Review: Murder by the Book (Book #1: Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series) by Lauren Elliott

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Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father’s fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she’s moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store.

But there’s trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie’s friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they’ve got the story in hand, but Addie’s not going to let them close the

book on this case without a fight . .

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Purchase          Rating: 4/5

Addie Greyborne’s life has changed dramatically in just two short years.  Her fiancé was murdered with the killer still at large, her father died in a horrifying car crash, she left her job in Boston to open a small bookshop in Greyborne Harbor after inheriting the entirety of her great-aunt’s estate.  The estate included a wealth of rare and precious books and a manor home that is not only named for her family, but one of the largest in town.  Yes, Addie Greyborne has seen a load of change in a short amount of time.

Though Addie knew nothing about her great-aunt or Greyborne Harbor, she is beginning to embrace her new life in the cozy little New England town.  Her shop is ready to open, and she’s thrilled to be embarking on a new adventure.  Unfortunately, not everyone in town is as thrilled as Addie is about her presence.  The baker next door, Martha seems to despise Addie on sight and won’t even make an effort to know Addie or be polite.  Martha is stirring up trouble for Addie with some of the other local merchants and Addie has no idea why.  On the heals of the nastiness from Martha and her cronies is a grisly murder that leaves Addie’s only real friend in town in handcuffs and accused of murder.

Addie isn’t one to back down from a fight nor is she willing to let questions go unanswered.  Addie is certain, down to her bones that her friend did not commit murder, all she has to do is prove it. With her makeshift murder board, Addie begins asking questions and pulling loose threads.  Trouble is, when you begin pulling loose threads, the unravelling is often more than you bargain for and that is exactly where Addie finds herself.  With a load of clues and more suspects than she can shake a stick at, Addie is going to need help if she’s going to solve this murder and clear her friend’s name.

Addie’s help comes in the form of the very sexy and equally frustrating police chief.  Marc is wicked pissed at Addie’s involvement in the investigation but also has to admit her insights and expertise make for sound investigating.  The deeper Addie and Marc get into the crime the larger they realize the big picture is and far more complex than either ever anticipated.  Not only is the present plaguing them, but Addie’s past and the unanswered questions about her dead relatives and fiancé come back for another round of pain.  Addie is in more danger than she realizes and if she doesn’t come up with some answers soon, she may pay the ultimate price.

The Bottom Line:  What a wild and crazy ride this first in a series book turned out to be.  In truth, I can’t understand the lowish star rating on Goodreads as I found this book to quite worth the time and effort.  Greyborne Harbor is delightful little town, with the requisite nuts and oddities that I so love.  Addie is something of a spitfire and I quite like her determination and intelligence though I don’t always agree with her somewhat reckless behavior.  This is a complicated and intricate plot that involves both the past and the present and I appreciated that combination greatly.  If my suspicions are correct, Addie Greyborne has a bright future ahead of her as an official amateur sleuth.

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