Little Bookshop of Murder: A Beach Reads Mystery #1 by Maggie Blackburn
Summer is not having a good summer. After a minor scandal has her scurrying off to England to spend some time researching Shakespeare for an academic paper, she has to rush back home to North Carolina when her mother dies suddenly of a heart attack. Arriving back home in the small town she thought she’d left behind forever, Summer begins to suspect that her mother’s death wasn’t natural and after failing to convince the town’s police chief to investigate, takes on the challenge herself with her aunt and cousins. Can Summer uncover the truth before she ends up a victim in her own tragedy?
I saw this on Netgalley and couldn’t resist snagging it. I really enjoyed this, equal parts engaging, heartbreaking, exciting, and heartwarming. Summer and her family are likeable and the story was rich in detail, making the setting and the characters seem so realistic it was like being there. But that came at the expense of the pacing, which lagged a bit in the middle and there was a fair amount of rehashing. I liked how organically and realistically Summer set out to investigate, especially when she followed in the footsteps of her mother’s last day. Took her a bit longer to see whodunit than it did me (and I thought the motive was a bit shaky) but that twisty, action-packed reveal and the surprise twist at the very end wrapped everything up nicely and left me wanting more.
Publication Date: September 8, 2020