Crime for the Books By Kate Young: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Oct 15, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow & Kate Young

This week we have a review of another fun mystery set at Halloween-Crime for the Books By Kate Young. We also have a fun guest post by Kate’s main character Lyla Moody! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Crime for the Books: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery by Kate Young
Review by Cynthia Chow

It makes sense that for the Halloween season the Jane Doe Book Club is hosting a murder mystery night at Georgia’s Magnolia Manor bed and breakfast. Things get a little too real, though, when, after blanks fired by the designated murderer, an extra shot is fired and a real body is found with a bullet hole in her chest. The now late Patricia Donaldson had been a harassing nuisance to her cousin over an inheritance, which is why Elaine Morgan had hired Cousins Investigative Services to protect and deliver a cease and desist order. Book club member and police officer Rosa Landry quickly concludes that Elaine is guilty, riling up the other members and placing Rosa at odds with Lyla Moody. No longer a trainee with her uncle’s private investigative company, Lyla can’t help but notice that Rosa is acting oddly and that her rashness could lead to a massive injustice. With the Sweet Mountain police chief off on his honeymoon and dissension stirring among the ranks, Lyla and the rest of the Jane Doe Book Club members will be relying on their vast knowledge of Agatha Christie books to track down the real killer.

This third in the series keeps readers on their toes as they try to track down unidentified suspects and known ones suddenly displaying uncharacteristic behavior. While Lyla’s exuberant Gran can be relied upon to cause dismay for her children, it’s the rest of Lyla’s life that seems to have suddenly been sent into upheaval. The usually competent Rosa is suddenly erratic, abrasive, and secretive, warning the Jane Does to stay out of her case. Lyla’s once-sizzling romance with Special Agent Brad Jones is suddenly skidding off course, with gossip floating in that his business meetings have not been that professional. Unable to rely on her normal law enforcement sources, Lyla has to take it upon herself to track down mysterious witnesses, find out the truth of stalking allegations, and discover who is attempting to smear the Jane Book Club’s reputation.

With all this to unpack, the novel swiftly speeds along as Lyla puts together the many different pieces of the puzzle. She’s forced to take an introspective, and somewhat uncomfortable, close look at her life and what she wants for her future. The close circle of friends she has can always be relied upon to lend an investigative hand or just a shoulder to cry on, making the Southern setting emotionally fun and rewarding. Gran continues to drive Lyla’s parents crazy with a new motorcycle-riding boyfriend, but she never becomes too comical or unrealistic. A plot point from one of Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced comes into play to further complicate matters for Sweet Mountain but charm mystery readers. This compelling mystery ultimately pulls together all of the pieces quickly at the end as it delivers a satisfying conclusion and a promising future for Lyla and her Jane Book Club friends.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Happy Halloween from Lyla Moody

Hey, y’all, and Happy Halloween! I’m Lyla Moody, and I’d like to welcome you to Sweet Mountain, Georgia. It’s a lovely little “Mayberry-esque” town located in the foothills of the mountains. I’ve lived here my entire life and couldn’t imagine living elsewhere. Typically, I’d offer to show you around because we pride ourselves on our hospitality here in the south. But things are in a bit of turmoil at the moment.

My book club, The Jane Does, hosted a Halloween party tailored after Agatha Christie’s novel, A Murder Is Announced. Pretty amazing, right? Yeah, it was. We took an ad out in the local paper announcing the murder—the pretend murder—just like it happened in the novel. We dressed to the nines in our era proper attire, we made these terrific gift bags, and the place was packed with other mystery-loving book clubs. We danced and had a great time, and then it hit the fan.

Kate Young

Someone died. Like a living, breathing woman literally died right in front of me. People were screaming and running everywhere. I was pushed around and have the bruises to prove it. I went to my knees beside the woman and did everything I could to help her until the medics arrived, but she passed on. And to make matters worse, right before she died, she’d blamed me for ruining her life. Not only me, but I was undoubtedly named in her rant.

As you can imagine, I was in a state myself after that, feeling guilty that I couldn’t save her and that doing my job caused her such pain. Did I mention I work for my uncle Calvin at Cousins Investigative Services? No? Let me back up a bit.

I’m a private investigator, and Patricia, the deceased, was attempting to contest the ownership of the bed and breakfast here in town. She didn’t have a case, of course, and I did my best for my client, but still, when someone dies and has a disgruntled feeling for you beforehand, it’s upsetting. Shew, it’s a lot. And it gets worse. Much worse. Threats have surfaced around town in the form of a creepy old-fashioned hangman game, you know, the ones with the blank spaces, and you have to guess the name before your stickman gets hanged. Yeah, the game is supposed to name the person who will be murdered. Creepy right?

Well, Rosa Landry, also a club member, is struggling to get a handle on the investigations and isn’t sure the threats are linked to what happened at the B&B. But as you can imagine, emotions are running high with the rest of our club. Everyone is freaking out.

I’m still trying to get my head wrapped around everything, and I don’t plan on sitting idly by either. And neither do the other Jane Does. I’ll use all my PI resources to find out what is happening here, even if it ruffles some old southern feathers. You see, here in Sweet Mountain, old southern families reside. Our tea is sweet, our accents are sweeter, and our ladies are expected to be the same. Murder doesn’t quite fit in.

I firmly believe in taking advantage of what the good Lord gives you. And he gave me an ample portion of the gift of gab, a curious mentality, and, as my Gran would say, a spine of steel. I’ll use everything in my power to bring peace back to our sleep mountain town that, at the moment, is anything but sleepy.

So, as I said, I hope y’all will forgive me for not giving you the town tour. But if you’d like to stay awhile, I know a lovely hotel overlooking the river, and I’m sure I can get you a deal on your stay. And if by some chance you decide you’d like to lend a hand in helping in the investigation, we welcome you. We can use all the help we can get.

To enter to win a copy of Crime for the Books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crime,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 22, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. 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 listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode perfect for Halloween went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Kate Young writes mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Georgia Writers Association. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzus. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading, hanging out with her family, or cooking.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. 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.


  1. Crime for the Books: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery by Kate Young sounds like a Halloween book that would be a sweet treat!

  2. New series for me, but one I think I’d really enjoy. A Halloween setting makes this one all that more enticing.

  3. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  4. Wow, this sounds like an amazing book, would definitely love to read it! Thank you for this wonderful chance!

  5. Always enjoy finding a new author to resd

  6. Sounds like a good read. thanks

  7. We have a winner!


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