Book Reviews

Book Review: Murder at the Bookstore

By Sue Minix

Publication Date:  January 19, 2023

331 Pages

Rarely do I manage to post a review on a book birthday, and for this one, I’m glad the timing worked out.  I’ve been looking for a good cozy mystery series I can catch at book one (because despite my best intentions, I’m terrible at catching up on earlier installments I’ve missed).  Let me say up front that I’ve found a new series I will be following.

Here’s the blurb:  Suffering from writer’s block and a broken heart, Jen Dawson has moved home to Riddleton, SC to try to repeat the success of her debut novel.  She finds comfort and companionship at Ravenous Readers, a new bookstore in town, where she spends hours commiserating with the owner, Aletha.  The fact that the barista is total eye candy doesn’t hurt either.  But her friendship is cut short when Aletha is killed.  The situation goes from bad to worse when Jen becomes a suspect.

Ignoring protests from the police not to get involved, Jen takes it upon herself to clear her name and find the real killer.  After all, she’s a mystery writer.  She can figure it out.  Can’t she?

“Murder at the Bookstore” interpreted by Wombo Dream

A relatable main character?  Check.  A real reason for her to get involved in solving the mystery?  Check.  Great cliffhanger chapter endings?  Check.  This one hit everything I’m looking for in a cozy mystery (with the exception of being set in a quaint, English village, but we can’t have everything.)

I loved Jen’s character.  She’s stubborn, quirky, and as I said above, very relatable.  She’s also flawed, with relationship issues (both romantic and familial) that should lend themselves to a great series character arc.  Even in this first book, I watched her come out of her shell and get more involved in her community, giving me a taste of some fabulous characters that I want to see more of (with the possible exception of Gary.)  

Did I guess the murderer before the reveal?  I still wasn’t 100% sure leading up to the climax. There are plenty of red herrings in this book and honestly, my writer’s brain didn’t foresee the plot line that unfolded.  The pacing didn’t drag and I stayed up too late last night getting through the last few chapters, needing to know how it ended.  And I was very satisfied with how it all wrapped up.

I recommend picking this one up. 

Final rating:  4.25 stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐+

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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