A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert
About A Deadly Edition
'Til death do us part" could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert's tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery."
The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day--and maybe just claim her life.
Planning a wedding can be murder--sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancé Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio--a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick.
Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris's Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past--but she can't believe he's guilty of murder.
Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine "Sunny" Fields. Much to Lydia's dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt's guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high--and the danger all too real.
About Victoria Gilbert
Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.
Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing.
A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.
A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert has Amy Webber just four weeks away from her wedding to Richard Muir when they stumble upon a dead art dealer in Taylorsford, Virginia. Oscar Selvaggio was a rival of their friend, Kurt Kendrick. They both were after the very rare Kelmscott Chaucer. When Kurt becomes a prime suspect, Amy works to clear his name. A Deadly Edition has mystery, romance, intrigue, and humor. I thought A Deadly Edition was well-written with a multifaceted plot. There is quite a bit going on in this cozy mystery. In addition to Amy and Richard finishing the last-minute preparations for their upcoming nuptials, they both must continue working at their jobs. They also have Amy’s parents visiting for a few days and her brother has decided to stay in town until the wedding in four weeks. This is unusual for her brother and Amy is curious about his true reasons for being in town. She wonders if his job is a front for something covert. A coveted manuscript is for sale and Kurt Kendrick wants it. Unfortunately, so do other people including Oscar Selvaggio. Oscar ends up murdered with Kurt at the top of Chief Deputy Brad Tucker’s suspect list. Amy decides to do a little research as well as some snooping (in between dress fittings and cake tastings). The mystery was complex which I just loved and I enjoyed the dramatic reveal. There was intrigue and drama which keeps the reader engaged. I enjoy a twisty whodunit. It depends upon the number of mysteries you have read on whether you solve this mystery before the reveal or not. The ending will have readers smiling. A Deadly Edition is the 5th novel in A Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone, but a new reader may be a little confused at the very beginning until the background details are provided. A Deadly Edition is a captivating cozy mystery with a matchless manuscript, scrumptious cake flavors, a deceased art dealer, shifty suspects, an infuriating soon-to-be-in-law, and wedding wonder.
Richard paused on the path that led into the trees surrounding Kurt’s manicured backyard. “To be honest, I really just wanted a moment alone with you.”
“To do what, exactly?”
“Kiss you properly, for one thing,” he said, pulling me behind the screen formed by a tall lilac bush before proceeding to do so.
Some time passed before I was aware of anything besides the two of us, but at one point, as Richard lifted his lips from mine, I caught a glimpse of something moving through the trees to my right. There was a flash of purple amid the green undergrowth. I stepped back, pulling free of Richard’s arms. “Someone’s out there, walking through the woods.”
“Probably a guest getting some air.” Richard turned to follow my gaze. “Wait, that’s Adele. What the heck is she doing, tramping through the woods?” He frowned. “She’s had some balance problems lately, and when I talked to her earlier, I noticed she was wearing pretty flimsy heels. She has no business hiking across uneven ground.”
“That is odd. Kurt doesn’t clear his woods either. He says he likes to allow them to remain natural for the benefit of the wildlife. So trying to navigate that area in heels has to be rough.”
“Good way to break a leg.” Richard rubbed his jaw with his clenched fist.
“Speaking of Kurt, there he is, popping out of the woods on the other side of the yard.” I glanced up at Richard. “What’s going on here? Some strange game?”
“A secret assignation?” Richard widened his gray eyes. “Kurt and Adele have known each other for a long time . . .”
“True, but they’re old enough not to have to sneak into the woods for a rendezvous. Anyway, I’ve never gotten the impression that they were that close, and Adele could just as easily stay after the party if they wanted private time alone. Who would know, or care?”
“No one, I suppose.” Richard’s gaze followed Adele as she crossed the yard and entered the house through the back door.
Kurt, who’d paused at the edge of the yard until Adele went inside, waited a few additional minutes before following her. As he opened the back door, I was surprised to see my brother stroll around from the other side of the house. That’s right, he went out for a walk for some reason, I thought, reaching for Richard’s hand.
“This is starting to remind me of one of those French farces— people coming and going from all directions.” Richard’s fingers curled around mine.
Looking over the area as if to make sure no one was watching, Scott also used the back door to enter the house.
“It is peculiar,” I said, “but I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation.”
A loud crash silenced Richard’s response.
“Sounds like it came from that direction,” he said, dropping my hand to sprint down the path.
I followed, running to match his longer strides. The path curved off to the right, ending at a wooden garden shed.
Richard paused, grabbing the edge of the half-open door. “Hold on,” he said as I reached him. “We should be careful. It could be some sort of wild animal, and if we back it into a corner, it could turn violent.”
“But it also could be hurt,” I said, pulling the door wider to peer inside the shed. “Can’t see much.”
There’s something on the floor.” Richard pointed toward a large, shadowy object sprawled across the center of the small room.
I backed away. “Not a bear, I hope.”
“It’s not moving. Maybe just some tarps that tipped off that top shelf.” Richard grabbed a rake that was propped next to the door.
As he crept closer to the shadowy object, holding the rake like a weapon, I stepped in behind him and moved to the side to allow light to spill in through the door.
It was a tarp—a cracked blue tarp dusted with mold. But it was draped over something else. Richard tentatively reached out and flipped up an edge of the thick plastic covering.
I gasped as an expensive leather shoe was revealed.
We both rushed forward to fling back the rest of the tarp. Then stood in silence, holding hands, as we stared down at the body of Oscar Selvaggio.
The Avid Reader