Book Review: Murder By The Bookend by Laura Gail Black
This is the second in a cozy mystery series about Jenna, who inherits her uncle’s antique bookstore in the small town of Hokes Folly. In the first book, her uncle was murdered and Jenna accused of the crime - and spent months in jail until able to prove her innocence, something rarely seen in a cozy. Finally acquitted, Jenna’s holding a grand reopening for the bookstore when disaster strikes again, with an expert on rare books killed in the car park just after the event.
Jenna’s dating a police detective who, again unlike the cops in most cozies, does not tell her in uncertain terms to stay out of things. Instead he just asks her to be careful, something Jenna’s pretty bad at. The other police detective who irrationally has it in for her doesn’t help matters - and there are some unresolved plot threads there which make me wonder if they are going to reappear in future books, along with at least two genuinely terrible people who were nevertheless not the murderers (on this occasion).
I enjoyed this a lot. Jenna’s very relatable, and a very kind person, good to her friends, her staff, and even kind to people who have treated her badly. I was charmed by the North Carolina setting, especially the magnificent Hokes Folly hotel, a Gilded Age mansion. Although I hadn’t read the first book, there was enough backstory given - and not infodumped - that I had a pretty good idea what had gone on, and I’d be happy to read more books in the series. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.