Monday, February 18, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Past Due For Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Past Due for Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, Book #3)
by Victoria Gilbert
Release Date: February 12th 2019
2019 Crooked Lane Books
Kindle Edition; 304 Pages
ISBN: 978-1683318743
Genre: Fiction / Cozy
Source: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours / Publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first―but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished―or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events―and a dead body lying nearby―an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

My Thoughts
Past Due for Murder is the third book in the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries series and while I definitely liked this one better than the previous entry in this series, with a cast of pretty interesting characters, I still felt like it wrapped up way too early, leaving an ending that felt far more like a fiction novel than a cozy mystery.

I personally feel the real strength to this series lies in the characters and their interactions with each other.  I really liked Amy far better and felt like her character had really grown in this one, becoming much more confident and able to tackle things (and people) without coming across as whiny, which was sometimes the case in the past.  Even though she had some small problems with Richard, they were able to work them out in a mature way rather than yell and scream at each other, or sulk, something which drives me nuts, and something which Amy used to do.  Amy is very relatable and I liked that in a character.  She's not perfect, which makes her more fun.  We also got to learn a bit more about her past relationship with Charles, which just made me wonder what she saw in that man or why she would stay with someone like that.  It was a great way to learn more about Amy and how much she had changed since coming back home.

I did enjoy the mystery, but it was very easy to figure out.  I do like that the action can be typically more sinister than in a typical cozy mystery, which makes it a bit more fun to read, but I do have to admit that the pacing is somewhat off at times, and sometimes the plot feels a bit forced in order to keep the action moving forward.  However, the relationships, the drama, the interactions, and the dialogue all work very well together which sort of makes up for the feeling of being forced.  I was not too impressed with the way the story ended however, as I felt it dragged on quite a bit and also, the resolution came way too early.   

Past Due For Murder was overall, an enjoyable read.  While I suppose this one could stand on its own, I don't recommend you start with this one as there are references to previous novels which kind of give away important plot points from previous novels, something of which I am not a fan.  While it was easy to figure out the mystery, there were enough layers to it that it did keep my interest and I definitely liked the folklore aspect to it.  The Blue Ridge Mountains has so many interesting tales that it was nice to see some of them incorporated into the story, even if I have no idea if any of it was real or not, although I am sure there are lots of tales like it that are.  I do recommend this book, but I would start with the first book in the series.


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