Published September 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop--and a murder mystery--in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.
Summer Merriweather's career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder's thread. Academic life at her Virginia university is a viper's pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.
Returning to Brigid's Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom's embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: "Sell the bookstore or die."
Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid's Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there's not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy's beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid's Island than are dreamt of in the Bard's darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can't find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy's worth of corpses--including her own.
This is the first book in the Beach Reads mystery series by Maggie Blackburn.
Summer returns to her hometown to go to her mother’s funeral from an apparent heart attack. But Summer isn’t buying it. Her mother was in her 60’s and very healthy. She and her Aunt Agatha think it is murder. But Summer and the chief of police don’t exactly see eye to eye since she left his son at the alter years earlier. So, she does some investigating on her own.
I really enjoyed the sense of community in this story. Everyone seemed to work together to find the killer. It becomes readily apparent from the beginning that one of her mother’s friends did the deed so she didn’t exactly know who to trust. Even though the killer was uncovered in the end, there were a lot of unresolved issues in Summer’s life that gives me hope that this series will continue into the future. There wasn’t a real love interest here so if that is your jam, be aware. But I have hope for the next few books that we will see something materialize.
I enjoyed the mystery a lot and the trouble that Summer had accepting that a romance or mystery book can be just as good as a Shakespearian classic was quite a humorous ride. Definitely a series I want to continue with.
If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.