The Bodies in the Library

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

A cute, cozy mystery. A decent first book in a new series and I look forward to seeing how the it develops. The book contained every kind of stereotypical character from the genius but emotionally challenged inventor to the unapproachable secretary of a certain age.  Luckily for the reader, there were glimpses of hidden depths to some of these characters. Perhaps more to them in the next edition?

The mystery was solid and well plotted. The plot point that frustrated me most was the main character seemed to do almost zero work at her own job and was well paid and given a nice place to live! Apparently, I need to switch jobs.
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I'm a bit torn about this book with things I liked and things I didn't. It took me a little while to get into this story, but once I did I enjoyed it. I like the characters, though some of their actions felt out of character and forced to create tension in the plot. The mystery kept my attention, but... I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say I had a large qualm with the mystery's resolution. I liked enough about it that I will read the next book in the series, but it isn't strong enough to recommend that my library purchase it.
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Hayley Burke is both happy and apprehensive when she's hired as the curator for the First Edition library at Middlebank House.  Happy because the job pays well and she gets to live on premises for free.  Apprehensive because the collection is of authors of the Golden Age of Mysteries, and she's never read a mystery in her life.  She's afraid she'll be found out and will be sacked.

There's also the problem of Mrs. Woolgar - secretary to the late Lady Georgiana Fowling, owner of the books.  Mrs. Woolgar resents Hayley, and it shows.  However, they must work together so she manages to keep a stiff upper lip about it.  (While Hayley lives above the library, Glynis Woolgar lives below it in a flat of her own).

Hayley is intent on finding ways to make the library more profitable and more well known.  To this end she's allowed a writer's group of mystery fan fiction to meet there every Wednesday.  The group - five students at a local university - are prone to contentiousness, and have, on occasion, left a bit of a mess for Hayley to clean up.  Mrs. Woolgar doesn't want the group to meet there, and sadly, Hayley has come to agree and says she will speak with them.

But before she can tell them, one of the group is found dead in the library (shades of Agatha Christie!) but no one knows how he got there since the library and the building was locked.  Afraid of the negative impact on the group, Hayley finds that she's up to her ears in suspects, and needs to sift through them to find out who wanted the man dead...and maybe learn a little about how mystery writers come to their own deadly conclusions in the process..

I have to say that I have loved all of Ms. Wingate's books thus far, and this one is no different. Hayley Burke is a 40-something divorced woman who has landed a plum job (thanks to her friend Adele) that she's sure she doesn't deserve.  She's in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Wyn, and due to attempting to set literary evenings with the local university, has met a professor that is making her question her relationship altogether.

But it's her lack of knowledge as to mysteries in the written form that has her most worried.  She's sure she'll be found out and just as afraid she'll lose her position because of it.  But when she finds herself in a real-life murder, everything changes, and now her job really could be on the line.

I do like Hayley's character.  She's insecure but determined, and even though the police have told her to stay out of the investigation, she really believes she will - until she's forced to enter it, and she's not sure exactly what she's doing.  Much as someone would act if they were suddenly thrust in the middle of a real-life mystery.

The only person I didn't care for in the book is the character of her daughter, Dinah.  Dinah is 22 years old and going to school.  But she's selfish and thoughtless - partly because of Hayley, of course; but it rankled that she treats Hayley like a never-ending bank, especially since she has to know that Hayley is also paying for her own mother's care.  I would like to see her realize, in future books, that she shouldn't depend upon Hayley for all her financial needs and perhaps get a part-time job to help pay her own way and ease her mother's dwindling bank account.

I do feel the mystery was done well, and as I love locked-room mysteries, I was pretty sure I had it figured out (I was right) but finding out who actually did the deed took a bit longer.  I loved the library cat, Bunter (and knew who he was named after).  Bunter became as invaluable to Hayley as his namesake became to Lord Peter; and there's a tiny hint of paranormal that was interesting, to say the least.

All in all, I felt it was done very well as an introduction to Hayley and the First Edition Library.  While there wasn't a huge depth of character in this book, that can be easily remedied as the series progresses, when we get to know the main characters better.  A little now and more later.

In the end, when the murderer is caught and the reason why the murder was committed, it was believable, and the clues were there if you see them.  An admirable beginning for a new series, and I hope to see the next one soon.
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An original premise and great characters make this a promising series opener!

*Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review!
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3.75 stars

This encouraging cozy series debut is set in Bath, England and features the improbable setting of a literary museum/archive devoted to female Golden Age detective authors. New curator Hayley Burke is thrilled with her new position and her live in quarters in a historic mansion. But there are a couple of red flags: the coolness of her secretary/assistant Miss Woolgar, the disdain of several board members, the hasty departure of the previous curator, and most of all Hayley's complete unfamiliarity with detective fiction.

Hayley, divorced and the mother of a grown but financially needy daughter, is full of ideas and aspirations. But when a murder victim is found inside the mansion's library it appears they have a classic locked room mystery on their hands.

I am a fan of the author's other series and this one is nicely written and a little more informal and playful than her other books. I look forward to reading the next entry. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I have read most of Marty Wingate's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is one is no different. It is the first book in a new series, the First Edition Library series and full of funny scenes and quirky characters which brought smiles and amusement as I read. I personally like that it is set in Bath where many of Victorian romances take place.  Of course there, is a cat, Bunter, tortoiseshell cat and a nephew, who feels the estate is rightfully his. Hayley has a long-time romance.

Hayley Burke has her dream job she the curator at the First Edition Library and this library has the first edits of mysteries and has never read a mystery. She lives on the premise along with Mrs. Woolgar, the Secretary to Lady Gerorgiana Fowling. Her plans to bring the library to this century have disapproval of Mrs Woolgar. Hayley invited a group of fan-fiction writer who write stories from Agatha Christie books. One of these writers is found MURDERED in the library which brings the police into the story.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.

Disclosure: Thanks to Berkley for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the first in a new series. I enjoyed the characters and liked that by the end Hayley was standing up to folks as she began to be comfortable in her new job, curator  to a first edition mystery collection. At the start of her job she hadn't read any mysteries, but by the end she has started reading them. The mystery was entertaining and I enjoyed the characters.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to more in this series.
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I was first drawn to this book because it had to do with libraries. As I continued to read the blurb, I found the plot more and more intriguing. I loved the characters and how real they were. I also liked how it was a play on older mysteries stories without being repetitive. It was more like Wingate was paying tribute to the classics. This was such a cute, cozy mystery. Would highly recommend it!
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This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group - Berkley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was so excited when this book fell into my lap. This book was a combination of my two favorite things; mysteries and libraries. From the beginning I was hooked in all the way. The facts presented by Wingate are so brilliantly incorporated and the fact that he included a writer's fan fiction group as one of the main characters was so brilliantly done that I think all readers will enjoy this book even more. I know our community will go crazy for this book and it will be a hot item to check out when it is released.

We will consider adding this book to our Mystery collection at the library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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The Bodies in the Library by established mystery author Marty Wingate is a strong opener to this new series. There's a likable heroine with a mission readers appreciate - increase awareness of authors of the Golden Age of Mystery - and a fun supporting cast. Throw in hearty dose of mystery with a touch of romance. And, of course, there's a cat. Bunter by name. What mystery is complete without a loyal cat or dog to support our sleuth? The mystery was a creditable puzzle with a satisfying number of twists and turns. Can't wait to see where heroine Hayley Burke takes the First Edition Society next and what mystery she stumbles into there!
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book. This is a cozy mystery and a good light read. The plot moved quickly and kept my interest and the characters were quirky. If you like books and books about books & mysteries this is the book for you.
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Hayley Burke, a divorced mother to a university student, is excited for her new job serving as curator for the First Edition library located inside the Middlebank House in Bath, England. Hayley is determined to breathe new life into the library although she is secretly clueless about golden age mysteries herself.  When an Agatha Christie fan writer's group asks to have their meetings within the library, Hayley sees this as the perfect opportunity to spread the word among the public about the First Edition library.  Mrs. Woolgar, the society secretary does not agree.  When one of the members turns up dead, it becomes a real life body in the library, one which Hayley is determined to investigate.  It is up to Hayley to solve the mystery and save the library and her job.  
As a long time golden age mystery lover myself, I loved the nod to Agatha Christie's classic tale "Body in the Library."  The setting was charming,a real treat for mystery lovers, and the addition of a English country house added to the appeal as well.  The mystery itself was well plotted and well populated with a great cast of supporting characters.  I can see a wide appeal for this title among mystery lovers and bibliophiles alike.  I thoroughly enjoyed my trip through the hallowed stacks of First Edition Library and was excited to reread Christie's classic afterwards.
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I’d never read anything by this author before, but thought I’d try it since I am always drawn to books about books and those who love books. 
After one read-through, I saw no major problems. It’s a “cozy” mystery, which I’m not particularly fond of, but if you are, then you’ll probably enjoy it. Especially if you are an Anglophile, because the story is set in Bath, England. Modern-day England, that is. 

The main character is 40-something divorcée Hayley who has just started a new job as curator at the “First Edition Society”, an organization founded and funded by the late Lady Georgiana Fowling. Her passion was collecting first editions of mysteries from the “Golden Age of Mystery Writers” (Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, etc.). 

Hayley’s university degree was in “18th century literature” (British?), but she had never read any of the ‘popular mystery’ genre, So she knows she needs to read them all ASAP. 

Her previous job was as a curator’s assistant, not a curator, so she meets with stiff opposition from 2 society board members; they let her know immediately that she had not been their first choice.

Glynis Woolgar, Society secretary, also gives Hayley the cold shoulder, which is too bad considering that she too lives above the library. Glynis was Lady Fowling‘s friend and personal assistant.

Hayley has several ideas for community outreach, and meets with a local (Bath, England) college professor named Val to discuss a joint project. Later that day, after work, she runs into Val again — in the frozen meal aisle of the local Waitrose supermarket. He asks if she’d mind swapping his frozen meal for hers, and they share a laugh—both admitting to frequenting the ready-meal aisle. Val lets her know that he finds her attractive.

On weekends, Hayley catches up with her university student daughter, and visits her mother in a care facility.

The plot thickens, so to speak, after she meets the writers group that meets weekly in the Society library. It’s a volatile group, and it doesn’t take long for dead bodies to start turning up.

This book is a ‘cozy’ mystery that others will probably enjoy, but was not interesting enough to warrant reading another by this author. That may be an unfair judgment, because all writers have some books that are better than others, but I can only base my opinion on this book. 
It is OK, but not one I’d recommend or choose to read again.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this light read. The plot moved quickly and kept me interested. The characters were interesting and it took me a while to figure out who the murderer was. If you're looking for a light, enjoying mystery you'll enjoy this one.
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Fans of "Golden Age" mysteries written by female authors will connect the title of Marty Wingate's inaugural "First Edition Library Mystery": The Bodies in the Library with Agatha Christie's The Body in the Library. Hayley Burke, curator #2 of the First Edition Society in Bath, England, has her hands full with reinvigorating the society after a rocky start. Charged with building up the society by connecting its collection of Golden Age mysteries with the public, Hayley is beset on all sides by a stringent coworker, an odious heir, a knotty love life, and of course, a rather rudely placed dead body. Wingate peoples Bath with memorable characters, including members of an Agatha Christie fan fiction group, Society secretary Glynis Woolgar, and Hayley's best friend and Society Board member, Adele. The beleaguered curator has a secret of her own that the murder investigation may bring to light... Wingate delivers a charming new cozy mystery, featuring a relatable amateur sleuth, that fans of books about books and stories set in England will especially enjoy.
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Delightful mystery set in Bath, with a lovely cozy setting. The fan fiction group was a funny plot addition, and it worked really well. I would recommend to anyone who loves both newer cozy mysteries and the folks who like the Agatha Christie classics.
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This is an interesting and unique premise to honor the female writers of the Golden Age of Mystery. It got a slow start  but then these quirky characters took over in a twisty plot and a Bath setting.
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Hayley is hired as the new curator at Middlebank house in Bath, England.  A writer's group asks to hold meetings there and be inspired by all the first edition mysteries surrounding them.  One of their members is murdered, and Hayley falls into the role of finding a murderer along with everything else she is responsible for at the house, plus keeping others in the dark that she is not well read in mysteries!
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This is a truly charming cozy mystery with an interesting and unusual concept- bringing the stories of the Golden Age of Mystery into modern times.  Hayley Burke has just become the curator of the First Edition Society founded by Lady Georgiana Fowler's estate.  The purpose of the society is to promote the legacy of the female writers of the Golden Age of Mystery Writing.  Hayley has taken the job despite the fact that she knows nothing about those books or authors.  When Hayley allows a group of writers of Agatha Christie fan fiction to meet in the society building and one of the members of the group is killed in the Society's library, echoing Agatha Christie's Body in the Library Hayley finally reads the original story and is hooked.  She begins her own investigation acting just like Miss Marple, working with the police, and is able to discover who is responsible for the crime.This book has a great setting in Bath, England, an interesting plot, and relatable characters.  I can't wait to see which Golden Age of Mystery writer Hayley meets next.
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Hmmm... what to say, what to say. Well, for starters, it was pretty good. It had a murder mystery, books galore, and a snarky, fun main character that we followed around throughout this adventure. Or, would investigation be a better word? Either way, I was entertained for four hours and thus, I can't complain. ^_^ After I finished reading, my mom stole my kindle so she could read it because she said it must be good if I was laughing so much... 

Would I recommend this? Absolutely, if you're into cozy mysteries, this one's for you. 
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