Monday, December 23, 2019

Murder in the First Edition by Lauren Elliott

Murder in the First Edition (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #3)
Good Day!  Lauren Elliott is a USA Today bestselling author who grew up devouring Nancy Drew stories.  She then moved up to Agatha Christie, Lynn Kurland, Victoria Holt, and Michael Crichton (to name just a few).  Lauren studied journalism in college because it seemed like a natural choice since she had been writing as long as she could remember.  After graduation, Lauren worked for a small publication where she discovered that reporting did not fuel her writing passions.  As someone with a strong background in theater plus a love of storytelling, her fiction career took center stage.  Lauren's dog, Marley is her faithful writing companion.  Check out Lauren's website for more information on her books plus see pictures of Marley.  You can follow Lauren on Facebook and Bookbub.
Title page of first edition, 1843.
Murder in the First Edition by Lauren Elliott is the third A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery.  Addie Greyborne owns Beyond the Page in Greyborne Harbor.  Addie has donated an 1843 first edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to the hospital foundation for the upcoming Christmas Charity Auction.  The proceeds of the benefit are for the new pediatric wing.  Addie is looking over the appraisal when she notices Jonathan Hemingway, her deceased fiancé’s father, outside.  He wishes her good tidings for the holiday before departing for a lunch date with Teresa Lang, charity fundraising coordination for the hospital foundation. Addie arrives at the hospital after lunch for her meeting with Teresa and finds her dead at the bottom of the stairwell.  The first edition of A Christmas Carol is missing from the locked case in Teresa’s office.  Chief of Police Marc Chandler is on the case and he wants Addie to keep her nose out of it.  Addie is not about to sit idly by especially with her emotions running high over Jonathan who has taken up with Addie’s friend, Catherine since a blizzard has him stranded in town.  Addie begins asking questions and digging for clues to uncover who harmed Teresa and took the rare Christmas tale.
Murder in the First Edition by Lauren Elliott may be the third A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, but it can be read on its own.  Addie Greyborne donates an 1843 first edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to the Christmas Charity Auction put on by the local hospital foundation.  She takes the appraisal to her meeting with coordinator, Teresa Lang.  Teresa is not in her office and neither is the rare book in its locked case.  Addie finds Teresa dead at the bottom of the steps with alcohol on her breath.  Addie believes it is murder since the book disappeared at the same time, but Police Chief Marc Chandler must deal with facts.  Addie, of course, quickly begins investigating despite being warned off by Marc.  I like the town of Greyborne Harbor and the descriptions of the shops including Addie’s Beyond the Page.  It sounds like a cozy small town where gossip spreads rapidly.  The Christmas decorations along with the snow enhanced the Christmas feeling.  The one problem I have with this story is Addie Greyborne.  I do not care for her the way she treated the two love interests.  Both Simon and Marc are interested in Addie.  She seems to be toying with them.  I just do not like the way the two love interests are being handled.  I also did not appreciate how she treated Jonathan Hemingway (her almost father-in-law).  She should get all the facts before making assumptions.  I know part of it is her grief over the lost fiancé, but Addie would not want to be on the receiving end of that type of treatment.  I do like Serena, who owns the tea shop, and Addie’s assistant, Paige Stringer.  The mystery was complex, and I liked how the deed was done. There are red herrings to distract the reader.  It will depend on your sleuthing level on whether you solve this one completely before the reveal.  Personally, I would have liked a surprising twist.  I could have done without Addie being constantly told to stay out of the investigation (it gets tiresome after the third time).  I like the book references and the wonderful descriptions of the rare books.  I enjoyed the happy ending and I hope to see a different Addie in the next A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery.  Murder in the First Edition is an enticing cozy mystery with a treasured tome, an inconvenient in-law, a bothersome blizzard, a vexed friend, and Christmas chaos.
The colour illustrations by Arthur Rackham for  the First Edition of "A Christmas Carol" (1915) -- '''How now?'' said Scrooge, caustic and cold as ever. ''What do you want with me?'''
Murder in the First Edition can be purchased here*.  The other two novels in A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mysteries are Murder by the Book (available on Kindle Unlimited) and Prologue to Murder.  The next A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery is Proof of Murder which comes out on April 28, 2020.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am featuring 'Tis the Season Murder by Leslie Meier tomorrow.  It contains two previously published A Lucy Stone Mysteries which are New Year's Eve Murder and Christmas Carol Murder.  I hope that your day is not too hectic (they all are leading up to Christmas).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Reading a Book, James Tissot
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