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#NetGalley #BookReview How to Book a Murder (Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1) by Cynthia Kuhn #Mystery #Cozy #CrookedLaneBooks

How to Book a Murder

Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1

by Cynthia Kuhn

Release date: December 7th, 2021  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of How to Book a Murder, Starlit Bookshop Mystery #1 by Cynthia Kuhn from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

Filled with literary references I really loved this series debut; it offered a cozy mystery with a touch of dark academia, as well as a cast of quirky interesting and dynamic characters that made this an entertaining and intriguing

How to Book a Murder, the first book of the Starlit Bookshop Series, begins when Emma hears that her sister Lucy is struggling to keep the family business, Starlit Books in business after the death of their parents, she returns home to Silvercrest, Colorado to help. After earning a PhD, Emma sacrifices a teaching position which could have led to a tenured position and begins planning events for the bookstore hoping to bring in more business. Along with their Aunt Nora, a professor at the local college and well-known mystery author, what is left of their family is together again.

When her old high school nemesis and Silvercrest’s resident “Mean Girl” Tabitha, drops by the store for her husband’s birthday gift panicked that her event planner for a murder mystery themed party had to take an emergency leave Emma bites the bullet and offers the stores event planning services. When the party results in the actual murder of Tabitha’s University Dean husband, life imitates art, and they are faced with their very own murder mystery. When an old rivalry kicks up Tabitha starts accusing Emma and her family of being the guilty murderers, in order to save the store and their reputation Emma has no choice but to solve the murder and clear their names.

Filled with literary references I really loved this series debut; it offered a cozy mystery with a touch of dark academia, as well as a cast of quirky interesting and dynamic characters that made this an entertaining and intriguing read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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#NetGalley #BookReview Murder By The Bookend by Laura Gail Black #Mystery #CrookedLaneBooks

Murder by the Bookend 

An Antique Bookshop Mystery #2 

by Laura Gail Black 

Release date: September 7th, 2021  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Murder by the Bookend (An Antique Bookshop Mystery #2) by Laura Gail Black from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… A clever cozy with suspects you’ll love to hate, clever red herrings and unexpected twists, the author has crafted …  

Murder by the Bookend is the second book in the An Antique Bookshop Mystery series and author Laura Gail Black does not disappoint. Life is finally looking up for Jenna Quinn after the events that occurred in “For Whom the Book Tolls.” Jenna has settled into her new life in Hokes Folly, North Carolina and is having a grand re-opening of the antique bookshop she inherited from her beloved Uncle Paul.

After all the struggles she has endured and the store surviving after being associated with two murders, Jenna is determined to get her life back on track, she reopens the store under a new name, Twice Upon a Time, with Mason as her Manager, her best friend next door and her Police Officer boyfriend, life is good. The re-opening is going well but in a small town there can be quite a few characters both the two and four legged variety. After a few tense moments with warring patrons was averted, a well-received raffle was held it concluding the opening on a high note…that’s until they see a patron’s dog running loose in the parking lot, which leads them to finding the victim’s body lying next to his car, murdered with a bookend that he had won at Twice Upon a Time. The victim and his dog were well known in Hokes Folly and Jenna although not overly close went to him for help with appraising books. The victim was always kind to her when many in the town were not, and Jenna wants to do right by him agreeing to take in his grieving pup and keeping it out of a shelter. When “Twice Upon a Time” gets targeted by the police, the press, as well as the murderer suspicious of the dog recognizing them, Jenna does what she must to save her shop and the new life she has built for herself.  


 Murder by the Bookend is a clever cozy with suspects you’ll love to hate, clever red herrings and unexpected twists, the author has indeed crafted a novel with living breathing characters and compelling plotlines that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. Although I preferred the first book in the series, Murder by the Bookend was a fantastic read, and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series!