Wednesday, February 6, 2019

ARC Review: Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Past Due for Murder
Author: Victoria Gilbert
Series: Blue Ridge Library
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)

Description: For fans of Miranda James and Jenn McKinlay, the third conspiratorially delightful third entry in Victoria Gilbert’s critically acclaimed Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

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 in Past Due for Murder, Victoria Gilbert’s third charming Blue Ridge Library mystery.

My Thoughts: This is the third Blue Ridge Library mystery and Amy Webber finds herself involved once more. Amy is the director of the public library and a gifted researcher. She's helping Mona, a folklorist, and her students do some research on some local myths. She's also having some questions about the way her boyfriend Richard is acting. Amy doesn't have a lot of self-confidence because of the way her former boyfriend Charles treated her.

Charles, who is a famous pianist and teacher at Clarion, and his girlfriend Marlis built a mountain retreat near Amy's town. He is grieving because Marlis was recent the victim of a hit and run accident. He seems to want to rekindle things with Amy.

When one of Mona's students goes missing, tensions rise. Amy learns that their were conflicts among the students. Mona also has a long-standing conflict with Charles who she believes stole some of her research to develop a song cycle for which he has become famous and rather wealthy too.

As Amy learns more about the missing student, she also learns about a mystery that is somehow connected to Mona's research. Two young women - and a bag of gold - went missing after the local May Day celebration in 1879. Some say one of the women, fleeing an unwanted marriage, left because she didn't want to marry and started a new life somewhere else. Others say they were captured by the fae and are dancing in their endless dance.

When the missing student is found with a head injury next to Mona's dead body, the case gets even more complex. And Amy finds herself in danger again as she tries to find out the truth.

This was an engaging cozy mystery with an interesting main character and a great setting.

Favorite Quote:
You couldn't bend to the will of a bully. Richard obviously understood that. And so did I.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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