Review: Murder in the First Edition (Book #3: Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series) by Lauren Elliott

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Addie’s getting into the spirit for the upcoming Charity Auction—especially since she’s got an 1843 copy of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to donate. Her former colleagues at the Boston Public Library have confirmed that its worth runs toward the high five figures, which should help with the new pediatric wing. Her mood darkens, though, when a visitor from the past appears—Jonathan Hemingway, the father of her late fiancé. His presence stirs up sad memories for Addie, but also has her fuming when Jonathan, true to his womanizing ways, runs off for a lunchtime liaison with Teresa Lang, who’s in charge of the auction.

Soon after, Addie heads to Teresa’s office at the hospital—and finds the poor woman’s dead body. What she doesn’t find is her valuable first edition. What sort of Scrooge would steal from sick children and commit murder in the process? As a Nor’easter bears down and a mystery emerges about Jonathan’s past, Addie must find out if she can appraise people’s motives and characters as well as she can appraise rare books . . .

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Source: Purchase          Rating: 4½/5 stars

Woo Hoo!!  Murder in the First Edition is a definite come back book after the sophomore slump of book two of the Beyond the Page Bookstore series! 

With over a year in Greyborne Harbor, Addie has become more comfortable in town and has become an active member of the community and not just in the solving crimes arena. To that end, she has donated a rare and precious copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the upcoming hospital fund raiser.  With the official appraisal in hand, Addie and the fundraiser organizer expect an excellent payday to help with the hospital renovations.  With nothing but good feelings and a positive outlook, Addie isn’t expecting to once again be sucked into a crime.

Just as Addie is gearing up for a festive and fun Christmas season, everything is turned on its head when she finds the fundraiser organizer dead and her donated book missing.  As if that weren’t bad enough, police chief Marc sees Addie as a viable suspect with the most to gain!  Yet again, Addie is forced to drag out the murder board in order to organize her thoughts and clear her name.  Once again, the whole mess is far more complicated than Addie could have anticipated and some of the players are quite unexpected.

Throughout the investigation, Addie finds herself at odds with Marc!  Marc hates Addie’s meddling, but even has to admit her track record for solving big, complicated crimes is pretty good.  Addie’s sleuthing leads her deep into the world of rare book brokering, rare and weird poisons, and a network of people she might want to avoid in the future!  There’s treachery and deceit around every corner and with Marc’s suspicions constantly plaguing her, Addie seems to be in deeper than she ever has before. 

The Bottom Line:  The thing I like about this series (especially books one and three) are the more complicated yet not convoluted nature of the plots.  This isn’t your average cozy mystery series and that’s one of the things I like best about it. Along with the regular cast of characters, each book also has a host of secondary characters who all have a logical and clear place in each story.  I love the interconnectedness of the primary and secondary characters and how everything comes together in such a perfectly reasonable way in the end.  I don’t ever feel as if I have any lingering questions or loose ends when I reach the end of these books.  I like the snarky exchanges Addie often has and her fiery spirit.  I also love that Addie is becoming a more solid and accepted member of the community which means more repeat visits from favorite characters.  In all, a very solid and entertaining cozy mystery series!

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