ARC Review: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Title: The May Queen Murders 
Author: Sarah Jude 
Genre: Mystery, Thriller 
Source: Edelweiss 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night. Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

First off, can we just look at the cover. The colors, typography, the darkness of it. It screams mystery. I am obsessed with it. The moment I discovered this book (Of course, I see the cover and had to see what it was about) I knew I would have to read it one day. The May Queen Murders, was interesting, thrilling, and left me on the edge of my seat for what was going to happen next. 

Ivy was a likable character, she loves how superstitious things are and is content with the life Heather, her cousin and best friend have. Heather isn't so content though. Ivy was at a lost for words when Heather starting pulling away from her, keeping secrets, making hasty decisions, it wasn't the girl Ivy was use too. Then Heather goes missing and Ivy learns all new things about the life she thought she was living, the people she is living among, and her best friend. Though, there were moments where I found Ivy to be incredibly stupid. Girl, there is a curfew for a reason. Follow it. Don't get your self killed. It isn't that hard. 

I really love the setting of this book. I could only imagine the beauty of the sites of the Missouri Ozarks, where the Glen is located. I just enjoyed the simpleness of their life. Society is so wrapped up in technology and ways to make things simpler, and these people didn't succumb to the hustle and bustle of it. They stuck with themselves and thrived in a modern day society. In a sense they reminded me of the Amish, only less Amish. (If that makes sense?) 

In my opinion the mystery was done well in this book. I liked that the further you went in the book the more you learned about Heather. I found the murder of the animals to be bone chilling and an eerie touch to a community that was already on the edge with superstition. The climax of the story was the real shocker. There are three people who are involved in this murder, and one that was committed nearly 25 years earlier. Jude did a good job at balancing several different mysteries, to wrap up the biggest mystery of all. 

Overall I really liked The May Queen Murders. Jude managed to balance all the elements of the story out, to keep is running smooth. It was thrilling, mysterious and eerie all wrapped into one. 


  1. The cover is also what drawn me to this book initally! But the synopsis seems really intriguing. Glad you liked it!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

  2. I love the cover! It definitely draws you in. Great review, I can't wait to read this one. :)


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