Saturday, July 7, 2018

ARC Review: Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Shelved Under Murder
Author: Victoria Gilbert
Series: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)

Description: Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford―so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder in Shelved Under Murder, the charming second installment in Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries, perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Miranda James.

My Thoughts: In this second episode of the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, Librarian Amy Webber is getting ready for the library booth at the Heritage Festival. Amy and her assistant Sunny need to stop at artist Rachel LeBlanc's home to pick up some paintings that she is donating to the sale. The find Rachel murdered, her husband missing, and her daughter coming down from a drug high.

During the investigation of Rachel's studio, a hidden room filled with paintings by some famous artists. Amy uses her art history degree to take a look at them. She's pretty sure that they are forgeries but that doesn't tell them who forged them. It could have been Rachel or her husband Reese. Amy is pretty sure that art dealer Kurt Kendrick has to have had something to do with it. Kurt was a childhood friend of Aunt Lydia's long-deceased artist husband Andrew but Lydia blames him for some of Andrew's problems.

Because of the Heritage Festival Aunt Lydia agrees to host an art expert who comes to town to examine the paintings found in Rachel's studio. He also takes a look at Andrew's paintings which Lydia has carefully protected since his death. He also is attracted to Lydia who has had her heart buried with her husband since his death.

Meanwhile, Amy's relationship with her next door neighbor dancer/choreographer/teacher Richard Muir is heating up. Amy still has some doubts because she can't believe that an ordinary woman would ever attract the handsome dancer. Richard doesn't seem to have any doubts though.

This story begins with a murder but quickly gets more complicated bringing in art thefts dating back to World War II and bringing in an international group of art thieves. The pace of this one was leisurely and the plot was nicely twisty. I had my suspicions about who really murdered Rachel but didn't anticipate the many twists and turns of the plot.

Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
"So, do I refer to you as Deputy Webber now?" Aunt Lydia asked the next day. She'd returned from church to find me huddled on the sofa in our sitting room, perusing the Register website.

I glanced up from the laptop with a smile. "No, you can still call me Amy. Now, I might ask Mel Riley to call me Deputy..."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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