Prologue to Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #2) by Lauren Elliott
Published April 30th 2019 by Kensington
This is the second outing in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery and it continues the development of the characters and their relationships. This book can be read as a standalone, but the series is only into its third book, so I recommend taking the time to read them in order to get the full backstory of the main characters.
The protagonist, Addie Greyborne, former researcher for Boston Public Library, has returned to Greyborne Harbor after the death of both her father and fiancee. She recently inherited everything from her aunt and took the opportunity to move to the town named after her ancestors and operate a bookstore/collectables. She was befriended by Serena, the store owner next to her store and began a relationship with Serena’s brother Marc, the Chief of Police. The mystery in this book deals with the death of the local librarian. She did not return home one evening and her body was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs, determined to be murder. A gossip columnist, known only as “Miss Newsie” points the finger at Addie, saying that she coveted her job due to her failing business. This upsets Addie, so of course, she has to investigate. Throw in the return to town of Marc’s ex-fiancee, Lacey Davenport, and several locals who do not like Addie for various reasons she has yet to determine, and Addie is off-kilter trying to figure out what is going on.
I enjoy Addie as the protagonist in this series, but she seems to be very emotional and somewhat snippy in this story. I can see why, as she seems to be a target for whatever reason, but it was a bit unsettling. The author also introduces a new male character that is attracted to Addie, Simon, a doctor and coroner, so you know they will come in contact quite a bit, thus a love triangle that I hope does not carry on too long. The book connection deals with a manuscript that the murdered woman had written and was “forced” to revise as one of the founding families was depicted in an unfavorable light. There were several red herrings and twists in this novel that made it a bit difficult to pinpoint who the murderer was until several of the clues near the end of the story point in the right direction. The book is interesting, but the sudden shifts between attraction and anger between Addie and Marc create some unnecessary tension that distracted me from the mystery. I have read several reviews where the book is referred to as a romantic suspense mystery, more so than a cozy. The plot is well paced and I liked the pirate/buried treasure theme. I enjoyed this story and will continue to read this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Synopsis: After a career working with rare books at the Boston Public Library, Addie Greyborne is back in her seaside New England hometown—where unfortunately, murder is not so rare . . .
Gossip columnists love a bold-faced name—but “Miss Newsy” at Greyborne Harbor’s local paper seems to specialize in bald-faced lies. She’s pointed a finger of suspicion at Addie after librarian June Winslow never makes it home from a book club meeting. And when June’s found at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, Addie’s not only dealing with a busybody, but a dead body.
It’s a good thing the guy she’s dating is the police chief. But both the case and her love life get more complicated when a lanky blonde reporter from Los Angeles shows up. She’s trying her hardest to drive a wedge between the couple . . . as if Addie doesn’t have enough problems dealing with angry townspeople. Despite all the rumors, Addie doesn’t know a thing about the murder—but she plans to find out. And the key may lie in a book about pirate legends that June published. Now she just has to hunt down the clues before she becomes a buried treasure herself . . .