Reserved for Murder
Beaufort, North Carolina, is home to Chapters Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed. This historic 18th-century inn draws in voracious readers from far and wide with its lovingly curated special events celebrating a host of genres and authors.
On this sunny July weekend, a visit by one of the biggest names in romantic fantasy attracts throngs of admirers to the quaint coastal village. That's not ideal, as the author retreated to Chapters to get away from it all for a while. No matter--she'll appease her fans with a "Tea and Talk" meet-and-greet at the B&B celebrating her bestselling series (starring a devilishly dashing, time-traveling pirate), follow that up with a quick book signing at Bookwaves, the hip indie bookstore across town, and spend the remainder of the weekend in delightful repose.
But when the president of the reclusive writer's fan club is found dead in the harbor by the Beaufort docks--done in by a blunt-force blow to the head--it's up to Charlotte Reed, her neighbor Ellen, and Ellen's trusty Yorkshire terrier to sniff out the killer. Because if they can't, a spectacularly successful book series--and its author--may come to a sudden, lethal conclusion.
Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert is the 2nd book in A Book Lover’s B & Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone if you have not had the time to delve into Booked for Death. However, you would understand more about Isabella, Charlotte’s aunt who left her the house, if you read Booked for Death. I thought Reserved for Murder was well-written with good characters. I like that we get to know a little more Charlotte Reed and her aunt. Charlotte is a retired schoolteacher who now runs a literary themed bed and breakfast called Chapter’s. Each room features a different genre of books (romance and mystery for example). I love the descriptions of Chapter’s. I would love to own this home filled with books. In Reserved for Murder a bestselling author is coming to stay along with three fans who won a contest. There will be a special event as well. Unfortunately, one of the fans who is also president of the author’s fan club ends up dead. Charlotte, of course, is going to investigate. There are several suspects in this whodunit along with misdirection to keep readers off the trail of the real killer. I did find it a cinch to identify the guilty party. I can also guess the why based on the details provided. I like putting together the various pieces and arriving at the conclusion (like putting together a puzzle). The more I read, the more my suspicions were confirmed. There is a subplot involving Charlotte’s neighbor and her guest, Gavin. Personally, I do not feel the spy element adds anything to the story. It did not go with the rest of the book. There is, though, sparks between Gavin and Charlotte. There is a significant amount of dialogue in this story as they discuss the mystery and other events. I could have done with less talking and more action. I enjoyed Booked for Death more than I did Reserved for Murder. I thought this story moved along at a slower pace which is courtesy of the dialogue. I like that we get a glimpse into the world of publishing and fanfiction. Charlotte has a great circle of friends. They are a friendly bunch who are there for each other. Reserved for Murder is a literary cozy mystery with a weary writer, a frustrating fan, a circumspect spy, a mystifying murder, suspicious suspects, and an inquisitive inn owner.
The Avid Reader
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