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

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Gossip columnists love a bold-faced name—but “Miss Newsy” at Greyborne Harbor’s local paper seems to specialize in bald-faced lies. She’s pointed a finger of suspicion at Addie after librarian June Winslow never makes it home from a book club meeting. And when June’s found at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, Addie’s not only dealing with a busybody, but a dead body.

It’s a good thing the guy she’s dating is the police chief. But both the case and her love life get more complicated when a lanky blonde reporter from Los Angeles shows up. She’s trying her hardest to drive a wedge between the couple . . . as if Addie doesn’t have enough problems dealing with angry townspeople. Despite all the rumors, Addie doesn’t know a thing about the murder—but she plans to find out. And the key may lie in a book about pirate legends that June published. Now she just has to hunt down the clues before she becomes a buried treasure herself . . .

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Source: Purchase          Rating: 3/5 stars

Just like in music, television, and sports, the sophomore slump is a real thing! 

In round two of the Addie Greyborne Beyond the Page Bookstore series, Addie is once again faced with a crime she gets sucked into and a slew of gossip and rumors that threaten to shut down her livelihood!

With a lightness in her heart, Addie walks into work one morning only to find the local gossip column has smeared Addie’s name and business to no end.  Addie is used to this type of behavior from her next-door neighbor, Martha, but the gossip column is a new type of attack and Addie has no idea where the new threat is coming from.  Unfortunately, Addie’s suspicions are quickly peaked when she meets Lacey, the police chief’s ex and newest member of the local newspaper staff.  Lacey is a snake on legs, and she makes no secret of contempt for Addie.

Though Addie can’t prove Lacey is behind the “news” column, she can make a start on disproving everything reported.  Topping the list is disproving the accusation that Addie had anything to do with the death of Greyborne Harbor’s beloved local librarian, June.  Proving her innocence and preserving her reputation is going to be crazy difficult which leads Addie to once again utilizing her murder board.  As she begins to add questions, clues, and suspects to the board, Addie finds that the investigation is taking her down a quite unexpected path.

Librarian June was also a local historian and author whose work focused on the lives and legends of the early history of Greyborne Harbor.  Through the course of her work, June was able to establish that the now cozy village was once a pirate haven which has spawned legends about still-buried treasure.  In fact, June’s research was thorough she even marked the locations of the supposed buried treasures on a map of the village.  It doesn’t take long to figure out that someone is after the buried treasure and is more than willing to kill for the find of a lifetime.

In between solving the latest crime and salvaging her reputation, Addie also has the added complication of being the third member of a love triangle.  What a mess!  Though Addie doesn’t feel she’s ready to move one following the death of her fiancé, she can’t deny her feelings for both Marc and Simon.  There are no good choices and Addie feels torn at every level and after nearly every encounter.  If Addie’s life could get any more complicated, well that would just be awesome 😊

The Bottom Line:  This book really fell into the sophomore slump for me and it has everything to do with the plot.  Outside of Johnny Depp, I really don’t care for pirates or pirate stories ☹  Outside of the pirates, I liked the rest of the story including the newly established love/friendship triangle between Addie, Marc, and Simon, the whole gossip column fiasco, and the Lacey situation.  Lauren Elliott has a knack for writing truly unlikeable characters and I like that, a lot!  Thankfully, the pacing of this story was fast enough that I got through this pirate-infested read quickly and was able to move on to the much more enjoyable book three!

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