Title: Murder in the Paperback Parlor Author: Ellery Adams Published: August 4th 2015 by Berkley Format: Paperback; Pgs 304 Genre: Cozy Mystery Series: Book Retreat Mystery #2
Though many of the same elements of a cozy mystery are here, Ellery Adams breaks off a bit with the inclusion of quotes from classic books and poetry. I am not going to say that others have not done this, but considering that the story takes place at Storyton, an estate that was brought over from England to Virginia one stone at a time to create a heaven on earth for bibliophiles it is the perfect addition.
Storyton has a deeper secret that is not revealed to the guests. It houses an extensive collection of books, manuscripts and unfinished documents that have been kept from the public’s eye for centuries. There is a secret guard called the Fins that are responsible to protect the Steward Family and the guardian of the library.
Jane Steward is the current guardian and in addition to that stressor, she is a single parent to twin boys and is running a hotel that caters to a very select clientele. This week, she is hosting a “Romancing the Reader” event. Envisioning a lovely, festive and harmonious times did not prepare her for the body that was found.
Apparently, romance writers can have a mean side and when they start bickering amongst themselves and threats begin with uncovering a charlatan, Jane is working double time to keep the event on track. Then when a writer introduces a new book with a character that is offensive to some, there is no telling who exactly is responsible for the death.
There are many subplots in the book and that keeps the reader bouncing along. Some are interesting but when you begin to put all the fragments together, it is obvious early on what direction Ellery Adams is going but that is okay since there is enough side adventures to the reader engaged.