Title: For Whom the Book Tolls
Author: Laura Gail Black
Series: An Antique Bookshop Mystery #1
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Book Source: NetGalley
For Whom the Book Tools will be published on August 11, 2020, but you can preorder now!
“Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle’s gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she’ll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle’s body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore.
Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she’s inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy…which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna–bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna’s status as the prime suspect in both deaths.
Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle’s killer. On the one hand, she’s made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address–and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna’s story.” – Amazon
I always love finding the first book in a new cozy mystery series and I was even more excited when I read For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black took place at a bookshop. Could there be a better backdrop for a cozy! And Black set up the premise perfectly for Jenna to be able to be an amateur detective when her uncle left her the shop, living quarters above, and a lot of money.
While the town where a cozy takes place is important, as well as whatever hobby or food theme is incorporated, for me, it’s the characters that make the novel. If I don’t enjoy the characters, I won’t be coming back for more. At first I thought I may not be returning to Hokes Folly because Jenna really wasn’t doing much for me, and as the main character, that is a must. And the author does a lot of telling instead of showing, which can get boring after a bit.
So why will I be reading the next book in An Antique Bookshop Mystery? It’s because of the secondary characters, mainly Mason and Rita. I want to see how Mason grows and I really enjoyed Rita’s warmth.
As far as the killer goes, Black does include some red herrings. And I didn’t figure out the killer right away, which is always a plus. I will say though, a lot of the cozies I’ve read lately seem to have a trend going on who turns out to be the killer. Which was fine for the first three or four cozies that did this, but I hope cozy writers go back to having a little more substance and motive behind the killings again very soon!
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