Prologue to Murder

Prologue to Murder

by Lauren Elliott

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Overview

After a career working with rare books at the Boston Public Library, Addie Greyborne is back in her seaside New England hometown—where unfortunately, murder is not so rare . . .
 
Gossip columnists love a bold-faced name—but “Miss Newsy” at Greyborne Harbor’s local paper seems to specialize in bald-faced lies. She’s pointed a finger of suspicion at Addie after librarian June Winslow never makes it home from a book club meeting. And when June’s found at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, Addie’s not only dealing with a busybody, but a dead body.
 
It’s a good thing the guy she’s dating is the police chief. But both the case and her love life get more complicated when a lanky blonde reporter from Los Angeles shows up. She’s trying her hardest to drive a wedge between the couple . . . as if Addie doesn’t have enough problems dealing with angry townspeople. Despite all the rumors, Addie doesn’t know a thing about the murder—but she plans to find out. And the key may lie in a book about pirate legends that June published. Now she just has to hunt down the clues before she becomes a buried treasure herself . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496720207
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Series: Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 16,702
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lauren Elliott is the USA Today bestselling author of the Bookstore Mystery Series. She grew up devouring Nancy Drew, graduated to Agatha Christie, and then began writing herself as well as bringing her passion for storytelling to careers in professional theater and journalism. She can be found online at LaurenElliottAuthor.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

A smile played on Addison Greyborne's lips when windswept sea-salt kisses danced across them. As she stepped inside the back entrance of Beyond the Page, her book and curio shop, she was struck by the combination of aromas. She took a deep breath. The briny tang of the sea air mixed with the delicate scent of spring flowers outside, and the heady scents of old books and leather chairs inside. These were fragrances she knew she'd never tire of. She hummed a popular tune as she zigzagged through the narrow aisles of bookcases and around the carved wooden pillars, straightening books on the shelves on her way to the front entrance. She flipped the door sign to "Open" and placed the advertising sandwich board on the sidewalk, holding it steady when an unexpected gust of wind threatened to send it tumbling into the road.

As she double-checked its security, her line of vision drifted up to the bay windows on either side of the glazed entrance. She stood back, admiring the new Founder's Day displays she'd created to commemorate the day in the seventeen hundreds that her forefather had declared Greyborne Harbor the site of a new town. A smile tugged at her lips. Yes, it was going to be another good day. Business had picked up since she was cleared of any wrongdoing in the Greyborne Harbor murder case of the century, and she had become more accepted in her new town. What could go wrong?

Back inside, she paused to adjust the fishnet backdrop in one of the windows to give it a more billowing appearance, straightened the starfish, adjusted the pirate galleon in the sand-and-sea diorama, grinned, placed a pod in the coffee machine, and waited. The aroma of a fresh brewed cup soon filled the air, taunting her nose. The doorbell chimed behind her, and she turned to see a petite, fiery redhead at the corner of a bookshelf.

"Serena, good morning. Do you want a cup?"

Her best friend and the local tea merchant stood unmoving except for one finger coiling a lock of her long, curly hair.

"Are you okay?" Addie glanced at Serena sideways and stirred cream into her coffee. "You seem a bit foggy this morning, and you look as though you need coffee more than I do." She offered Serena the cup of fresh brew.

Serena accepted the offer. Her hand trembling, she brought the cup to her lips. The hot contents dribbled down her chin. She cringed and quickly handed it back to Addie.

"Okay ...? Is everything all right?" Addie's brow furrowed. "You don't look well. Did something happen?"

Serena's hand still wobbly, she pulled a newspaper from under her arm and then stood wringing it in both hands, the color draining from her usually rosy cheeks.

Addie's eyes narrowed. She set the cup down. "What's this?" She snatched the paper from Serena's slender hand.

Her eyes scanned the front page of the Greyborne Harbor Daily News. She turned the page and searched the next, then the next, and the next, and stopped. Her fingers clutched the edges of the paper. Her bottom lip quivered, and she leaned against the counter.

"I thought you might need some company when you read this." Serena's usually silvery voice tightened.

Addie stared down at the article. "How could they?"

The Greyborne Harbor Daily News ... Page 6 Continued from Page 5 — Around Town

Finally, Miss Newsy asks the question on everyone's mind today: was it an alien abduction, which is the theory of some, or is the mysterious disappearance of local librarian June Winslow something far more sinister? Many Greyborne Harbor residents are asking that very question today; I know I am. What is really behind her disappearance, and who would have the most to gain by her sudden departure from the Harbor?

Reports were made by Mrs. Winslow's daughter of shaking ground and strange, flashing lights when she began searching for her mother, who failed to return home from a book club meeting. The report of unusual seismic activity in the area at the time in question was confirmed by Dr. Peterson, a seismology expert at Boston University. He is quoted as saying, "These disturbances did not warrant strong enough seismic activity to have opened up the ground and swallow anyone."

The local utility department also confirmed that a minor power surge did occur at the time in question. However, there was no lightning bolt activity, and the fleeting surge caused no reported damage to infrastructure and posed no threat to citizens.

So, what really is behind this sudden departure of a much-loved and respected member of our community? Who would have the most to gain? Perhaps Addison Greyborne can tell us.

It's rumored that Miss Greyborne, owner of Beyond the Page — Books & Curios, may have more answers than she's letting on. Being a librarian herself and the operator of an allegedly failing local business, she is most likely the one who could shed some light on the reason why there is currently an opening for head librarian at our beloved Harbor Library.

"What? How could they publish something like this?" Addie stared wide mouthed at Serena. "No proof, no evidence — they have nothing to substantiate the claim that I would know anything about her disappearance." She shook the paper in Serena's face. "Besides, I wasn't even a librarian. I was in research. Something that reporter had better learn how to do." She crumpled the newspaper.

"I know, I know." Serena grasped the paper from Addie's white knuckles and tossed it on the counter. "I think you need to sit down. I'll make you a nice, hot, fresh coffee since I took yours."

"I don't want a cup of coffee." Addie smacked her fist on the counter. "I want answers."

"I know you do." Serena took Addie's vibrating shoulders and ushered her onto a counter stool. "Please sit, and I'll try to explain something about the Greyborne Harbor Daily News."

"You shouldn't be explaining. They need to. I'm going over to the newspaper office right now." Addie sprang to her feet.

Serena placed her hands on Addie's shoulders and pressed her back onto the stool. "Not a good idea with you in this state. First sit and listen."

Addie raked her hands through her long hair.

"Take a deep breath." Serena's fingers pressed firmly on Addie's shoulders. "Count to ten. Let me make you a cup of coffee and we'll talk."

Addie nodded reluctantly.

"Promise me that if I turn my back on you, you won't bolt out the door and do something rash."

Addie clenched her teeth.

"I'll take that to mean that yes, you will behave." Serena slowly released her grip on Addie and backed toward the coffee maker at the end of the ornately carved Victorian bar Addie used for a cash and coffee counter.

Addie let out a deep breath and bit her quivering bottom lip. "I thought all this speculation about me being one of the bad guys was over, but now this?" Her hand brushed across the newspaper, sending it fluttering to the floor.

Serena sighed and placed a steaming cup on the counter in front of her. "And it should have ended any talk of you being part of or trying to evade some Boston crime ring, but ..."

"But what? Did it just fuel the flames for some very small-minded people around this town? And who on earth is this Miss Newsy?"

"Miss Nosy is more like it," snickered Serena.

"Exactly! And how in heaven's name can she get away with printing something as libelous as this about me? I'm going to sue." Addie huffed into her cup, then set it down. "Really, I don't get it. When did unsubstantiated reporting become acceptable?" She shook her head and picked up her cup, taking a large gulp.

Serena cringed. "That's still hot."

Addie flinched, and the cup slipped from her fingers. She leapt to her feet as hot coffee poured in all directions and ran down the counter edges toward her lap. Serena jumped up and raced toward a roll of paper towels behind the counter. Addie started to laugh, then cry, then laugh again. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Soon Serena, too, doubled over, holding her stomach and gasping between fits of laughter. A voice boomed behind Addie. She spun around, coming face-to-face with the chief of police, Marc Chandler. She gasped, lost her footing, and stumbled toward him.

He grabbed her mid-collision and righted her before she head-butted his chest. "This isn't quite the scene I envisioned walking into." A broad smile swept across his face. "But glad you girls can see the humor in it."

Addie glared up at him.

His smile crumbled.

"Humor in this?" she snapped.

"But I just thought ..." Marc's face turned ashen. "I mean, you were —"

"Were what?" Addie planted her feet firmly, swept a strand of honey-brown hair from her eyes, and straightened her shoulders. "Actually, you're just the person I want to talk to, Chief."

Marc took a step back. "Okay ... Miss Greyborne, how can the Harbor Police Department be of assistance today?" He looked warily from Addie to Serena, who had slid up beside her friend. Addie spun around, snatched up the newspaper from the floor, and thrust it at Marc.

"This, this ..." Addie's voice vibrated, "this piece of trash that was printed about me." Her finger stabbed at the page.

Marc clutched the brim of his police cap in his hands and rocked back on his heels. "Well, Miss Greyborne." He cleared his throat. "I can take your statement ... I guess. But" — he sucked in a deep breath — "I must caution you. That article was published in the gossip column of the paper and doesn't have to be factual to be printed." Addie's eyes flashed. He glanced sideways at his sister, Serena, his dark brown eyes pleading for help.

"That's what I wanted to tell you, Addie," Serena crooned from a safe distance. "Come on, let's sit down and I'll try to explain how this newspaper works. It's probably nothing like the big papers you're used to in Boston, London, or New York."

"No, it's not. They report the news. They don't run a gossip column where anyone can print anything they like, true or not! I've never heard of something like this." She threw the newspaper to the floor and stomped on it on her way to the counter stool.

"Good, that's right. Sit down, and I'll make you another cup of coffee," Serena chirped, heading to the coffee maker. "It's a tradition that's been followed since the paper was first printed in the early seventeen hundreds. It was a way for people to find out the goings-on in town for such things as bazaars, deaths and births, who was new to town, and stuff like that." She called over her shoulder as she stirred cream into Addie's coffee, "Here, this will help." She grinned and then looked at Marc, who was still standing stiffly by the doorway. Her head motioned toward the stool beside Addie, and he plopped down beside her, laying his hat on the still-damp countertop.

Addie turned, lifted it up, and placed it back in his hand. "Don't ask," she muttered and turned back to Serena. "Go on, this is fascinating," she said between gritted teeth.

Serena looked briefly at Marc, took a gulp, and continued. "Well, like I was saying — it's always been a harmless piece in the paper that just kept the townsfolk in touch with what wasn't headline news but was little things that helped connect them."

"Yes," Marc piped in, "like when Old Man Watterson broke his leg a few years ago and couldn't get out to grocery shop or shovel the snow from his sidewalk. It brought the whole town together to help him until he recovered."

Addie looked from Marc to Serena, her cheeks flushed.

Marc reached over and patted Addie's hand. "I know it doesn't help you today to see the good in what that column brings, but it's important to the people in this town."

She snatched her hand away. "'Good'? You call this 'good'? How would you feel if you were accu —" A face in the window caught Addie's eye, and she leapt to her feet. "Here we go again." There was no mistaking Martha's pudgy face and bakery-flour-stained hands shielding her eyes from the sunlight as she pressed her face against the glass. "She's probably waiting for you to cuff me and haul me away, and I'm sure she'll be more than willing to substantiate the gossip and keep it going." Addie collapsed back into her seat, her head in her hands. "From day one, she never liked me." She groaned. "This will fuel that even more, and I haven't done anything to deserve it. Have I?" She glanced from Serena to Marc.

"Don't be silly. It's like I told you before; it's jealousy. You are a direct descendant of the founding family of Greyborne Harbor and new in town, and people are just, well ... they're just —"

"Leery," Marc jumped in. "They only need to get to know you better, and then they'll accept you." His eyes softened, and a slight smile curved the corner of his lips.

Addie shook her head and turned toward the window. "Do you really think they will ever give me a chance?" She pointed to the now three faces pushed up against the windowpane. Two other town merchants Addie recognized from her travels around the Harbor had joined Martha. "It looks like this gossip has made me a suspect — again."

Marc stood up, adjusted his police cap on his head, placed his hands on his hips, and turned toward the window. The women dispersed. He took his cap off and sat back down. "They won't be bothering you again for a while." He sipped on the coffee Serena had given him.

Serena crossed her arms and leaned her back against the counter. "I just don't get it. Miss Alice wrote that column for what, fifty years? And she never published something as inflammatory as this."

Marc nodded in affirmation.

Addie sat upright. "So who is this Miss Newsy, then?"

Marc shrugged and set his cup down. "She must be the new replacement. Miss Alice passed away about two months ago — she was ninety-two and not well — but the town was in such an uproar that they weren't getting their daily dose of 'what's what' that Max Hunter, the editor in chief, was desperate to replace her. I guess he did."

"But he didn't do a very good job of training this replacement, did he?" Addie shook her head and pushed the paper away. "Didn't he make it clear to this new person that libel is an offense? I'm certain the long-standing goodwill portrayed by the previous columnist is not being adhered to now."

Marc rubbed his neck. "Look, it's a gossip column, it was referred to as a rumor, and you weren't actually accused of anything, so the standard rules and laws don't apply here. There is no actual legal violation."

"Just a moral one that implies I had something to do with her disappearance." Addie fumed, tapping her fingers on the counter.

"She's right, Marc." Serena scowled. "This does cross the line. We need to find out who this Miss Newsy is and stop her before she does any more damage."

"Okay, okay, against my better judgment, I'll stop in and see Max now and try and get a retraction printed, but don't count on it, as it wasn't front-page news and is just gossip, and there's no law against that."

"Yes." Serena cleared her throat. "Or Martha and her posse would be in prison for life by now."

Addie nodded.

"Don't worry, Addie." He stood and placed his cap on his head, adjusting it so the chestnut-brown waves falling across his forehead were securely tucked under the brim. "We won't let this go any further than it has, and I'll try to find out what's behind it."

"Just remind Max that even implying that I had something to do with June Winslow's disappearance, without a shred of evidence, isn't a bit of harmless town gossip and isn't exactly in keeping with the long history of his newspaper." Her jaw tightened.

"That's right," Serena shouted as Marc disappeared out the door. "Besides," she said, pursing her mouth and looking at Addie, "it was a relative of yours who printed the first edition of that newspaper, and Max better remember that before he goes messing with your family's good name."

Addie jumped at a sharp thwack against the window. She spun around and darted toward it, peering out in time to see an older model green and white pickup speed off down the road. She looked at the two splatter marks on the glass and groaned at the sight of the thick, oozing drizzle running down the pane.

Serena stared at the innards of raw eggs running down the glass. "I'll get the window cleaner and a mop."

CHAPTER 2

Addie went through the motions of the day. She smiled and nodded at her customers, but it wasn't heartfelt. What she really wanted to do was shut the doors, sit down, and cry. So much for believing that her name was cleared. Today, it was as if she were reliving her first days in Greyborne Harbor, when only nosy gawkers popped in in order to see the newcomer and heiress to the Greyborne family fortune. She assumed they came in now just to get a closer look at the woman reported as being the person behind June's disappearance.

With the last snooping browser leaving, she closed up shop, walked out the front door into the crisp, spring evening air, and sucked in a deep, cleansing breath. She clasped her jacket tight around her neck, fending off an icy Atlantic Ocean windblast, and strode next door to SerenaTEA.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Prologue to Murder"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Lauren Elliott.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Prologue to Murder 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Smiley1219 5 months ago
A modern day murder mystery set in a small coastal town in the New England area called Greyborne Harbor. Greyborne Harbor is steep in centuries of history and it was often used as a hiding place for pirates and where supposedly there's buried treasure, as they hideout from British ships. There are family names that date back to the establishment of this town, with being Addie Greyborne, whose ancestors first settled and named the town. There are other family names and on the surface, this seems to be a peaceful and tranquil little town. Addie is the central character and everything one way or another always seems to come back to her either willingly or unwillingly. Addie has inherited the family bookstore and home and she's relatively a newcomer, who also becomes the center of attention of Miss Newsy, the local gossip column of the local newspaper. Vicious gossip spreads throughout the town as Miss Newsy continues to write. This is Lauren Elliott's 2nd Addie Greybrone mystery and ever since she came back, trouble and conflict are soon to envelope this little town. This book starts with an accidental death, which turns out it is murder and Addie is right in the thick of things. June Winslow, the local librarian is found dead, which turns out to be murder. June had written a book about the town's history, but the Council would approve certain parts of her book. Addie soon discovers that there is a completed unedited manuscript, somewhere to be found. Certain townspeople are set on that manuscript never surfacing. The story is tight, entertaining and a well constructed story line. All the characters are beautifully depicted and there interactions with one another, soon rises to high tension. They all play pivotal parts throughout the book, some good, some bad. The story stays on track throughout, which is what keeps you from wanting to close the book. This is not a contrived story for the book, but very plausible and you sense and feel the emotions, which the characters endure. This is my first Addie Greyborne novel and you can easily see yourself in her role as she has to deal with a myriad of problems and her emotions respond to them quite convincingly. I highly recommend this book and you'll feel the same after reading it.
PrincessGlor 6 months ago
This was an exciting cozy with pirate lore being a fun angle for the mystery. I enjoyed this book overall and enjoyed it more than the first in this set for sure. There were elements that drove me nuts, mainly the way Addie’s friends treated her for a big chunk of the book. My favorite thing about the story was the pirate stuff, that was fun. Looking forward to the next in this series. I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Excellent+character+development+and+just+a+good+all+around+read.++I+am+looking+forward+to+the+next+book.
RobinLovesReading 8 months ago
My Rating: 3.5 Stars Addie Greyborne finds herself dead smack in the middle of a gossip column when a "Miss Newsy" points the finger at her after the town's librarian, June Winslow, disappears after a book club meeting. Shockingly, soon after Ms. Winslow is found dead. It is actually a blessing that Addie is involved with the police chief, Marc, or else she just might be in more hot water than she already is. The gossip has hurt her and her business. Meanwhile a reporter breezes into town. This reporter seems dead set on creating problems for Addie right from the outset. Addie really wants two things: to find Ms. Winslow's murderer, and for business to pick back up. Her skills as a keen researcher come in handy as never before. Addie begins digging deep and clues lead her to a book June once published. However, the deeper she digs, the more danger she finds herself into. Before moving to the small town, Addie worked for the Boston Public Library and was an exceptional researcher. It is these very skills that will help her now. I read the first book in this series, Murder by the Book, and enjoyed it a bit better. This read was pleasant, but there were some conflicts that I felt got in the way of the story. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Murder in the First Edition, when it is released in September. Many thanks to Kensington and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
KrisAnderson_TAR 9 months ago
Prologue to Murder is the second book in A Beyond the Page Mystery series. I would suggest reading Murder by the Book before embarking on this new tale. Addie is hoping her new life will get back on track after the last murder. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be in the cards for Addie. She has her newcomer status working against her plus her last name. It does not help to be the subject of gossip in the Miss Newsy column. Martha, the bakery owner, still dislikes Addie. It was nice to finally learn why Martha does not like Addie. Serena and Addie have some friendship issues thanks to the returning Lacey Davenport. Lacey is a catty woman who is out for herself (I really could not stand this character). I appreciate that Addie and Serena communicated with each other to work out the issues. It was nice to see Serena grow as an individual. We also get to know more about Paige, Addie’s part-time shop assistant. We are introduced to Dr. Simon Emerson who becomes Marc’s rival for Addie’s affections (I hope the author rectifies this matter quickly). I could have done with less romance in this book. I prefer the focus to remain on the mystery and for romance to play out in the background over the course of the series. The mystery was the best part of the book. Pirates, hidden tunnels, a missing manuscript and buried treasure are all part of the mystery in Prologue to Murder. It was nice that the mystery was multifaceted. Addie’s murder board is back to help her keep track of the various suspects and sort through the clues to identify the guilty party. Marc needs to learn that Addie is going to investigate and quit asking her to promise not to look into the crimes (she will just find a creative workaround or end up lying to him). One of the phrases from Prologue to Murder that stuck with me is “sometimes we have to face the demons from our past to make them vanish completely”. Prologue to Murder will have you singing sea shanties and hankering for rum with its buried treasure, secret tunnels, pirates, a missing manuscript and a dead body.
chicpanda 9 months ago
Founder's Day is coming to Greybourne Harbor, a seaside town along the Massachusetts coast that was home to both mercantile sea captains and pirates before the American Revolution. Addie Greybourne, a many times removed descendant of of the original founding family is looking forward to this day. That is, until her best friend Serena shows her a nasty item in a gossip column which implies that Addie is behind the disappearance of the local librarian, June Winslow. Addie is still a newcomer to Greybourne Harbor. What could she have done to cause such ugly behavior ? She does have allies. Serena Chandler and her brother Marc, long time residents are friends. Marc, the Chief of Police, is occupying more and more time in Addie's thoughts. The still vulnerable young widow, increasing feelings of affection become confused when Simon, the new Medical Examiner and ER doctor, also shows an interest in her. The romantic rivalry is compounded by the discovery of June Winslow's body. Now the stakes are much higher for Addie as the gossip columnist, Ms. Newsy basically accuses her of murder. Addie also has adversaries, There is Martha, introduced in book 1, who still tries to cause trouble for Addie and her shop assistant, Lacey, a former newscaster from Los Angeles, is determined to rekindle her romance with Marc. Lacey is not a character one would welcome into their life. Indeed, her only grace is serving as a reminder that most folks are kinder. The reason behind the murder is clever. The characters are fully developed, speaking naturally. Addie, the amateur sleuth, does have a good reason to become involved in the mystery. The solution is very satisfying. I look forward to book 3. Full disclosure: I received an e copy of this book from netgalley.com and Kensington in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you for the opportunity.
Karen-Hollins 9 months ago
Prologue To Murder is the second instalment in the "Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery" series by Lauren Elliott. It's a great fast paced, fun mystery! After a career working with rare books at the Boston Public Library, Addie Greyborne is back in her seaside New England hometown—where unfortunately, murder is not so rare . . . Gossip columnists love a bold-faced name—but “Miss Newsy” at Greyborne Harbor’s local paper seems to specialize in bald-faced lies. She’s pointed a finger of suspicion at Addie after librarian June Winslow never makes it home from a book club meeting. And when June’s found at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, Addie’s not only dealing with a busybody, but a dead body. It’s a good thing the guy she’s dating is the police chief. But both the case and her love life get more complicated when a lanky blonde reporter from Los Angeles shows up. She’s trying her hardest to drive a wedge between the couple . . . as if Addie doesn’t have enough problems dealing with angry townspeople. Despite all the rumors, Addie doesn’t know a thing about the murder—but she plans to find out. And the key may lie in a book about pirate legends that June published. Now she just has to hunt down the clues before she becomes a buried treasure herself . . . I am really enjoying this instalment to the series, some people are saying they don't like Addie but I like her and think she is a good protagonist. She seems real, we all say things we don't mean too as well as do stupid things (maybe I could just relate to her ). The story was well paved and drew me in right away I think I read over half the first night and finished it today. There were just enough red herrings and twists to keep me intrigued , overall I think this is a great story and recommend to all my cozy mystery loving friends. I am looking forward to the next book, Murder In The First Edition, due in September **I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.**
VWilliams 9 months ago
Addie Greyborne has returned to her roots in coastal New England. She has inherited Beyond the Page Bookstore and curio shop and employs Paige and is cultivating a relationship with the town Police Chief, Marc. She'd cleared her name in solving the last murder and now June, the town librarian is missing, eventually found murdered and she must clear her name once again after "Miss Newsy" published a nasty rumor about Addie possibly being behind both. June was found in an underground tunnel that is an integral part of local pirate lore, hidden treasure, and family feuds. The mystery creates an interesting premise and Addie begins sifting clues, chasing down her aunt's old books in the attic as well as finding museums, libraries, and bookstores for details on the intricate set of tunnels. Perhaps pirate treasure would be a motive for the murder of June, who'd possibly found more in her research of the tunnels for her book than the city fathers were comfortable with. Well, all that part is fun. The twists are fun. But then there are new characters, including Simon--a possible love interest--and Lacy--not fun. The protagonist herself was less than a reliable narrator, caught in contradictions and fabrications, and few of the support characters fared any better, appearing back-biting and sneaky. Marc comes off as being wishy-washy, warning her with one breath of leaving the investigation to him while asking for her thoughts and help with the next. Huh?! Lacy is just plain nasty. Dialogue runs snarky to juvenile. Bottom Line: While the mystery is a good plot device, the pace is too slow for this reader, and I could not invest in any of the characters. The history is interesting but it just doesn't keep engagement. The antagonist as revealed in the conclusion is not wholly unexpected, although I did like that little bit that Addie does with the pirate shop operator. This is the second in the series and might well be read as a standalone. I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. 3.5/5
bookwomen37 10 months ago
I enjoyed reading this 2nd book in the series more than the first one. Addie is once again suspected of a local murder so she sets out to help solve the crime. Since the crime involves books the police ask for her help. I always like it the amateur sleuth works with the police. I enjoy the New England Setting and the pirate background was fun. I liked the new character Simon. I hope Addie and Simon stay friends and it is not a start of a triangle. Marc and Addie are still acting like teenagers and in my opinion this is the weak part of the story. The mystery was good and there were enough suspects to keep it interesting. I was able to figure out the killer and the solution made sense. I look for word to reading more in this series. Enjoy this fun cozy.
MysteyloverFF 10 months ago
Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliot is the second book in the Beyond a Page mystery series. Addie is, once again, under the scrutiny of the townspeople of Greyborne Harbor. Gossip reporter “Miss Newsy,” from their local paper, stirs up new questions when the town librarian goes missing. When she turns up dead, it's up to Addie to find the killer and squash the questions surrounding her. I had fun visiting Greyborne Harbor. I like the small town feel the story brings. I can see myself walking down main street, seeing all the shops and having lunch at the bakery next to Addie's bookshop. Lauren included more of the town's history. It adds to it the story and gives me a glimpse into Greyborne Harbor's interesting and colorful past. I enjoy the characters in the story. It's a small town so there's plenty of gossip. They add a colorful flare and a wonderful quirkiness to the town. Addie, Serena and Marc are funny and add wonder to the story. Addie is a smart, strong woman who, once again, proves to be a clever and skillful sleuth. She's fast becoming one of my favorites. Serena is always funny and whimsical. I like her. She always makes me laugh. Marc is studious when it comes to his police work and caring when it comes to Addie. They leave me wanting to know more about their lives. The mystery is on the edge of your seat excellent. It pulled me in from the first page and held me fast until the end. With all of its twists and turns, it kept me guessing. I couldn't put it down. I really like how Lauren used the history of the town as part of the mystery. I recommend this book to mystery lovers who like to be kept guessing and engaged until the very end. I received this ARC copy of the book from the author for review. This is my honest review.
BookloverUT 10 months ago
Addie Greyborne, proprietor of Beyond the Page bookstore, is gearing up for a weekend festival in town. When a gossip columnist starts making accusations that Addie was involved in a local librarian’s murder, she decides to investigate. At the same time, a woman comes back to town to try and rekindle a romance with Marc, Addie’s sometimes boyfriend and local police chief. Then, when she starts to feel abandoned, she leans on the newest resident and doctor, Simon. Will Addie be able to find the truth behind the librarian’s murder without losing the reputation she has built? I loved this story, it was full of nefarious characters, and plot twists. I was at the edge of my seat until the end. The romantic subplot was intriguing and lent some needed tension. The only thing I didn’t like was that a certain character seemed to have escaped without paying for what she did. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
DanieleK 10 months ago
PROLOGUE TO MURDER, the second book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, is an intricate tale of murder, jealousy, greed, a centuries old family feud, pirates, and buried treasure. It is highly entertaining and well worth reading. Addie Greyborne is still relatively new to town, which was founded by her ancestors, and is still struggling to feel at home and get her business off the ground. There are plenty of people around who do not like or trust her simply because of her last name, and the newspaper gossip column does not help matters. When the town librarian June goes missing and is then found murdered, rumors begin to circulate that Addie had something to do with it. To make the situation worse, just when she thinks she is ready to date Chief of Police Marc Chandler, his ex-fiancé Lacey comes to town fully intent on rekindling their relationship. She also drives a wedge between Addie and her best friend Serena, Marc’s sister. Addie is hurt by this, but newcomer Simon, the handsome trauma surgeon/medical examiner, is ready and willing to step in Marc’s romantic shoes. Despite all of this personal turmoil, Addie is committed to finding the truth of June’s death…and maybe some buried treasure to boot. I like the recurring characters in this series. Addie is determined, clever, and nosy. Marc is admirable, and Simon is endearing. Serena seems immature and easily influenced but a good friend. The writing is intelligent and the mystery complex enough to keep me guessing for most of the book. However, there is the beginning of a love triangle within these pages, and I very much do not like love triangles. I hope the author resolves it quickly. The pirate and buried treasure add some much appreciated fun and intrigue to the tale. With the exception of the love triangle, I truly enjoyed this sophomore installment and recommend it to any cozy mystery fan. I received an ARC of this title from the author and voluntarily shared my thoughts and opinions here.
Mama_Cat 10 months ago
In the much-anticipated second novel in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, this reader is delighted to find it is every bit as exciting as the first. The characters are equally as endearing and well-defined, and the mystery is multifaceted. The history of this New England coastal area is interesting; I forget the years of pirates up and down the eastern seaboard! Addie Greyborne inherited the family home in Greyborne Harbor from her great aunt Anita when she died. She left her job in research at the Boston Public library to move to the town founded by one of her ancestors. She opened Beyond the Page Bookstore, stocking some of the old or rare books from her aunt’s vast collection as well as current titles. The Founder’s Day festival approaches, and the most popular book about the history of Greyborne Harbor was published about two years earlier. It has been a local bestseller since then, written by Greyborne Harbor’s own June Winslow, the librarian in town. June has very recently gone missing without any clues. Addie, still considered a newcomer, has been on the radar of Miss Newsy, the gossip columnist at the local newspaper. It’s bad enough that nosy Newsy is accusing Addie of possibly knowing much more about the librarian’s disappearance than she would admit to for ludicrous reasons. When June is found dead, possibly murdered, Miss Newsy gets worse, doing everything short of accusing Addie of murder. Addie meets a woman returning to town who says her mother is dying. Addie learns that Lacey had a special relationship with the two people she is closest to – Marc, the chief of police, and Serena, his sister and owner of SerenaTea next door to Addie’s shop. Addie has been dating Marc and Serena is her best friend since she moved into the Greyborne property. Lacey monopolizes Serena’s time, claims to be helping her at the Tea shop, and demands private conversations with Marc. She was once engaged to Marc, and Serena now thinks they should be back together – and could Addie think about it and see her way to let Marc go as obviously he and Lacey were meant to be? Addie meets the new guy in town, Simon Emerson, who is a part-time trauma surgeon at the local emergency department and part-time forensic pathologist. He is enamored of Addie, and when the slip of a tongue separates Addie and Marc, Simon is happy to throw his hat in the ring for her. Addie enjoys solving mysteries. When she comes up with an unusual solution to June’s murder, Simon is willing to help her out, even as Marc appears jealous when seeing them together. This fast-paced mystery is exciting and fascinating, especially since I couldn’t figure out whodunit. Addie and Marc have worked together well in the past to discover who the bad guy is, and she misses him terribly, so her consulting to the tiny local PD along with Simon is uncomfortable. I was very surprised to learn who the bad guys are and why! This exciting novel closes with all loose ends tied up, leaving me looking forward to the next one in the series. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy well-written cozy mysteries that are hard to solve, and include bookstores or libraries. From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
ArizonaJo 10 months ago
Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott is the second book in this new cozy series and it definitely hit all the right notes for a fun afternoon read. Addie Greyborne is a very likable character and I admire her independence and persistence in helping the police to track down the person who murdered the town librarian. Her research skills and eye for details brings a lot of clues to the case for the police chief to consider. Historic family feuds, pirate treasure, and a lost original manuscript are only some of the research Addie has to do in this well woven mystery. The plot is smoothly paced with clues, red herrings and several suspects to be considered while reading the book. Unfortunately, there does seem to be a possibility of a "romantic triangle" in Addie's future which I am not a fan of in cozy mysteries. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
chefdt 10 months ago
Prologue To Murder is the second book in the Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery series. Addie Greyborne has recently returned to Greyborne Harbor and still experiencing some of the resident’s displeasure with her return, even so, her recently opened bookstore is doing reasonably well until the disappearance of Jane Winslow, the town’s librarian. Miss Newsy, the gossip columnist of the local newspaper, suggests that Addie wants the librarian’s job and that she might know something about Winslow disappearance. When the body of Winslow is found, Miss Newsy suggests that Addie might have had the one to end Winslow’s life. Greyborne Harbor is getting ready to celebrate Pirate Days and before Winslow’s body was found, her daughter had brought to Addie her mother notes for the book she had been writing on pirates of the area and the possibility of treasures that might have been buried in the area. When Addie begins to review the notes she finds that only two city officials had read the manuscript and they had refused to fund additional research by Winslow. This raises a flag for Addie and she suspects that Winslow had found some information that points to some valuable treasure might just exist. When Winslow’s notes are stolen, Addie is sure that her book was the reason for her murder. Hopefully, she will find the missing link before the killer makes her the next victim. Addie romantic life is also in turmoil and is also causing her friendship with Serena, who owns a tea shop near Addie’s bookstore. Addie has been dating the police chief, Marc Chandler, but when his former girlfriend, Lacy returns to town and makes it clear she will do anything to win back his affection. Serena has welcomed back Lacey but at the same time tells Addie she has nothing to worry about Marc taking up with Lacey again. Then when Simon, a new ER trauma surgeon arrives in town and expresses romantic interests in Addie, she is not sure where her romantic interest might lie. This is another well written and told story from Miss Elliott. I really like the characters in the book, as they are all very interesting and believable. I am looking forward to the next book, Murder In The First Edition, due in September.
BobbieLCLA 10 months ago
I received a free copy of PROLOGUE TO MURDER (Book 2 of the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mysteries) by Lauren Elliott, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Addie Greyborne feels like she’s finally settling in and making connections in her town. However, a gossip columnist, “Miss Newsy,” soon disrupts her new rapport with the town. Miss Newsy begins a campaign to have Addie blamed for the disappearance and murder of local librarian June Winslow. Also, just as Addie’s relationship with the police chief seems to be intensifying, his ex-fiancée, Lacey Davenport, arrives in town and causes a rift between Addie, the chief, and his sister, who is a HUGE fan of Lacey’s. The alienation of Addie has begun. Will Addie be able to reclaim her reputation? Will Addie be able to save her business? What longterm effects will the relationship rifts have? Already convicted in the court of public opinion, can Addie find the killer before she’s actually charged with the murder? I liked this book. Though I haven’t read Book 1: MURDER BY THE BOOK, I now intend to. I recommend this book to fans of MURDER BY THE BOOK, cozy mysteries with a bookshop theme, and pirate/treasure hunting enthusiasts. #PrologueToMurder #NetGalley
4GranJan 10 months ago
Another Great New England Mystery This is a great cozy mystery. It is full of pirates and ghosts and witches and strange goings on! Anyone who enjoys coastal history or old books should enjoy this story. The plot is great. The reader is given details in the reveal that are not given earlier in the story, but it all works out great. This is the second book in this series that I have read and it may be a bit better than the first. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Rockport_rocker 10 months ago
Prologue to Murder, the second book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, is an entertaining visit to a community that revels in its pirate history as well as an interesting mystery. The store owner’s connections in the community are new but we see the strength that even new friendships can bring. I especially enjoyed watching the evolution of the relationship between Addie and her young goth clerk. Atmosphere and action enhance this intriguing novel while Addie works to bring back business and find the murder. Just as things are setting down for Addie Greyborn in her new town and with her inherited book store the much-loved librarian is missing and a gossip columnist announces that the new bookstore owner is responsible. Business disappears as complete as June, the librarian. Before long the body turns up and the evil anonymous columnist decides that Addie is the killer and customers are absent. Friends assure her that the buzz will die down, but she remembers what happened not much earlier and has doubts that they are right. She has doesn’t know where to start but is determined reveal the real killer. The town’s people are getting ready to celebrate the pirate history of the community, and Addie learns that the library has written a book about pirates in the area. When she learns that there may be some information missing from the manuscript, with no other clues, she is determined to discover if that book and that treasure be behind the murder. It doesn’t help that her new love interest is being chased by his gorgeous ex-fiancé. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley. #NetGalley #ProloguetoMurder
CozyOnUp 10 months ago
Just when Addie Greyborne thought the locals were beginning to accept her and business would go on, she becomes the target of the local gossip column who hints that may be responsible for the disappearance of the local librarian. No one knows who Miss Newsy is, but she sure has it in for Addie. To make matters worse, Marc’s ex fiance is back in town and trying to reclaim her place by his side, driving a deep wedge between Addie and Marc. But then again, a handsome doctor has arrived and he stirs something inside Addie too. When the missing librarian is found dead, Addie begins sleuthing and finds her hands full with more insinuations from Miss Newsy and two men who have an effect on her. Can they protect Addie from herself and the killer, or will she get too close to the truth and be the next victim? A strong second entry to this series and I’m loving it. Tying into the local history in Massachusetts brings the story to life. Who doesn’t love a good pirate and buried treasure story? Looking forward to the next entry in this series and seeing where Addie’s heart and sleuthing lead her.