Thursday, December 2, 2021

ARC Review: Renewed for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Renewed for Murder

Victoria Gilbert
Series: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery (Book 6)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (December 7, 2021)

Description: Librarian Amy Webber dances with death in critically acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert's sixth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

August in Taylorsford, Virginia finds library director Amy Webber and her new husband, dancer Richard Muir, settling into married life--and a new project. Richard and his dance partner, Karla, are choreographing a suite based on folk music and folk tales, while Amy scours the library's resources to supply background information on the dance's source material. But the mellifluous music comes to a jarring halt when an unknown woman's body turns up in Zelda Shoemaker's backyard gazebo.

Chief Deputy Brad Tucker puts Zelda at the top of his suspect list, thanks to a blackmail letter he finds in the dead woman's pocket. Zelda's best friend, Amy's aunt Lydia Talbot, begs Amy to use her research skills to clear Zelda's name. But the task is confounded by Zelda's very out-of-character refusal to reveal why the victim might have blackmailed her.

Complicating matters further, Amy unearths records of a long-ago tragedy that casts doubt on Zelda's innocence. She enlists hubby Richard, Aunt Lydia, art dealer Kurt Kendrick, Mayor Sunny Fields, and sundry other quirky townsfolk in a quest to exonerate Zelda. But will revealing the truth end up forcing Zelda to spend the rest of her life behind bars?

Meanwhile, the killer is still out there. Amy had better be fleet on her feet, because death is on her dance card, and her number may be up.

My Thoughts: Amy Webber is settling into married life with dancer Richard Muir and hoping to be out of the detective business. But when her most consistent volunteer, who is also her Aunt Lydia's best friend, is accused of murder, Amy has to get involved.

Zelda seems like an unlikely murderer but circumstantial evidence and Zelda's reluctance to answer questions, leads to her arrest. Amy has to use all of her skills as a librarian to find out who murdered Claudia Everhart and clear Zelda.

Amy's research leads to a choir festival fifty years earlier. Zelda, Claudia, and some others were all participants. Their competing choirs are reprising their roles at an Arts Festival hosted by Marty Stover who is the current Arts Director at Leeland High School. Amy's husband Richard is also involved in the Arts Festival since he's judging some of the dancing. 

With Zelda refusing to talk, Amy falls back on old newspaper clippings from the Library's archives, old yearbooks kept at the High School, and interviews with those who are old enough to remember to events around that long-ago choir contest. She uncovers all sorts of things from a quarterback with a peanut allergy who was dating Zelda and Claudia at the same time to a car accident that claimed the life of another of the choir members. 

This was an entertaining cozy mystery. I liked Amy and Richard's relationship. I also liked the way Amy tries to keep out of danger while still helping the Sheriff's Department with their investigations. 

This is the sixth in a series but stands alone quite well. 

Favorite Quote:
Richard flashed a sidelong grin. "Hardly. But then, you are a tough little cookie, as likely to shield me as I am you."

"Right," I said, patting his arm. "Equal opportunity care and protection. Isn't that what you want in a relationship?"

Richard laid his free hand over mine. "Wouldn't have it any other way."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!