source: ARC via Bookouture/ https://www.bookouture.com/
title: The Bookshop Murder (A Flora Steele Mystery Book 1)
author: Merryn Allingham / Twitter
genre: cozy mystery
published: July 26th 2021 Bookouture
first line: Locking the shop door carefully behind her, Flora heaved the last parcel of books into the basket.
rated: 4 out of 5
Bookshop owner Flora Steele escapes the sleepy English village of Abbeymead through the adventures in the stories she sells. Until one morning, everything changes when she discovers a body amongst her own bookshelves…
The young man with the shock of white-blond hair lay spread-eagled on the floor, surrounded by fallen books. His hand reached out to the scattered pages, as though he was trying to tell her something.
But who is he? How did he come to be killed in Flora’s ordinary little bookshop? ….
The Bookshop Murder (A Flora Steele Mystery Book 1) was a fun cozy mystery that drew me in instantly. It has a nice 1955 English countryside setting and as the story begins, Flora Steele owns a bookshop in the small village of Abbeymead. She inherited the bookshop from her late Aunt. One morning one of her patrons and crime author Jack Carrington discovers a body in the back of the bookstore. Upon investigating the local police write the death off as a heart attack but Flora suspects it was something more. It doesn’t make sense for the victim to have been in her bookshop after hours plus he was young and was visiting from Australia. Flora convinces Jack to help her get to the bottom of things since he’s a crime writer and so the amateur sleuth investigating begins. Pretty soon the plot thickens as a second body turns up. Danger seems to lurk around the corner as Flora and Jack continue their investigating.
As I mentioned, I enjoyed this whodunnit and found that the mystery, the characters and the pace of the storyline made this a quick and easy read. The author includes plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. I had no idea who was to blame for the murders and I liked where the author took the storyline as far as the mystery went.
Flora and Jack were likeable characters and as the story flowed I was invested in where their personal relationship if any would go. The small town bookshop setting was also a plus. There’s always something cozy about an independent bookstore.
“Opening the white-painted shop door, she allowed the familiar smell of books to wash over her-the sweet, musky warmth that she loved. Her first chores were always to check the till and dust at least two of the bookshelves. Then she could make a cup of tea.” The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham- Kindle version 3%
I recommend this one to fans of cozy mysteries! I wouldn’t mind picking up book two in the series once it’s out.
“Yet the excitement in edging closer to the truth was undeniable, and for the first time in many years, he had a strong sense of living in the world rather than through the characters he created.”- The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham- Kindle version 56%
about the author:
Bestselling author Merryn Allingham was born into an army family and spent her childhood on the move. Unsurprisingly, it gave her itchy feet and in her twenties she escaped an unloved secretarial career to work as cabin crew and see the world. The arrival of marriage, children and cats meant a more settled life in the south of England, where she’s lived ever since. Having gained a PhD, she taught university literature for many years and loved every minute of it. What could be better than spending one’s life reading and talking about books? Well, writing them perhaps.
Six Regency period romances followed, then those itchy feet kicked in. The Regency was abandoned and Daisy’s War, a wartime trilogy, found its way to the top of the Amazon charts, followed by the Summerhayes books—a saga of romance and intrigue set in the Sussex countryside during the summers of 1914 and 1944.
But itchy feet never rest and in 2020 she finally went over to the dark side! The crime series, the Tremayne Mysteries, is set in locations around the world and features Nancy, a feisty 1950s heroine, turned amateur sleuth.
Keep in touch with Merryn via the web:
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission.