A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book ASIN: B072396C2L
Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.
Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores 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 in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.
Oh, I am excited about this series. It is off to a wonderful start.
Amy Webber has left her job as a college librarian and moved to her aunt’s home in Taylorsford, Virginia. She manages the town’s library which is quite different from her previous job. The residents of Taylorsford are an eclectic bunch. She is thankful her predecessor left her plenty of notes about her new patrons. Sadly, one of those patrons is murdered early in the story. Found on library property Amy finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Some are even pointing their fingers at her.
She also meets her new neighbor Richard Muir, a dancer/teacher/choreographer. He has been renovating the house next door that he inherited from his uncle. He is very interested in his family’s history, especially a murder and a disappearance. He turns to Amy for help researching the archives to find answers. Maybe together they can solve the current case while finding answers in a cold one too.
Ms. Gilbert has created such rich main characters. I felt drawn to them immediately. I wanted to know their family histories and get to know them better as themselves. There is a romantic spark between Richard and Amy. Amy tries to stop or ignore her feelings because it was a broken romantic entanglement that made her quit her last job. Richard is a patient man and is not giving up. Their interplay is touching and real. Amy’s aunt also likes Richard very much and is not beyond a little matchmaking between the two.
There are two mysteries to solve in this story and they are seriously tangled up together. I did have an inkling about the 1925 case early on in the book, but that did not deter my enjoyment of following each and every clue. The current mystery was total surprising from start to finish. Several suspects had means, motive, and opportunity. The climactic reveal stunned me. It was exciting and action-packed. The suspense was at a high level.
Victoria Gilbert walks that fine line keeping this cozy from jumping into the thriller lane. She has created a mystery story with great substance, tempered it with the beginnings of a romance and the exact right amount of humor. The characters are genuine and really shine throughout the entire book.
I loved this story and wish I had Shelved Under Murder in my hot little hands right now. My escape to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains ended much too soon. I have my virtual bags packed for a return trip mid-July 2018.
Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.
When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.
Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.
Praise for A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert
What really got me about this one, was how different this book is from a normal cozy. Librarian, Amy, is trying to clear the name of a woman who went missing back in 1925 for her neighbor, Richard. (Is that a potential love interest I see?)
Right there you have something totally unique. It makes this a cold case cozy!
~A Chick Who Reads
Excellent writing with some great new characters all set to make you want to read some more.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
I found this to be a very entertaining mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. The author does a really good job of keeping the action going throughout the telling of the story.
~Author Teresa Trent
I liked the multiple storylines in A Murder for the Books. Besides the modern day mystery, Amy and Richard are trying to solve a murder that happened years ago.
~The Book’s the Thing
Murder By The Books is a bit of a thriller in that it is about a cold case. And it fits all those things I and most people enjoy about a cozy.
~My Reading Journeys
Full of family history and drama, star-crossed lovers and would-be lovers, secrets, and conspiracies, mysterious deaths and murders, surprises and predictability, greed and hope, ignorance and bigotry, humor and quirkiness, “A Murder for the Books” delivers an entertaining story that began several generations ago and continues to this day.
~Bea’s Book Nook
There are several mysteries and multiple storylines going on as everything unfolds . . . I did enjoy the aspect of the town’s archives being used as a means of finding out information to help solve much of what is going on, especially in regards to a very cold case.
~That’s What She’s Reading
The mystery is well plotted and pairing the current murder with a mystery from the past, along with family secrets, provides an added depth.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
December 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
December 11 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT unable to post
December 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
December 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
December 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 14 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
December 15 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 15 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
December 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
December 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
December 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
December 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 19 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 20 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
December 20 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW
December 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
December 21 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW
December 21 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”