Recap #25 – Twin Terror by Janice Harrell

twinterror

Title: Twin Terror

Author: Janice Harrell

Published: 1996

Tagline: Murder . . . times two

Description: If at first you don’t succeed . . .

An urn of ashes labeled “Isabel Herrick” sat in a closet upstairs, and a police report on my twin’s murder had been filed at the beach town of Duck Cove. In spite of that, I found Isabel waiting for me when I went to the house.

Elizabeth can’t believe it when her murdered twin sister turns up alive and well. Isabel has just been hiding, hoping that Elizabeth’s presence will flush out the mysterious person who’d tried to kill her.

But now Isabel really is dead – and the police think Elizabeth is the killer. Trapped in a terrifying world where nothing is what it seems, Elizabeth struggles to solve her twin’s murder and save herself in this page-turning thriller.

Nostalgia Time!


Well, we finally made it, folks. The exciting conclusion to Twin Sisters, that I’ve waited over twenty years to read. (Seriously, if you haven’t read the recap of Twin Sisters, please do so now. This book is incomprehensible without knowing what happens in the first part, and I’m not going to waste time recapping my previous recap.)

So. This book was a thing. A frustrating letdown of a thing. Since I’d never read it before, the only nostalgia story I have is what I wrote in my Twin Sisters recap, but I was hoping it would be at least as good as the first book. It was not. It has this weird feeling of being both too rushed, and somehow also very padded out. These two books could have easily been one slightly longer book if the pacing had been a bit more evened out. I’m disappointed that Ms. Harrell is back to shitty Murder Game form for the conclusion of this story.

Oh, and just for shits and giggles, here’s the book I actually own, rather than the pristine cover up there:

20180624_011654
12/10 would also black out Liz’s teeth in person

Continue reading “Recap #25 – Twin Terror by Janice Harrell”

Recap #24 – Twin Sisters by Janice Harrell

twinsisters

Title: Twin Sisters

Author: Janice Harrell

Published: 1995

Tagline: No one can tell them apart . . . no one

Description: And then there was one . . .

I took over my sister’s life after she died, slipped into her place without missing a beat. I wore her favorite fuzzy sweater, kissed her boyfriend, inherited her friends . . . and her enemies.

Elizabeth and Isabel hadn’t seen each other since their parents divorced when they were three. Isabel stayed with her father, a brilliant and reclusive author. Elizabeth ended up with her mother, a jet-setting socialite who hopscotched her young daughter all over the world. Then Isabel is murdered – and her twin wants to find out why. Because she was out of town when it happened, Isabel’s friends don’t know she’s gone. And if Elizabeth has her way, they’ll never find out. Only Elizabeth will know – and the killer.

Nostalgia Time!


So, I must have been around 14 when I read this for the first time. I don’t know why I trusted Janice Harrell after reading her beyond-awful The Murder Game, but I did, and this one is actually pretty good. Completely contrived, but at least it’s entertaining and I don’t immediately recall anything that makes me want to kill it with fire. So, this is the first of two books (I’m loathe to use the term “duology” for reasons I can’t quite explain), and after I read this one (which ends with a cliffhanger – nothing is resolved at all), I immediately went back to the bookstore to try to find the second book. They didn’t have it, or it wasn’t out yet. Okay. Cool. I waited a while, looked again, no second book. For a while I checked back with the bookstores regularly, no joy. The time between checking the stores got longer and longer, until it no longer occupied my thoughts. At some point I figured maybe Ms. Harrell hadn’t written a second book, and I was doomed to never know how the saga of Iz and Liz ended. Then I discovered the second book did in fact exist, but I still couldn’t find it anywhere.

As I write this, I still have not read the second book, Twin Terror.

But! Thanks to modern times, I found it online and bought it. It sits two feet away from me as I type these words. I still have not read it. I don’t plan to read it until I finish the recap of this first book, Twin Sisters. See, I want to be able to speculate about who the killer is and what the fuck is going on during this recap, and I won’t be able to do that organically if I read the second book and know all those spoilers before finishing this recap. Does . . . does that make me a method recapper? Ah, well. Let’s do this thing, because I’ve been waiting over twenty damn years to find out how this ends!

Continue reading “Recap #24 – Twin Sisters by Janice Harrell”

Recap #1 – The Murder Game – Janice Harrell

murdergame

Title: The Murder Game by Janice Harrell

Published June 1993

Description 

It was no game.

The ad read “You’re invited to a murder . . .” It was to be a party, complete with a pretend corpse and plenty of clues. Only Meg Redding knew the host’s real motive: Dusty Ellis was determined to catch his twin sister’s killer – even though the police had ruled her death an accident.

The guests are gathered at an isolated cottage out by the reservoir where the stage is set for murder. But when the corpse is found – it’s real. Now Dusty’s a prime suspect and Meg’s out to clear his name . . . unaware that the killer is following her, step by step . . .

Tagline

Come to party and catch a killer – if you dare!

Nostalgia Time!


This was published in June of 1993, so I was probably around 12 or 13 the first time I read it. I didn’t remember too many details, but I remembered who the killer was and why. And the worst motive ever. Seriously, this motive is the weakest weaksauce to ever sauce. Even at 12 I was well aware of that. This was maybe the first time Rocky Horror Picture Show came onto my radar, and the first time I’d heard of Kewpie dolls. I also remembered the 16 or 17 year old girl and her 30-year-old “boyfriend.” Oh, boy, we’re gonna have a time with this one, folks. Not necessarily a good time, but some kind of time.

Continue reading “Recap #1 – The Murder Game – Janice Harrell”