A few months ago, Owl’s Nest received an advertisement postcard and bookmark in the mail, along with a letter. It was from the Calgary-based author, Lauren Elliott, letting us know of her forthcoming cozy mystery. Since Owl’s Nest specializes in mysteries, I immediately emailed asking if we could host the launch and I was so pleased when the author not only said yes, but offered to get me an advanced copy.
I finally got a chance to dip into Murder by the Book over the last few weeks and found myself always eager to go back.
It feels like a long time since I was able read a true cozy mystery. So much of the mystery genre these days is dark and violent. It was lovely to sit down with the characters of Murder by the Book. Of course, being a bookseller, the fact that the setting involved a second-hand book store only added to my pleasure.
Murder by the Book centers around Addison “Addie” Greyborne, who has just moved into her inherited family house in a cozy New England town and opened her second-hand book shop. She is holding back the trauma of the recent deaths of her fiancé and father (ruled an unsolved burglary-turned-wrong and an accident respectively) but her emotions still break through every now and then.
The day her shop opens, Addie make a friend of one business-neighbour and an enemy of another. When a prominent businessman is killed and Addie’s new friend is accused of the murder, Addie is determined to use her sleuthing skills (honed from tracking the provenance of rare books) to solve the mystery.
With Murder by the Book, you get exactly what it says on the tin. A cozy small town with its usual small town politics, an intriguing puzzle that keeps you guessing, and the bonus of just a little romantic tension with the local police chief. When I got to the end, I immediately read the blurb for the second book in the series, something I rarely take the time to do.
I’m looking forward to recommending Murder by the Book as one of my staff picks, and I might have to see if I can pull strings for a peek at the sequel, Prologue to Murder.