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  • 15 December 2023 Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone Can a crime novel be funny, despite treading the path of the genre’s most classic conventions? The answer is yes, if it’s written by multiple-award-winning Australian stand-up comedian ... +
  • 15 December 2023

    Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone

    Can a crime novel be funny, despite treading the path of the genre’s most classic conventions? The answer is yes, if it’s written by multiple-award-winning Australian stand-up comedian Benjamin Stevenson, and even the premise of the title is paradoxical: the Cunningham family at the centre of the story is literally related “by blood”. Each in their own way is guilty of a crime, including Ernie, who edits manuals on how to write crime novels and is a private investigator, as well as the story’s narrator. The reunion organised to celebrate the release of Ernie’s brother Michael from prison brings them together at a prestigious ski resort. While a blizzard breaks out and the police fumble in the dark, it’s up to Ernie to work out whether the culprit is someone in his family, before they’re killed one by one. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone seems to belong to several subgenres of crime novel; Agatha Christie-style Cosy Mystery, firstly, for at least three reasons: the setting – an isolated and apparently idyllic mountain resort – the amateur detective-writer following the example of Jessica Fletcher, the supporting character alongside the main character at every stage of the investigation. The tribute to the Whodunnit Novel structure is suggested by the explicit reference to Ronald Knox’s “10 Commandments of Detective Fiction”. And last but not least, the ironic register typical of the Comic Mystery, which boasts prestigious predecessors in film with Robert Moore’s Murder by Death (1976), with a sensational Truman Capote in the role of mysterious billionaire Lionel Twain, Clue (1985), in which Jonathan Lynn stages an open parody of Cluedo, up to the more recent Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson, with a cast featuring stars of the calibre of Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer. A publishing sensation in 2022, the novel has been translated in more than 20 countries, published by Feltrinelli as Tutti nella mia famiglia hanno ucciso qualcuno in Italy, and will be made into a miniseries for HBO, thanks to collaboration between Made Up Stories and Endeavor Content. A high-altitude investigation to be conducted “in the family”, for a literary escape from Christmas gatherings.  

    Tutti nella mia famiglia hanno ucciso qualcuno
    Benjamin Stevenson
    Feltrinelli, 2022

    Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone