Thursday, October 14, 2021

Book Review: For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black

For Whom the Book Tolls

Laura Gail Black
Series: An Antique Bookshop Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)

Description: In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna--his primary beneficiary--becomes the prime suspect.

Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle's gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she'll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle's body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore.

Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she's inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy...which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna--bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna's status as the prime suspect in both deaths.

Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle's killer. On the one hand, she's made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address--and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna's story.

My Thoughts: Jenna Quinn is having trouble leaving trouble behind her. After being acquitted of embezzlement and murder in her hometown of Charlotte, she has been invited by her uncle to live with him in Hokes Folly and help him with his bookstore.

She doesn't expect to find him dead - a victim of murder - when she arrives. They she does expect the police to look at her with suspicion since that is how she was treated in Charlotte. Detective Frank Sutter fulfills her expectations though his partner Detective Keith Logan doesn't share that opinion. 

When it is learned that her Uncle Paul left everything to her - his rare book store, the apartment above it, and a healthy sum of money, Sutter's suspicions increase. Jenna, too, wants to find out who murdered her uncle. 

While many of the townspeople are friendly including her next door neighbor Rita and her lawyer Horace Grimes, others are not including Olivia Hokes who runs the antique clothing store next door and Stan Jergins who runs a local real estate company and who had run-ins with her uncle over the building of a new mall outside of town. 

Then Norman Childers shows up claiming to be her Uncle Paul's illegitimate child and the true owner of all the things Jenna inherited. After causing problems and threatening her and her business, he is found murdered at the local destination hotel shortly before Jenna pounds on his door to present evidence that he is fraud. That puts Jenna right in Detective Sutter's cross-hairs again. 

Now Jenna has even more reason to find out why anyone wanted her uncle dead which leads to a hidden diary and a possible buried treasure.

This was an enjoyable cozy mystery. I liked the characters though I do think the various friendships happened rather more quickly than seemed realistic to me given Jenna's previous betrayals in Charlotte. I liked the budding romance with Detective Logan. 

Favorite Quote:
The blue and red police lights sent out happy rays of color as they twirled, belying the grim nature of what lay inside my uncle's bookstore. I sat in the back of an ambulance, a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, as shudders racked my body.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. What wouldn't I give to work in a bookstore? Thanks for this review.


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