Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang

March 13, 2019 Elle Book Review ,

Trouble on the Books by Essie LangTrouble on the Books by Essie Lang
Publication Date: March 13, 2019
Series: Castle Book Shop Mystery #1
Published by Crooked Lane Books Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase a Copy: Amazon Kindle | Amazon Kindle Edition
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My Rating : three-stars

Essie Lang’s series debut is perfect for fans of Lorna Barrett, Vicki Delany, and book lovers everywhere.

Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks.

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York’s breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt’s bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store’s second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island.

But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder—and find the killer before he strikes again—in Trouble on the Books, Essie Lang’s clever and captivating series debut.

Trouble on the Books is the first book in a brand new cozy mystery series! This book features a heroine who has just opened up a new bookstore in her hometown of Alexandria Bay. While this is interesting in itself (us bookworms LOVE bookstores), it’s even cooler to see that this bookstore is in a castle! I love stories with original settings and this is exactly what I got with this novel. Aside from the setting I found that I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Shelby is a woman after my own heart and she takes pride in what she does. Not only that, it’s clear that she feels deeply for her family. The only thing I felt was missing in the novel was the mystery. Sure, this book is a cozy mystery and it DOES have a mystery but I wish the author made it a bit more prominent. It felt a little lacking for my taste. This could be due to the fact that it’s only the first book in the series and things will heat up as it progresses. 

In any event, I think this is a good and solid mystery and despite my need for a little more “oomph” in the mystery department I would still read the next in the series.

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