Victoria Gilbert comes to the blog today with the third in the Blue Ridge Library mystery series, narrated by Colleen Marlo
Past Due for Murder
Notable for the unique characters and small town setting that drive this series, the third book in the series picks up with the next big town celebration, the renewal of a May Day festival. Amy, our librarian with a penchant for solving murder, has done the research into this long-defunct town tradition, and has prepared a presentation for the tourists and locals the event is meant to bring. If you’ve followed along, you’ll know that Amy is a research demon, and her innate curiosity have had her right in the mix of earlier cases. And this will be no exception. The bonfire was to combine research, storytelling and a fun night for university students turned into so much more: on the outskirts of the fire Amy spots someone who she hadn’t seen in ages and had no idea why he was in Taylorsford, and then a student goes missing – turning up with no memory of what happened and next to a body. The mystery and questions are afoot and from here we see how the story will unfold: suspects, questions and all.
Driving this series forward, more than the mysteries that pop up are the characters and their relationships – feeling natural, plausible and developing in ways that honor past events and propel us forward for more. More even than in the last story, the action, lies and discoveries come fast and furious here- and perhaps feel occasionally forced in what was a rush to solve the murder and discover the culprit. Not quite as many red-herrings, and moments of unevenness in pacing and forward motion made this the least successful of the series – but still wholly enjoyable. It’s a clever escape to a small town where the personal connections are clearly as intriguing and interesting as the mysteries – the series has plenty to offer as it is clear, from development and time passing, to see changes in connections, a sense of ‘home’ from Amy and plenty of humor and history as Taylorsford is described and its history revealed.
Narration for this story is again provided by Colleen Marlo – and her ability to present the story, allowing for moments one needs to process information, without guiding listeners to any one specific conclusion is a solid asset to this series. While the zanier characters are allowed their moments, the descriptions, conversations and Amy’s character are allowed to feel natural and plausible: she’s someone you want to know – and travelling through a mystery with her is much like an adventure- her curiosity is never-ending and her ability to sort through it all, even with the deceptions, is enjoyable. While not my favorite in the series, this was a solid installment that tied neatly to the books before it, and gave me more to look forward to with the next.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 2
Title: Past Due for Murder
Author: Victoria Gilbert
Series: Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #3
Also in this series: A Murder for the Books, Shelved Under Murder
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Small Town
Narrator: Colleen Marlo
Published by: Crooked Lane Books, Tantor Audio
Published on: 12 February, 2019
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 2 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.
Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first―but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.
The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished―or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.
When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events―and a dead body lying nearby―an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: