The Cozy Review

A Murder for the Books

A Murder for the BooksAfter a catastrophic love affair, librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She busies herself with managing the local public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and an overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble and a murder she has to solve.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door to Amy from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider who vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Richard determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, beseeches Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest.

Series: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery – Book 1 Buy from Amazon
Author: Victoria Gilbert 
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Career
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Rating: Four Book Rating

A Murder for the Books is a well written highly entertaining book with memorable and remarkable characters. This book is the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries. Ms. Gilbert is a talented and creative writer. Her writing is fluid and offers enough detail to keep the reader wanting more.

Characters, Amy and Aunt Lydia, are spunky, intriguing and well rounded, with just enough desecration to be unforgettable and captivating. Between the two they create an atmosphere of love and fun as well as general interest. Lydia is perhaps the most interesting character in this book. It will be interesting to see what part she will play in the next book in the series due out in July 2018.

Other characters such as Richard and Sunny and perfect and could easily have a series of their own. Richard is a loving, warm, vibrant romantic lead, and Sunny is a ray of well… sunshine. Both characters add to the enjoyment of this book and help move the plot along.

The town of Taylorsville, Virginia is small but has a great impact on the story and the reader. It is a place anyone would feel at home in and yet feel like an outsider. It’s one of those places where a new resident will always wonder if they will ever really be accepted by those who have lived there generation after generation. It is a great backdrop for this series.

The story is part mystery, part romance with a sprinkling of small-town life. Throughout the book, the reader is captivated by the secrets of the past and the link between the future and the past. It makes the reader wonder about their own hometown and what may be hidden or simply not talked about. There are always things in the past that influence our present and future, but how often do they lead to murder?

Overall A Murder for the Books is a fun easy-to-read book. The pace is not always fast, at times it forces the reader to slow down and take in every word. The reveal of the killer for many will be a bit too long. In many ways it is startling and yet not implausible. I recommend this book to those who enjoy small-town secrets with big city corruption, and a budding romance that could easily end in disaster

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