Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018) (Happy Release Day!)
Hardcover: 300 pages
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9
Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.
October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.
The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.
That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.
This is the second of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series and continues with Amy Webber as the Library Director of the Taylorsford, Virginia library. The library is gearing up for the big annual Heritage Festival which celebrates their local history as well as showcasing residents arts and crafts. Amy is living with her Aunt Lydia and still seeing Richard Muir, who was introduced as a romantic interest in book 1. Richard is a classical dancer, choreographer, and a neighbor, having inherited the house next door.
In conjunction with the upcoming festival, the library will assist in fundraising by offering books as well as local artists’ canvases. Unfortunately, when she and Sunny Fields, her assistant, travels out to the artist’s home to pick up the promised donations, she finds the artist has been murdered and her husband in absentia. As Amy also studied art history, she is recruited to help in the investigation after they discover a hidden cache of forged paintings. Of course, there is a connection–to Amy’s deceased uncle. Now starts a road rutted with misdirection, twists, and turns.
With the exception of the art expert brought in to assess the hidden treasure, most support characters were introduced in book 1 and are not developed more widely in this offering. Amy as a protagonist is not wholly sympathetic, exhibits some insecure issues especially where it concerns Richard and is prone to chewing her “pinkie” nail. The well-plotted story slowly unwinds with Sunny and her beau, Chief Deputy Brad Tucker, the local gendarme charged with investigation. When a second body turns up, all bets are off, and you might be back to guessing the whodidit in the whodunit. Perhaps Kurt Kendrick is of most interest in the plot-driven book, as he cannot be easily pegged. A new addition to the storyline is almost of immediate suspicion.
I felt the original subject, that of the library fundraising took a third chair behind the art history lesson, which quickly took over as the main focus, and the romance. I can definitely do without the romance, and it’s not the first time I’ve found Richard to be a bit creepy. The subject of the art masters and the forgeries they’ve generated is an interesting discussion, however, as well as the formula for divining original artists, paints, and materials.
Still, between the lengthy exploration of forged canvases and the romances, my attention not only sagged somewhat but dropped out completely and I found it difficult to maintain any engagement, making the read longer than it should have. Attention returned somewhat as it progressed to conclusion, but then it waffled again with an unnecessary wrap-up party. Perhaps the plot was just a bit too slow for me.
I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley through the blog tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy an intelligent cozy mystery sans recipes, women and amateur sleuths.
Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for your chance to win One (1) signed hardcover copy of Shelved Under Murder “with some swag” on the Rafflecopter giveaway
Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.
When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.
Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!
July 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
July 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
July 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 20 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!
©2018 V Williams