Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams

Murder in the Reading Room (Book Retreat Mysteries, #5)
by Ellery Adams
Release Date: April 30th 2019
2019 Kensington Publishing
Kindle Edition; 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-1496715654
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

4.5 / 5 Stars

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim...

My Thoughts
Murder in the Reading Room is the fifth entry in the Book Retreat Mysteries and while it sounded like it may be the last one, I wondered if perhaps the author thought this arc was finished and wished to take it in another direction. I really enjoyed this book, and this series, and hoped that was the case. (Update: After writing this, I just learned there will be a sixth book in the series, Murder in the Storybook Cottage.  Yoohoo!!) I do recommend you read these books from the beginning in order to fully understand what is happening in this one as I think it would be rather confusing otherwise.

First of all, to say I was surprised by what happened in this one is an understatement.  There were quite a few twists and turns that I did not see coming at all, and I'm still not too sure what to think about them as one of them, in particular, is a bit sad, but it was a doozy.  I was curious as to how Jane would finally prevail against the Templars in their continuing battle for supremacy in the book world as she headed into enemy territory in order to find her boyfriend who went missing. The plot moved rather quickly, and I really do enjoy this author's style of writing.  I feel like the characters have grown tremendously and I have developed a kinship with all of them. I am particularly fond of Jane's group of friends and love the scenes where they gather for their book club meetings. So much fun!  I really enjoy the concept of the Fins although I definitely understand Jane's wish to be 'normal' and not have to worry about her children and the type of world into which they will grow.  Jane is such a strong woman, a woman who had to deal with a lot of adversity, but with a strong support group around her.  I love how the author really plays on the ties of friendship and support.

Murder in the Reading Room was an excellent addition to this series and I am so happy to learn there will be another book in the series, although it will be interesting to see where it will go based on the ending in this one.  Storyton Hall is a place I would love to visit (and perhaps stay permanently?); I enjoy the characters, the setting, and the story.  I highly recommend this book and this series.