by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Murder in the Locked Library along with a special tea brewer mug courtesy of Ellery! We also have a link to purchase the book from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
On the surface, Virginia’s Storyton Hall Resort is a luxurious haven for bibliophiles seeking refuge from the high-tech, social media-obsessed outside world. To remain competitive, manager Jane Steward is investing in the construction of an adjacent spa that would expand the amenities being offered to her book-loving guests. The ground barely has a chance to be broken before a stained and damaged old book is unearthed, although Jane’s young twin sons are far more delighted with the discovery of human bones. A case of the rickets and a farthing would indicate that the death was far from recent, but construction is halted as Jane coincidentally welcomes the Robert Harley Rare Book Society as guests for their Rare Book Conference in Storyton Hall.
A very modern murder has Jane wishing that her boyfriend Edwin Alcott was not abroad, off on his own mysterious book-related quest. Jane can never forget her family’s responsibility as Guardians of the Eighth Wonder of the World, a library full of priceless books and manuscripts deemed too powerful and dangerous to be revealed to mankind. When suspicions arise that the discovered book may have been responsible for the past and present deaths, Jane and her loyal band of Fin soldiers reveal their true skills as warriors guarding the most valuable of treasures within the hidden library.
What I love about this series is how it balances Jane Steward’s two worlds. As she investigates the murder in her backyard, Jane corrals her precocious sons, hosts bookclub meetings, and plans book-themed teas. In her role and secret identity as caretaker of the hidden library, Jane must investigate the eccentric book experts of the rare book conference who may jeopardize the sanctity of the Library. The true duties and aspects of Guardians emerge halfway through this novel, when the butler, chauffeur, and rest of the staff reveal their skills as trained warriors dedicated to the cause of protecting the Library. Bibliomania and the obsession with books and reading prove to be anything but black or white. Indeed, it is Jane who questions her role to “protect” the world from information and ideas deemed too dangerous. This enchanting blend of mystery and fantasy succeeds in feeling timely and grounded, although few budding librarians would have sword training on their résumé. Book and mystery lovers alike will rejoice in this extraordinarily unique, exuberantly fun series. Another adventure awaits Jane in her immediate future, and readers can only hope that it contains as many puzzles, books, and intrigue as this one.
To enter to win a copy of Murder in the Locked Library and the tea brewer mug, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “library,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 9, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also watch for our new mystery podcast coming June 5!
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.