The Mystery Society Presents… Our Thoughts on Kentucky Thriller

Hello everybody! Today it’s time for the third installment of the Marlin Mysteries Marathon, a buddy read I’m doing with my friend Lily, in which I’ll be discussing my thoughts on Kentucky Thriller.

Sadly Rachael has had to bow out of this readathon as she’s had a super special secret mission in the past month or so, but we look forward to welcoming her back into the Mystery Society in the New Year


Again, I’d like to put it out there that I’ve read this a LOT of times and I don’t know what counts as spoilery anymore to be honest so if you’ve not read this, it might not be the best idea to keep reading if you don’t want to know some plot details going in. Onto the post!


Kentucky Thriller is the 3rd in the series, and it sees Laura and Tariq travel to a horse farm in Lexington in the run up to the Kentucky Derby, after they are involved in the dramatic rescue of a kidnapped prize racehorse. But all is not as it seems at Fleet Farm, so while Tariq is tasked with preparing a horse for the race of his life, Laura starts sniffing out clues like a bloodhound, and realises the Straight A gang may be involved and still out for revenge against Laura, her friends and her uncle.

Please don’t get me wrong, I still really like this book, but I was very sad about the lack of Calvin and Skye, both of whom I love dearly. Although Calvin still steals every scene he’s in, obviously. That said, Laura and Tariq are as wonderful as ever, and I love that Tariq has such an affinity with animals because it just fits his personality so perfectly. Laura is also great and I love her determination to get justice and also just her personality in general. Kit is the new supporting character introduced in here, and she is wonderful; I love her character development and the way she overcomes her trauma that happened around a year before the book begins. And the way she handles the Straight As at the Derby is epic!!

My overall favourite part of the book, though, is absolutely the Haunted House Laura gets trapped in at the circus. Janet Rain is scarier than any ghost or ghoul I’ve ever heard of, and the ambiguity of whether Ivan was a good guy or not made it all the more horrifying. The ending with the text from Mr A is a close second favourite moment though, and all these years after the first time I read it, it still sent shivers down my spine.

The Kentucky setting is fantastic and I remember how much I loved learning about the world of horse racing when I read this, especially as I was massively into horse books anyway and only properly knew about three day eventing up till that point. It’s especially interesting as it explores the darker side of this world, and mentions some real life racehorses who came to a very tragic end, such as Shades of Shergar. The mystery plot is so clever and intricate too, I loved learning how the crimes were commited.

Thank you so much for reading!! Do you enjoy doing readalongs/buddy reads? Have you read this book, or any others by Lauren? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: goldenbooksgirl@gmail.com | she/her

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