Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Murder at the Bookstore - The Bookstore Mystery #1


Murder at the Bookstore is the first book in a new storefront bookish cozy series by Sue Minix. Released 19th Jan 2023 by HarperCollins on their Avon Books imprint, it's 336 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is a promising start for fans of small town shopfront cozies. Crime novelist Jen is drawn into real-life sleuthing when her friend (and owner of her local book-and-coffee shop) dies under violent circumstances. The usual pool of small-town-oddball characters are present, there's skullduggery and hidden motives to be unearthed, and there's the hint of developing romance/frenemies between Jen and a local guy. 

Some of the characterizations and plot developments are admittedly a bit over the top and there are some twists which require a healthy suspension of disbelief, but all in all, it's a pretty good example of why the shopfront cozy subgenre is so popular. I found the denouement and resolution unexpectedly violent and abrupt but fairly well written.

The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 8 hours and 48 minutes and is narrated by Rebecca LaChance. She has an interesting and nuanced voice. She enunciates very well and although her voice is youthful (she's young), it doesn't detract from the read at all. The sound and production quality of the recording were high throughout.

Four stars. This would be a good light read for fans of cozies. It would be perfectly safe for work/commute reading. I'm interested to see what comes next for Jen and the bookshop.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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