Saturday, June 11, 2022

A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert

 A Fatal Booking

Book Summary

Victoria Gilbert’s third Booklover’s B&B Mystery, a treat for fans of Mary Daheim and Kate Carlisle, finds owner Charlotte Reed and her former spy neighbor, Ellen Montgomery, pitted against a tea-party poisoner.

Booklover Charlotte is delighted to welcome an eclectic group of guests to Chapters Bed and Breakfast for a book club retreat focused on fairy tales and classic children’s literature. But when one of the guests is poisoned at a Mad Hatter tea party, Charlotte realizes she’s fallen down a rather unpleasant rabbit hole
The victim – an opinionated busybody whose jewelry store sold original designs, along with some possibly “hot” merchandise – had plenty of enemies, spurring Charlotte and Ellen to offer their well-honed investigative skills to assist the local police. But as they delve deeper into each of the guest’s stories, they realize all of them had a motive, and the means, to close the book on the unfortunate victim.
Enlisting the aid of a few local residents, as well as their new ally, agent Gavin Howard, Charlotte and Ellen vow to reveal the truth, even if the path to any sort of happy ending is strewn with deadly danger.
My Thoughts

A Fatal Booking by Victoria Gilbert is the third A Booklover’s B&B Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  I enjoyed reading this charming cozy mystery.  I thought it was well-written and engaging.  I did find A Fatal Booking to be a slow starter as we are introduced to the characters.  The pacing increased towards the halfway mark.  I find Charlotte Reed to be a great main character.  She is realistic and relatable.  I like Charlotte’s inquisitive mind.  I also like her neighbor, Ellen, who was a spy before she retired.  There is a great mix of personalities in this story which makes it more interesting.  I also like the diversity of the characters.  I just love the descriptions of Chapters.  A literary themed bed and breakfast is just the place for booklovers to stay while on vacation.  I would love to live in this gorgeous home.  The library (of course) is my favorite room.  

The mystery was well-plotted with a handful of suspects and a red herring.  It seems the victim had crossed every member of the book club at one time or another as well as a someone who lives nearby.  I had a good time solving this whodunit.  I like a mystery that is out of the box.  There are clues to help readers solve the crime before the reveal (if you are paying attention).  Charlotte comes across helpful information and notices clues.  I did feel that Charlotte dropped the ball a couple of times.  Charlotte would notice something, but she did not follow up.  I like that she enlists the help of her friends and Charlotte does share information with the detective on the case.  There is romance in the story as well.  Charlotte’s spy boyfriend, Gavin is back.  I think they are a nice, compatible couple, and I hope they get to spend more time together in the future.  The author combined interesting characters, a curious crime, a touch of romance, some suspense, and hints of humor into one engaging cozy mystery.   I am curious what is going to happen in the next A Booklover’s B&B MysteryA Fatal Booking is an inviting Southern cozy mystery with an argumentative book group, an open attic door, missing mementoes, murdered rumormonger, curious clues, and an inquisitive innkeeper.  

A Fatal Booking is available from Amazon*.  The other A Booklover's B&B Mysteries are Booked for Death and Reserved for MurderVictoria Gilbert also writes A Blue Ridge Library Mysteries.  The seventh book will be out on December 6, and it is titled Death in the Margins.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review of this new cozy mystery.  I will return on Monday with The Good Time Girls at War by Fiona Ford.  I hope that you have a fun weekend (or relaxing if you need some rest).  I am almost done with my side garden project.  I have gotten several compliments on it from my neighbors.  I will take some pictures and share them as soon as I am done.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


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