherited the house without spending much time there. Plus, perhaps she isn't the most reliable of narrators ;)

I'm really pleased that you thought it made sense and was plausible for her to be the murderer, but especially that you didn't think it was by the end. Thank you so much for all these wonderful reviews, and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this story!


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Review #16, by Penelope Inkwell Chapter Three

30th September 2014:
Oh my goodness, this is so good!

So, I think that in my eagerness to solve the mystery, I have failed to adequately stress how amazing your writing is.

The writing of this is FABULOUS! It reads like a novel. Better than many books I've read!

Okay, so for now, I've been eagerly trying to solve the mystery. Like, I'm making charts and taking notes and everything.

They may be color coded. Obsessed, you say? Pah! Nonsense. Devoted to the pursuit of truth!

I have 2 main suspects, both of whose names begin with D. I haven't totally ruled out the proprietor of the establishment. And then there's always the possibility that it's something totally crazy, like that someone's actually there and on Polyjuice Potion and isn't really any of the suspects, GoF-style. After all, we know the killer is good at Disillusionment charms, which could mean they are good at disguises, over all. Or one of the bodies could actually not be their body at all, and could be magically disguised. But that's getting very convoluted. And there's one more chapter. Hopefully a few more clues. But will I figure it out before the grand reveal? Dun duhn DUHN!

Well, I'm gonna try, at least.

Thanks for the fun! (Which maybe sounds creepy, but come on. Solving fake murders is totally fun!)

--Penny

Author's Response: Wah, Penny, you're complimenting me so much in these reviews that I honestly don't know what to say, I'm just blushing! Better than books you've read... wow. Thank you so, so much! ♥

Oh my goodness, I love that you're making lists and trying to work out who the killer is! I think you're definitely paying attention to the clues that I've been leaving, but I couldn't possibly comment on your suspects ;)

Thank you again!


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Review #17, by Penelope Inkwell Chapter Two

30th September 2014:
Mrs. Peacock the Study with the Candlestick!

No? But come on, I'm close, right?

"I know what my reaction would be, if I was innocent and someone asked me that, and sure enough, he doesnít disappoint. I take mental notes in case the time comes for me."
--So calculating! It's very chilling.

And how did they kill Padma?!

Sian, this is just written so well. I am loving it!

Now, I must away! More clues (hopefully) await me in the next chapter. I have suspicions, but I'm not sure. Who can it be?!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hahaha Mrs Peacock in the study with the candlestick indeed!

The killer is pretty calculating in this story, and this chapter especially. There's a certain amount of planning that's gone into this... including how they killed Padma, which you now know but I don't want to give away in this response ;)

Ah, thank you, that means a lot! I'm glad you're enjoying it so much, and thanks again for the review!


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Review #18, by Penelope Inkwell Chapter One

30th September 2014:
OOoh!

Hey Sian! I'm here checking out the entries for the Best Plot Twist challenge.

I love the tone here. SOooo creepy, but in this casual way that makes it...well, creepier.

It feels very And Then There Were None.

I'm exceedingly intrigued. And I love a challenge! Will I be able to guess who it is? Will I be shocked (probably). Well, I'm eager to find out. Off to find a magnifying glass and one of those funny Sherlock Holmes hats, then on to Chapter 2!

Wish me luck!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny!

Ah, it's so sweet of you to check out all the entries AND leave these wonderful reviews for me!

Hehe, I had so much fun writing this story. It was definitely a challenge to write but it was great to write from the perspective of a murderer who's quite detached and casual about the killing!

That's such a compliment, you have no idea! I haven't read that book but love Agatha Christie so that is amazing to hear!

It's great that you want to take on the challenge of working out the murderer's identity! Thank you for the lovely review!


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Review #19, by crestwood Chapter One

16th September 2014:
Hey Sian! I've seen you all over the forums, but I don't think we've ever formally met. If not, hello, I'm Joey!

You have gotten so many votes for Best Reviewer and I was really excited when you offered to swap with me! If only because I think great reviewers deserve some great reviews of their own.

How could I not pick this story? This summary may be the most alluring that I've ever seen. It really told me all I needed to know. This is definitely my kind of story. I just can't pass up a bit of dramatic irony. A mystery in which I know the answer from the very beginning is a mystery that I can have a lot of fun with.

And now that I've begun reading this, it seems that the actual mystery is going to be the identity of the murderer, even though we're seeing things from his point of view. That adds yet another layer to this. How interesting!

I thought the beginning in which the murderer refers to the characters as "the cast" was so great. This reminded me a lot of the Twilight Zone if the Twilight Zone was told in first person. It had that same chilling kind of air and I can definitely see this leading up to a shocking plot twist that no one could see coming.

I did a bit of re-reading to see if I could narrow it down by who he thinks of objectively and who he refers to as a separate entity, but it isn't possible to get a sure suspect just yet. I wonder if you'll let the reader be able to deduce it before the end. And even if you do, whether you wont hit us with another surprise right as we think we've got it figured out.

Honestly, I wish I had thought of this. I enjoy thinking up surprising and unique plots, but I think you may have subverted the expectations of the subverter. You've really got my brain working!

Whoever the narrator is, they've certainly mastered the art of acting. They not only deflect suspicion from themselves, but heap it onto someone else. And they were careful not to seem too eager to do so and seem as though they just want to deflect blame. Just absolutely genius. You've gotten inside of this person's head so well.

I can't wait to see this second stage that is supposed to begin soon. I can't even describe my excitement to see what you've thought up for the rest. Phenomenal start! I'll be back as soon as I possibly can be. Thank you so much for the swap and congratulations on all of your Dobby nominations, they're well deserved!

Author's Response: Hi Joey, it's nice to meet you!

Ah, it's sweet of you to say that you were excited to swap with me - I hope my review didn't disappoint :P

This story is honestly one of the favourites that I've ever written, so I'm glad you thought the summary was intriguing and wanted to read it! This was one of those pieces that stemmed from a random What If? thought, and then a couple of days' writing, and this is the final product. Not that it was easy to write, since I was using first person while still trying to conceal the identity of the narrator/killer...

I've not seen/read (? - only heard of) the Twilight Zone, but it's great that you found the beginning of the narration chilling!

I'm really interested to see if you managed to guess the killer's identity correctly before the end! It was so much fun to write this and leave all the hints and clues throughout, while still trying to keep back enough information not to give it away completely.

Well, I can't really ask for any bigger compliment than someone wishing they'd thought of this plot themselves, can I? Thank you!

The narrator's fairly calm and composed at this stage, and certainly seems to know what they have to do to deflect suspicion from themselves. Thank you for the congratulations and the fantastic review!


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Review #20, by TidalDragon Chapter Four

16th September 2014:
Well-played Sian...well-played. I never considered the murderer might reference themselves by name after the introductions so that's how you tricked my method! Oh well. I'll just have to content myself with the fact that the people I was looking at were the last two ruled out. Small victories...

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and I think you did an excellent job with it. It was an immense challenge, telling it from the murderer's POV and still tricking people about their identity. I've said before the characterizations were great, and having Harry and the Aurors walk through this measured reveal was an enjoyable finish to a well done story.

You should definitely write another mystery!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin!

Haha, well I wasn't going to give anything away in my review responses (which was REALLY hard, by the way), but I'm pretty pleased that I managed to trick your method and keep you guessing at who the murderer was. But your method did work, and was kind of what I was hoping for!

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this and think I wrote it well! It definitely was a challenge to write a murder mystery from the killer's POV but still try to conceal the identity, but I'm so happy that you think it worked. Thank you for all your reviews and for keeping up with this story!


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Review #21, by Chazzie Chapter Four

13th September 2014:
Ah, I was so close! Sigh. What an amazing story. You really did a brilliant job of building up all the suspense and tension, particularly amongst the guests. This is exactly what a murder mystery story should do, keep you guessing right till the end. And you went one step further than that, by writing in the point of view of the murderer. You have really done a fantastic job with this. I really can't tell you how brilliant that was to read. Thank you so much for posting it!
Lottie

Author's Response: Yes, you were close!

I'm so glad you enjoyed this story! It really was an experiment for me in my writing so it's fantastic that you think it worked, and that I managed to keep you guessing throughout the story, and built up the suspense and tension here.

Thank you so, so much for keeping up with this story and leaving reviews for every chapter too - they've meant a lot, and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it!


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Review #22, by MargaretLane Chapter Four

13th September 2014:
Hmm, this murderer is quick to think on his or her feet. Even half-asleep and at a moment's notice it occurs to him or her that if they weren't the murderer, a knock on the door in the middle of the night would be rather worrying under the current circumstances.

*laughs at Theo and Seamus both blaming each other*

In a way Parvati sort of brought the whole thing on herself. Not that it justifies what the murderer did, but she was wrong to cover up their former crime for money. This fits with the rumours about Pansy, but I'm still holding out for the possibility of Daphne.

Great ending. The last thing I would have expected was for Harry to have known from the start about what Parvati thought.

I won't mention the killer here actually, in case anybody looks at the reviews before reading the chapter, but I will say the solution makes sense.

Author's Response: This murderer definitely is quick to think on their feet - they've put a lot of planning into what they're doing here and so are prepared for most situations.

Haha, I love the little rivalry between Seamus and Theo!

I know what you mean, and I'm with you on that. Of course it doesn't justify what happened, and particularly not for Padma, but she did make a pretty fatal mistake!

I'm really glad that you liked the ending, and that the solution made sense. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed this story, and thank you so much for all your reviews!


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Review #23, by Willow Chapter Three

7th September 2014:
You're an amazing writer, can't wait to read the next chapter. If I was to guess if say the murderer was Pansy because she hated her father and was such an amazingly deep character in your other story that had Pansy in it. And this person doesn't like their father either.

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so, so much! I've been away from the archives for a few days and getting this review when I got back was awesome. It means so much to me that you took the time to review and have read others of my stories too!

Of course, I can't say anything about your guesses on the murderer's identity... The last chapter of the story is in the queue and will hopefully be up in a few days - I hope you enjoy it!


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Review #24, by Chazzie Chapter Three

7th September 2014:
That was brilliant. I am most certainly still enjoying it. It is impossible not to enjoy, but I really really want to find out who the murderer is.

Character list again.
~Parvati - you've said I can discount her as she is dead
~Padma - ditto
~Seamus - nope
~Dean - I... Don't think it's him.
~Lavender - no
~Michael - nein
~Pansy - Maybe?
~Daphne - SUSPECTED
~Theo - non

Okay. Thoughts. I am going to say that I don't think it's Dean. I said previously that I thought the murderer was female, and I'm pretty certain now. They didn't step between Seamus and Theo, and their actions seem more feminine than they would if they were male. So I'll call the murderer a she until you tell me otherwise. I'm still a little suspicious of Pansy because that would give a motive behind the killing of Parvati, if she knew what she'd done to her husband. But what if - plot twist - it was Daphne that killed Pansy's husband. That could be the deep dark secret. The murderer said something about poison being unoriginal, which might hint that if they did kill Pansy's husband then they didn't use poison. Or they didn't want to use the same thing twice, incase that helped the aurors figure everything out. Or I'm reading far too much into this.

Just maybe.

Asking Daphne to go first for the interviews makes sense if she is our murderer. Because the murderer has overheard the victims talking before the Patils ended up dead and told the aurors, even if she lied about the first one actually happening. She also was the one to ask Seamus not to start blaming people. So the aurors would want to talk to her in particular. I know Proudfoot says it's not in any order, but they always say that to stop people from jumping to conclusions. My doubt comes from the fact that Pansy took Daphne and Theo with her to the hotel. That makes it seem like Daphne didn't plan it, but Pansy did. Sigh.

I think it's Daphne. Could be Pansy, but I'm hedging my bets with Daphne. Yes. I'm going to submit this review now so I can't keep doubting myself.

Loved it. I beg you (nicely, I swear) to upload the next chapter soon... I need to read it :P

Lottie

Author's Response: Hi Lottie!

Ah, okay, so in my eagerness to respond to the reviews on the final chapter of this, with the big reveal, I overlooked this review and am now responding to them out of order... sorry!

By now you already know the murderer, and I have to say that you were one of the closest, but I think your reasoning behind Daphne as the suspect was really interesting and well thought out! It was great to get this review and see you taking account of all the little details to try and solve the killer's identity, because I put a lot of effort into including little hints and clues so it's nice to know that people are excited about reading it and trying to solve the mystery too!

Thank you for all these brilliant reviews you've left me, and also a massive thank you for nominating this story in the Dobbys! :D


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Review #25, by TidalDragon Chapter Three

31st August 2014:
Hmm. I can't wait for the reveal! This chapter has just confirmed that I have it down to the right two people (I think) so the question is do I have the person right? Well, I'm not one to bolt on my first bet, so I'll double down on Dean. I think it'd be more surprising if he did something low-down and dirty too per the letter from Parvati. Plus Parvati's more likely to owl a fellow Gryffindor right?

Anyway, I enjoyed this chapter as well and I think you've done a careful and good job with both not tipping your hand (because there's more than one option for the killer still, despite the POV) and keeping a consistent characterization across the chapters.

The only thing I noticed a bit of is that before Michael splits up Seamus and Theo is that some of the language and ideas got a bit repetitive through that section. Something to think about if you ever edit, but not a big deal.

I wonder now who Parvati told. Could it be Harry, seeing as he's a character you've listed? But you've listed Dean too...what? I hadn't noticed that. Grr... I will get my answers Sian!

Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Oops, I just realised that I responded to your reviews on this out of order... *blushes*

Hmm, Dean is a very interesting suspect. It's great that you're sticking by what you thought from very early on, though!

I'll definitely go back and have a look at that scene - I'm always looking to try and improve where I can! I'm glad you think the characterisation was consistent though and that I managed to still leave some ambiguity about the killer's identity!

Thank you for this review, Kevin, and I'm glad you're enjoying the story!


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