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Booked for Death
Booklover's B&B #1
By Victoria Gilbert
Crooked Lane Books, $26.99, 320pp
Published: August 2020

A book lover's B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder--and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader's paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It's the perfect literary retreat--until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim's daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt's name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer's death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer--or end up writing her own final chapter.

Charlotte Reed left her job as a schoolteacher following a personal tragedy and now runs the book themed Bed & Breakfast Chapters that she inherited from her great aunt a year ago. During a Josephine Tey-themed weekend one of the guests, a rare book dealer, threatens Charlotte that he will reveal unsavory information about her great aunt Isabella and then he turns up dead in the carriage house. As the police investigation continues it turns out that several of the other guests had reason to kill the man.  Being a prime suspect as well as curious about her mysterious great-aunt’s past, Charlotte starts her own investigation with the help of her older neighbor, Ellen, who was a friend of great aunt Isabella.  The more Charlotte investigates the more it becomes clear that great-aunt Isabella had more secrets than Charlotte could have ever realized.

This is the first in a new series of cozy mysteries by author of the Blue Ridge Library series this is a quick, fun read. The characters are fleshed-out and interesting. I am looking forward to the second in the series, Reserved for Murder, that will be published in June and will be looking up the author’s other books.  Recommended ~~ Stephanie L Bannon 

For more titles by Victoria Gilbert click here

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