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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Death on the Page!

    Death on the Page is a great cozy mystery that bibliophiles would love to read. The main character, Shelby, is a strong woman who is building her life as co-owner to a set of bookstores. I love her determination, strength, and of course, her curious nature. The plot was crafted with enough twists and suspects to keep me turning the pages until the end. I received an advanced reader's copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Castles and murder go together like milk & cookies

    Shelby Cox is wrapping up her first full season of running the family bookstore annex at historic Blye Castle and has settled into life in Bayside rather well. When the store is set to celebrate their anniversary, they host a true crime author with book signings at both the castle and main stores. The signing seems to be a hit all around and the author is spending the night at the castle in order to research her next book, based on the mobster, Joe Cabana, who ran a smuggling business from the island during Prohibition. When the visiting author is found dead in the castle’s secret passages, Shelby has to wonder who had it in for the author. There seem to be no loss for suspects, from the author’s agent on down to a local who came in during one of the signings and accused the author of stealing her idea for a book. Things just aren’t settling in Shelby’s mind and she can’t help but ask questions and try to find out whodunit. But will Shelby’s luck run out before the murdered is caught or will this be yet another cold case for another author to write about in the future? Adore this series and the setting. Shelby has some trust and personal relationship issues to work through and the raw emotions are bared as she works through them. We all have our own challenges and the characters in this series are so well developed that you find yourself empathizing and relating to them. Looking forward to more entries in this series and seeing what the future hold for Shelby and the gang.

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  • The 2nd A Castle Bookshop Mystery

    Death on the Page by Essie Lang is the second novel in A Castle Bookshop Mystery series. It can be a standalone if you have not read Trouble on the Books. Shelby Cox co-owns Bayside Books in Alexandria Bay, New York with her aunt, Edie Cox. They have an auxiliary location in Blye Castle on Blye Island which is one of the Thousand Islands. It is the 35th anniversary of their bookstore and Savannah Page has agreed to do a signing of her latest true crime novel. Savannah also got the board of directors of Blye Castle to allow her to stay at the castle over the weekend. The author plans on researching Joe Cabana, a prohibition mobster, whose murder was never solved. Shelby arrives to open the bookstore on Sunday to learn that Savannah is dead at the bottom of a staircase in a secret passage. Shelby is curious about the secret passages and the author’s death, so she begins asking questions. There are a variety of suspects from the castle’s caretaker to the author’s fiancé. Shelby asks questions of people involved in the case despite being told by her aunt, boyfriend and Chief Stone to stop being a nosey parker. The mystery is straightforward, and readers will have no problem solving the whodunit before the solution is revealed. When Shelby is not sleuthing, she is working at the bookstore, visiting friends or her aunt, spending time with Zach Griffin (the Coast Guard agent she is dating), or indulging in coffee at Chocomania. I wish the story had contained more action. I found the pace to be on the slow side (for me). I would like to see Shelby become more mature especially with regards to her relationship with Zach. It would be nice is the author fleshed out the main characters (Erica, Matthew, Aunt Edie, Zach). I also wanted more sleuthing at the castle. I felt the author lost out on an opportunity to make this an intriguing mystery with Shelby sneaking around the castle and finding clues in the secret passages. The ending seemed abrupt and lacking in a solid conclusion to the mystery (I have questions). Those readers who prefer more cozy than mystery will enjoy reading Death on the Page. Death on the Page has secret stairs, chocolate coffee, pocketed objects, injured individuals, tricky thieves, and a cagey killer.

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  • Loved it!

    historical-places-events, cozy-mystery, amateur-sleuth, murder-investigation A bookshop in a castle on an island in North America is a delightful idea and the fact that it has a matching shop on the mainland year round is good business sense. The co owners are niece and aunt, but the aunt is sidelined with a knee injured too soon after replacement surgery. So niece is tasked with a lot more work including an author's book signing, issues within the castle management, and a personal need to find out who murdered that author in spite of the cautioning by all of her friends. Let the sleuthing begin! A nicely twisty plot with plenty of red herrings and a budding romance or two. Loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • A Fabulous Instalment

    Death on the Page is the second book in the new 'A Castle Bookshop Mystery' series. I have read the first one, Trouble on the Books and absolutely adore this series! It has an amazing setting - a bookshop in a castle, no less, and an eye-catching, colourful front cover - the makings of a great read for me. There aren’t many settings as perfect as a bookshop located within a castle, and Essie Lang made great use of this. Blye Castle is in a fine lakeside town, with a real sense of community and a general feeling of nostalgia. This, as well as a town full of secrets, made it a brilliant backdrop for a murder investigation. Death on the Page sees the return of protagonist Shelby, who has the necessary attributes of any great sleuth - intelligence, curiosity and attention to detail. She is desperate to improve the profitability of the shop, especially before the Winter sets in, but she is not great at dealing with people. Also making a reappearance, much to my delight, is Shelby’s endearing, plucky and strong-willed Aunt Edie, of whom I am especially fond. In this instalment, a famous author, true-crime writer Savannah Page, visits the bookshops to carry out signings at both the Blye Castle store and the store at Alexandria Bay. She wants to stay overnight at the castle to research another book she is currently writing. But a dreadful accident occurs and Savannah's body is found the next morning in a secret passage. Shelby must figure out what happened... This book has many of the components that make a really good story: from the mood and undercurrents to the very clever writing. The details of the plot were brilliantly executed and every chapter left me with a compelling need to read on. The end is perfect satisfactory, with all loose ends neatly tied up. I highly recommend Death on the Page to those who appreciate well-written cozy mysteries. This is a series I really enjoy, and I very much look forward to my next outing with Shelby and Aunt Edie! [Thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and the author, Essie Lang for a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my own unbiased opinion.]

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