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#BookReview : Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles #5) by Jeffrey Archer #MightierThantheSword #CliftonChronicles #HistoricalFiction

Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles #5) by Jeffrey Archer
Publication date : February 24th 2015
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Genre : Historical Fiction
Pages : 400
Stars : ★★★★☆

A bomb goes off, but how many passengers on the MV Buckingham have lost their lives? You will find out only if you read the opening chapter of Mightier than the Sword.



When Harry arrives in New York, his publisher Harold Guinzberg tells him he has been elected as the next president of English PEN, which will give him the opportunity to launch a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who is languishing in a Russian Gulag in Siberia. His crime, writing a book Uncle Joe, which gives an insight into what it was like to work for Josef Stalin. So determined is he to see Babakov released, Harry puts his own life in danger.



Emma Clifton, now Chairman of Barrington Shipping, is having to face the repercussions of the IRA bombing her ship.
Some board members feel she should resign while others, including Sebastian Clifton, newly elected to the board, are determined to see she remains as Chairman.



Giles Barrington is now a Minister of the Crown, and looks set for high office, but a trip to East Germany does not end as a diplomatic success, and once again Giles’ political career is thrown off balance by none other than Major Alex Fisher. Fisher decides to stand against Giles at the forthcoming general election. But this time who wins?



Sebastian Clifton asks his girlfriend Samantha to marry him. She happily accepts, but then later changes her mind after she discovers what Seb has been up to behind her back.



The book ends with two court trials: one at the high court in London, a libel case pitting Emma Clifton against Lady Virginia Fenwick; while another, a show trial, takes place in Russia after Harry has been arrested as a spy. Thus continues book five of the Clifton Chronicles, Jeffrey Archer’s most accomplished work to date, with all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the most successful authors in the world.

Previous books I read in series:

Book 1 Only Time Will Tell
Book 2 The Sins of the Father
Book 3 Best Kept Secret 
Book 4 Be Careful What You Wish For

Mightier Than the Sword was perfect title for this book. Another stellar book in this compelling series that revolved around two family and their never ending problems. It was about, good vs bad, don’t get greedy, sticking to morals and principles will always be rewarding, fight for yourself at right time, fate, family, love and passion.

Writing was as usual gripping, engaging and fast paced that demanded attention in all chapters. Mightier Than the Sword, told from multiple perspective from Harry and Emma, Giles, Sebastian and Lady Virginia’s POV, was set in Bristol and London, occasional visits in U.S. but this time Harry travels to Russia and Giles to Berlin that changed their life.

Mightier Than the Sword started in 1964 picking up from the end of last book, Be Careful What You Wish For, and ended in 1970. It’s clear from the synopsis, no main character died in the blast on Buckingham’s maiden voyage but I will not tell more or what damage it caused. I was thinking how I should write the review as I don’t want say much but at the same time I don’t want end up saying little. Moreover, lot was going on in this book, turn after turn and many surprises. Each main character was facing enemy in this book and each were given equal attention so I will divide my review in what they were facing, what was good and bad with their situation.

As soon as Emma returned from states she was facing Libel trial filed by Virginia moreover some member of board were plotting against her and that included a new enemy Desmond Muller. It felt like she was running out of luck this time. Desmond was unscrupulous, clever and sharp enemy who gave Emma and company hard time and his timing of final strike was fabulous. For first time I feared for Emma. Court room session didn’t help in reducing that fear as Virginia’s lawyer was brilliant. I was curious to see how she was going to fight both of them at the same time and this time if she lose, she was going to lose big- her position, reputation and company.

Emma evolved a lot over four previous books of this series. Her impression as first woman chairman of public company was formidable. She was admiring, ethical, honest person with high morals and principles. She wouldn’t do wrong with anybody but at the same time wouldn’t let anyone harm her and her family.

Sebastian was fighting Adrian Sloane, his boss who planned to take over Farthings bank. This initial part was tense. Sloane was smart and most dishonest and greedy man. His plan was great, with time in his favor and took over the bank real fast that made Seb resign from his job but he was determined to get back to him. I was curious to see how he was going to fight him with no job and less money.

Seb was exceptionally brilliant but in getting revenge and money fast, living accomplished life, he messed up his personal life. Over the course of this book, he learned and developed a lot. He took one step at a time and climbed financial ladder, took all the opportunity at right time. It was looking like all Cedric taught to him finally came to its fruition when he saw name of Hakim Bishra. I liked that man and I loved how game of fighting Sloane turned from this point.

Giles was not happy family man in this. His son died at age 3 and that broke him and Gwyneth apart. He respected Gwyneth but love was drifting and when he went to Berlin to attend conference as a minister of Crown, he made a mistake that made him resign and once again fight election. Time was also not in his favor as again he had to fight against Fisher. I was curious to see what was the result of election and how would he face consequences of his mistakes. He was best example of sportsmanship and I loved him for being resilient and following his heart. I enjoyed every word and pages when he fought election and later when he supported Emma, but Gwyneth was best and I hope he don’t regret letting her go.

Harry was facing most dangerous situation of all. To begin with he was now president of English PEN and started a campaign for release of Anatoly Babakov, Russian novelist who was imprisoned for 20 years for writing a book on Stalin, titled Uncle Joe. He was curious to find out what was in the book and why Russian government destroyed every copy on publication day of Uncle Joe. He passionately felt for Babakov. But fight for his release meant fight against whole Russian government. First he went to Russia as a guest speaker of PEN- he delivered mind blowing speech (it was as good as Gile’s election speeches) and some work from cabinet secretary (which turned out real interesting). I didn’t know he had photographic memory until this book! Why it wasn’t mentioned before! He discovered location one last copy of Uncle Joe and had to visit Russia again but without protection secretary. Isn’t it just getting just better and better? I was curious to find out how he would locate it and how he would get away with or maybe not? What will happen if Russian caught him? This part was best on whole book.

I enjoyed every tricky situations every characters faced, how they fought their enemies- who won one or two small battle as well that made me worry for characters- and how they came out of it. I loved each of them for not losing hope, sought each other’s help and advice, fought keeping their morals and principles intact that ultimately rewarded them with best result.

I loved reading scenes that were based on historical events like Berlin wall and The Stasi of the East German communist government, imprisonment of Russian writer, and Stalin’s biography through Uncle Joe which was most intriguing.

Climax made me anxious, laugh, curious and awed all at the same time. Harry’s escape, Emma’s trial, and enemies’ plan all was pumping the adrenaline at best. I was holding my breath when finally end neared and then I cursed, ‘Damn Cliffhangers!’ At 3:00 a.m. I got up from bed pulled out sixth book and read few chapters to see the real end. And I tell you it was amazing.

Why 4 stars-

Honestly, I’m tired seeing Virginia and Fisher again. Cliftons and Barringtons are so nice and always do right thing so why they are having lot of enemies? It’s like wherever they go they made enemy. From 1919 to 1970 there wasn’t a year they didn’t face problem! It’s really far fetching.  

Overall, Mightier Than the Sword was gripping, fast paced historical fiction and family saga, full of twist and turn and drama. I definitely recommend this to fans of Jeffrey Archer.

Book Links:

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What do you think about the book? Have you read this already or any book in this series or same author? Have you read a book in which character has photographic memory?

Happy Reading!

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Queen's assassin cover click

#BookReview: The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

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The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date: February 4th 2020
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Fantasy / YA
Pages: 384
★★★★☆

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Red Queen, this is the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the country they are sworn to protect from #1 NYT bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.

Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.

When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series.

*** Note: I received this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to @PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

The Queen’s Assassin was YA Fantasy that revolved around Queen’s secret and her assassin. It was about forbidden magic, romance, royal politics and saving kingdom from incursion and evil mages.

First of all that cover is awesome and so apt. Writing was gripping and addictive from the very beginning. I finished this book in 2 sitting and couldn’t put it down until the end. I loved author’s storytelling ability. World, characters and plot was great. It was narrated from Shadow and Calendon’s perspective. That synopsis says it all.

Worldbuilding was fantastic. Initial chapter gave the overview of world. It told about the history of kingdom Avantine, its rulers, how it was broken into four kingdoms, Renovia, how the sect of evil mages called Aphrasians and secret guild who fought against Aphrasians beside Renovian throne was formed, what was Deian scroll and how it was lost to Aphrasians, how all this lead to the current situation of Renovia, and how important it was to get the Deian scroll to save the kingdom and restore the magic and peace.

I thought it was all I would need to know about the world but as I read more I got to know more about political unrest, rise of Aphrasians, and rumors of incursion by assault on princess Lilac- the sole heir of Renovia. I loved excerpts from the Diean Scroll before beginning of all three sections. It that told the history and origin of magic, how magic came to Avantine and story of Queen Lilliana, regent queen of Renovia. Those were the best characters in the book.

Story was divided in three parts- Renovia, Montrice (Renovia’s neighbouring kingdom) and Assassin and Queen.

First part introduced characters. Queen Lilliana, her assassin- Calendon Holt and Shadow. As soon as I read epilogue I knew who Shadow was. Now that is not really strong for book but I tell you, the scenes were well written it mislead me and made me question what I was so sure about. I was curious to see how much she knew or if she doesn’t when and how she will know.

Shadow was a farm girl living with her aunts who were part of guild and trained her well to be part of guild. It was her dream to be part of guild and to be Caledon’s apprentice. But her mother who was courtier and on higher rank in guild had other plans. When a sudden attack brought her and Caledon together, she was adamant to thwart her mother’s plan, impress Caledon by rescuing him and convince him to take her on his mission. The way she carried out her plan was both reckless and impressive. Most of the time she was headstrong girl who acted like she knew more, eager to prove herself but that put her and Caledon in lot of danger. She wanted to be his apprentice but always took lead defied and argued whatever he said. That made me both laugh and irritated. It’s not like she wasn’t skilled or smart but what’s the meaning of apprentice if you don’t listen to a person you’re supposed to work under? Anyway, her development was good. As she worked with Caledon, she knew being assassin and part of guild is not easy, it required sacrifices and understood its seriousness.

Caledon was great. He was my favorite in the book. Now that might be unpopular as all reviews I read, reader didn’t like Cal and loved Shadow more. He was ruthless, merciless assassin. He obviously was not used to work with somebody and it made him look like arrogant but at the same time he was gentleman, man of word and restraint. Even though he was frustrated by working with Shadow and her suggestion he went along with her whims. I loved his story about his father and mother. He faced lot of pain and grief. His work left him alone and loveless but working with Shadow he experienced friendship, love and companionship.

Second part was about Montrice, its people and tradition, finding out if the nation was involved with Aphrasians. It also showed growing friendship and chemistry between Shadow and Caledon. I loved narration of aristocratic life style, gown and balls in this part.

I liked romance between Shadow and Caledon. They didn’t get along well initially but as they got to know each other, it blossomed into a beautiful flower. I was curious to see how they were going to voice their feelings and if they could commit to a relationship.

This unexpected love and all the feeling came along with it distracted them from their main plan. I was so glad for the turning point and what a turn it was. Many things happened from here till the end of this part. When they finally found about the evil Aphrasian, there was little action and some unexpected revelation.

I knew Shadow was hiding things from Caledon but oh boy, what was revealed in third part was a bit more than what I guessed. Queen’s play and secret was shocking. I liked Shadow’s confession and the way story ended. I definitely sided with Caledon and admired him for his decision but at the same time loved Shadow and how she grew with her responsibility. I can’t wait to see what is to come next in this series.

Why 4 Stars-

Now I haven’t read Sarah J Maas books but I have read stories that have somewhat similar outline. The world was original. I love mages and magic and blood vow, but rest of things was not fresh. Characters, queen’s secret and the end was a tad too predictable.

Overall, it was fast paced, interesting fantasy with addictive writing and refreshing world. It gave same vibes as Children of Blood and Bone while reading this, so if you liked that book, you’ll enjoy this.

Book Links: Goodreads
Affiliate Link: Book Depository | Amazon.in | Amazon.com

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book?
Have you read this books or any book by the same author?
Is there a character or book that most readers disliked but you liked/loved?

HAPPY READING!!

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#BookReview : The Neighbours by Nicola Gill

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The Neighbours by Nicola Gill
Publication Date: February 6th 2020
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 400
Stars: ★★★★☆

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends.

Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four, renting a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Unfortunately, the latter applies to Ginny Taylor. Single and jobless, Ginny is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she encounters her downstairs neighbour for the very first time…
Cassie Frost is a woman who had it all – she was a once-loved actress, but a recent stint on reality TV has rocketed her to online infamy. She’s suddenly become a national hate figure – and she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job… but can she be persuaded to work for the uber-difficult, excessively prickly woman that lives below her floorboards?

Because sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends… 

*** Note: I received e-copy this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Publisher and NetGalley. ***

The Neighbours was a women’s fiction that revolved around Ginny and her neighbor Cassie. It was about friendship, fighting depression, relationship, getting over fear, and working to achieve dream.

Writing was good. I liked the way author represented Ginny’s mediocre life and Cassie’ defamed life with realistic tone that had balance of seriousness and wit. Story was told from Ginny’s perspective.

Book started with 34-yr-old Ginny talking about her simple life whose fertility clock was ticking at rapid rate. She was holding onto her boyfriend to fulfil her simple life by marrying and producing babies with her. But that went to downhill when she found him having pleasure with her boss at her own flat. You can guess where this is going. Jobless, boyfriend-less, wallowing in sadness and self-pity was not exactly a picture she imagined. At the same time her neighbor, Cassie was turning into national hate figure after a reality show. She needed publicist who can help improve her reputation and Ginny desperately needed a job.

Now Ginny lacked confidence and she was not sure she could handle Cassie’s bad reputation and a prickly nature while Cassie no matter what people says never lacked confidence and her power of persuasion was irresistible.

The story was about two totally opposite in nature and in life style neighbours forming strong friendship, helping each other in all kind of situation, uplifting other from depression, giving an honest opinions, and developing over the time.

This was character driven story and relationships between characters and their life was most important part of the story. When I read synopsis, I knew I’m going to have wonderful female friendship and I wasn’t disappointed there. I expected this book to be fun and light-hearted but it was much more than just friendship and fun moments, there was darkness, sadness and depression

Ginny was timid, squeamish, and a pushover but at the same time she was nice at heart, helped her family and friends. She definitely deserved better than non-committing, competitive, and self-centered Jack. I really felt for her in the beginning but then she was wallowing and whining too much. I had really difficult time to warm with her but when she actually started helping Cassie when she was going through depression, I liked her a little more. But then she had to make that stupidest decision.  I wasn’t happy with it. Then again she became such wonderful neighbor, I started liking her back. You see my like and dislike for her was really bumpy ride.

I can see why she was taking one after another disastrous decisions but how could she not see the relationship she was giving a chance won’t last long and what that guy was doing to her. Can a person really be blind in obsession of family and child? I know the answer and we have read thrillers who have given us horrible layout on that. Another point was she never voiced her thoughts and took decision based on what she assumed. I mean you are already hurting somebody what harm would come if you can just say what you’re thinking! It was just so hard to warm to her.

Anyway, I loved her development (that definitely could come earlier) and what she did for Cassie. I admired when she worked to achieve her dream and her amazing decision (one and only) when she got over her fears in climax.

Now even though Ginny was near my age and Cassie much older (55), I connected with her and I liked her from the very beginning. I could see she was bitchy, temperamental and difficult woman but she was honest, brave, bold, and spoke her mind. Yep, total badass. The way people treating her making her national hate figure, it was really horrible. Oh hell, some even said she should have died! I don’t understand why and she was taking it all with such brave face, rode the hate wave like diva. But of course she was human and it affected her. I loved the way she fought her depression, gave her loved ones a chance, and developed by the end of the book. No doubt she was my favorite character.

Some side characters were good while some were shockingly horrible. My second favorite character was Nick. He was such a gentleman and lovely guy.

What I liked most was the message conveyed here through Cassie and Ginny’s story. Depression can come to any one at any time, some face it during their downtime while some can face their worst time and see depression coming much later. There are so many ways to treat depression but it’s different for every person. What works for one person might not work for another. Depressed person should not be left alone they need love, care and companionship no matter how much they denies. Another message was never stop chasing your dream. It’s always hard but there’s always a way or an alternative. You cannot just depend on others to get what you want. And the most common one- talk about your problem with concerning person, don’t just assume things and take decision that you might regret later.

There were few twists and turning points in the book that kept me hooked to story. I really dreaded a heartbreak or even worst but thank fully the end wasn’t bittersweet. It was chocolicious sweet.

Why 4 stars-

Ginny was really frustrating most of the time. I wanted to shake her so hard. As I said it was just so hard to warm to her.

The thing is I loved Cassie I wanted few chapters from her perspective. We are told she was bitchy and did things on reality show that had turned her into hate figure. It was not in detail what exactly happened or what she said, how she felt/so suddenly felt depressed. I wanted to give that middle portion which was so focused on Ginny’s stupid decision to Cassie.

Overall, it was great read with strong message and friendship that all women’s fiction readers would love to read.

Book Links: Gooreads
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What do you think about the book?
Have you read this books?
Which is your favorite book with strong female friendship?

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#BookReview : A Woman to Blame by Vincent Panettiere

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A Woman to Blame by Vincent Panettiere
Publication Date: October 14th 2019
Publisher: BookBaby
Pages: 400
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Stars: ★★★★☆

Hours after a thoroughbred racehorse collapses and dies after finishing last in a race he was favored to win, his trainer—a young woman with a promising career—is found dead on a suburban Chicago beach. To the police, it’s a simple case of murder-suicide. But Mike Hegan, veteran police detective, refuses to believe the official story. Instead of retiring like they want him to, he embarks upon a search for the truth, and finds himself on a Caribbean island where scores are settled—and lives are lost.Fans of James Patterson and other crime fiction writers will find a new hero in Mike Hegan—a detective who defies convention to make sure that justice is served.

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author. ***

Books I read by the same author:

A woman To Blame was first in Mike Hegan mystery series. This book was packed with murder, drama, horse race gambling, mafia feud, exploitation and swindling along with grief, loss, guilt, and romance.

As I read the second book in this series I was familiar with the writing style. Like second book in this too, it was third person narrative from multiple perspective. The plot was interesting and suspenseful.

It started with wedding bell ringing over Hegan’s head, he was trying to take leap of faith and marry Lucy in 6 months. 6 months later, he was returning back to Chicago from Caribbean with dead bodies, one of it was of woman’s for which he would feel guilty forever. Timeline was not mentioned and so it was confusing in the beginning but I could make connection later. It made me curious to know what happened to marriage and how and why he went to Caribbean. It peddles back taking readers to present and to the case mentioned in the synopsis and how it all started with a burnt fish. Yes, you heard it right and it was quite funny. That burnt fish and huge misunderstanding leads to mafia feud, a dead body of loan shark, vendetta and to the death of thoroughbred race horse and its trainer.

Lots of things happened with many turns and some shocking twist that involved long list of characters and many suspects. All characters were introduced one by one- some with their story and what was going on in their life and some indirectly related to them- and how they all, directly or indirectly, were connected to the death of a young woman with promising carrier as horse trainer. It was clear very early how that woman died. The story was about who killed her and why and how it leads Hegan to Caribbean. As I read more, new questions were added to the mystery and it made me doubt to my theory and my guesses.

Along with this complicated but really interesting mystery there were glimpse of Hegan’s life, his girlfriend, his family drama and tragedy in his life (which was so very movie like, that made me shake my head in disbelief). His emotions, frustration and anger was palpable. It was really unfair the way his department was treating him, I’m sure there could be alternative to the situation Hegan was into, but I guess a departmental politics was involved here or more like keeping control of unruly officer and I could later case was more predominant. As the story developed, Hegan also developed, he learned to accept his situation eventually. His drive to get justice for dead woman was admirable and at the same time crazy. But his this madness unrevealed the complicated mystery and also helped him to move on in his life. I loved his sense of responsibility and protectiveness towards his loved ones.

All the secondary characters were great, even villain or villains. My favorite character was Clay and Portia. Clay was Hegan’s florist friend. I liked this big guy who made this tense story light. Portia was fierce, kickass artist, determined to find out who killed her sister. It was horrible to read what she and her sister gone through and after reading it, I felt they deserved happiness. I could understand Portia’s mistrust towards men and her extreme reactions.

Suspense was great that kept me guessing who real culprit was until climax. So much happened in last few ages. Climax was shocking, tense and tragic. Even after so much loss in short time, I liked how Hegan kept moving in life at the end.

Why 4 stars-

Though story was interesting and engaging, it moved slowly, maybe because of length. I didn’t like that dramatic turn at his sister’s house. Couldn’t Hegan shoot in defense, why being such hero and doing all that! And that scene around climax at cliff with Hegan’s taxi driver. It was eye roll moment. Both these scenes felt so Bollywood like.

Overall, it was interesting, cleverly written, complicated mystery with many characters and twist and turns.

Book Links: Goodreads
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What do you think about the book and review?
Have you read this book already or any book by the same author?
Which is your favorite crime mystery/fiction?

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#Review : The Bodies in the Library (First Edition Library Mystery #1) by Marty Wingate

The Bodies in the Library (First Edition Library Mystery #1) by Marty Wingate
Publication Date: October 8th 2019
Publisher: Berkley/Penguin Random House
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Mystery
Pages: 333
Stars: ★★★★☆

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Hayley Burke’s fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society’s library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate.

Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling’s former secretary.

Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley’s ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight–an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House.

But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

The Bodies in the Library was interesting cozy murder mystery that revolved around Hayley’s job as curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition Society at Lady Fowling’s Middlebank House, turned into library containing vast collection of first edition books by women authors from Golden Age of Mystery. It was about fanfiction, maintaining and respecting the legacy, secrets, conflicts, and friendship.

Book was first person narrative. Hayley’s voice was relatable, fun and so very British. Like her, I also haven’t read Christie, Slayers or Daphne books, and similarly I feel so bad for not reading them now. I could see how she felt when her position as curator was questioned.

Hayley’s expertise was 19th century literature. She never read mystery novels, knew nothing about Miss Marple and Poirot. She was lucky to have this job. With job, she was given accommodation in same premises, a grand and beautiful Georgian house. Mrs. Woolger, former secretary and caretaker of society, also lived and worked at Middlebank and didn’t know about Hayley’s lack of knowledge about the Golden Age of Mysteries. She didn’t like Hayleys’ ideas ways of running things. They didn’t see eye to eye. So, Hayley’s constant fear of being taken as fraud and losing her dream job was palpable.

She worked hard to fulfil her job and to spread word about the society, she invited fanfiction writers to society’s library for weekly meet up, but when one of the writer’s dead body was found in the library, that ended up in jeopardizing her job and Society’s reputation.

No clues and many suspects, I was curious to know how Hayley was going to find the murderer. What made the idea even more exciting was, she knew nothing about investigation until she read Christie’s Miss Marple book, The Body in the Library. It was fun to see her growing interest in mysteries and she did wonderful job in gathering clues. We could see how armature she was, not asking questions so subtly, taking risks and not keeping an open mind.

Hayley was great throughout the book. I liked her passion and ideas. Her efforts to keep her job safe. Her relationship with her mother was lovely. I also enjoyed Hayley and Mrs.  Woolger contrasting nature in the book and how both could work together when it came to saving Society.

All characters, especially writers, were quirky and inetreting. Author did wonderful job with them. Their fanfiction ideas and stories were fun. It was entertaining to see them inquiring about murder. Each had lot of questions and advise for Sargent who was so frustrated within few days of murder. And did I tell you anything about that cat in the cover. All credit for discovering clues and mysterious things goes to him.

The romance in between murder mystery was sweet. Hayley’s conflicting emotions for Van Moffatt and Wyn Rundle added spice to story. Wyn was really exhausting and I wonder why she liked him in first place. Val was brilliant throughout the book. I didn’t appreciate Val’s behavior in first meeting. He looked a bit jealous but as I knew him more, I liked him better.

What I loved most in the book was modern day setting along with Golden age of Mystery. It created wonderful atmosphere. Description of Middlebank house, the First Edition Society, Bath was mesmerizing. It was interesting to know Lady Georgiana Fowling’s life and her passion. And book cannot be complete without Christie and other mystery writers’ characters.

Suspense was good. I couldn’t guess who the murderer was until last few chapters. And the motive was only cleared in last chapter. End was satisfying and lovely. I can’t wait to see what new mysteries awaits for Hayley in next books.

Why 4 stars-

Everything was perfect but that motive for murder ruined the fun.

Overall, it was promising first book in new series. Interesting writing, atmospheric setting, and cozy mystery makes this book perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and this genre.

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Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book by the same author? Are you going to add it to TBR? Have read Miss Marple series or any book by the Golden Age of Mystery authors? Which is your favorite cozy mystery?

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