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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Vicki L. Weavil (P)2018 Tantor

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 04-24-18

I Liked It

This is a pretty good cozy mystery. It has all the things cozy mysteries need to have: budding romance, woman running away from a disastrous relationship, a woman who almost allows her insecurities to ruin her budding romance and an aunt to remind her the important things in life. The plot was pretty good. The villain is unexpected. I might get the next book when it's available.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Murder reaching into the past

In <strong>A Murder for the Books</strong> by Victoria Gilbert, Amy Webber works as librarian in the small town of Taylorsford when a new resident walks in. Richard Muir has inherited his great- uncle's century-old house and fixed it up. Now he has moved in and has decided to study an old scandal to prove that Eleanora Cooper, the former resident Richard's great-- uncle loved, did not poison her husband, Daniel Cooper. Though Eleanora was acquitted, most of the town always considered her to have gotten away with murder, so she disappeared in 1925, assumed to have moved back to wherever she came from. Richard wants to look through the town archives, so Amy goes to get the key to the building that holds them, but the key is missing. Using her personal key, Amy takes Richard to the building, where she finds not just the key but the body of Doris Vertz, a frequent library patron with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

The investigation goes into the past, both more remote and less distant, though the contemporary murder gets less focus than I might have expected. Instead, the book focuses more on how the knowledge of the past can enlighten the knowledge of the present and how the actions of the past can affect the actions of the present.

<strong>A Murder for the Books</strong> has a strong mystery with characters who have real depth to them. The plot takes many interesting turns to it, and I really liked getting to see the research process of Amy as she uses her library skills to look into the past mysteries. The characters of Amy and Richard make you cheer for them to find true love, and the more we learn about Richard, the more we come to appreciate his true nature. We also enjoy the spunk of Aunt Lydia and her encouragement of Amy to stand up for herself.

Amy Melissa Bentley performs the audio version of this book, using a gentle Southern accent to act as narrator of the book. She adds life to the recording in voicing each character, from the 30- somethings Amy and Richard to the older adults who join with Amy's Aunt Lydia. Bentley's sense of timing utilizes a strong understanding of the elements of the book, making it especially enjoyable.

I really appreciated the fascination and depth of the mystery in <strong>A Murder for the Books</strong>. The book has clever elements to the clues, which come with depth and strength of interest. I found this book to be very fun to listen to. I give the book five stars.