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Murder by the Book

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Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn't expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . . Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father's fatal c Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn't expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . . Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father's fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she's moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store. But there's trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie's friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they've got the story in hand, but Addie's not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . .


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Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn't expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . . Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father's fatal c Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn't expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . . Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father's fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she's moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store. But there's trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie's friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they've got the story in hand, but Addie's not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . .

30 review for Murder by the Book

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott is the first book in the cozy Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. Well, I'm going to call this one a cozy mystery as it does have the elements there but it also felt a bit like romantic suspense too.  Addison Greyborne had not been having a good year before she moved to a small New England town that had been named for her ancestors back in Colonial times. Addie is still recovering from the murder of her finace, her father dying in a tragic accident and t Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott is the first book in the cozy Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. Well, I'm going to call this one a cozy mystery as it does have the elements there but it also felt a bit like romantic suspense too.  Addison Greyborne had not been having a good year before she moved to a small New England town that had been named for her ancestors back in Colonial times. Addie is still recovering from the murder of her finace, her father dying in a tragic accident and then finding out a long lost aunt had also died but left her whole estate to Addie.  Addie inheritance however has given her the opportunity to start over and continue to work with books after leaving her job at the Boston Public Library. With her aunt having so many rare book in her collection and the funds to open a shop Addie decides to open Beyond the Page and had even begun to make friends in the town when her good friend Serena is arrested for murder and Addie finds herself teaming up with Serena's police chief brother to clear her name.  Now as I said this one seemed to be crossing a bit over into romantic suspense with the main character not exactly working on her own and against the police as with a normal cozy set up. Instead Addie is pushing herself into the investigation and actually working with the police chief using her skills she had from her previous job and with a lot of flirting between the two a romantic connection did begin to grow. I do however like this set up as it gives credibility to the investigation.  This one however was missing my love of the overly quirky and eccentric characters but Addie was likable enough along with her love interest that I still enjoyed getting to know them. I did think a few times though that Addie's actions seemed a bit too childish for a thirty something woman while flirting with someone. In the end though the book had a ton of action and an interesting plot relevant to the character that led me to give this one 3.5 stars and I would definitely continue with the series.  I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Addison Greyborne worked at the Boston Public Library until a year ago, but then her life fell apart. Her fiance was murdered and her father died in an accident. While still reeling from the deaths, a relative died and left her money and a house in Greyborne Harbor. She opened her own shop, Beyond the Page Books & Curios, and started trying to piece her life back together again. Someone seems determined to put a damper on her plans. Her shop and home are broken into and a dark car seems to be fo Addison Greyborne worked at the Boston Public Library until a year ago, but then her life fell apart. Her fiance was murdered and her father died in an accident. While still reeling from the deaths, a relative died and left her money and a house in Greyborne Harbor. She opened her own shop, Beyond the Page Books & Curios, and started trying to piece her life back together again. Someone seems determined to put a damper on her plans. Her shop and home are broken into and a dark car seems to be following her. Just as she makes a new friend, that friend is arrested for killing another local merchant. Addie is determined to clear Serena's name and discover who is behind the break-ins and other bad happenings in Greyborne Harbor. Murder By the Book is a great start to a new cozy series! I do wish they had chosen a more creative title for the book though. There are SO many mysteries with the same title. It's been done before.....1000 times. The story line is a bit trope-y too.....mysterious, unknown relative leaves money and property to main character and bad things happen. But, I enjoyed the characters and the background theme of a book and curio shop. The story was entertaining and the mystery plot engaging enough to hold my interest. So, I forgive the tropes..... I wish the small town I live in had a shop like Beyond the Page. I would be there all the time!! :) A second book in this new series, Prologue to Murder, will be out in 2019. I will definitely read more of this series! **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    November 11. 2018 DID NOT FINISH Stopped at 20% [Read some of the end and it was just so ludicrous I am so glad I didn't waste my time]. ZERO STARS!!!! First, I am glad that I got this as a NetGalley ARC and that I didn't actually pay money for it. Second, I am VERY glad that the audiobook was on Hoopla so I didn't pay money for that either [because I would so be returning it if I had paid good money for this]. Third, I realize I am going to be in the minority here [considering all the 4 and 5 sta November 11. 2018 DID NOT FINISH Stopped at 20% [Read some of the end and it was just so ludicrous I am so glad I didn't waste my time]. ZERO STARS!!!! First, I am glad that I got this as a NetGalley ARC and that I didn't actually pay money for it. Second, I am VERY glad that the audiobook was on Hoopla so I didn't pay money for that either [because I would so be returning it if I had paid good money for this]. Third, I realize I am going to be in the minority here [considering all the 4 and 5 star reviews I am seeing. Clearly we are not reading the same book]. The things I didn't like about this book: 1. The main character. CAN anyone be stupider? I find it hard to believe that she ever lived in a big city. Ever. She is careless, overly-naive [to the point of being stupid] and has the "poor me, WHY is this happening to me" kind of attitude. She grated on my last nerve. When two women CLEARLY run a con on her to get her keys, she is so clueless about it I wanted to both scream and bang my head against my desk. Someone one like that NEVER worked and lived in a big city like Boston or London. Sigh. 2. Freaking romance. Again. Seriously? The main character and the cop/police chief/detective. This story-line arc is getting seriously old and I sure wish authors would figure that out. P L E A S E. 3. The even ditzier "best friend" [who she meets and two seconds later they are best friends like they have known each other their whole lives, even though someone is breaking into her shop and trying to run her down, she immediately believes that it CANNOT be this girl blah blah blah]. I actually like Serena better than Addie, but still. 4. The fact that almost everyone in this town has a GINORMOUS chip on their freaking shoulders and they are all just mean. Plain and simple, they are a very mean bunch. And they do not care who they hurt with their words and actions. I am not sure why Addie would even want to stay there to be honest, because they are horrible. Their snide remarks, harsh criticism and just plain meanness was a huge turnoff from the beginning and just continued to be as I read on. 5. The ending/reveal. Because I read ahead. No. Just no. SO glad I didn't waste my time for THAT. Puh-LEESE!!!! What I liked about this book: . . . . . . . You get the picture. I will not be reading the next one in the series [there is a spoiler chapter at the end and it is clearly more of exactly the same as was in this book. EXACTLY. Pass. Pass. P A S S. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    I received an advanced digital copy of Murder By the Book by Lauren Elliott from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in a planned series featuring Addie who has recently moved from Boston to a small harbor town after experiencing several personal tragedies. Having inherited an estate and lots of money, Addie decides to indulge her love of old books by opening a second-hand book store. She is a former librarian who researched many old and valua I received an advanced digital copy of Murder By the Book by Lauren Elliott from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in a planned series featuring Addie who has recently moved from Boston to a small harbor town after experiencing several personal tragedies. Having inherited an estate and lots of money, Addie decides to indulge her love of old books by opening a second-hand book store. She is a former librarian who researched many old and valuable books, which has allowed her to develop her investigative skills. Almost immediately we learn of the accidental death of her father and the unsolved murder of her fiance, as well as the death of a previously un remember great aunt who is believed to have died from natural causes. The book begins with Addie opening her new bookshop and then almost being run down by a black sedan, an occurrence she brushes off as the result of a distracted driver. Almost immediately, there is a breakin at the shop, Addie’s keys are stolen, suspicious people wander into the shop and then her house is burgled. This sets up the constant bringing together of Addie and the police chief, Marc. It’s clear from the beginning there is a physical attraction between Marc and Addie and they spend the rest of the book being drawn to one another then pushing each other away, only to repeat the same action with much the same written description a few pages later. The book relies more on relationship building than on solving the numerous murders that are ultimately determined to have occurred. Other characters who are likely to be recurring fixtures in future books include Serena, who owns a shop down the street and is Marc’s sister, Martha who owns the bakery next door and Paige, who comes to work for Addie. The relationships spring up almost immediately, with Addie and Serena becoming best friends almost overnight and Addie hiring Paige, then immediately giving her a substantial raise and responsibilities in the shop in spite of the fact Paige is Martha’s daughter and Martha is doing everything she can to shut Addie down and force her out of business. There is almost too much happening within the world of this one book. It abounds with secret staircases, hidden drawers in furniture and connections that are revealed at the convenient time for Addie and/or Marc to further their investigation. Often the dialog and writing comes across as more suited to the young adult reader. The final chapters are written in a way to summarize all that has taken place within the book, some of it having been telegraphed early on and some of it being revealed through the sudden appearance of knowledge that gives the results away. It is hard to believe that Marc, chief of police, would involve Addie in crime scene investigation on one hand and then insist she stay out of it because she is an amature on the other. Throughout the book there is a constant shift between Marc being stern and business like only to have his look soften in the next paragraph as he gives in to Addie’s desire to be involved in learning why she is being targeted through break-ins and threatening occurrences. In summary, the book reads more like a very light romance/relationship novel with a mystery component than an in-depth mystery that offers some relationship building. It is probably best suited for the reader who is interested in the personal lives of the characters and how they relate to one another.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Reading in the Rockies

    Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advance e-copy of Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliot. Murder by the Book is the first book in a new, three book “Beyond the Pages” mystery series and will be released on October 30, 2018. I discovered this series through the Owl’s Nest Books Hootdunnit Mystery Book Club as they are scheduled to discuss this book in May 2019. I was so looking forward to this new series; the cover drew me right in to this cozy mystery, set in a used bookstore, in Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advance e-copy of Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliot. Murder by the Book is the first book in a new, three book “Beyond the Pages” mystery series and will be released on October 30, 2018. I discovered this series through the Owl’s Nest Books Hootdunnit Mystery Book Club as they are scheduled to discuss this book in May 2019. I was so looking forward to this new series; the cover drew me right in to this cozy mystery, set in a used bookstore, in a little seaside town, and written by a local author who promises to keep readers captivated and guessing until the last chapter. Unfortunately, I could not have been more disappointed. The main character, Addie, is supposedly grieving the loss of her fiancé and father – her fiancé was recently murdered, yet the murder was unsolved as it was not competently investigated, and Addie seems to have accepted this without explanation, and her father was recently killed in a motor vehicle accident. She couldn’t be further from the picture of grief. Instead, she happily moves into a manor she has just inherited from her aunt, who has also passed away within one week of her father, discovers her aunt’s rare book collection, and energetically opens a used and rare bookstore. Instantaneously, she makes an enemy of the owner of one store next door, and a best friend of the other. Within three days, she’s been run-down, started a kitchen fire, and had both home and store broken into and ransacked daily; police write these incidents off as purely coincidental, but it does create repeated encounters with the chief of police, her new best friend’s brother, and a romance blossoms, despite her supposed grief. Murders are committed within town, crime scenes are turned over and returned to normal within record-breaking hours, suspicious out of town visitors regularly cause drama within town yet cannot be identified or located, and shocking evidence and clues are often discovered while an officer and civilian work together to solve these crimes, neither seemingly more intelligible or experienced than the other. This is a juvenile story in which two 30-something year old characters interact like young teenagers and is written at the comprehension level of a young teenager. It reminded me of reading Nancy Drew mystery stories 20+ years ago and I could not recommend this book to anyone over the age of 12. Please seriously consider categorizing this series as Young Adult or Children’s fiction.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim Kaso

    This was a light, fairly fast, mostly fun read, but very much a novice writer. Too many bitten lips & putting of a strand of hair behind an ear on the romance side, it called attention to itself and made the romantic scenes feel clunky to me. I liked the bookstore & the rare books aspect, the small town politics felt like one more layer complicating things. Many of the characters were stock, stereotypical without clear motivation or depth. I wanted to like this book more than I did, I thought Ne This was a light, fairly fast, mostly fun read, but very much a novice writer. Too many bitten lips & putting of a strand of hair behind an ear on the romance side, it called attention to itself and made the romantic scenes feel clunky to me. I liked the bookstore & the rare books aspect, the small town politics felt like one more layer complicating things. Many of the characters were stock, stereotypical without clear motivation or depth. I wanted to like this book more than I did, I thought New England & bookstores would be right up my alley, but the author needs to hone her writing & could use some time with an editor.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Murder by the Book was a pleasant start to the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series with its charming setting and compelling mystery. After her fiancé is murdered and her father dies in a car accident, Addie Greyborne is ready for a change. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from her great aunt, Addie leaves Boston behind for the quaint seaside town of Greyborne Harbor where she uses the book collection left to her by her aunt to open a used bookstore. Once her store is up and runnin Murder by the Book was a pleasant start to the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series with its charming setting and compelling mystery. After her fiancé is murdered and her father dies in a car accident, Addie Greyborne is ready for a change. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from her great aunt, Addie leaves Boston behind for the quaint seaside town of Greyborne Harbor where she uses the book collection left to her by her aunt to open a used bookstore. Once her store is up and running, Addie quickly makes friends with Serena who owns a tea shop next door to Addie’s. But when Serena is accused of murdering another local merchant, Addie knows she’s innocent and vows to find the real killer and clear Serena’s name. The mystery in this book is solid and in my opinion the best aspect of the book. I found myself second guessing everyone Addie came into contact with wondering if they were the ones following her and breaking into her home and bookstore. Add in the murder Serena was accused of and I found myself not trusting anybody. I enjoyed the investigative techniques Addie used, particularly the murder board, as unlike most of the cozies I’ve read she doesn’t have a wide variety of contacts yet to get information from. Ultimately I did end up guessing the culprit prior to the big reveal, but it was still cleverly done with a few surprises thrown in. Addie is incredibly knowledgeable about books and I loved her enthusiasm for her work. It’s clear she greatly enjoyed the investigative aspects of her time spent at the Boston Public Library and her stint at the British Museum. My one complaint about Addie as a character is how much she doesn’t keep her word and how she creates inventive ways to get around her promises. I understand in cozies that usually the main character is investigating against police wishes, but the amount of times she lies to Marc (the police chief and Serena’s brother) grated after a while when it became clear he was a potential love interest for her. The author does a great job creating that small town feeling particularly with the town residents which includes quite a few busybodies. One of the things I didn’t enjoy about the book though was the abrupt start and Addie instantly making an enemy and a best friend. Addie has been in town for a few months and has been busy with preparing her bookstore, but she never talks to any other town residents and only meets everyone for the first time the day she opens her store. I had a bit of a hard time buying Martha’s intense hatred of her on sight as well as the immediate closeness Addie has with Serena. I wish the author had shown Addie preparing to open her store and having her build a friendship with Serena over time. Despite not completely loving Murder by the Book, I still found it to be an enjoyable read and I think the series holds promise. I’ll definitely be checking out future books in the series and I’m excited to see what the characters get up to next. **I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marty Tool

    Addie, an unlikable character I might say, has tragic deaths in her recent past and inherits a large home and money in a small town with her last name. Somehow she doesn't remember anything about the town or of her recently deceased great aunt, but decides to move to the town and open a store of curios and used books, both rare and valuable books. Then mystery and questionable murders happen seeming to revolve around her. Problems I had with this book are many. First, she's been there for a mont Addie, an unlikable character I might say, has tragic deaths in her recent past and inherits a large home and money in a small town with her last name. Somehow she doesn't remember anything about the town or of her recently deceased great aunt, but decides to move to the town and open a store of curios and used books, both rare and valuable books. Then mystery and questionable murders happen seeming to revolve around her. Problems I had with this book are many. First, she's been there for a month working all the time setting up her store, but never bothered to meet the business neighbors she's next to, but as soon as she opens her doors she is instantly bffs with one, and enemies with the other. Also she is constantly leaving the shop, when are the shoppers supposed to buy anything. Secondly, she is a self entitled know it all, rude and about as cuddly as a cactus. One minute she is attracted to the police chief, the next she is rude and rebuffs any friendly attempt from him, but gets all pissed when he doesn't hold her after she is held at gun point, plus she keeps butting into official police business. She has multiple chances to ask others about the mysterious strangers identity, or even take a photo to ask later, but she doesn't, but then the mystery would have been solved quickly. She knows someone is stalking her, lives in an isolated house, yet leaves the doors unlocked. On to the stalker, robbers book thief. These are the worst international thieves ever. They are in the area before she moves there but don't find what they want. They break in to her store and home, but only when she's there, not when she's gone from either place. They also supposedly have been in this business for several years, they just aren't good at it. Lastly, myself as a book lover, Addie recognizes a semi valuable book stolen from her store by the sticker from her shop on the cover. Nobody would place a store price sticker on a cover of a book worth something. Maybe on a jacket protector, not on the cover. Lastly, why do writers think that having a strong female lead character means she has to be rude, arrogant and know it all's? I didn't come to even remotely like her and had to force myself to finish this. To the police chief-run, run quickly away.

  9. 4 out of 5

    NicoleG

    Great first in series! I am eager to read more by this author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Murder By The Book is the first book in the A Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery series. After Addison Greyborne’s father dies in an automobile accident and her fiance is murdered. She has inherited her aunt’s home and extensive book collection and decides to move to Greyborne and with the extensive book collection, her aunt had she decides to open the Beyond The Page – Books & Curios store. But bad luck is continuing to follow Addie, as she’s heading to her store for the first time she is nearly Murder By The Book is the first book in the A Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery series. After Addison Greyborne’s father dies in an automobile accident and her fiance is murdered. She has inherited her aunt’s home and extensive book collection and decides to move to Greyborne and with the extensive book collection, her aunt had she decides to open the Beyond The Page – Books & Curios store. But bad luck is continuing to follow Addie, as she’s heading to her store for the first time she is nearly run down by a speeding automobile. As Addie is straightening item in the store, Serena who has SerenaTEAS shop a few doors down the street comes in to welcome Addie. While they are discussing their shops, there is a disturbance out back and when they check what it was they encounter Martha who owns the bakery next to Addie’s who says someone with a crowbar was trying to get in Addie’s store. When Addie goes back into her store, she finds that it has been vandalized. Later she gets a message from Blaine Fielding, owner of the local department store asking her to come over. As she is heading across the street, Serena is being led out of the store be her brother, Marc who is also the police chief, in handcuffs. Fielding had been killed and Serena had been found holding the murder weapon. Soon, there are also break-ins at her home too. Addie doesn’t feel that Serena is guilty and wants to clear Serena’s name. After some reflection, Addie begins to wonder if she wasn’t the one meant to find Fielding and to be framed for his murder. She soon believes that there must be something valuable enough hidden somewhere that is worth killing for and getting her out of town. I found this to be a very interesting new series and there are a couple of other subplots, that if I would discuss, would take away from the mystery itself. I felt that the story was well written and had an interesting cast of characters. I’ll be looking forward to learning more about Serena, Addie, and her possible romantic interest with Marc. I will be watching for the next book in this interesting new series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    Good mystery,if they had just left out the cussing that was sprinkled through out the book. There was about three murders and one or two attempted murders. I lost track. At the end of the book it took forever to explain why the murders were committed and who was who. It just dragged on and on. Will I read the other books in this series? Probably not. This one was quite enough, thank you! If you're into mystery and the occasional cuss words doesn't bother you than you'll probably like this book. I Good mystery,if they had just left out the cussing that was sprinkled through out the book. There was about three murders and one or two attempted murders. I lost track. At the end of the book it took forever to explain why the murders were committed and who was who. It just dragged on and on. Will I read the other books in this series? Probably not. This one was quite enough, thank you! If you're into mystery and the occasional cuss words doesn't bother you than you'll probably like this book. I downloaded a Kindle ebook copy of this book from Amazon. A review was not requested. All opinions expressed here are my own thoughts about the book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    This should have been good. It had all the best markers; a bookstore, small town, girlfriend support, hunky single chief of police. But the writing was not good. Plotting was okay but the dialogue and character’s behavior was ridiculous. If I had a dollar for each time; Addie bit her lower lip, Mark winked, or any one of them smirked..I’d buy my own bookstore.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Doward Wilson

    Meet Addie Greyborne, former rare books librarian at the Boston Public Library. After an unexpected inheritance from an aunt she never knew and the murder of her fiance, Addie moves to the small New England town that her family founded. Among the things left to her by her aunt was Greyborne Manor and a huge collection of books, many of them first editions, which prompts her to open an used book store. From opening day of business at "Beyond the Page-Books & Curios," Addie has break-ins at both t Meet Addie Greyborne, former rare books librarian at the Boston Public Library. After an unexpected inheritance from an aunt she never knew and the murder of her fiance, Addie moves to the small New England town that her family founded. Among the things left to her by her aunt was Greyborne Manor and a huge collection of books, many of them first editions, which prompts her to open an used book store. From opening day of business at "Beyond the Page-Books & Curios," Addie has break-ins at both the shop and home. When a murder occurs and her new best friend is the prime suspect, Addie knows the murder and break-ins are tied together. An outstanding first book in a new series. I found the characters to be well defined and relatable. The background and setting are done well. The murder and break-ins lead you on a twisted path that will keep you turning the pages and guessing right to the surprise ending. I highly recommend this book to all cozy and mystery readers. I am impatient for the next book to come out!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This is the debut cozy mystery for Lauren Elliott in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. I think the series and the author have promise. Addie Greyborne is a likable protagonist. She is observant, independent and looking for a place to heal from a number of tragedies that she has suffered. The secondary cast of characters is well developed and likable as well. The mystery is woven throughout the story but there is so much going on at times it is a little overwhelming just how many peop This is the debut cozy mystery for Lauren Elliott in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. I think the series and the author have promise. Addie Greyborne is a likable protagonist. She is observant, independent and looking for a place to heal from a number of tragedies that she has suffered. The secondary cast of characters is well developed and likable as well. The mystery is woven throughout the story but there is so much going on at times it is a little overwhelming just how many people and incidents are connected to the mystery. Amateur sleuths are bread and butter of the cozy mystery genre but in this book it felt odd to see the police take an amateur sleuth and someone involved with the incidents occurring to an active crime scene. I liked the characters, setting and writing style of this author. I think the series has promise but would like to see a bit more tightening on the mystery aspect of the story and something that is not quite so involved for the next book. I voluntarily read an advanced review copy provided to me by the author.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    This was a fairly complex mystery that took place in one of my favorite places, a bookstore! There was even some international intrigue, possible arts/books/antiquities smuggling and everyone seemed to have secrets in Greyborne Harbor where Addie had just opened her used bookstore, Beyond the Page. It was nice that she was able to make a good friend right away that she could count on, because some of the town merchants didn't seem to trust her and thought she'd brought crime in from Boston when This was a fairly complex mystery that took place in one of my favorite places, a bookstore! There was even some international intrigue, possible arts/books/antiquities smuggling and everyone seemed to have secrets in Greyborne Harbor where Addie had just opened her used bookstore, Beyond the Page. It was nice that she was able to make a good friend right away that she could count on, because some of the town merchants didn't seem to trust her and thought she'd brought crime in from Boston when she came to town. A couple of murders later, one of which is first blamed on Addie's new friend Serena, who happens to be the younger sister of handsome detective Marc Chandler, and Addie is filling out a murder board with suspects. Marc seemed incredibly patient with her compared to some detectives in stories I've read, but that added to the special cozy factor that he really liked her. I think that now she's gotten closure on her fiance's murder, maybe she'll feel she can move on, since by the end of the book, she and Marc were in a little bit better place as friends. I'd had an idea of who did it, but honestly didn't know why, it was just a random thought that turned out to be right. In some places there was quite a bit more description or chatty dialogue than I'm used to, but it didn't really detract from the mystery and it compelled me to keep reading. I'm definitely interested in reading the next book--there was a little blurb at the end of this one that made it sound really enticing!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    The first in a new series and new author for me. The story starts out with a lot of action but the narrative did not flow smoothly making difficult to follow at times. The number of characters introduced made it hard to follow the main line and needed more development. A lot of time was spent on the backstory. At one time I felt for the MC because of all the negative events that were occurring around her. There were things that occurred that I question. After the death of finance and Father, Add The first in a new series and new author for me. The story starts out with a lot of action but the narrative did not flow smoothly making difficult to follow at times. The number of characters introduced made it hard to follow the main line and needed more development. A lot of time was spent on the backstory. At one time I felt for the MC because of all the negative events that were occurring around her. There were things that occurred that I question. After the death of finance and Father, Addie Greyborne learned that unknown aunt has died and left her estate. Addie moved to the small coastal town where she learned that the town was named after her relatives. She discovered a number of rare books as more than enough books to open a bookstore. The first day she is open events occur causing her problems. Eddie made a friend and an enemy that day.. A bank official is a murder and her friend is accused of his murder. The story takes a major turn here and several unpleasant incidents occur before Addie's life is close to normal again. Addie needs answers before she joins her boyfriend and Father in death. I recommend this book. Disclosure: Many thanks to Kensington Books for a review copy. The opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott was an engaging beginning to a new cozy series that I had difficulty putting down. I thought Addie was a very strong and resourceful young woman who has managed to keep moving forward in spite of the tragedies in her past. Her new friend, Serena, totally captured me with her positive attitude and her friendship to Addie. I thought Ms. Elliott's descriptive writing introduced reader to the lovely small New England town. I would love to visit this seaside town a Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott was an engaging beginning to a new cozy series that I had difficulty putting down. I thought Addie was a very strong and resourceful young woman who has managed to keep moving forward in spite of the tragedies in her past. Her new friend, Serena, totally captured me with her positive attitude and her friendship to Addie. I thought Ms. Elliott's descriptive writing introduced reader to the lovely small New England town. I would love to visit this seaside town and see it for myself. The characters are beginning to develop and only left me wanting to get to know them better - well, except for Martha who runs the bakery. I'll take a pass on meeting her. The plot was skillfully paced with turns, twists and red herrings that kept me turning the pages. I was totally rocked by the reveal as I never saw it coming. A great beginning to what I hope is the start of a long running cozy series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dana-Adriana B.

    4.5* Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for giving me an ARC of this book. This is a Small-Town cozy mystery with lots of coffee cups. It's an easy read and the characters were well written. I do look forward to reading the next one in this new series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)

    Think I found a new fave bookish cozy murder mystery series!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott is the debut novel in A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery. Addie Greyborne has had a rough year with the murder of her fiancé and the death of her father. Thanks to an inheritance from her great aunt, Anita Greyborne, Addie has relocated to Greyborne Harbor and is ready to open Beyond the Page Books & Curios. Opening day begins by Addie almost getting run over by a black sedan. After opening the bookshop, she meets Serena Chandler who owns SerenaTEA next door Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott is the debut novel in A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery. Addie Greyborne has had a rough year with the murder of her fiancé and the death of her father. Thanks to an inheritance from her great aunt, Anita Greyborne, Addie has relocated to Greyborne Harbor and is ready to open Beyond the Page Books & Curios. Opening day begins by Addie almost getting run over by a black sedan. After opening the bookshop, she meets Serena Chandler who owns SerenaTEA next door. The day spirals out of control when someone uses a distraction to steal a 1961 copy of Alice in Wonderland. Late that night, Addie awakens to a noise and finds that someone has broken into her home. Several of the rooms have been ransacked but Addie has no clue what the thieves are after. When her shop suffers another break in, the local shop owners are less than pleased with Addie. The next day there is a commotion outside Fielding’s Department Store involving Serena. She has been arrested for murdering Blain Fielding. Addie uses her keen eye for detail and sleuthing skills from tracking down rare books and artwork to expose the guilty party behind this nefarious plot. Can Addie clear Serena of the murder charges? Come along for the investigation in Murder by the Book. Murder by the Book is a book full of action. It starts off with a bang with a car almost running down Addie. Addie has lost her fiancé, father and a great aunt in one year. She leaves her job at the Boston PublicLibrary to start over in Greyborne Harbor. In her new home, Greyborne Manor she discovers numerous books which gives her the idea to open a used bookstore. Then someone starts breaking into her home and shop. We are left wondering what the thieves are trying to locate. Then there is the murder and slowly more details are revealed. The mystery is complex yet simple at the same time. There are hidden rooms, rare books, a secret staircase, a black sedan, and unknown thieves. Some details/clues are provided as the story progresses, but others come to light just before the reveal with the remainder explained at the end. I would have liked more clues interspersed throughout the book to allow a reader to play sleuth along with Addie (the best part of a mystery is solving it). Most readers, though, will have no problem identifying the guilty party. Addie quickly becomes friends with Serena and her new employee, Paige. I thought the relationships developed too quickly. It seems Serena became Addie’s instant friend and she trusts Paige despite her disagreeable mother. For some reason, the bakery owner, Martha has taken a disliking to Addie. We are not given Martha’s last name, the name of her establishment or why she dislikes Addie. Actually, very little information is provided on Greyborne Harbor. Addie has been in town three months and seems to have met no one. A prequel to the series would have been beneficial or the author should have started the series with Addie receiving her inheritance. I loved the description of Addie’s Queen Anne Victorian. It sounds beautiful inside and out (period details with antique furnishing including a desk with hidden compartments). I would like to know more about Addie (her growing up years). I appreciated her enthusiasm for books and knowledge of rare books. I hope the author lets the romance build slowly between Addie and Marc especially since Addie is not over her fiancé. I enjoyed reading Murder by the Book. It captured and held my interest which few books have done recently. My rating for Murder by the Book is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I thought it was a delightful beginning to A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, and I look forward to reading Prologue to Murder.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Murder by the Book is a first in a new series that is engaging and has plenty of colorful characters. Addie is still in mourning over the loss of her father and her fiance. Settling into a new business and new home takes its toll, and when her new friend is arrested for murder, Addie can't help but get involved. I was intrigued by the story description and was excited to read this new book. My only complaint was how fast Addie was accepted to be investigating with the police. It came across as forc Murder by the Book is a first in a new series that is engaging and has plenty of colorful characters. Addie is still in mourning over the loss of her father and her fiance. Settling into a new business and new home takes its toll, and when her new friend is arrested for murder, Addie can't help but get involved. I was intrigued by the story description and was excited to read this new book. My only complaint was how fast Addie was accepted to be investigating with the police. It came across as forced, but I was able to read on, and found myself pleased with the end of the book. I will be looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

  22. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Addison Greyborne has left behind life in Boston after the tragic (and as she believes mysterious) deaths of her father and fiance to start a used bookstore in the small town of Greyborne in New England. From the moment she arrives in town, Addie is beset with problems. She's being stalked by a black sedan, someone breaks into her home, her shop and a crusty neighbor is dying to run Addie out of town. Thank goodness she has the support of her new bff Serena. Serena's brother Marc is the police c Addison Greyborne has left behind life in Boston after the tragic (and as she believes mysterious) deaths of her father and fiance to start a used bookstore in the small town of Greyborne in New England. From the moment she arrives in town, Addie is beset with problems. She's being stalked by a black sedan, someone breaks into her home, her shop and a crusty neighbor is dying to run Addie out of town. Thank goodness she has the support of her new bff Serena. Serena's brother Marc is the police chief and he takes his job seriously. When the mysterious incidents escalate to include the death of a local department store owner and her friend Serena is accused, Addie pushes Marc to let her use her research expertise to help track down the real killer. Addie believes the incidents must be connected but how and why? All she wants is a peaceful life selling books. The mystery is really good. I was never able to put all the pieces together. I really enjoyed how the rare book trade was worked into the story without it being blatantly copied from a real life mystery. It seems implausible but yet I do believe it, having some knowledge of that field. Even though it is unlikely that the chief of police would allow a civilian to help him investigate, Marc doesn't overstep the bounds and plays by the rules. Addie's knowledge of the rare book world and her research skills come in handy. What I didn't enjoy as much were the elements that make this a cozy mystery. Yes we have an amateur female sleuth in a small town but that's about it. There's not much quirky or amusing about this town so far. I didn't even find the parts where Serena flirts with a waiter funny. I would have liked some lighter content to balance out the dark mystery. The last section of the book sets up the next mystery. That one seems a little lighter and quirkier but wasn't necessary to include in this novel. The writing style isn't bad but it is a bit clunky in parts, especially when describing characters' actions and in the budding romance between Addie and Marc. Also the conclusion to this mystery is a bit too coincidental to be believable. I like Addie well enough. I can relate to her tenacity. That makes her a good researcher. I'm insanely jealous of her work experience at the British Library! I didn't like how she hired someone who walked in the door, didn't make eye contact with her and had a 2 year unexplained gap in her work history. Who does that, especially without checking references? I felt enough of a connection to her that I was really upset for her that her fiance and her dad had been killed and the police wouldn't take her concerns seriously. Marc does. I understand why she's hesitant and confused. Her story doesn't involve the usual lying, cheating fiance. This was a man she loved and planned to spend the rest of her life with! How could she have feelings for someone else and so soon? I believe it though. It's not love at first sight. Their budding romance is based on respect and admiration. I really like Marc. As a small town cop he isn't used to dealing with the level of crime he sees in this story but he takes his job seriously and is determined to do all he can to stop the killer AND get justice for Addie's family. Serena is a bit too flighty for me. Her matchmaking attempts make me cringe. What I do love about her is that she blends her own teas. I want to visit SerenaTEA! The secondary characters are numerous. Most importantly we have Addie's late great-aunt Anita. Aunt Anita is a mystery to Addie. Addie has no idea Aunt Anita ever existed or that her family founded the town and that name still carries clout. It sounds like Aunt Anita loved her family very much. She may have made an error of judgement once but she just wanted everyone to be happy. I'm not sure I approve of what she condoned but I wouldn't cut her off for it. She sounds like an amazing woman and I hope Addie learns more about her in the future. The second most important character is Martha. Martha is Addie and Serena's cranky neighbor. She seems to hate Addie for no good reason and is doing her best to run Addie out of town. I hate judgemental old people like Martha. She doesn't even know Addie before she starts grouching and being rude. I do agree that a shopkeeper should have regular hours and some help but other than that, Martha is plain mean. The final recurring character is Paige. Paige is a meek young woman hired to work in Addie's store. I don't see why Addie hired her and distrusted Paige from the first. Her character development is excellent! Naturally there are a bunch of unpleasant people who are either killed or are the killers. I won't give it away but I sure was surprised!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    The story started off with promise, but it began to get clunky and felt disjointed at times when discussing some of the back story and revealing each character (which there were a lot to keep track of). I like the relationship/friendship between Addie and Serena. It's fun and quite endearing. I also enjoyed the small-town setting and the bookshop. There were a few implausible parts that if the same situations happened in real life, the story would be different. For example, a package is hidden, b The story started off with promise, but it began to get clunky and felt disjointed at times when discussing some of the back story and revealing each character (which there were a lot to keep track of). I like the relationship/friendship between Addie and Serena. It's fun and quite endearing. I also enjoyed the small-town setting and the bookshop. There were a few implausible parts that if the same situations happened in real life, the story would be different. For example, a package is hidden, but the main character Addie doesn't ask the person where it is located. That would be the first question someone would ask. And Addie doesn't ask the names of the two mysterious women when she has the chance to ask another character in the book. Why didn't she ask this person their names? Overall, it was an okay story and okay characters. I may give the next book in the series a try. I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    VickiLee

    Addie lost her father in an accident, her fiancée was murdered, but her great aunt left her a generous inheritance so she moved to a small New England town. From day one, nasty things start happening to Addie, from nearly being run down by a car, having her shop vandalized and dozens of other mishaps. I suppose the pleasure people get from cozy mysteries is the bad things that happen are not steeped in brutality or over the top violence. One thing that irritated me was the character of Addie, who Addie lost her father in an accident, her fiancée was murdered, but her great aunt left her a generous inheritance so she moved to a small New England town. From day one, nasty things start happening to Addie, from nearly being run down by a car, having her shop vandalized and dozens of other mishaps. I suppose the pleasure people get from cozy mysteries is the bad things that happen are not steeped in brutality or over the top violence. One thing that irritated me was the character of Addie, who often seemed to behave like a child rather than a woman. I believe the author meant for her to be charming but I didn’t see her that way. She acts silly and playfully slaps at someone’s arm, bites her lip when stressed, has spontaneous temper tantrums, and in spite of her purported wisdom about books, she seems not very well informed. So, this was a simple book with oodles of characters and story lines, certain to please cozy lovers.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jolie Estes

    What an over the top, drama laden book! The main character, Addie, is a case study in a number of psychological issues including co-dependency. She is whiny, clingy and imposing on people who she hasn’t known for 5 minutes. Overshare does not appear to be a word in her vocabulary – but it certainly needs to be. The supposition of the story is that Addie has been in town long enough to completely make over a business property and set up a store, yet she knows no one in town – no one. It takes pla What an over the top, drama laden book! The main character, Addie, is a case study in a number of psychological issues including co-dependency. She is whiny, clingy and imposing on people who she hasn’t known for 5 minutes. Overshare does not appear to be a word in her vocabulary – but it certainly needs to be. The supposition of the story is that Addie has been in town long enough to completely make over a business property and set up a store, yet she knows no one in town – no one. It takes place in a town where no crime ever happens, but suddenly everyone is sneaky, evil, out to get Addie and – way beyond belief. And only goes downhill FAST from there! This was a painful read. I would suggest rethinking how real people actually function in the world. This book sure isn’t it. The story is unbelievable on the whole to the point of being incredibly annoying.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Addison Greyborne (Addie) worked at the Boston Public Library when her life fell apart. Her fiance was murdered and her father died in an accident. While still reeling from the deaths, a relative died and left her money and a house in Greyborne Harbor. Addie was also a rare book expert who had worked in London assisting with cataloguing many old and rare books. When she moves to Greyborne Harbor, she opens a shop, Beyond the Page Books & Curios, and starts to rebuild her life. She meets a new fr Addison Greyborne (Addie) worked at the Boston Public Library when her life fell apart. Her fiance was murdered and her father died in an accident. While still reeling from the deaths, a relative died and left her money and a house in Greyborne Harbor. Addie was also a rare book expert who had worked in London assisting with cataloguing many old and rare books. When she moves to Greyborne Harbor, she opens a shop, Beyond the Page Books & Curios, and starts to rebuild her life. She meets a new friend, Serena, and tries to become part of the small town. Unfortunately, someone seems determined to put a damper on her plans. Her shop and home are broken into and she feels like she is being followed. Her new friend is arrested for killing another local merchant and Addie is determined to clear Serena's name and discover who is behind the break-ins and other bad happenings in Greyborne Harbor. Working with Serena's brother, the police chief, not only do they investigate the goings on in Greyborne Harbor, but her father's death as well. This is the first book in a new series so the characters, the setting and backstories had to be introduced and set up. This story was a bit formulaic, but still very enjoyable. Addie and Serena strike up a friendship pretty quickly, but that is small town stuff. I liked that even though Addie is an amateur sleuth, she has some investigative skills shared by her father who was an antiquities investigator and her skills she developed while researching and validating rare books. Who would have thought being a handwriting expert would come in handy as a bookstore owner. Of course the romance angle is there with Addie and Police Chief Marc Chandler, who also happens to be her new BFF's brother. The story was fun and well-paced and the various crimes that eventually come together, were interesting. I liked the conclusion and reveal of the culprit, especially as I had not figured it out. I will check out the next book in this series and see what adventures Addie, Serena and Marc have. I listened to this book via Hoopla and enjoyed the narration of this book. Karen White had a very nice voice and the story was very enjoyable to listen to.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott is the 1st book in Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, and an enjoyable start. Addie Greyborne was a librarian at the Boston Public Library, working with rare books. After her fiance was murdered, and her father was killed in a car accident Addie was ready to move to a small town in New England where she inherited a mansion, Greyborne Manor, from her great aunt. With all the books left in her aunt's home she was able to open her own bookstore. Addie mak Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott is the 1st book in Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, and an enjoyable start. Addie Greyborne was a librarian at the Boston Public Library, working with rare books. After her fiance was murdered, and her father was killed in a car accident Addie was ready to move to a small town in New England where she inherited a mansion, Greyborne Manor, from her great aunt. With all the books left in her aunt's home she was able to open her own bookstore. Addie makes quick friends with Serena, who owns a tea shop next door, while the women who owns the bakery on the other side dislikes both women. When a store owner is murdered, Serena is the main suspect, and Addie is determined to help her new friend. I enjoyed this cute book, with all the twists and turns, and I can not wait for the next book in the series. If you love cozy mysteries, I recommend this book. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Addie opens a used and antiquarian bookstore when she inherits an unknown great aunt's estate. A break-in occurs, and a cheap edition of Alice in Wonderland appears to be missing. When police chief Marc, brother of her new friend Serena who owns a tea shop next to the bookstore, takes his own sister into custody for a murder at the shop, Addie decides to help him investigate to free his sister. Although a promising series premiere, the novel contained a few too many coincidences to feel plausibl Addie opens a used and antiquarian bookstore when she inherits an unknown great aunt's estate. A break-in occurs, and a cheap edition of Alice in Wonderland appears to be missing. When police chief Marc, brother of her new friend Serena who owns a tea shop next to the bookstore, takes his own sister into custody for a murder at the shop, Addie decides to help him investigate to free his sister. Although a promising series premiere, the novel contained a few too many coincidences to feel plausible to readers. I liked many of the recurring characters so I'm sure I'll continue with the next installment.

  29. 5 out of 5

    nick

    There was too much going on in the book and too many characters for me to be invested in. I still might continue the series though.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trina (aNovelReader)

    Any cozy mystery with a plot that involves a bookstore plus an old mansion are my favorite combination. Why then did I have trouble getting past the first chapter? I literally started this book three times and each time found the story line flat and the characters irritating. The main character, Addie, just opened a rare bookstore and one neighboring business owner immediately hates her and the other becomes her instant best friend. What? Addie confides in her new best friend that her fiance was Any cozy mystery with a plot that involves a bookstore plus an old mansion are my favorite combination. Why then did I have trouble getting past the first chapter? I literally started this book three times and each time found the story line flat and the characters irritating. The main character, Addie, just opened a rare bookstore and one neighboring business owner immediately hates her and the other becomes her instant best friend. What? Addie confides in her new best friend that her fiance was murdered a year ago, her dad died in a mysterious car accident after that and her recently deceased aunt left her an old mansion in a town named after her. Wait, what? Too much, too soon. Where's the grief? Someone then tries to vandalize her store then breaks into her house. She calls 911 and the cops show up without their sirens so Addie doesn't even know they are there. Addie hears the getaway car leave but the cops don't. Really? The cops search the house while Addie is still in it..."clear, clear, clear." Reads like a first draft and with some editing this could turn into something enjoyable. As is, it was too excruciating and I couldn't make it past the 10% mark. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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