Careful What You Wish For is not scary–it’s thrilling and suspenseful ... Ephron’s dank and musty storage units offer perfect settings for the piecing together of the puzzle, one made of human pieces in various sinister shapes and sizes. Ephron, sister to writers Delia and Amy and the late Nora, deftly builds these tensions, and offers readers the pleasure of unraveling the mystery in a way they will relish. I laughed more than I expected to, related to quotidian elements like overpacked closets, and let myself be carried along on this nightmare of a trip. I anticipated bad guys where there weren’t any, and thought I’d figured it out when I hadn’t. The red herring smelled fishy to me. The marital dances were familiar yet fun. And I found a compelling companion to Emily, a modern-day grown-up Nancy Drew in a sh-tty car and a ponytail, as she searches for her own purpose while hunting down the perpetrator of the emerging crime. She is a friend we would all want to keep–messes included.
... expertly crafted ... the reader is rewarded with a richly embroidered backdrop to a plot that delivers thievery and a murder ... We admire Ephron’s plotting and the weave of all the elements that give the novel its forward propulsion, but we are also grateful for the amount of narrative space she gives to her characters and their various relationships, enough so that the inevitable arrival of the police doesn’t happen until nearly halfway through the book—a virtue, as police procedurals can tend to make one’s eyes glaze over ... Ephron is as strong on character as she is on narrative, and this is a rarity. There are a lot of household names in mystery and suspense who give us blood and guts and heart-rending twists and turns, but more often than not their people never jump off the page...But when a writer of suspense fiction like Ephron nails her characters, the fiction itself becomes prismatic: Because we know these people, they suddenly are capable of all sorts of fascinating and erratic behaviors. And because we care about them, not knowing what they’re going to do only adds to the tension. William Kent Krueger is a master of this blend of writing, and Ephron is right up there with him...And she’s funny too, very funny.
With smooth dialog and a title that is a good representation of the story line, Ephron offers a great 'murder swap' mystery reminiscent of the 1951 Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train. Recommended for those who love puzzling, unpredictable mysteries with a little lesson in professional organizing on the side.