about the book
Title: The Bookshop Murder
Author: Merryn Allingham
Genre: Cozy mystery
Series/Standalone: First book in a series
Estimated page count: 256
Formats available: Paperback, Audiobook and eBook. Available on Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Bookouture (26 July 2021)
Tour organised by: Bookouture
Join Flora Steele – bookshop owner, bicycle-rider, day dreamer and amateur detective as she tackles her first case!
Sussex, 1955: When Flora Steele opens up her bookshop one morning she’s in for the surprise of her life! Because there, amongst her bookcases, is the body of a young man, with a shock of white-blond hair. But who was he? And how did he come to be there?
Determined to save her beloved bookshop’s reputation and solve the baffling mystery, Flora enlists the help of handsome and brooding Jack Carrington: crime writer, recluse and her most reliable customer.
The unlikely duo set about investigating the extraordinary case, following a lead across the sleepy village of Abbeymead to The Priory Hotel. When the hotel’s gardener dies suddenly, and they find out their victim was staying there, Flora’s suspicions are raised.
Are the two deaths connected? Is someone at the hotel responsible – the nervous cook, the money-obsessed receptionist, or the formidable manageress?
As the trail of clues takes Flora and Jack all over the village it becomes clear there’s more than one person hiding secrets in Abbeymead…
But does Flora have what it takes to uncover the truth – or will her amateur sleuthing put her in harm’s way?
Love Agatha Christie, Midsomer Murders and T E Kinsey? Then this brand-new cozy crime series featuring bookshop owner Flora Steele is just what you need!
Flora heads to work expecting it to be a day like every other in her bookshop All’s Well. But then a strange man enters and she learns that it’s her best customer, and local recluse, Jack Carrington. As she’s putting together his order, they’re both surprised to find the body of a man in the shop. But how did he get there? Who is he and how did he die?
As rumours about his death circulate around the village, Flora is sad to realise the impact it’s having on her business. Determined to find out what actually happened to the young man, and dispel any rumours about the shop, Flora enlists Jack to help her in her investigations. But as they start delving they find there are more secrets within the village than they expected, and when another death occurs, they realise there’s much more to it that they first realised. But will they uncover the truth before anyone else becomes a victim and will they both make it through unscathed?
This is a brilliant cozy mystery with a pair of fantastic lead characters. Flora is a resilient, strong, hardworking and determined woman who you can’t help but love. She is stubborn and persistent which helps her with her investigation, but she’s not free of past emotional turmoil. Jack is a mysterious character at first, but as you learn about him you will understand him and come to love him too. They are a brilliant pair who work well together, balancing each other out and I hope we’ll see much more of these two in future books!
The setting is wonderful. A small English village in Sussex, 10 years after the end of World War II with a fantastic community who are still recovering from the implication of the war. I love the way people get on and support each other and local businesses, although the opposite can also be said for some of the villagers in this! The descriptions of the village are fantastic and will help to bring the story to life, as are the descriptions of the priory. I would love to visit. especially the library! And for all my fellow bibliophiles out there, you will love the talk of books in this. A cosy bookshop and a couple of magnificent with old, valuable tomes galore!
And finally the storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and how the mystery unravelled and the pieces fit together. I had many suspicions and always ended up getting the wrong end of the stick! The suspense in this is brilliant, and if you love a good cozy mystery/crime then you will love this. Most definitely recommended by me. I can’t wait for book 2!!
about the author
Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.
Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.
follow the tour
Thanks to Sarah for inviting me onto the tour, and to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy of the book. All views and opinions are my own.
Have a fabulous evening my loves and I’ll be back tomorrow