A Study In Drowning - OwlCrate Special Edition

"A Study In Drowning" Day 6 Readalong

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 12-13 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 : @purely_bookish

A Study In Drowning Readalong

I'm sorry if you felt I teased you with that memory yesterday. I hope that you all have one of those just beyond the edge of possible lifelong romances. 

Life is boring without someone who will love you forever, my friends. 

Chapter Twelve

Effy showers, and while waiting for Preston to do the same, she searches the room they’re staying in.

Under the bed, she finds several scraps of paper. Preston comes back into the room, and they read the papers together.

They are letters from Blackmar’s daughter, Arethusa, to Emrys Myrddin and a character from Angharad. The Fairy King’s consort at the beginning of the book.

The last note holds the quote, “I will love you to ruination” from Angharad.

Effy puts it together that Myrddin had an affair with Blackmar’s daughter, which inspired Angharad.

Effy wishes she could speak with Blackmar’s daughter, but Preston tells her they must settle for the Greenebough editor instead.

They searched the room more thoroughly but found no more notes, just a tiny knife you may use to cut fruit.

Effy and Preston then went downstairs for breakfast. A vast buffet was laid out in the dining room, and staff were serving olives and tiny fruit tarts.

Blackmar then came in and became angry that they were eating the food meant for a party. He invites them to the party, and they go upstairs to change into formal clothes Blackmar is lending them.

Later, Effy tells Preston of an idea she has. She believes the photographs they found in Ianto’s room are Blackmar’s daughter. Effy wants to leave to get the photograph, but Preston suggests they stay to talk to the editor.

At the party, Blackmar finds them, and Effy asks for an introduction to the editor. Blackmar asks her to wait a moment and tells Effy how lovely she looks in his daughter’s dress. Baldly, Effy asks in response where his daughter is.

Blackmar says nothing but then introduces Effy and Preston to Mr. Marlowe, Greenebough’s editor-in-chief.

Marlowe is yet again another grade a creep in a sea of lecherous men and leers at Effy.

They sit down, and Preston asks Blackmar and Marlowe questions about his published books and their connection to Myrddin.

They press with questions about Angharad, looking for clues as to who published it from the two men.

Effy pushes for answers, and Blackmar shuts her down. However, Marlowe tells Effy that he’ll tell her anything she wants to know for a dance.

Preston then steps in, taking Effy’s hand and staring Marlowe down. He takes Effy for a dance, and they embrace closely. 

After the song ends, they book it from the estate and into the car, speeding down Penrhos's drive. 


Chapter Thirteen

Preston drives back to Hiraeth at a high speed. Effy cries next to him, and he comforts her as best as possible.

She's upset that everything Myrddin wrote is a lie. That the Fairy King isn't real, and as she sobs, Preston gives her his jacket.

She's taken aback by it and asks him why he's so nice to her.

Preston replies that Effy doesn't see herself very clearly.

They then talk about Preston's father, who received a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that robbed him of his personality. It turned him into a man no one could recognize before eventually passing away.

Effy then falls asleep and wakes when they are back at Hiraeth. Preston walks her to the guest house door, and Effy takes her sleeping pills. This time, not for the Fairy King or other men, but because otherwise, she'd have lain awake thinking about Preston all night.

The next day, Ianto is furious with Effy and Preston. He tells them a big storm is coming. Effy suggests boarding up the house, and Ianto snaps at her. He means he doesn't need a Northern girl telling him how to weather the storm.

He asks for Effy's blueprints, and she responds that they'll be done in two or three more days. Ianto grumbles for a while, responding that there is still much to do before construction by the end of the year.

Effy promises that it will be done, and Ianto tells both she and Preston he hopes they had a gratifying trip.


Effy tries to return to work, but Ianto dismisses Preston, asking to speak with her alone.

When they find themselves alone, he asks if Preston did anything untoward and then wonders aloud to Effy whether she may be a seductress or a submissive girl.

Effy fears Ianto and stammers through the rest of the conversation before fleeing upstairs.

She finds Preston holding Myrddin's diary. He's found the photographs.

Effy is about to panic, thinking about all the men who have taken advantage of her, until Preston calms her.

Preston thinks out loud about why Blackmar is so uncomfortable before Effy interrupts him, telling him they must go into the basement.

Preston is afraid and tells her they don't even have the key. Effy says she will get it, and Preston snaps at her to stop being reckless.

Effy responds that she's not reckless. She's a survivor. Preston disagrees. He tells her that she's brave and brilliant.

Effy then straddles Preston, but he tells her he can't, that he won't take advantage of her like the other men she's known and her professor at the university.

Effy recoils and tells him she didn't sleep with him.

Preston reassures Effy, telling her he'd like to be intimate with her but that he respects her.

But that he's wanted her for so long. And Preston holds Effy as the sea roars against the rocks. 

Read, Play, Watch

I'm sharing this now with the full knowledge that you've definitely read ahead and will probably only politely follow along for the next two readalong days. 

It's okay - this is a reread for me. I'm not offended. 

But in anticipation of you not being able to help binging this book, I'm offering some recommendations. 

Below you'll find three of my top things to read, play and watch that will give you “A Study In Drowning” vibes.

Are there TBRs for games and shows? To be played? To be watched? Add these recs to those piles!

Book Imagery A Study In Drowning

I played this game when it first came out. I was expecting something cozy, but just like A Study In Drowning, it had more depth than you'd expect. It's also about a crumbling manor at the edge of a sea that houses a lot more than just rooms. And a girl who needs to investigate her family that is more than it seems. 

Get lost in this dark, gripping tale. Available to play on Steam


What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of strange tales about a family in Washington state. As Edith, you’ll explore the colossal Finch house, searching for stories as she explores her family history and tries to figure out why she's the last one in her family left alive.

Poe adapted for the modern age, The Fall Of The House of Usher, a loose adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe classic proposes : what if it were about the opioid crisis instead?

A mystery worthy of Effy. 

Grab a pillow to hug, and an emotional support blanket. It's available to stream on Netflix


To secure their fortune — and future — two ruthless siblings build a family dynasty that begins to crumble when their heirs mysteriously die, one by one.

My top read of 2022! Students at Oxford University's prestigious Royal Institute Of Translation, or Babel. Students are pitted against each other to learn the art of silver-working. A practice that fuels the British Empire off the labour of immigrant language. 

But ultimately the translator is really the one who holds all the power…and we all know what happened to the Tower Of Babel. 

Preston would be in his happy place attending Babel. Read it for the dark academia and use it's message as fuel for injustice. 

Find it everywhere books are sold. 


1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel. The tower and its students are the world's center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver-working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as the arcane craft serves the Empire's quest for colonization.

For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide . . .

Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?




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