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? Flora finds out he was staying at the Priory Hotel, and when the gardener suddenly dies in its beautiful grounds only a few days later, she is certain that something untoward is happening in her quiet village by the sea.
But are the two deaths connected? And is someone at the hotel responsible – the nervous cook, the money-obsessed receptionist, or the formidable manageress?
Determined to save her beloved bookshop’s reputation and solve the murder mystery, Flora enlists the help of handsome and brooding Jack Carrington: crime writer, recluse and her most reliable customer.
As the unlikely duo set about investigating the baffling case, guilty faces greet them at every door. And they soon realise there’s more than one person hiding secrets in Abbeymead…
The start of a brand-new murder mystery series featuring bookshop owner Flora Steele and crime writer Jack Carrington.
The Bookshop Murder is the first book in the Flora Steele mysteries, set in a Sussex village in 1955. Flora inherited the bookshop and her cottage from Aunt Violet, recently deceased and an important influence on Flora’s young life.
I like how the story draws the reader into the world of 1955 Sussex village life. The village’s characters introduced through Flora’s viewpoint believably create a sense of gossipy community. The mystery has numerous suspects and twists, and the anticipation builds to a satisfyingly suspenseful ending.
The reader gets to know Flora, Jack, and all the villagers in the course of the story, and the connection between Flora and Jack is noteworthy. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.