Little Bookshop of Murder
A Beach Reads Mystery, Book 1
A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop–and a murder mystery–in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.
Summer Merriweather’s career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder’s thread. Academic life at her Virginia university is a viper’s pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.
Returning to Brigid’s Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom’s embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: “Sell the bookstore or die.”
Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid’s Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there’s not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy’s beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid’s Island than are dreamt of in the Bard’s darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can’t find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy’s worth of corpses–including her own.
Little Bookshop of Murder is a light and easy cozy mystery read that is more than fitting for beach reading.
Summer Merriweather is having a time of it. A Shakespeare Professor researching a paper in England to try to save her career when the unexpected death of her very healthy mother brings her back to her childhood home. Upon return she realizes things are not as they seem. Summer decides that if the local law won’t listen she will have to figure out this one herself.
There are many things I enjoyed about Little Bookshop of Murder. First and foremost the store, Beach Reads! The Idea of this store is a reader stream on the beach. From its name to its beach themed decor, It’s a place that I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon or two enjoying reading by the sea. Second small towns whether I’m reading cozies or romance are always a favorite. This one has a vast array of quirky characters that make up a very fun and interesting town. Next the family dynamic within the story is priceless. I love the inner jokes and squabbling that goes back-and-forth between them. Summer it’s an interesting main character. She may have left a few ill feelings when she left home yet it’s still her home and has a love for it even if she didn’t realize how deep it goes. The mystery of the story itself was rather easy to figure out but the why was a bit off for me. However I enjoy this little town and these crazy characters enough that it will make me read the next book in the series.
My life with Damien has never been fuller. Every day is a miracle, and every night I lose myself in the oasis of his arms.
But there are new challenges, too. Our families. Our careers. And new responsibilities that test us with unrelenting, unexpected trials.
I know we will survive—we have to. Because I cannot live without Damien by my side. But sometimes the darkness seems overwhelming, and I am terrified that the day will come when Damien cannot bring the light. And I will have to find the strength inside myself to find my way back into his arms.
I smile at the text from Damien, then immediately tap out a reply.
Much. Thank you.
It’s past noon, and I’ve spent a productive morning in my office getting all my proverbial ducks in order. Marge is making calls to all our clients to let them know about Eric’s departure and to tell them I’ll be calling to update them later in the week. Abby is taking point on hiring one new person who can walk the line between tech and client relations, and I’m doing everything else.
So far, there’ve been no crises today, and I’m feeling about eight thousand percent better than I was yesterday. It was still hard leaving the girls this morning, but I went in a bit later, and so we had breakfast and some playtime together.
Glad to hear it. Sending a car for you at five.
I frown, then tap out a reply.
I have Coop here. I drove my Mini Cooper into the office this morning and he’s tucked away in the small parking garage that serves my building.
He can stay in the garage overnight. I want you relaxed. We have plans tonight.
I laugh, delighted.
Are you handling me, Mr. Stark?
His reply is swift: Absolutely.
Love you. (Whispers: but I want to see my babies)
I can almost picture him smiling when he sends the next reply.
No need to whisper. I want to see them, too. Then I want to see you. Alone.
I sigh and realize that I’m smiling, the stress of the last twenty-four hours fading to zero. Maybe Jamie and Abby are right. Maybe I have got this.
Sounds good to me, I reply.
His final text comes almost immediately, tugging at my heart—and at other more intimate places.
Excellent. I’ll see you tonight, Ms. Fairchild. Until then, imagine me, touching you.
For the rest of the day, I spend a lot of time doing exactly that, and by the time Edward—Damien’s personal driver—comes into the office to tell me that he’s ready to take me home, I’m very much in the mood to see my husband.
J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.
But that was before– Before she found her mother’s lifeless body– Before she walked in on her boyfriend in bed with someone else. Before she knew what heart shattering pain felt like.
Now all she wants is for the pain to go away. But it never does.
Until him. A complete stranger who could end up being much more.
But letting go and moving on is easier said than done.