Murderous Lewellyn’s Candlelit Dinner

Alt title: Sarinma Llewellyn Ssiui Nangmanjeogin Jeongchan

Ch: 90
2020 - 2022
4.329 out of 5 from 950 votes
Rank #261
Murderous Lewellyn’s Candlelit Dinner

Life on rough, rundown Ira Street isn’t easy at the best of times, but a recent string of murders has left the residents traumatized. Not Shavonne, though. He’s too busy trying to get by to worry about some murderer. However, that all changes when he meets his peculiar new neighbor. Lewellyn is young and handsome, yet eccentric. Why does he spend all day peeling onions on the apartment stairs until his eyes are red-raw? And what’s with those filthy black fingernails? Nevertheless, Shavonne reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation at his neighbor’s place. But after he makes a gruesome discovery during the candlelit meal, suddenly the murders feel a lot closer to home…

Source: Lezhin

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"The only difference is whether they're bad to you, or bad to others." Speaking honestly, I had really high hopes reading this series after seeing the stellar reviews. The setting and characters indeed had IMMENSE potential, especially with it being in the Mystery genre, but it was ruined by the pacing of the story. Certain hints and expectations given to us readers later turn out less climactic than expected, or just not that relevant, which would impact the flow of the story.  The series begins with Shavonne who is struggling to get by as a ghostwriter living in a shady, crime-fest of a town. He meets a handsome yet "eccentric" man one day, who's sitting on the stairway peeling onions till he cries. This man turns out to be his neighbor, whom Shavonne discovers is keeping a dark secret. But in that town, who isn't a criminal? As the story progresses, we soon learn that there is much much more to Lewellyn's secret than what meets the eye. I felt super confused and lost up until around CH 30, after which my confusion became a little more resolved. At this stage, I had chalked it up to its Mystery genre and figured this feeling was intentionally created by the author. Creating dissonance and then satisfaction as readers slowly put together the big picture. Sadly, even as the story went on, the pacing remained very surreal where I wasn't quite sure what was going on because the way the puzzle fit together didn't completely resolve my questions. This is related to what I said about expectations not living up to the actual plot. I won't specify too deeply in order to avoid spoilers. For instance, I thought the author was giving us some kind of hint by pointing out Lewellyn's black/cracked fingernails. But apparently, that's just how his hands are? XD Later, the resolution of the mystery just comes rushing in all at once, and then just as quickly the antagonists are suddenly defeated by outside forces before the story ends. I don't think the hints we are given made enough sense for readers to slowly piece things together before the truth is suddenly dumped out. At the climax, antagonists suddenly take actions that don't make sense (ie. someone who normally doesn't drink alcohol due to intolerance suddenly downs an entire bottle, someone with a baton lunges at a gun-holding person) to get defeated. As such, the ending resolution felt quite rushed; The author just used narration to explain what happened later and called it a day.  Another aspect, which I personally dont mind too much, but could be a con for others, is the couple dynamic. As we learn more about the two characters, we understand their form of love for each other results from the environment they grew up in. So, Shavonne essentially falls in love because he fears dying alone and literally no one else treats him well. Lewellyn falls in love in a mad, obsessed manner also because no one else treats him well (and other reasons). This kind of love isn't a good nor healthy ideal so it might cause people discomfort - but then again it makes sense considering their environments.  There is quite a bit of angst as we learn the truth, which I personally enjoy, but the execution of the story could have definitely been better. It wasn't as enjoyable of a read as I hoped it would be. 

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