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Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort--in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . . Jane's boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina's historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she's there to learn about lux Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort--in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . . Jane's boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina's historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she's there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she's also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap. When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway's lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . . "Readers will find themselves wanting to live in Storyton, no matter how many people end up dead there." --Suspense Magazine on Murder in the Locked Library


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Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort--in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . . Jane's boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina's historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she's there to learn about lux Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort--in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . . Jane's boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina's historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she's there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she's also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap. When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway's lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . . "Readers will find themselves wanting to live in Storyton, no matter how many people end up dead there." --Suspense Magazine on Murder in the Locked Library

30 review for Murder in the Reading Room

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams is the fifth novel in A Book Retreat Mystery series. Jane Steward, manager of Storyton Hall, along with Landon Lachlan are traveling to Asheville, North Carolina to the famous Biltmore Estate. Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott has been missing for two months and she believes he is being held at Biltmore. Jane’s cover is a participant in the Luxury Lodging Seminar which will give her access to the grounds and buildings to search for Edwin. Landon is befrien Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams is the fifth novel in A Book Retreat Mystery series. Jane Steward, manager of Storyton Hall, along with Landon Lachlan are traveling to Asheville, North Carolina to the famous Biltmore Estate. Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott has been missing for two months and she believes he is being held at Biltmore. Jane’s cover is a participant in the Luxury Lodging Seminar which will give her access to the grounds and buildings to search for Edwin. Landon is befriending the master gardener on the estate to see if he can provide any useful information while Jane has gotten them a tour of the main building from a high ranking employee. When Jane and Landon go to give the master gardener a special gift, they find the kind man dead in his favorite chair in his superb library. It is thanks to the gardener that the pair receive a clue that leads them to the underground passage where Edwin is being held. Unfortunately, Edwin’s captor is awaiting them, and he has a shocking surprise for Jane. To get Edwin back, Jane will have to search Storyton Hall for the papers from Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase. Will Jane and her protectors be able to defeat this evil foe? Join Jane on her dangerous quest in Murder in the Reading Room. Murder in the Reading Room is a riveting cozy mystery. I thought the story was well-written and it moves along at a quick pace. Murder in the Reading Room is the fifth book in A Book Retreat Mystery series, and it cannot be read alone. This series is best read in order and each book is better than the previous. Ellery Adams’ has an engaging writing style, and I was quickly engrossed in Murder in the Reading Room. Jane Steward is a widow with two rambunctious boys. She manages Storyton Hall as well as being the Guardian to the secret library. Jane is lucky to have her aunt and uncle on the premises as well as her trustworthy and protective staff. The characters are complex and continue to evolve as the series progresses. The Fins and the Cover Girls are delightful secondary characters. I like seeing the relationship between Eloise Alcott and Landon Lachlan progressing. The setting of Storyton, Virginia is beautiful (especially in the fall). Storyton Hall is a masterpiece and it is filled with books along with paintings, statutes and other unique items (I want to move in). The mystery is complex and multifaceted. I love it when I am surprised in a mystery, and Murder in the Reading Room has one fabulous and shocking turn of events. There were several great phrases in this book, and it was hard to pick my favorite. I ended up choosing “I think a book is like a good climbing tree. They both yearn to be touched.” I enjoyed the book referenced sprinkled throughout the story which included Maisie Dobbs, Anne of Green Gables and various works by Hemingway. Murder in the Reading Room is my favorite book in A Book Retreat Mystery series. Murder in the Reading Room is a captivating cozy mystery that will have you staying up until the wee hours to finish it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This has been one of my favorite series since it was first introduced by the author. This book might be my favorite so far. Ms. Adams has a terrific writing style that draws the reader into each one of her books and invites them to stay until the story has been told. She writes interesting, complex characters that are a joy to read. Jane Seward is a terrific character. She is smart, complex, dimensional and multi-layered. The Cover Girls and the Fins and the rest of the cast of secondary charact This has been one of my favorite series since it was first introduced by the author. This book might be my favorite so far. Ms. Adams has a terrific writing style that draws the reader into each one of her books and invites them to stay until the story has been told. She writes interesting, complex characters that are a joy to read. Jane Seward is a terrific character. She is smart, complex, dimensional and multi-layered. The Cover Girls and the Fins and the rest of the cast of secondary characters just completes this series. The mystery, as always involves the secrets that surround Storyton Hall, but this time the author provides the reader with a wonderful twist that I did not see coming. I like where the author is taking the series and it will be interesting to see how the mysteries develop as she transitions her characters into this new vision. I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me by Kensington, the publisher, through Netgalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams was an excellent addition to this series. If it hadn't been for the real world, I've had read this in an afternoon. It is filled with a complex mystery that kept me turning the pages and filled me with some anxiety as to how Jane was going to win this "chess game" against this master and villainous Templar who seemed to be holding all of the answers. Jane and each of the Fins have won my heart and my admiration over the course of this series. I've said Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams was an excellent addition to this series. If it hadn't been for the real world, I've had read this in an afternoon. It is filled with a complex mystery that kept me turning the pages and filled me with some anxiety as to how Jane was going to win this "chess game" against this master and villainous Templar who seemed to be holding all of the answers. Jane and each of the Fins have won my heart and my admiration over the course of this series. I've said it before and I say it again, I want to move into Storyton Hall and become a permanent resident. The plot moved swiftly and the twists often scared me, for Jane, as I was reading. There was also a huge surprise twist that I never saw coming from Ms. Adams which only added to the tension of the story. I do believe that this is the last book in this series. The final chapters seemed to be tying up many story lines that have run throughout this series. I will miss this series if I have surmised correctly but I am glad for the experience of having enjoyed each book. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    4 stars This latest book in the series addresses to problems I had with the series and also includes a decent mystery and a bookish treasure hunt. The problems (view spoiler)[ I had with the series were twofold first any good reader would want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to read the rare and secret treasures that are contained in the secret library. For Jane to hold the scret library isn’t really much different from what the evil Templar Order is doing, hoarding books and k 4 stars This latest book in the series addresses to problems I had with the series and also includes a decent mystery and a bookish treasure hunt. The problems (view spoiler)[ I had with the series were twofold first any good reader would want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to read the rare and secret treasures that are contained in the secret library. For Jane to hold the scret library isn’t really much different from what the evil Templar Order is doing, hoarding books and knowledge for them selves. Look at the library of Alexandria, when it burned the world lost countless books many one of a kind that we’ll never see again. So when Jane decides to open up the secret to a few and divest it solves my objection to the secret library, and my wish for the world to see the texts. It also deals with the second problem, if the rare books are gone to museums and libraries it takes away the danger to Jane’s family and her guests. The only problem I see is that now the Finns have no reason to guard the hall, and I’ll miss the characters, as they are some of my favorite in the books. (hide spoiler)] Well now I have to wait till 2020 to see what effect this book has on the series and my favorite characters.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    This was, by far, the best book of the series. I enjoyed this one so very much. SOME of that was because I read the book instead of listening to the sub-standard narrator that I have had to use in the past [since this was a NetGalley book, there is no audiobook] and some of it was because the writing was just SO good in this one. There is just so much going on this one - the previous book leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger and this book opens with Jane and Landon going to The Biltmore to fin This was, by far, the best book of the series. I enjoyed this one so very much. SOME of that was because I read the book instead of listening to the sub-standard narrator that I have had to use in the past [since this was a NetGalley book, there is no audiobook] and some of it was because the writing was just SO good in this one. There is just so much going on this one - the previous book leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger and this book opens with Jane and Landon going to The Biltmore to find Edwin. What they find there is W A Y more than they expected [TALK about dropping a bombshell - holy moley!] and the events and repercussions from all of it is something that will affect Jane, The Fins and the important characters of Storyton Hall for a long, long time. And I will admit that the end feels very much like that - the end. It feels like we are now done with Storyton Hall and Jane and all of is amazing inhabitants. I certainly hope not as this is one of my favorite series, but if it is, I truly enjoyed the ride out. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue th Dollycas’s Thoughts Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives. This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book. The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream. Great Gatsby Ballroom Madame Bovary Dining Room Isak Dinesen Safari Room Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room Jane Austen Parlor Shakespeare’s Theater Kipling Cafe Milton’s Gardens Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn Beatrix Potter Playroom William Faulker Conference Room Henry James Library Ian Fleming Lounge Robin Hood Archery Range Green Gables Gazebo Jules Verne Pool The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well. Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable. Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed. Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited. Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    I went into this book not knowing that it was book 5 of the series and I was horribly confused with what was happening. It is a must to read the first 4 books to understand this one. I tried making sense of what I was reading. It was about main character Jane travelling with her friend to Biltmore Estate as a participant of Luxury Lodging Seminar. But it was a cover to search the grounds for her missing boyfriend. The friendly gardner who helped them was soon found dead leaving them with a clue. I I went into this book not knowing that it was book 5 of the series and I was horribly confused with what was happening. It is a must to read the first 4 books to understand this one. I tried making sense of what I was reading. It was about main character Jane travelling with her friend to Biltmore Estate as a participant of Luxury Lodging Seminar. But it was a cover to search the grounds for her missing boyfriend. The friendly gardner who helped them was soon found dead leaving them with a clue. I couldn't connect with the characters as I didn't know them, the plot seemed swift, I tried to understand what I could. But at some points, I felt I was not grasping the entire mystery. I think I would have to revisit this book after reading the previous ones. Overall, it seemed like a fun read and I am certain I would have enjoyed more if I had read in sequence.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

    In the start of this next book of the series Jane is rushing off to Biltmore Estates in hopes of finding her missing boyfriend. Luckily she has reason to be there, Jane will be attending a weekend seminar on luxury hotel management, she only hopes that she will have a proper chance to search for Edwin. Once she arrives she is given a private tour of the Estates the only problem, there are to many places that a man could be hidden and she isn't sure where to truly start looking. Along the way she In the start of this next book of the series Jane is rushing off to Biltmore Estates in hopes of finding her missing boyfriend. Luckily she has reason to be there, Jane will be attending a weekend seminar on luxury hotel management, she only hopes that she will have a proper chance to search for Edwin. Once she arrives she is given a private tour of the Estates the only problem, there are to many places that a man could be hidden and she isn't sure where to truly start looking. Along the way she meets a gardener who inadvertently gives her a clue to where Edwin might be located. When she returns to the mans cottage to give him a gift for all his help and hospitality she finds him dead, murdered for sure. In the end she finally locates Edwin only to be capture herself and is told that if she doesn't take her captor back with her to Storyton Hall and provide him with a suitcase owned by Ernest Hemingway, Edwin will not be let go. Jane agrees to take the man back with her but insists that Edwin come to, even if he is still a prisoner. Follow along as Jane tries to figure out just how she can get everyone out of this bad situation and not have to turn anything over. She isn't even sure if she has the papers that the man wants, what will happen if she can't find them? When the shock of a lifetime is thrust upon her, Jane's world is turned upside down. The only thing that she can truly think about now is keeping her boys safe, and what all their futures will hold. Will things end badly for Jane or will she be able to keep the secrets that Storyton holds. This was such an exciting read, from the beginning Jane kept you on a roller coaster ride of emotions all the while she was looking for Edwin. Throughout my emotions were up and down and by the end I wasn't sure if I could wait for all to be truly answered. I look forward to seeing where the author goes with the characters next, and what their next chapter will bring. I received an ARC of this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Oh my, oh my, what a wonderful story this is. It's no secret that I absolutely love any book Ellery Adams pens. Who can resist murder, mystery and mayhem? Jane Steward is a wonderful character and Storyton Hall sounds like a piece of paradise. Thus is a must read story for anyone who likes an exciting tale. Oh my, oh my, what a wonderful story this is. It's no secret that I absolutely love any book Ellery Adams pens. Who can resist murder, mystery and mayhem? Jane Steward is a wonderful character and Storyton Hall sounds like a piece of paradise. Thus is a must read story for anyone who likes an exciting tale.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review. I fear that other reviewers might be right- this seems like it might be the last book in the series, at least for now. I'll be eternally optimistic to read more in this series, though, as Storyton Hall is my absolute favorite cozy series setting. The stakes for Jane Steward in this book are incredibly high- she travels to Biltmore Estates in search of her missing boyfriend (who is also tangled up in the secretive u Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review. I fear that other reviewers might be right- this seems like it might be the last book in the series, at least for now. I'll be eternally optimistic to read more in this series, though, as Storyton Hall is my absolute favorite cozy series setting. The stakes for Jane Steward in this book are incredibly high- she travels to Biltmore Estates in search of her missing boyfriend (who is also tangled up in the secretive underground book world she has recently found herself to be in). As she seeks Edwin, there are dead bodies and some explosive reveals. This is a turbulent, fascinating story, and if it is an ending, it's a great send off for Jane, her family, and the Fins. Most of the time with cozy series I tell readers that they don't need to necessarily read them in order, but this series is definitely best read from the beginning. 4.5/5.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is the 5th book in the Book Retreat Mysteries and in order to really appreciate the characters and their growth, the books should be read in order. Jane Steward and Landon Lachlan (one of the Fins) are heading to the Biltmore Estate to attend a Luxury Lodging Symposium. At least that's their cover story: they are actually hoping to find the missing Edward Alcott, gone for the past two months and possibly kidnapped by the Templar's and hidden at the Biltmore Estate. But their visit proves to This is the 5th book in the Book Retreat Mysteries and in order to really appreciate the characters and their growth, the books should be read in order. Jane Steward and Landon Lachlan (one of the Fins) are heading to the Biltmore Estate to attend a Luxury Lodging Symposium. At least that's their cover story: they are actually hoping to find the missing Edward Alcott, gone for the past two months and possibly kidnapped by the Templar's and hidden at the Biltmore Estate. But their visit proves to be more dangerous than expected, first with finding the possibly murdered body of one of the staff, and then successfully finding Edward, but being blackmailed into returning to Storyton Hall with his captor. And finally one other devastating find that is about to shake up Jane's life forever. How will Jane and the Fins handle this latest development and what will this situation do to her role as Guardian. This is an enjoyable series filled with delightful characters. Not only is Jane surrounded by the Fins, men dedicated for life to protect the Guardian and the treasures held in Storyton Hall. But she also has her group of Cover Girls willing to help support and help her. Even Sheriff Evans has become an ally despite not knowing the truth behind Storyton Hall. And then there are her twin sons, loves of her life, and Edward, the man who has captured her heart held apart for so many years after the death of her husband. There is so much to enjoy about this series, from the various rooms dedicated to certain book themes and/or authors, to the descriptions of the special treasures held by the Guardian, to the events planned at the Hall. This time it includes an organization that is celebrating the centennial of World War One, that will include a reenactment of one of the battles. And of course the mystery in this book was especially pertinent to the characters, and contained several twists and turns before the final solution. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book and all opinions are strictly my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Wilcox

    This book was phenomenal! It jumped off the page as soon as I started reading. I kept picking this book up every time I had 2 minutes to read even just one more page. The story kept me turning the pages the whole way through. It was amazing. And the ending!!! Oh my word! I'm not giving spoilers...you have to read it. This series is amazing and this book is the best one yet! This book was phenomenal! It jumped off the page as soon as I started reading. I kept picking this book up every time I had 2 minutes to read even just one more page. The story kept me turning the pages the whole way through. It was amazing. And the ending!!! Oh my word! I'm not giving spoilers...you have to read it. This series is amazing and this book is the best one yet!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I know when I open up a book written by Ellery Adams that it will be difficult to put down. Murder in the Reading Room is a complex mystery that grabbed me from the start. Kept me turning the pages until the very end. I love the characters in this series. I love the story starting out at Biltmore Estates. The descriptions had me picturing everything in my mind as I read. Jane is there to attend a conference, but she is really there looking for Edwin. She finds Edwin and much more. Twists and turn I know when I open up a book written by Ellery Adams that it will be difficult to put down. Murder in the Reading Room is a complex mystery that grabbed me from the start. Kept me turning the pages until the very end. I love the characters in this series. I love the story starting out at Biltmore Estates. The descriptions had me picturing everything in my mind as I read. Jane is there to attend a conference, but she is really there looking for Edwin. She finds Edwin and much more. Twists and turns and surprises await in the pages of this book. Storyton Hall is a retreat set in the mountains of Virginia, book lovers from all over the world enjoy the book themed rooms. I received an ARC prior to publication and decided to voluntarily review it. Opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie

    If you follow my reviews, you are probably aware that I prefer to start reading a series with Book 1. So you may be wondering why I picked up "Murder in the Reading Room", which is Book 5 in the Book Retreat Mystery series. The answer is simple: Ellery Adams! Ms. Adams is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery authors, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her latest release, even though it isn't the first in the series. From the perspective of a reader new to this world, I was abl If you follow my reviews, you are probably aware that I prefer to start reading a series with Book 1. So you may be wondering why I picked up "Murder in the Reading Room", which is Book 5 in the Book Retreat Mystery series. The answer is simple: Ellery Adams! Ms. Adams is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery authors, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her latest release, even though it isn't the first in the series. From the perspective of a reader new to this world, I was able to jump right in and pick up on the characters, places, and situations quite easily. I must say, however, that I didn't so much "jump right in" as get sucked right in...once I started reading, I could not put this book down! The story opens with some significant action, and I was immediately drawn to the characters and eager to see how the situation played out. Even without the background from the first four books, it was clear who the major players were, what their relationships were to each other, and what was going on. The mysteries themselves (I use the plural, because there are two murders in addition to the initial kidnapping plot in this book) are well-plotted, with enough clues and information provided to the reader to keep things interesting, but never enough to make the answer obvious. The book opens with Jane visiting the luxurious Biltmore estate, which was fascinating. The more standard location of Jane's own Storyton Hall is the setting for the rest of the book, and I enjoyed visiting it as well. The book also shines in the area of characters and their relationships with one another. Jane is an instantly likeable heroine, and her Fins are also a joy to read about. The special relationship Jane has with these men is clearly evident, and plays a significant role in the story. Jane's friendship with Eloise, romance with Edwin, and closeness to her aunt, uncle, and cleverly-named children add a great deal of depth to the story. Honestly, this is one of those rare cozy landscapes I would happily read about even without a mystery to solve....it would be a delight just to learn more about the day-to-day lives of these characters. Honestly, I can't say enough good things about "Murder in the Reading Room". I see this line so often in reviews, but I honestly WILL be going back to book one to catch up on everything I've missed so far in this fabulous series. It will give me something to enjoy while I eagerly await Book six! Overall, five out of five chunks of smooth, sharp, delectable Asiago!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    If I could simply use one word for this book review, it would be "Wow"! I have always enjoyed this series, and without posting spoilers it is hard to fully write my thoughts. Suffice to say, this latest offering grabbed me from the first page and did not let go. It is a sign that it is a good book, because when I could not read it, I was thinking about it! I strongly suggest you read this series in order, to fully appreciate it. I highly recommend this book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader c If I could simply use one word for this book review, it would be "Wow"! I have always enjoyed this series, and without posting spoilers it is hard to fully write my thoughts. Suffice to say, this latest offering grabbed me from the first page and did not let go. It is a sign that it is a good book, because when I could not read it, I was thinking about it! I strongly suggest you read this series in order, to fully appreciate it. I highly recommend this book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Muller

    I  received a free physical copy of this book from the author for an honest review. 📚 Wow! This book has everything. Suspense, humor, surprise, heart and of course books! My favorite part in this book is that Jane finds Edwin! (Not a spoiler, it literally says this on the back cover.) 📚 I have no problem admitting that the first death in this book hurt my heart. I really liked that character, but even more important so did Jane. 📚 I love the developments in this book. I cant wait to see the new idea I  received a free physical copy of this book from the author for an honest review. 📚 Wow! This book has everything. Suspense, humor, surprise, heart and of course books! My favorite part in this book is that Jane finds Edwin! (Not a spoiler, it literally says this on the back cover.) 📚 I have no problem admitting that the first death in this book hurt my heart. I really liked that character, but even more important so did Jane. 📚 I love the developments in this book. I cant wait to see the new ideas Jane has for the library take place. I'm happy for Lachlan's healing. Also, I'm always excited to see where Jane and Edwin end up. I love the relationships Jane has with each of the Fins and her friendship with Eloise is so heartwarming! 📚 "I think a book is like a good climbing tree. They both long to be touched." 📚 If you want a Grand Slam of a book, just pick up any book by this author. She does it every time. I sincerely hope this isn't the last in the series. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Jane and the Fins yet.❤

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Edwin is missing, and Jane is certain she knows where he is, she just doesn't know who has taken him. Attending a conference on luxury hotel management is an excuse to get her on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, where she hopes to get a chance to poke around, looking for where he might be hidden. When she finds him, though, his captor throws a monkey wrench not only into Jane's plans for the future, but into her past as well, and she faces one of the toughest decisions of her life. This is th Edwin is missing, and Jane is certain she knows where he is, she just doesn't know who has taken him. Attending a conference on luxury hotel management is an excuse to get her on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, where she hopes to get a chance to poke around, looking for where he might be hidden. When she finds him, though, his captor throws a monkey wrench not only into Jane's plans for the future, but into her past as well, and she faces one of the toughest decisions of her life. This is the fifth book of this series, and I have grown to like the series more with each installment. The characters are like old friends to me, and I wish I could attend a book retreat at Storyton Hall. What lover of books could pass up an opportunity like that? Actually, I would love to live in the area, attend book group meetings with the Cover Girls and get to know the other residents of the town. The mystery in this book didn't seem as important to the story as in previous books, but instead, the plot was more focused on several serious decisions that Jane had to make and how her life would be affected by those changes. The book almost feels like it's wrapping up the series, but I hope it's not, as I really would like to read more about Jane, Uncle Aloysius, Aunt Octavia and the rest. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Murder In The Reading Room is the fifth book in Ellery Adams A Book Retreat Mystery series. I always prefer to read a series in order, but I feel it is particularly essential when it comes to this book because this book is a direct continuation of book four. The action kicks off in the beginning and never stops.. from the very first page I was pulled into Ms. Adams masterful storytelling and she kept me there until I closed the cover. There was the perfect amount of misdirection and suspects, to Murder In The Reading Room is the fifth book in Ellery Adams A Book Retreat Mystery series. I always prefer to read a series in order, but I feel it is particularly essential when it comes to this book because this book is a direct continuation of book four. The action kicks off in the beginning and never stops.. from the very first page I was pulled into Ms. Adams masterful storytelling and she kept me there until I closed the cover. There was the perfect amount of misdirection and suspects, to keep you guessing as to the killer and the motivation was believable. I highly recommend this one for all types of cozy fans. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue Ross

    This next chapter of Jane and her family and friends leaves nothing but surprises through the whole book. Good guys become bad guys and bad guys become questionable good guys. If you love books and wish for a place like Storytown Then then this is a book/series for you. If I could have I would have read the whole thing at once, but life seems to interfere at times.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    It's rare that I give a 5 star review for a cozy mystery as they are good stories, but not typically going to make my all time greatest books ever list...however...in this book there are several amazing twists that are revealed in a unique and intriguing manner that warrant a 5 star rating! While I have loved this entire series, this is so far my favorite book. I certainly hope the author will grant us with another book in the series, but if not this one was an amazing one to end on. Please, ple It's rare that I give a 5 star review for a cozy mystery as they are good stories, but not typically going to make my all time greatest books ever list...however...in this book there are several amazing twists that are revealed in a unique and intriguing manner that warrant a 5 star rating! While I have loved this entire series, this is so far my favorite book. I certainly hope the author will grant us with another book in the series, but if not this one was an amazing one to end on. Please, please hope that it isn't the end of the series though. For best enjoyment of the series, you should really start with the first book and work your way forward so you can really get to know the characters and I think you will agree that this one is an exceptional entry into the series. There is so much to love about this book, but I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'll just say, you should read it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    Murder in the Reading Room is the fifth book in Ellery Adams’ Book Retreat Mysteries. The plot moves quickly, and the well-developed characters and complex mystery kept me turning the pages. Jane Steward is the guardian of Storyton Hall, a resort in Virginia, which draws book lovers from all over the world to read and enjoy time in the hotel’s book-themed rooms. In this installment, Jane is tasked with rescuing her boyfriend, Edwin, who has been missing for almost two months. She’s convinced Edwi Murder in the Reading Room is the fifth book in Ellery Adams’ Book Retreat Mysteries. The plot moves quickly, and the well-developed characters and complex mystery kept me turning the pages. Jane Steward is the guardian of Storyton Hall, a resort in Virginia, which draws book lovers from all over the world to read and enjoy time in the hotel’s book-themed rooms. In this installment, Jane is tasked with rescuing her boyfriend, Edwin, who has been missing for almost two months. She’s convinced Edwin’s being held captive at Biltmore Estate most likely by those responsible for the recent kidnapping of her twin sons, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, but fears the outcome won’t be as successful. Landon Lachlan, one of the Fins tasked with protecting the members of the Steward family, accompanies Jane to the Biltmore under the guise of being an attendee of the Luxury Lodging Symposium being held there. Jane and Landon are able to locate Edwin, but Ramsey Parrish, his captor, arrives before they can rescue him and puts a stiff restriction on his release. In the process of negotiating Edwin’s release, Jane receives some shocking news. When they find the body of Gerald Tucker, the Biltmore’s gardener, in his cottage, Jane suspects he was murdered and that he died because he befriended them. Upon their return to Storyton Hall, Jane helps with the final preparations for hosting a group of historians who have been touring the United States celebrating the centennial of World War One and learning everything she can about the attendees. She enlists the Cover Girls, her beloved book club friends, to help keep an eye on things and report any shady or odd behavior. Sadly, a casualty occurs during the reenactment of the Great War. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura Salas

    I have always enjoyed this ridiculously fanciful series. It's full of family, close friendships, books, and murder. Perfect. It's never believable, though I found this one even LESS believable than the other entries, mostly because of the unconvincing change of heart of one of the criminals from Storyton Village at the end of the story. Still, it was a very enjoyable read and a lovely escape. If I could visit Storyton Hall, I would--in a heartbeat. I'm assuming this is the last in the series...ma I have always enjoyed this ridiculously fanciful series. It's full of family, close friendships, books, and murder. Perfect. It's never believable, though I found this one even LESS believable than the other entries, mostly because of the unconvincing change of heart of one of the criminals from Storyton Village at the end of the story. Still, it was a very enjoyable read and a lovely escape. If I could visit Storyton Hall, I would--in a heartbeat. I'm assuming this is the last in the series...maybe? It seemed to be heading that way, though there are just enough loose ends that I'm uncertain. If it is, it has been been lovely spending time with you, Jane! Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Jane Steward is on her way to North Carolina to the Biltmore Estates where she believes her boyfriend Eric may be hidden. She is officially on a trip to learn more about luxury hotel management but she is really there to look for secret passages and clues to where Eric is hidden. While visiting one of the gardening staff Jane believes she may have found someone who can help her until he was found dead in his reading room. Jane not only finds Eric but she a lot more than she is expecting. When th Jane Steward is on her way to North Carolina to the Biltmore Estates where she believes her boyfriend Eric may be hidden. She is officially on a trip to learn more about luxury hotel management but she is really there to look for secret passages and clues to where Eric is hidden. While visiting one of the gardening staff Jane believes she may have found someone who can help her until he was found dead in his reading room. Jane not only finds Eric but she a lot more than she is expecting. When they return to Storyton Hall the mysteries continue, can Jane find the answers? I was so excited to read this book. This is one of my favorites series and this book is my new favorite in the series. Storyton Hall is a reader and book lovers dream. I would love to have a location like Hall to visit in real life. Jane her family, friends, and guardians are wonderful, interesting characters that make me smile while reading about their lives and the different events that are being celebrated at Storyton. The mystery is well written with a steady pace and several twists and turns along the way. I recommend this book to fans of Ellery Adams, cozy mysteries, and book lovers. I voluntarily agreed to read a copy of this book supplied by Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jerri Cachero

    The latest Storyton Hall book, Murder in the Reading Room, was full of mystery, adventure and is a bittersweet story that makes for a complex and compelling book. Jane finds herself once again defending her family from those who desire the books she must protect. However, she has a more pressing problem - to find her love, Edwin, who may be being held at the huge Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Jane is faced with a heartbreaking decision that has ramifications for everyone and the b The latest Storyton Hall book, Murder in the Reading Room, was full of mystery, adventure and is a bittersweet story that makes for a complex and compelling book. Jane finds herself once again defending her family from those who desire the books she must protect. However, she has a more pressing problem - to find her love, Edwin, who may be being held at the huge Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Jane is faced with a heartbreaking decision that has ramifications for everyone and the beloved Storyton Hall and is pitted against the most devious villain she has faced as Guardian. In this book, Jane digs deep within herself to do what she considers the right thing for her family and Storyton Hall all the while trying to find Edwin and determine who her enemies may be. The mystery is complex (old tragedies are revisited) and I wasn't quite sure who Jane should trust. in the previous book, her sons were kidnapped and this has left Jane distrustful of most people. Those who proved not to be trustworthy, in this book, were a complete surprise! As usual, I enjoyed the antics of Hem and Fitz and the bravery of the Fins. The descriptions of Storyton Hall are gorgeous and once again made me want to visit. I love the atmosphere of these books and hope to visit with Jane and her family for a very long time! I received an ARC, from NetGalley, for a fair and honest review of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Book 5 in the series. I love the premise behind the series, turning an old country pile in to a book retreat. But the whole Guardian of a secret library full of unknown treasures complete with a group of bodyguards and spy gadgets galore had had me rolling my eyes all along. Throw in a group of rogue Templars willing to kidnap and kill to get their hands on their treasures and it just got to be too out there for me in the previous book. Now in this book the author adds in Jane's supposed dead hus Book 5 in the series. I love the premise behind the series, turning an old country pile in to a book retreat. But the whole Guardian of a secret library full of unknown treasures complete with a group of bodyguards and spy gadgets galore had had me rolling my eyes all along. Throw in a group of rogue Templars willing to kidnap and kill to get their hands on their treasures and it just got to be too out there for me in the previous book. Now in this book the author adds in Jane's supposed dead husband (who has amnesia, of course!) and I almost stopped reading. However, the characters are all mostly likable, and I still love the setting of Storyton Hall. And the ending may have saved the series for me. So while the series certainly stays on my library / NetGalley only list, I will read the next in the series. *I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book given to me by the publisher, via NetGalley.*

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    This felt like the end of the series. If I cared at all, I'd go look it up. But I seriously hated this one. I might have a headache from how hard I rolled my eyes through this entire story. This isn't a cozy mystery. It's a really bad soap opera. The plot is ridiculous for this entire series, but especially for this particular entry. I don't even want to get started on specifics, I'm so annoyed. If this isn't the last of the series, I'm so done. This felt like the end of the series. If I cared at all, I'd go look it up. But I seriously hated this one. I might have a headache from how hard I rolled my eyes through this entire story. This isn't a cozy mystery. It's a really bad soap opera. The plot is ridiculous for this entire series, but especially for this particular entry. I don't even want to get started on specifics, I'm so annoyed. If this isn't the last of the series, I'm so done.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen Hollins-Stallman

    This is the fifth book in the "Book Retreat Mysteries" by Ellery Adams. I think I may have read one of the earlier books as the characters were familiar to me, but this series is definitely best read from the beginning. Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . . Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may fi This is the fifth book in the "Book Retreat Mysteries" by Ellery Adams. I think I may have read one of the earlier books as the characters were familiar to me, but this series is definitely best read from the beginning. Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . . Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap. When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . . I must admit I did have a hard time reading this book, although I LOVE this author, it just felt a bit slow in parts and the end seemed to drag on after the murder was caught etc. ( reason for only 4 stars) but from what others are saying it could be the last in the series and this could be why the author went further and kind of wrapped up the story for people. Storyton Hall and village is place, that I would like to visit or live. The village has all of these amazing shops and wonderful characters. Jane Steward and the Fins, the Cover Girls are all people I would love as friends . There were several twists and turns and plots in this book but it felt right, they all intertwined together to make a a great read. I requested and received an Advanced Reader Copy from Kensington and Netgalley. All opinions are my OWN.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    The most important thing I can say about this series is that it is best that you read them in ordller. It had been awhile since I read the last book, and I felt lost a bit in the beginning until, I remembered the storyline and characters. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. She and Landon Lachlan have travelled to the famous Biltmore Estate. They believe that Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott, who has been missing for two months, is being held at Biltmore. Jane and Lachlan befriend the ga The most important thing I can say about this series is that it is best that you read them in ordller. It had been awhile since I read the last book, and I felt lost a bit in the beginning until, I remembered the storyline and characters. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. She and Landon Lachlan have travelled to the famous Biltmore Estate. They believe that Jane’s boyfriend, Edwin Alcott, who has been missing for two months, is being held at Biltmore. Jane and Lachlan befriend the gardener, and even though he ends up dead, he gives them a clue to find Edwin. Unfortunately, Edwin’s captor is awaiting them, and he has a shocking surprise for Jane. To get Edwin back, Jane will have to search Storyton Hall for the papers from Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase. Will Jane and her protectors be able to defeat this greedy evil man to rescue Edwin? Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, or the guardians, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Over the previous books they have become well-developed characters with wonderful interactions and dialogue. This was a complex mystery, with an evil protagonist that Jane hopes to take down once back at Storyton Hall. This story not only has twists but surprises and secrets revealed. This book ties up some storylines from previous books and will take this series in a different direction from here. I will have to see what happens in the next book to find out what is the next chapter in Jane's life at Storyton Hall.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    “Do I dare disturb the universe.” Do it. Disturb your universe by dropping everything and reading Murder in the Reading Room. Wow, Ellery Adams delivers one fast-paced cozy with this 5th installment. I leap at the chance to spend time at Storyton Hall, and this visit was no different. Jane attends a conference at the Biltmore Estate, but she’s truly there for another reason. This is where the adventure takes off, the adrenaline starts to race and doesn’t slow down until the book’s conclusion. I “Do I dare disturb the universe.” Do it. Disturb your universe by dropping everything and reading Murder in the Reading Room. Wow, Ellery Adams delivers one fast-paced cozy with this 5th installment. I leap at the chance to spend time at Storyton Hall, and this visit was no different. Jane attends a conference at the Biltmore Estate, but she’s truly there for another reason. This is where the adventure takes off, the adrenaline starts to race and doesn’t slow down until the book’s conclusion. I find Jane Steward such an incredible character. We learn unbelievable news about her history and her character is put to the test. I found myself asking myself what would I do in the same situation. I admire Jane very much. I hope there will be many more visits to Storyton Hall! I think it’s such a unique gift the way Ellery includes literary lore, fictional facts, and bibliophile bites into each storyline. I always learn about another classic work of literature and intriguing details about the author who penned the work...her research is impressive and leaves me wanting to learn and read more!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Jane’s boyfriend is missing and she thinks he is at the Biltmore Estate. While she is officially she is there for a luxury hotel management conference she plans to look for him. The estate has many secret passageways just like Storyton hall where she lives and keeps it’s secret. She finds her boyfriend but also her husband who she thought died 9 years ago. She is very tired of all the danger and stress of keeping the secrets. When a WWI reenactment goes wrong she finds more clues to who is doing Jane’s boyfriend is missing and she thinks he is at the Biltmore Estate. While she is officially she is there for a luxury hotel management conference she plans to look for him. The estate has many secret passageways just like Storyton hall where she lives and keeps it’s secret. She finds her boyfriend but also her husband who she thought died 9 years ago. She is very tired of all the danger and stress of keeping the secrets. When a WWI reenactment goes wrong she finds more clues to who is doing the kidnapping and what they really want. -

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