Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to feature Ellery Adams’ new book today!
Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia – Travels to North Carolina
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07G6NJK5W
Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .
Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.
When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .
Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives.
This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book.
The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream.
Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool
The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well.
Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable.
Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed. Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited. Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.
My reviews of previous books in this series.
To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.
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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.”