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Murder by the Bookend by Laura Gail Black

Title: Murder by the Bookend (An Antique Bookshop Mystery #2)

Author: Laura Gail Black

Published on: 7th September 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Murder by the Bookend is the second book in Laura Gail Black‘s An Antique Bookshop Mystery series.

It has been three months since Jenna Quinn moved to Hokes Folly. She inherited her uncle Paul’s antique bookshop – well, she was supposed to work under him but when she arrived, she found him dead. The local detective accused Jenna of killing her uncle and Jenna had a hard time proving her innocence. Three months later, here she is, on the reopening night of the bookshop which is now named ‘Twice Upon a Time.’

Linus, the local library’s Director of Antique Books is one of the guests at the party. His dog Eddy comes tagging along and Jenna welcomes the duo to her bookshop. After the party is over and guests have retired to their homes, Jenna sees Eddy running away from the parking lot. Jenna and Keith see Linus’s car still parked in the parking lot and Linus dead in a pool of blood. Keith, Jenna’s boyfriend and a local detective cannot investigate the case but detective Sutter can. Sutter has a problem with Jenna – when her uncle was murdered, Sutter did not waste a minute in pointing fingers at Jenna. This time too, he believes Jenna has something to do with Linus’ murder.

What a fantastic addition to the series! Quirky humor, excellent storytelling, a mystery to keep you guessing till the end, long list of suspects, a dash of sweet romance and friendship… this book is a treat for cozy mystery lovers, that’s for sure!

I absolutely loved every bit of this story. The spotlight is not only on mystery but on romance too. Jenna and Keith started seeing each other as For Whom the Book Tolls ended. Though their relationship is in its initial stage, it is obvious the pair are in love. We have moments where Jenna feels like she’s in a fairy tale – aww, Keith!

Rita, Jenna’s neighbor and part-time help at the bookshop, plays a major role in the story. Jenna is attacked by the perp twice and Rita, Mason and Keith take turns to nurse her back to good health. Mason is a twenty-year-old guy who helped Jenna’s uncle manage the store. Mason was also accused by Stutter in Paul’s murder case – the poor boy spent a few nights behind bars until Jenna proved his innocence. In this book, we see Mason helping Jenna at the bookshop and with stakeouts (to catch the book thief red-handed).

Coming to the mystery behind the murder, as the bookshop party begins and Linus enters the scene, two or three people tell Jenna how bad the man is. The same people have a different story to tell when they hear of Linus’ murder. Crocodile tears are shed too… Hmm! A local politician and Linus had history and so did one of the directors at the local library. If this wasn’t enough, Linus also had a beef with the local librarian (one of his colleagues). Too many suspects and nobody to solve the case. Well, detective Sutter is only interested in making a name for himself before his retirement and Jenna knows this means he will accuse the wrong person (once again) of committing the crime.

Excellent writing and character portrayal. The identity of the perp was shocking and unexpected – Jenna is very sure that so-and-so is the killer but… hmm. The budding romance between Keith and Jenna makes you go aww. Rita, Mason and Jenna form a stakeout team – which goes a little sideways when Sutter interferes. Jenna might be amateur at sleuthing but she is on the killer’s track – the proof being multiple attacks on Jenna.

Murder by the Bookend is an entertaining and engrossing cozy mystery. If you love mysteries set in bookshops, you might want to give Murder by the Bookend by Laura Gail Black a read.

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