LITTLE BOOKSHOP OF MURDER
SERIES: A Beach Reads Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: September 8, 2020
A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop–and a murder mystery–in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.
Summer Merriweather’s career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder’s thread. Academic life at her Virginia university is a viper’s pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.
Returning to Brigid’s Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom’s embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: “Sell the bookstore or die.”
Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid’s Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there’s not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy’s beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid’s Island than are dreamt of in the Bard’s darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can’t find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy’s worth of corpses–including her own.
Longer review coming later…
Bottom Line: Little Bookshop of Murder is more than an entertaining cozy mystery – it’s also a love letter to all the different types of books & readers in life. From Shakespeare & Austen to modern romance novels & cozy mysteries, the bookstore setting appeals to bookworms of every taste & genre. The mystery was pretty easy to solve for me – at least the whodunnit side of things; the “whydunnit” I didn’t get until the end – but it was still fun to tag along with Summer & her gang of amateur sleuth book lovers. Solid characters and a charming locale add further enjoyment to the novel. I did find some continuity issues throughout & a bit of redundant repetition but I’m hoping that was resolved with final edits. Looking forward to more books in the series to keep following the continuing threads introduced in this first installment.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 3.5 / enjoyed it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that this book contains some scattered curse words & profanities.
Maggie Blackburn is the author of the Cora Crafts mysteries and the Cumberland Creek mysteries under another pen name. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman’s World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People’s Choice Award. She is the mother of two young women who are off following their dreams in the music business. She currently lives in Waynesboro, VA, and works at the University of Virginia as a development associate.
Other Books by Maggie Blackburn
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