A Blue Ridge Library Mystery, Book 2
by Victoria Gilbert
October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.
The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.
That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder
An INTERVIEW with Victoria Gilbert’s Amy Webber!
Everyone tells me that I look just like my great-grandmother, Rose Baker Litton, who resembled the 1920s film star, Louise Brooks, although Rose was a bit more voluptuous (as am I!) I’m just under average height but curvaceous, which can make finding clothes that flatter me difficult. (Which is why I tend to favor simple, tailored outfits for work, and t-shirts and shorts or jeans at home). I love gardening, which is good, since Aunt Lydia’s extensive garden requires a lot of maintenance. I also love to read, and I enjoy watching films, walking, and anything to do with art. I’m not an artist myself but I majored in Art History as an undergrad and it’s remained a passion of mine.
The other aspect that was a major change was that my public library only has two paid employees—me, and my assistant Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. We do have a number of volunteers who assist with events and help cover the circulation desk, but all of the management duties fall on Sunny and me. Coming from a university, where there are multiple librarians in each department of the library, this was a big adjustment. I discovered that not only does the buck stop with me, it starts there too!
Of course, the most difficult part of living and working in a small town is that everyone seems to know everyone else’s business—especially when you have someone like my aunt’s best friend, Zelda Shoemaker, around. I love Zelda, but I have to admit that not even a wisp of gossip escapes her notice. So I guess I would say that I wish there was a little more privacy in Taylorsford. But I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.
Overrated? MOBY DICK. I know it’s a classic, and it is brilliant, but I’ve never been able to get through that tome. I guess you could say finishing that book is my “white whale,” LOL.
KISS OF THE ROYAL by Lindsey Duga (YA Fantasy)
THE ROLE by Richard Taylor Pearson (Contemp. Fiction, LBGTQ)
PROTOCOL and 39 WINKS by Kathleen Valenti (Mystery)
A MUDDIED MURDER by Wendy Tyson (Mystery)
KA: DAR OAKLEY IN THE RUIN OF YMR by John Crowley (Fantasy)
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (Contemp. Fiction) THE DAUGHTER OF TIME by Josephine Tey (classic Mystery)
The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett (Historical Fiction, 6 book series – first book is THE GAME OF KINGS)
I say this a lot and I have no problems saying it again: I am a huge fan of cozies that feature anything having to do with books or libraries. Having read and reviewed the first book in this series last year, which you can check out HERE, I couldn’t wait to find out what shenanigans Amy would find herself in this time around! And needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed!
As was the case in the previous book, the library isn’t the focus of the mystery or the story, but I certainly enjoyed learning more about the underworld of art forgery. When actual paintings were mentioned, this was one of those books where you wish there were pictures! But with my Kindle, I could simply highlight the text, search for the image, and stare wonderingly at the creativity of the human spirit.
Secrets continue to run deep in this small town, especially for one still reeling from the events in the previous book. But not to worry, this is still very much a standalone novel; however, I would still encourage you to check out the first one just to have a complete understanding of how shady many of these secondary characters can truly be!
The pacing was much better to me this time around as the suspense built gradually to an unpredictable conclusion. The mystery was quite elaborate, while the additional storylines and well developed characters added those subtle red herrings and remarkable twists necessary to keep readers guessing.
Overall, this series continues to get better and I’m highly anticipating the third installment, PAST DUE FOR MURDER, arriving on shelves early next year. This is highly recommended for fans of bookish cozies, but certainly a good selection for any mystery reader!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I hope that you enjoyed today’s special feature and will be adding this book to your reading! Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and Victoria Gilbert! It was a pleasure hosting and being a part of the tour! And be sure to check out the other blog stops for opinions and author extras!
July 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
July 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
July 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 20 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST