Feb 122019
 


Past Due for Murder:
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About the Book 


Past Due for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318749
ISBN-13: 978-1683318743
Digital ASIN: B07D2GYM25

Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first—but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished—or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events—and a dead body lying nearby—an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Past Due for Murder takes us to Taylorsford, Virginia just in time for Spring and the town’s May Day celebration. Our protagonist Amy Webber has opened up the library archives for a professor and her students to research the local folklore. The will be making a presentation at the celebration. One of these students disappears during a bonfire event and police have organized a search. They also question the man in Amy’s life, Richard Muir. He was the woman’s dance instructor and may have been the last person to see her before she went missing. The student is later found, next to a dead body. She is dazed and confused. Amy has been trying to use her talents first to find the student and now the murderer. She meets an elderly woman with stories to tell of the area that just may point her in the direction of the killer. It also could make her their next victim.

Ms. Gilbert has written a story that links the present to the past in a very interesting way. The area folklore includes a story of two missing women, but what parts of the story are true and which are pure fabrication and how does it pertain to the current event of a missing woman and a murder? It is a twisted journey that captivated me right away.

I loved the way the author brought in a woman who is basically a hermit now. I found this woman to be genuine and heartwarming. Having Amy visit to record her stories for the library’s archives was a brilliant idea. Many towns and libraries are doing this now. It makes me wish I had done the same with my parents and grandparents. Our history, our stories, fade due to poor memories and these records would be priceless. If these options are available to you jump on them while you can.

The author also brings a man into the story, a neighbor to the woman, also someone who shuns society for his own reasons. He has a wonderful gift that he has mostly kept to himself but could he be a murderer?

Sticking with new characters, Richard’s parents come to visit and it was quite the experience. No spoiler here, but answers to some of the questions I had about the man are answered.

With great characters and plenty of twists and turns, this story takes us on quite a ride. The blend of folklore with a smidgen of fairies and magic was a delight. The ending was an ultimate surprise. This story is a wonderful addition to this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

About  the Author

Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books, which has since been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and the first three were or will be produced in audiobook by Tantor Media.

Victoria also just inked a 2-book deal with Crooked Lane for a new cozy series, the Booklovers B & B series, set in historic Beaufort, NC.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel.

Author Links:

Website/blog   Facebook author page    Twitter   Goodreads   Instagram 

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   GooglePlay

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February 20 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
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February 21 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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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.”

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Jul 192018
 

About the Book


Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Taylorsford just in time for the Heritage Festival. The library is hosting a yard sale fundraiser and a famous local artist has agreed to give some of her work to the sale. When Amy, her assistant Sunny, Richard, now her boyfriend arrive at the artist’s studio they make a horrible discovery. The artist dead on the floor. When police arrived on the scene, their search finds a hidden room filled with what appear to be forged paintings. With Amy’s background in art history research Chief Deputy Brad Tucker asks her to assist him by checking out the paintings. When the state’s art expert arrives Amy assists him too. Until he finds that her uncle, now deceased, may be connected to both the forgeries and the murder. When someone else is killed Amy knows she has to help find the killer, all the while hoping to clear her uncle of any wrongdoing.

Being a librarian means more that shelving and checking out books. That is why degree, usually a master’s in Library Science is required for head librarians. The ability to navigate and manage information is a huge part of the job. With Amy’s minor in Art History, she is the perfect person to assist the police in find provenance for these found paintings and any other information to help the police solve the case. The author has written a very complex mystery and Amy plays a key role in solving it. Not knowing much about paintings like those in the story it was so much fun following along with Amy and all the revelations that were found throughout the story. I always enjoy learning something new when reading. This time I highlighted quite a few items I plan to research further.

The main characters are continuing to develop nicely. The supporting cast, Zelda, Walt and Aunt Lydia are great too and have many humorous moments. There is one character that is hiding something. We got some major hints in this story and I am sure we will learn more in the next.

The romance between Amy and Richard played a big part in this story. She is still recovering from her break-up and her confidence is a little shaky. Richard is the perfect man for her. He understands her insecurities and he really loves her. They have quite a moment near the end of the story that was so heart-warming and genuine.

Again, Ms. Gilbert has written a mystery with great substance and allowed her characters to shine. She also brings the setting to life with her words. I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last.

Shelved Under Murder is a fantastic addition to this series. I think I loved it more than the first book in the series, A Murder for the Books. Book #3 Past Due for Murder comes out on February 12, 2019. I can hardly wait.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Murder for the Books here

About the Author

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.

Author Links:

Website/blog     Facebook Author Page        Twitter     Goodreads       Instagram

Praise for Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

This is a mystery with lots of twists, turns, and secrets. It isn’t just a cut and dry mystery. . .
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

The author does have a way of making you feel like you are right there in the midst of things and making you feel empathy for the characters . . .
~Curling Up By The Fire

Shelved Under Murder is an inviting cozy mystery with congenial characters, lovely setting and a stimulating whodunit.
~The Avid Reader

I really enjoyed this book and was so impressed with the details the author uses about art.
~Texas Book-aholic

SHELVED UNDER MURDER is a delightful mystery that held my interest and didn’t let go.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This book is truly incredible at creating an elaborate mystery for us to follow.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I really enjoy reading about Amy’s time at the library (I think I am in the wrong profession!), and there’s a great cast of supporting characters in this series.
~The Book’s the Thing

Some great characters make Shelved Under Murder a really good read that kept me turning the pages.
~My Reading Journeys

Victoria Gilbert has done it again and I want more and more (please Ms. Gilbert!), the way local people and local history are combined to make a cohesive whole is wonderful.
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

A charming setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A cast of delightful (and layered) characters. An intriguing mystery and a taste of art. A swoony romance. All of these elements make up the entertaining Shelved Under Murder!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

The mystery was quite elaborate, while the additional storylines and well-developed characters added those subtle red herrings and remarkable twists necessary to keep readers guessing.
~That’s What She’s Reading

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July 9 – The Ninja Librarian – GUEST POST
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July 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
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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.”

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Dec 192017
 


A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series

Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314394
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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 


About the Author

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.

 

Author Links
Website/Blog    Facebook   Twitter  Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N         Books-A-Million      Indie Bound 

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

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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.”

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