The Bodies in the Library

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Hayley Burke is excited when she lands the position of curator of The First Edition Society’s library. The society is focused on the Golden Age of Mysteries. A subject Hayley knows less than nothing about, but she’s not going to let anyone know this - least of all the library’s secretary, Mrs. Woolgar, or the society’s board members.

Mrs. Woolgar is not happy with the changes Hayley is making. One thing is inviting an aspiring mystery writing group to meet each week. Mrs. Woolgar does not like the mess they leave. She has a point since after one meeting they left behind a dead body.

This is the perfect ammunition to use against Hayley and prove her incompetence. Hayley has no choice but to play amateur sleuth and solve this case. First, she must learn how to investigate crimes. Who better to teach her than Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple? Haylely sets out to read all about the most famous of amateur sleuths and discovers a whole new world.

This is the first book in the First Edition Library Mystery series and it’s off to a wonderful start. It felt like an old-fashioned Christie mystery. A dead body with a long list of suspects. There is also a little romance mixed in, but the mystery storyline is front and center throughout the book.

It took a little time for me to get acquainted with the cast of characters, but once I did, I felt like I knew them well. The storyline moved at a steady pace. I began to guess who the culprit was when Haylely did. It’s a light mystery with quite a few quirky characters. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.




FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This was quite a good start to a new cozy murder mystery series. I am looking forward to more by this author in this series.
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So this book is basically everything I like in a cozy mystery. Haley was such an amazing amateur sleuth and I loved the angle of her working as curator for the First Editions Society while carrying the secret of having never read a mystery novel. The homage to Christie was so well done, and I laughed so hard at the line “Did you just try to out Miss Marple me?” 

The biggest pet peeve I have about cozies is when characters are so outlandish that they seem like caricatures of actual characters. This did not happen in this one! Even Wynn, while strange and quirky, was well-written and written with restraint. 

The mystery was well plotted, and the premise was just excellent. I am all in on this series. 

The only negative and what kept it being five stars is that it started to drag between the 60% and 80% mark. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a free advanced copy!
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This new cozy mystery series involves an irresistible combination: mystery + library + Agatha Christie (and other Golden Age mystery authors). The well-written story delivers what you expect from a cozy mystery, and I enjoyed the characters. I will definitely continue this series as new books come out, and I hope to see the main character dive deeper into the collection of mysteries that she curates.
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Marty Wingate’s latest novel The Bodies in the Library is the first installment in her new cozy mystery series entitled First Edition Library Mystery and boy, is it a gem of a book!  Set in the wonderful city of Bath, England, The Bodies in the Library follows Hayley Blake, who is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library.

I, quite frankly, was sold on this cozy mystery as soon as I realized it was set in a library, but my enjoyment of the book only grew as I got to know Hayley and her coworker, Glynis Woolgar.  Hayley is a delightful character and it’s fun to watch her determination as she strives to make a go of her new job, with a major goal being to modernize the library and make it more relevant and vital to Bath’s society.  Glynis is not a big fan of change and so pretty much fights her every step of the way.  Glynis is especially not a fan of the writer’s group Hayley invites to use the library’s space for their weekly meetings.  Hayley thinks it’s a perfect fit because the library is known for its collection of first editions written by famous mystery writers like Agatha Christie, and this particular writer’s group specializes in writing fanfiction based on Christie’s novels.  When one of the writers turns up dead in the library, however, Hayley starts to think that maybe Glynis was right and when the police don’t move fast enough to suit her, she takes matters into her own hands to see if she can catch a killer.  After all, her library’s reputation is at stake here!

Okay, I really don’t want to say much else since it’s a mystery and I don’t want to spoil it, but seriously, how can you resist a cozy mystery set in a library with a bunch of fanfiction writers as possible murder suspects?  The Bodies in the Library is a fun read with plenty of plot twists to keep you thoroughly entertained and guessing who the murderer is until the very end.  If you like libraries, feisty protagonists, and cozy mysteries, The Bodies in the Library needs to be on your reading list!
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The first book in a new cozy mystery series by Marty Wingate. The First Edition Library Mystery series features Hayley Burke, the new curator at Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library in Bath, England. The library is a mystery lovers dream, containing many Golden Age mysteries. Hayley is attempting to modernize the library, but she's hiding the fact that she doesn't know diddly about the mystery genre.

The cast of characters is quirky and relatable. Hayley is a likable protagonist - smart, witty, and hard-working. After starting as curator, one of her actions was to open the library up to a group of Agatha Christie fan fiction writers. When one of the members of the group is found dead in the library, Hayley turns amateur sleuth to find the murderer. Hayley is concerned about the image of the library, and she wants to make sure the library's name is not smeared due to the murder.

A charming new cozy mystery with entertaining characters and a lovely location. In addition to the mystery, there are some things going on in Hayley's personal life - she's got a daughter in college, an ex-husband, and a boyfriend. Hayley looks to be a fun amateur sleuth to follow along with in this series. A good read for fans of cozies, especially ones that feature books and libraries.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Newly appointed curator of The First Edition Society, an organization dedicated to first editions by women authors from the Golden Age of Mystery, Hayley Burke is in trouble from her first day. In The Bodies in the Library by Marty Wingate, Hayley's dilemma is she has never read a mystery - let alone one by the Golden Age authors. There's more trouble when a body is found in The Society's library. A terrific beginning to a new series.
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I kept starting this book but I kept getting bored. I was much more interested in going back to another prepub. So obviously I will not be recommending this book to anyone. Which is too bad because I really like the classic mysteries that were supposed to be at the heart of the story. I couldn't keep track of the people in the writer's group. They just went in and out of the door.
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Hayley is the new curator of the First Edition Library, located at Middlebank House in Bath, England. The good thing about the job is books, books and more books! The bad thing – working with Mrs. Woolgar … and not knowing a single thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries, the theme of the library. As if that's not bad enough, a member of the Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group which meets at the library is found dead … a body in the library. To save her job and possibly the Library itself, Hayley is determined to catch a killer. 

This is the first book in a new series by Marty Wingate, an author who writes two other series that I have enjoyed, and I was looking forward to reading it. Having never been to England, it was hard to create a visual representation of the area surrounding the Library, and it felt like the location was important to the story – or maybe I was just focusing on the wrong clues :) With this being the first in the series, it's hard to tell which of the characters will become regulars and which are unique to this story, but I have my own list of those I'd like to see return in the next book and those I could do without. 

I could almost see the light dawning on Hayley when she finally broke down and read her first mystery, and I loved how addicted she seemed to be from there on, but I didn't care for the way she chose to apply interrogation techniques and jumped to conclusions based on the books she'd just read. The killer was not who I'd hoped it would be, nor was the motive, but I still look forward to reading the next book when it comes out.
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I am always drawn to books about books, so when this appeared on NetGalley, I decided to request an ARC even though I had never read anything by the author.  I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the book very much.  I look forward to reading more in the series.  Since this is the first in a new series, all the characters and settings are established.  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.  However, when one of the group is found dead in the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.
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Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept in 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 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.

This is an enjoyable beginning to a series. Hayley is a good narrator and the plot well thought out. As in classic mysteries, there are plenty of red herrings, although a subplot involving the nephew of the library's founder is too easily fixed.
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This book is the first in a new cozy mystery series – a First Edition Library Mystery.  It has all the cozy requirements: an inquisitive amateur sleuth, a small town, a library, and a cat.  Hayley Burke, the new curator of the British First Edition Society library that specializes in great mystery writers, knows nothing about mysteries, a fact she tries to keep private. When a dead body shows up in the Society’s library, Hayley finds herself delving into the investigation, while reading Agatha Christie’s THE BODY IN THE LIBRARY.  The story is interesting, but the writing is very British, which is not my favorite style.  I like the unusual idea that Hayley knows nothing about mysteries, but I am tired of the seemingly necessary library cat.  Why doesn’t a cozy mystery ever include a dog?  Thanks to NetGalley for providing a preprint.
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I'm going to have to read Agatha Christie's The Body in the Library now, to understand the inspiration for Hayley Burke's investigation of her own body in the library. I enjoyed the book.
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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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