Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 with 4 comments
Title: Every Breath
Author: Ellie Marney
Series: Every, book #1
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Source: finished copy from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...

I love a good mystery as much as the next girl, but I'm not surprised by them much these days. Too often I find the mystery to be entirely too predictable and that aspect alone makes it hard to hold my interest. And I'll admit that in Every Breath, I did suspect the culprit early on, but there were just so many other elements that kept me captivated by this story. With stories like this, I'm usually looking at the bigger picture, trying to determine how everything's going to pan out, but with Every Breath, I was living in the moment, eager to spend each page with the characters as they worked the mystery out themselves. In short, I was happy to let Mycroft and Watts handle the investigating while I followed their shenanigans.

And a lot of that has to do with the characters Ellie Marney has created. Mycroft is eccentric and has few meaningful relationships though he knows everyone he bumps into around the city, while Watts is close to her family and obsessed with returning to the countryside and the life she was forced to leave four short months ago.  And yet, they work so well together despite all of their many differences. The best way I can describe James Mycroft and Rachel Watts is this: teenaged Mulder and Sculley. Their dynamic is just so ON. Mycroft is willing to believe that there is more to the story than a senseless killing and Watts isn't ready to jump on board with one of Mycroft's crazy theories. But she's still up for a bit of amateur sleuthing, regardless. This makes them the perfect investigative team: one of them thirsty for the truth and willing to risk much in the search for it and the other to balance things out with reason and logic. Also, the chemistry between these two is off the charts, much as it was with Mulder and Scully, though it takes much less time for Mycroft and Watts to embrace it.

Thank goodness! The frustration from watching these two hem and haw around each other nearly did me in. Just about the time the sexual tension reaches a fever pitch, the dam finally breaks and we get one spectacular show. Once they do finally get to the point that they can openly admit their feelings for each other, it is the sweetest kind of romance. The slow-burn was well worth it, but by the point that they realized how they each felt, we already knew they'd each go to extraordinary lengths to protect one another and in support of each other.
"Mycroft and I are on a strictly last-name basis, but he's on a last-name basis with everybody. He pointed out it was perfectly appropriate in our case, anyway. He said if Sherlock had Watson, it was only fair that Mycroft should have Watts."
I love the homage Marney's Every Breath pays to the original story, too: numerous mentions of Mycroft being "Sherlock's much-smarter brother", Homeless Dave being "Mycroft's very own Baker Street Irregular", etc. I've not read many Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I've always loved how clever they were. Every Breath was no less clever but it was just such a refreshing spin on the old Sherlockian murder mystery.

Setting this novel in Melbourne, a city that's already a mystery to me, makes this story that much more captivating, too. Watts is practically an outsider herself, having grown up in the countryside of Australia, not a big city like Melbourne, and as she got to know the city better, so did I. It was kind of the perfect setup to draw a reader like myself in. And by that, I mean a reader who prefers when the setting feels like a character itself, the way that it's explored in the story. Also, I love Aussie slang...the fact that this wasn't changed in the US version endears the story to me that much more, makes it feel even more authentic.

Honestly, I think I've found my new favorite mystery series. The fact that it's written by yet another awesome Aussie is just a bonus. Another bonus: while some people are satisfied waiting for the next book to come out here in the States, impatient people like myself can order the UK/Aussie versions and get the rest of the story that much quicker. Which I will most definitely be doing with this series. =) This was such a fantastic debut and I can't wait for all of you to get a chance to meet Mycroft and Watts for yourselves!

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Ellie Marney was born in Brisbane, and has lived in Indonesia,Singapore and India. Now she writes, teaches, talks about kid’s literature at libraries and schools, and gardens when she can, while living in a country idyll (actually a very messy wooden house on ten acres with a dog and lots of chickens) near Castlemaine, in north-central Victoria. Her partner and four sons still love her, even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go.

Ellie’s short stories for adults have won awards and been published in various anthologies. Every Breath is her first novel for young adults.

Find Ellie:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. You had me at Mulder and Scully. And as far as original names go, Mycroft and Watts wins.

  2. I'm reading this one right now and really enjoying it! I'm about 20% in and finding it to be highly entertaining and enjoying the character dynamics a lot. I'm so glad to see you loved it! This means I will continue to enjoy the story :-) I always love to see you finish a book I'm reading and love it.

  3. Eeeep! I actually won this but never have gotten around to it yet, but I LOVE SHERLOCK HOLMES. The movies, the tv show...any sort of mystery spin off. I so need to stop procrastinating and just read it. XD

  4. I have not heard of this one and I now I must have it. I love a mystery and I love that it has Mycroft not Sherlock. although I do love sherlock too. I can't wait to read this one. Great review.


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