The action of this charming series launch from Gilbert (the Blue Ridge Library mysteries) takes place mainly at Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast, an inn in Beaufort, N.C., that hosts literary events. The owner, former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, recently inherited the place from its founder, her great-aunt Isabella Harrington. In the library, during a celebration of mystery author Josephine Tey, Charlotte runs into rare book dealer Lincoln Delamont, who tells Charlotte that he’s unearthed a family secret—Isabella, a former maid, purchased rare volumes for the B&B with ill-gotten gains. He implies that he’ll reveal the secret, which is news to Charlotte, and cause a scandal unless she sells him valuable books for next to nothing. When Delamont’s body is later discovered in the carriage house, the book dealer’s 16-year-old daughter is certain Charlotte killed her father to silence him. Charlotte sets out to clear her name, ably abetted by a neighbor with her own intriguing past. The stakes rise as more suspects and another big secret come to light. Cozy fans and book lovers will be satisfied. Agent: Frances Black, Arts Counsel. (June)
From the Publisher
Praise for Booked for Death:
“[A] charming series launch...Cozy fans and book lovers will be satisfied."
“A clever, sympathetic heroine and oodles of local color.”
“Gilbert introduces an intelligent, mature amateur sleuth, and a shrewd elderly sidekick in the first in a character-driven cozy series. The leisurely paced mystery offers complex characters with well-developed backgrounds and motives. Readers of Ellery Adams’s Book Retreat mysteries will appreciate this new series.”
“All of the hallmarks of a cozy.”
“Intellectually challenging...A solid addition to a popular cozy category.”
—New York Journal of Books
“A brilliant beginning for a cozy series.”
—San Francisco Book Review
“An enjoyable read with many interesting characters and twists and turns.”
“A new favorite cozy mystery series...I cannot wait for the next book.”
“Interesting characters, a great setting and a fun story make this an enjoyable read.”
—Red Carpet Crash
“Holds reader interest from the first pages to the last with a mixture of family history, legend, duplicity, stealth, and audacity.”
—Midwest Book Review
Historic Beaufort, North Carolina, is the beautiful backdrop for an ugly murder.
High school teacher Charlotte Reed has inherited Chapters, a big, literary-themed B&B, from her great-aunt Isabella just in time to get a fresh start after the tragic death of her husband. She’s planned a special week for her guests featuring the work of British mystery writer Josephine Tey, so she's deeply disturbed when one of those guests, the obnoxious book dealer Lincoln Delamont, hints that Isabella got the money to buy Chapters by nefarious means. When Delamont is found stabbed to death in Chapters’ carriage house, leaving behind many suspects, Charlotte decides she'd better look into Isabella's past. Charlotte’s friend Julie had mentioned a secret boyfriend who, much to Charlotte’s dismay, turned out to be Delamont, whose wife had endured years of his bad behavior. Then Delamont's teenage daughter accuses Charlotte of killing him because of what he knew about Isabella. After Charlotte finds a diary written in code among her aunt's belongings in the attic, she approaches her neighbor Ellen Montgomery, a friend of Isabella's who’s reluctant to say much about her history. Even if the answer to the mystery lies buried in the past, it may not be the past Charlotte’s exploring.
A mystifying debut featuring a clever, sympathetic heroine and oodles of local color.