Title: Booked for Death (A Booklover’s B&B Mystery #1)
Author: Victoria Gilbert
Published on: 11 August 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Booked for Death is the first book in a brand new cozy series A Booklover’s B&B Mystery by Victoria Gilbert. A murder during a celebration dedicated to Josephine Tey, well that’s something new!
As a debut to a new series, this book oozes of mystery and amateur sleuthing. Our main character Charlotte Reed inherited her late great-aunt Isabella’s Book-themed B&B – Chapters. The B&B’s cook/housekeeper Alicia and part-time chef Damian are here to help Charlotte with the upcoming celebrations. The guests are having a good time… um, except for this husband-wife couple who seem to have had a lot of fights recently.
The husband, Lincoln, is found lurking in the library, looking at Isabella’s rare collection. When Charlotte admonishes him, he questions Isabella’s authenticity in acquiring the rare books. At the celebrations, Lincoln is found dead – stabbed with a kitchen knife. The guests and a handful of locals present at the celebrations become the main suspects.
It soon becomes clear that Lincoln was a ladies man. Charlotte’s best friend Julie had an affair with the man – she broke up when she heard of his wife and a teenage daughter. Some of the female guests at the B&B also had an axe to grind with the dead man. Charlotte is not clear of suspicion either – after all, he did threaten to expose Isabella and ruin the B&B’s name.
The mystery is really good. In fact, the mystery keeps you guessing till the end. The twist at around 70% through the story is mind-blowing. The identity of the killer was totally unexpected; the reason for murder was a little surprising.
Charlotte is an excellent amateur sleuth. Her curiosity ends up with her unraveling a mystery behind the B&B’s existence. Having said that, I would say I really couldn’t connect with Charlotte as the story began. As a reader, I expected more background on our lead character – after all, this is a series debut and I would have loved to read more about our heroine.
Overall, Booked for Death was an entertaining and enjoyable read. A rare-books-themed B&B mystery, now that’s something a Golden Age Mystery lover like me would love.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.