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‘Let’s Play: Murder’ - Book Review

Adult children’s books have taken over the world in recent years as enjoyable (and sometimes over-the-top) entertainment for grownups. Let’s Play: Murder is the best contribution to this genre that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

Published in 2015 by Dead Canary Books, Matt Longstaff and Chris Walker have designed a gratifying way for adults to relearn their ABCs. Written in the vain of a children’s alphabet book, complete with letters in both uppercase and lowercase at the top of each page, each letter has a designated method of murder as its example. “Aa is for Asphyxiation” and “Bb is for Beheading” are just the beginning of the fun. The creativity grows with each page, especially when the authors get to harder letters, such as “Q” and “X.”

What makes the book extra delightful is that each letter is accompanied by a new sinister picture – literally, as the Sinister Siblings demonstrate every method of death for the reader. Rosé and Fred are the perfect little actors, as they faithfully murder each other on every page, always in black and white with wonderful splashes of blood in red. Occasionally, other colors seep in, depending on the manner of death. After all, you can’t freeze your sibling without their face turning blue.

The book is the first in the Squirm and Learn series. Currently, the second Squirm and Learn – Death by Shakespeare – is in the works on Kickstarter, just in time for the 400th anniversary of the master playwright’s death. The new installment promises a return of the Sinister Siblings, which makes the educational picture book about every death from Shakespeare’s works even more appetizing.

Longstaff and Walker are truly onto something horrifyingly amazing. As I said in the beginning of my review, it is the top adult children’s book I’ve ever read, and that will probably only be rivaled by future Squirm and Learns. It satisfies every part of being an adult when reading a children’s book, while giving the reader the giggles as the siblings execute each other over and over in 26 different ways. I highly recommend this read for any fan of horror and gore. In every aspect, it realizes the full macabre madness of murder.

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