A Study In Drowning - OwlCrate Special Edition

"A Study In Drowning" Book Club Readalong Day 5

Amber and I are BACK this October for a fun new readalong! We're about to start our monthly discussion for our September YA book "A Study In Drowning" by Ava Reid!

Remember! Our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest!

As a reminder, from now on, our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest! Go check out Amber's discussion that will be full of fun extras like bookish charades, shelf scavenger hunts and coloring pages!

On each day we'll read a section of A Study In Drowning both on the blog and in The Nest's group, and then discuss in the comments our theories and predictions. This means there will be spoilers for each section! Beware! 

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for chapters 10-11 of A Study In Drowning, so make sure you read or are finished this section before continuing.

A Study In Drowning - OwlCrate Special Edition
photo by : @amandarosereads

A Study In Drowning Readalong

One day back in 2011, I found myself at the edge of the sea at a ruined castle. 

The waves of the North Sea tipped and fell like painted smoke and a young man with sandy colored hair tipped my chin back to kiss me.

And you may be wondering, yes this is a true story. Thanks for the memories, Tynemouth. In another life, Tanzi.



Chapter Ten

The next day, Preston is jumpy, and Effy is afraid she'll see more things that aren't there.

Because Ianto was so sick about them being seen together, they started working together at night.

Preston and Effy only have a few days to work out the mystery of Blackmar, so they spend a lot of time together. They pore over the notebook and talk together about their differences and beliefs.

After a while, Effy suggests that they visit Blackmar to find out more, and Preston tells her he's already written him but that it came back having been read but returned to sender.

It's a terrible letter, and Effy tells him so. 

Preston suggests that she write him instead, so she does. A letter full of flattery.

They go down to Saltney and mail the letter. As they wait for a response, Effy continues to work with Ianto on the plans for the house, all the while thinking about the Fairy King. 

Ianto continues to be a walking red flag, calling Effy "demure as a kitten."

The day after that conversation with Ianto, they received a reply from Blackmar.

Preston is surprised, and Effy tells him that she only talked about his work and admired him. Preston notices, too, that she's signed her name "Euphemia" and asks if Effy is a changeling child.

Effy responds that yes, she was fatherless. She tells Preston she was a difficult child and her mother had exposed her in the woods. But that a childless woman never came for her.

Instead, the Fairy King had. He had reached for her, but her mother had grabbed her back. The only thing he touched, Effy's finger, had rotted away.

Preston gently tells her that it was probably from frostbite, which is also what her doctor had said.

Preston suggests that Effy has always enjoyed Angharad because she feels close to fairy magic. He also tries to tell her that normal mothers don't do what hers did.

But Effy is upset and feels spoken down to. She tells Preston that it's unkind that he's being so mean to her about her beliefs and experiences. Preston apologizes and tells her that he only thinks she deserves better.

Effy decides she does not want to talk about it anymore.

She returns to the guesthouse, upset that Preston hasn't believed her.

To prove something to herself, she sinks to the ground outside and repeats lines from Angharad until she sees a flash of white and wet black hair behind the tree line.

Even a sliver of a pale face. Her fear piles down on her, and she returns to the guest house, slamming the door shut.

She knows the Fairy King to be authentic, and if he is confirmed. She couldn't be mad.

She could vanquish him as Angharad had.

She crams two sleeping pills into her mouth, swallowing them dry, but they do not keep her from dreaming of him. 

Chapter Eleven

In the morning, Effy is relieved to see that Preston isn't going to bring up the Fairy King or her experiences. 


Together, they try to come up with an idea or excuse for why they would need to go away together. They come up with an idea. They decide to say that Effy will be dropped off in Laleston to look at architecture books at the library. 


Effy speaks to Ianto, telling him that she needs to go to Laleston. Ianto is gracious and offers to pay for her train but darkens when Effy replies that it won't be necessary, that she's driving with Preston. 


Ianto tells her that he feels that Preston is dangerous. Effy reassures him she's okay. 


She watches his mood and eyes shift and change until he agrees. 


They're packing the car when Preston tells Effy he's surprised Ianto agreed. Preston tells her she's an enchantress and offers her a cigarette. 


Effy looks past him to see Ianto, arms folding, looking envious. 


They drive through the verdant countryside and discuss who they think may be the real author of Angharad. 


Preston thinks it could be Blackmar himself. They also discuss Myrddin's verses about the sea. 


They stop for a sausage roll and coffee before continuing. While they drive, Effy asks Preston if he has a girlfriend, and he responds that he does not but has had a few flings. 


Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 


They arrive at Penrhos, Blackmar's estate. They talk about Blackmar's background and then come up on a beautiful mansion set behind a circular drive. 


Preston parks, and the door opens. Blackmar pops out and greets them. He invites them inside for brandy, and they follow. 


Staff take their trunks inside, and the inside of the house is as grand as Effy expected. 


She tells Blackmar it's beautiful, and he thanks her. They take drinks in a parlour, and Effy asks him how he knew Emrys. He replies that he was an employee of his at one time and was hired at Penrhos to do file sorting. 


They became friends and bonded over writing. He introduced Myrddin to a publisher, and eventually, Emrys made enough to buy the house in Saltney. 


Preston then asks about whether Blackmar and Myrddin corresponded when he was writing Angharad. Still, Blackmar becomes immediately cagey, telling them they could speak with a Mr. Marlowe from Geenebough Publishing as he's visiting the next day. 


And promptly goes to bed. 


Effy and Preston find their adjacent rooms and talk about how cagey Blackmar is. They decide to return to Hiraeth as they can't get more information. 


Deciding to go to bed, Effy reaches for her pills but finds she forgot them at the guest house. She tells Preston of her anxieties and visions. 


Preston asks how he may help, and Effy tells him she doesn't want to be alone. They share the bed and talk. Preston tells her of a tale in Argantian similar to the Mariner's Demise. Preston tells her a few more Argantian phrases before falling asleep. 


As Preston sleeps, Effy uses a hag stone to look at him, but she only sees his face. 


The following day, Effy wakes, and Preston is already awake. She thanks him for being a gentleman and not touching her. 


But really, she wanted him too. 


Oh, Effy, you saucy girl! GET IT! 

Notable Quotables

Unfortunately, not every amazing quote from all our picks makes it into the final art every month! 

Below are some quotes from A Study In Drowning that curation found notable! 

Book Imagery A Study In Drowning



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