The quaint warehouse district of Hokes Folly, NC, is hopping despite the drizzly November chill. The occasion? The mountain town's beloved antiquarian bookstore, Twice Upon a Time, is throwing a bash for its grand reopening. But bookseller Jenna Quinn's peace of mind is shattered when the local library's Director of Antique Books turns up dead in the parking lot--his head bashed in by a glittering pair of vintage glass bookends.
As they examine the murder scene, Jenna and her police detective boyfriend happen upon the only witness--the victim's dog, who flees the scene leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind. If only dogs could speak, Jenna might be able to make quick work of the murder case and get back to stocking her bookcases.
Now, Jenna must edit her inventory of suspects from three names to one, before the bloodthirsty bookend-wielder becomes the author of Jenna's demise.
Murder by the Bookend by Laura Gail Black has Jenna Quinn having a grand reopening of the bookshop she inherited from her uncle. She is renaming the store to Twice Upon a Time. The party has a few bumps along the way, but it seemed to go well. That is until Linus Talbot is found dead in the parking lot. Jenna must deal with disagreeable Detective Frank Sutter once again since her beau, Keith Logan is a witness. Jenna is told to stay out of the investigation, but she has no intention of obeying. Linus was a kind man with a sweet dog, and he was killed in her parking lot. Plus, Jenna does not trust Detective Sutter. Jenna begins gathering information that will lead her to Linus’ killer. Murder by the Bookend is the 2nd book in An Antique Bookshop Mystery series. I believe it can be read as a standalone. A summary of the main details from For Whom the Book Tolls is included. It contains good writing with steady pacing. I like the small town of Hokes Folly, North Carolina. The author provided vivid descriptions of the town along with the residents. We are introduced to quite a few people in the beginning of the book as they attend the grand reopening. There are a couple of individuals who I would have preferred as the victim instead of the Linus Talbot (maybe in the next book). There are several suspects in Linus’ death. There is a good misdirect to lead readers away from the true culprit. The clues are there to help readers solve the crime. I was left with an unanswered question regarding the mystery at the end. I just loved Linus’ dog, Eddy (full name Edition). He is a sweet dog. There is a little violence in the story as well as a small amount of profanity. I did have some trouble relating to Jenna which meant I was never able to become fully immersed into the story. I also felt the romance between Jenna and Keith Logan progressed too quickly for a cozy mystery. Murder by the Bookend is a quaint Southern cozy mystery with a cute canine, blown glass bookends, a departed antiquarian, a banged-up book, a disgruntled detective, and a sleuthing bookseller.
The Avid Reader
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