Published December 12th 2017 by Crooked Lane Books
In this first book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series we meet librarian, Amy Webber. She has left the University, where she worked as a research librarian, after a disastrous love affair. She has moved in with her aunt, who has recently had an injury, in a quiet Virginia town in the mountains. Things are pretty lax at the library with a research annex where patrons are left alone to do their own research. Richard Muir is a dancer, choreographer and teacher at the same University where Amy worked. He has recently inherited the farmhouse next door to her aunt. He is researching a death from years ago, of the previous owner. It was rumoured that his wife poisoned him, but she was found not guilty. Shortly after that she disappears. When Richard asks to do research, Amy is unable to find the key to the annex. She leads Richard to the room and finds the dead body of a local resident with dementia. Who would want to kill her? Why was she in the annex hiding? Amy and Richard know something is going on and their search for the killer as well as trying to untangle information from the past, sets them on a road to discovery and danger.
I enjoyed this story and the characters. Amy is a great protagonist with her research skills and tenacity. She only wants to find the answers and do what is right, but others do not have her morals. There are quirky small-town characters, and a possible love interest in Richard. There is a killer who is determined to do whatever is necessary to keep old secrets, secret. The setting is wonderful with a run down library that needs updating, and a small town with a lot of history. The plot includes a cold case and a new murder that blend together nicely and are well paced. There are a few suspects and enough twists to keep me guessing. The final reveal and chase are well done and bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. Over all, this is a well-written cozy mystery with a great plot and some meat to it. I find that I enjoy this type of cozy much more than the “fluff” ones. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy the cozy genre and I plan to continue reading this series by Victoria Gilbert.
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.
This satisfies the 4th book in my 20 Books of Summer 2019 Challenge.