My review of The color of Bee Larkham’s Murder will follow the publisher’s blurb :

“In this fantastic debut, Harris enters the technicolor mind of thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart…Readers enamored of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Rosie Project will delight in Harris’s sparkling novel.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A captivating mystery about a boy with synesthesia—a condition that causes him to see colors when he hears sounds—who tries to uncover what happened to his beautiful neighbor, and if he was ultimately responsible.

Thirteen-year-old Jasper Wishart lives in a world of dazzling color that no one else can see, least of all his dad. Words, numbers, days of the week, people’s voices—everything has its own unique shade. But recently Jasper has been haunted by a color he doesn’t like or understand: the color of murder.

Convinced he’s done something terrible to his new neighbor, Bee Larkham, Jasper revisits the events of the last few months to paint the story of their relationship from the very beginning. As he struggles to untangle the knot of untrustworthy memories and colors that will lead him to the truth, it seems that there’s someone else out there determined to stop him—at any cost.

Both a refreshing coming-of-age story and an intriguing mystery, The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder is a poignant and unforgettable read—perfect for fans of bestselling authors such as Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion.

If you read my reviews, you know how much I love piecing together a mystery, finding tucked away clues and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together – way before the end. The more cleaver the author in their way of leading me astray or doubting my abilities, the more I’m engaged. This one had me engaged not only because of the mystery but because of how unique Jasper was.

Jasper has Synaesthesia. For him, a person’s voice has a unique and specific color and unless that person speaks, Jasper is unable to recognise them – he’s basically face blind. He can’t even recognise his father’s face. Jasper has difficulty picking up on social cues and interpreting the world around him. And since Jasper can’t lie, it puts another added spin to the whole thing. He’s such a fragile and unique character.

Reading the story through Jasper’s eyes made for a muddled and confusing ride. But that’s the point ! For me it was like constantly having a heavy fog around me.  Sarah J. Harris does a brilliant job of making this novel at once frustrating yet completely endearing.

I liked how Jasper’s dad is trying hard to take care of his son, he really is doing his best with the cards that life has dealt him. His journey was beautifully written and I could relate, in part, to some of his frustrations. As for Bea, I liked her until I didn’t like her. (let’s just leave it at that)

On a little side note, Jasper paints (he’s quite the artist). I would have loved to be able to see his paintings in the real world. In my mind, the way his colors transferred to canvas must have been amazing.

So was I able to figure it out before the end ? Well, I had much of it pegged but a few little titbits escaped me. I really enjoyed reading The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder. Like I said, not only for the mystery aspect but because of Jasper and the way he was written.

I can understand though if this doesn’t appeal to everyone. A few times I felt like the novel was a bit slow going but if you enjoyed books such as (I’ve read all of these btw) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddam, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion or Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka then I think you will also love The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder.

Sarah J. Harris tackles being different with such warmth and care. Her writing was so delicate and full of sensitivity. The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder is a unique take on the murder mystery genre and is worth picking up.

The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris is available now !
Published by Touchstone an imprint of Simon & Schuster
368 pages
ISBN 9781501187896

A copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts and review

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