Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book #Review ~ A Murder for the Books (A Blue Ridge Library Mystery, Book 1) by Victoria Gilbert ~ @VGilbertauthor

A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

A Murder for the Books
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery

Cozy Mystery 
1st in Series 

Crooked Lane Books 
December 12, 2017

Hardcover: 336 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1683314394 
E-Book ASIN: B072396C2L

About the Book:

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.

Amy Webber finds herself living with her Aunt Lydia in a small town in Virginia after a scandal involving her then-boyfriends causes her to flee her job at a university. After making her home in Taylorsford, Amy takes the director's job at the local library. Not nearly as exciting as the large university library she's used to, this small one still exuded a charm as a Carnegie library - even with the leaky roof. When a patron comes in looking for archival data on his family, Amy is quick to recommend their little shed of hidden history outside the library.

Richard Muir has moved into his ancestral home next to Amy and Aunt Lydia. Knowing the basic history of the home has piqued Richard's curiosity into learning more about its past inhabitants. Legend has it Paul Dassin, the homeowner, was murdered by his wife, Eleanora and after the murder trial, she disappeared. Richard would like to prove that Eleanora wasn't responsible and requests help from Amy.

When murders begin happening in Taylorsford, Amy and Richard learn that no one has a spotless past and the skeletons in their closets are about to make an appearance.

A Murder for the Books is a fantastic cozy mystery filled with history and secrets. The book is full of present-day scandal and murder but also focuses on a cold-case. Richard is looking into his family's past which also intersects with Amy's family and other prominent members of the small town community. He and Amy hit it off really well and I like their interactions and chemistry.  They are written really well and their dialogue is smooth and realistic. The supporting characters are also written well. I enjoyed the character development overall. The world building inside Taylorsford was descriptive and informative, and I was able to visualize the world created by Victoria Gilbert.

The plot was interesting, engaging, and contained several threads to the keep the reader entertained. The author's writing style is conversational and the dialogue between the characters is realistic and believable. The story and history is captivating and held my interest from the first page. The steady pacing draws the reader into a well-developed book without the rush or the dragging out of each plot point and scenario.

The book was set in a small, close-knit town where everyone knows everyone else's business - sometimes before the actual person involved knows. I grew up in such a town and can attest to the grapevine and how fast information and gossip flows along. The author did a wonderful job putting this story together and I can't wait to see where the author takes Amy next.

Just a word of caution - this book does contain some harsh language.

My Rating:

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