I love a cosy mystery tv movie (hello Hallmark – Aurora Teagarden, Gourmet Detective, Mystery 101, ALL OF THEM) and have been keen to read some, but tbh there are just sooooo many out there that it’s hard to know where to start.
I spotted The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham on a Netgalley browse one day and figured focussing on books/series with a bookish connection at least narrowed it down, so put in a request for a review copy. I’m so glad I did!
What is Merryn Allingham’s The Bookshop Murder about?
Bookshop owner Flora Steele escapes the sleepy English village of Abbeymead through the adventures in the stories she sells. Until one morning, everything changes when she discovers a body amongst her own bookshelves…
The young man with the shock of white-blond hair lay spread-eagled on the floor, surrounded by fallen books. His hand reached out to the scattered pages, as though he was trying to tell her something.
But who is he? How did he come to be killed in Flora’s ordinary little bookshop? Flora finds out he was staying at the Priory Hotel, and when the gardener suddenly dies in its beautiful grounds only a few days later, she is certain that something untoward is happening in her quiet village by the sea.
But are the two deaths connected? And is someone at the hotel responsible – the nervous cook, the money-obsessed receptionist, or the formidable manageress?
Determined to save her beloved bookshop’s reputation and solve the murder mystery, Flora enlists the help of handsome and brooding Jack Carrington: crime writer, recluse and her most reliable customer.
As the unlikely duo set about investigating the baffling case, guilty faces greet them at every door. And they soon realise there’s more than one person hiding secrets in Abbeymead…
My review of The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham
The Bookshop Murder was a great read! The protagonists are both amateur sleuths – a librarian/bookshop owner (Flora) and a crime writer (Jack). They had enough connection with the murder (at Flora’s bookshop) to justify why they would get involved in the investigation, which I always like.
The book set in 1955, and I enjoyed getting a peek at English village life at that time, with the impacts of the war still being felt.
Flora and Jack’s friendship was also fun to see develop, from their first meeting at the start of the book to them starting to admit to a mutual admiration later on. This is the first book in a planned series, and I’m looking forward to seeing how their friendship continues to grow – I’ll definitely be picking up book 2!
The Bookshop Murder (A Flora Steele Mystery Book 1) by Merryn Allingham
Out now from Bookouture.
Source: Free ecopy kindly provided by Bookouture via Netgalley (thank you!). All views are my own