Lauren Elliott comes to the blog with the third book her Beyond the Page Bookstore mystery series
Murder in the First Edition
I’d reviewed the first in this series in audio, and have the second book to listen to as yet – but I’ve jumped ahead to the third because the premise of this book, a first-edition copy of A Christmas Carol, and the holiday-tinged theme of the story just begged to be read now. And, with the exception of missing a tiny bit in Addie’s romantic life (or confusion as a result of it) the story was easy to get into, the mystery was cleverly plotted out, and there were plenty of characters for Addie’s ‘Miss Marple” persona to peruse. What surprised me most of all was that I had an idea of the culprits from the start – not something that is particularly common for me, and Elliott used the plotting to string out the conclusion and reveal in ways that both delighted me and I found intriguing, even if many were false leads.
But it was the first edition book that caught my attention, and the donation of said book by Addie to the local hospital for a charity auction is the catalyst for the story. The local hospital is planning to expand and improve their pediatric wing, and while many local business donate to this hospital event every year, the inclusion of an authenticated and evaluated rare copy of a Dickens’ book is the star of the event. Of course, when Addie and her bestie Serena go to the hospital to deliver Serena’s contribution and the final appraisal papers, the woman who heads the event is not in – and is later found dead. With the book missing, and Addie’s dead fiancé’s father Jonathan showing up unexpectedly, it’s too much of a consequence. Especially when she sees another ‘book dealer’ – a man known in the trade for some shady transactions.
Oh the twists were fun – and there was plenty of Christmassy feeling moments – from the bookshop being overwhelmed with shoppers, to gingerbread men and tons of snow. But, what kept me from absolutely LOVING this story was the romantic triangle (or square, really) that Addie seemed to struggle with – between her hurt feelings about Marc, her new ‘flirtation” with Simon (who sees her as far more than just a friend) and the fact that she can’t – or won’t – let go of her grief about David. Having Jonathan (David’s father) appear and look much like David, stirring all of her resentments about his absence and apparent ‘disinterest’ in staying in touch regularly – there were more times than not when she felt more like a thirteen year old girl than a grown woman past thirty. But, some resolutions did come about, although there will still be questions about who she’ll finally choose, she managed to get some answers from Jonathan, and perhaps is now ready to move on in time for finding a new start in the new year. Overall – this fits nicely with what I remember of the first book, and she’s not quite so “new’ in town – and I’m hoping that the next books will bring more mystery, more book-centric love, and plenty of answers for Addie in her new life.
Title: Murder in the First Edition
Author: Lauren Elliott
Series: Beyond the Page Bookstore #3
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Grief, Holiday Themed, Murder, Mystery Elements, Romantic Elements, Setting: American, Small Town, Suspense Elements
Published by: Kensington
Published on: 24 September, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 32 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio ♦Direct from Publisher
Addie Greyborne is preparing for the holidays at her bookstore in seaside New England—but a winter storm is coming, in more ways than one....
Addie’s getting into the spirit for the upcoming Charity Auction—especially since she’s got an 1843 copy of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to donate. Her former colleagues at the Boston Public Library have confirmed that its worth runs toward the high five figures, which should help with the new pediatric wing. Her mood darkens, though, when a visitor from the past appears—Jonathan Hemingway, the father of her late fiancé. His presence stirs up sad memories for Addie, but also has her fuming when Jonathan, true to his womanizing ways, runs off for a lunchtime liaison with Teresa Lang, who’s in charge of the auction.
Soon after, Addie heads to Teresa’s office at the hospital—and finds the poor woman’s dead body. What she doesn’t find is her valuable first edition. What sort of Scrooge would steal from sick children and commit murder in the process? As a Nor’easter bears down and a mystery emerges about Jonathan’s past, Addie must find out if she can appraise people’s motives and characters as well as she can appraise rare books...
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.