Cover Image: For Whom the Book Tolls

For Whom the Book Tolls

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Member Reviews

This is an excellent start to a new series. The mystery had many twists and turns that had me guessing to the end. I look forward to reading more of Jenna, her new friends and the small town of Hokes Folly.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by Netgalley for an honest review. Thank you.
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Can you honestly go wrong with a cozy mystery that involves books, book stores, librarians, etc? For Whom the Book Tolls will delight readers who love that theme. Thanks for the ARC, NetGalley!
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This was a cozy, sweet mystery. I think this is a great start to a series. I loved Jenna. I loved the small town. I loved the book shop. The plot was fast paced, but gave the reader plenty of time for speculation. The plot twists were well crafted and surprising. My main issue with mysteries tends to be an unsatisfying ending, but this book delivered. I can't wait to read more.
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For Whom the Book Tolls – Laura Gail Black
A cosy bookshop murder mystery.
For Whom the Book Tolls does exactly what it says on the tin! A cosy murder mystery set in an antique bookshop in a small historical town in America.

Jenna Quinn visits her uncle Paul, who’s offered her a place to stay and some work in his bookshop, to help her through a rough patch. Unfortunately uncle Paul has been murdered and Jenna’s past comes back to haunt her, as she becomes a main suspect.

She determines to get to the truth to clear her name, making friends along the way and learning about her new potential home. Run-ins with colourful local characters abound as well as a budding romance with one of the investigating policemen.

This is definitely a “cosy” read, nothing too gruesome with regard to the murder methods but just enough suspense and menace to keep you interested. There is a cast of suitably eccentric characters, from Jenna’s new friend, to the slimy local property developer, the calm and collected solicitor and the ageing and slightly eccentric sisters.

Overall I enjoyed this book as a light-hearted read. I didn’t always connect with Jenna and found her character a little shallow and hard to sympathise with, likewise her instant friendship with Rita felt slightly too easy, given the circumstances. However I left the book feeling satisfied at the conclusion and having had a diverting and enjoyable read.

I received this ebook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black delivered exactly what I hoped for when I picked up the book to read this weekend.  This is a cozy mystery, with a likeable protagonist, interesting cast of supporting characters (suspects), cute historical neighborhood setting, hints of a future love interest, and set in an antique bookshop.  There were a few points that seemed a tiny bit far fetched and characters that seemed a little bit too cliché but honestly that is part of what I expected.  There is a murder of course and even though it’s a bit sad the reader is not emotionally connected to the victim so the story still feels safe and you’re sure there will be a happy ending.  I wished the main character’s back story had been a little clearer earlier in the book; it felt like this was the second book in a series and I was supposed to know “what happened before” but I didn’t and it was gradually revealed.  There were a couple weak transitions in the text and one point that just didn’t seem logical but I only noted because I was reading with a view to write a review.  Overall – enjoyable.  I will definitely watch for the next book in the series.  I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book on Net Galley, all opinions are my own.
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This is a nice little debut cozy mystery. Jenna Quinn is off to see an uncle whom she has been, if not estranged from, then perhaps distanced from, for the last 10 years. She is looking forward to reconnecting after some difficult times in her own life. Her uncle's bookstore even offers her a chance at learning a new trade. However, hours after arriving, Jenna finds her uncle dead - and soon is at the top of the suspect list as she inherited all of his estate. Can she clear her name, and still make a home for herself in this little town? Great characters, a good story, and plenty to keep you turning the pages. All in all, a great first book to what looks to be a fun new cozy series.
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I  received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Its a good start to a series. Can't wait to see how the next books go. I enjoyed the characters and settings. Good cozy mystery.
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When I first started reading this book I thought I was not going to like it. The first one-third of the book felt really weak, especially compared to the latter two-thirds of the book. We jumped into the story way too quickly. I didn't have enough time to get to know and connect to Jenna, the protagonist. This also made it very difficult to really care about the victim and why he was murdered.  The first part of the book felt really rushed and all over the place. At several points, I was pulled out of the story. So many firsts in a series of cozies are about getting to know the protagonist, the characters, and the town that they are moving to. In this one, I felt like the author wanted us to already know all the back story and just get to the murder mystery and still care about the characters and the death. 
In addition to that, I felt like there was way too much tell and not enough show. Several passages, in the beginning, were really redundant and often unnecessary. The paragraphs were way too long and wasted to much time on trivial descriptions. One early, lengthy paragraph was just one long description of a dress. 
Even though the story as a whole really improved, the character development was still lacking in the latter half, though. I found the MC to be a scooch annoying and had a very hard time connecting with her or caring about her. I also felt like all of the characters were flat and stereotypical. The good cop/bad cop, the unlikeable "villain" that acted really odd and nobody really gave a second glance to, etc. I also did not buy her budding relationship with Detective Logan. It felt super forced and odd and there was not a whole lot of chemistry between the two. I also was hoping that we would get much more of an explanation about why Jenna's uncle decided to leave literally EVERYTHING to a niece that he hasn't seen since she was in high school. It just seemed that several plot points were quite implausible and it was a little difficult to suspend my disbelief. 
Somewhere around the 1/3 mark in the book, everything changed. It read better, I was more invested in the story, and the author's tone and writing became way more clear and concise. I wonder if it was written at two different times, because, to me, it read like two different writers. 
If you had asked me in the beginning if I would continue on with this series, it would have been a hard pass for me. I wasn't even sure I would be able to finish this one. However, having stuck with it, I can now say I am super excited to read the rest. I want to see what all Jenna can do with the store and I want to see her relationship with Rita and Mason (and Detective Logan, I guess) evolve. I adore this small little mountain town in North Carolina. I wish Hokes Folly was a real place- I sure would visit it. I have high hopes for the next book(s) in the series, especially if the author keeps her writing like it was in the last part of this book. I will probably recommend this one to cozy readers, with the caveat about the beginning maybe being a little less polished than the ending.
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It’s always nice to find a new cozy mystery series that doesn’t feel exactly like dozens of others. Even though I guessed who the killer was, there were enough twists to the story to keep it interesting. However, I did feel that the characters were either black or white. They would have been more realistic if they weren’t so one sided. But I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Loved the settings of this new cozy mystery in a little town and the antique bookshop therein!

Jenna flees from her hometown to settle with her Uncle Paul in his home. When she discovers him murdered in his store the first morning, she quickly becomes the primary suspect.

Finding new friends and learning to know neighbours she´s not sure what to think about them, she stumbles from one event to the next, the police not only being her friend. When she finds out more about certain circumstances, not only she gets into danger.

Perhaps I´d read an Agatha Christie book before, I´d always expected everyone to be a suspect, till the solution is found by someone she may get a closer relationship to.

Lovely setting, though I´d have liked to read more about books, but I guess this as well as Jenna´s several relationships will make a great new series!

I got this AR copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A fun, interesting mystery with multiple villains and heroes. A woman in need of a reboot pushes through heartache, murder and mystery to find her best path.
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The first in a new series An Antique Mystery Series.  Jenna Quinn arrives in Hokes Folly to stay with her Uncle Paul and help him with his bookstore.  She arrives late and heads straight to bed, the next morning she finds her Uncle’s dead body at the bottom of the stairs.  She calls the police and is essentially treated immediately as a suspect and is taken into custody for questions.  You learn there is something that happened in her past in Charlotte that makes her want to make a fresh start.  She learns the next day she is Uncle Paul’s beneficiary so one of the detectives will not let up one her and cannot let up on her being the guilty party.  Rita, Uncle Paul’s next door neighbor befriends her and helps her as Jenna begins to investigate to clear herself and find a killer.  I liked Jenna as she is wounded and is reluctant to trust people but Rita and Mason turn out to be good friends to her as well as she comes to trust them as well.  Good solid mystery with lots of suspects and twists and turns.  Looking forward to the next one in this series.
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This is the first book in a new series.  I enjoyed the setting and I liked that the main female character made smart decision and was not 'flighty.'  The mystery itself kept me guessing.  I also really liked the next door neighbor, Rita.  All in all this was a good book for the first in the series.  I expect the next will be even better, now that all the ground work of the character and setting has been established.
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Excellent start to a new series, with lots of twists and turns to throw you off the trail. I really liked Jenna and love the small town of Hokes Folly (I’d love to go stay at that inn!). There was plenty going on in this book, between Jenna’s troubles in Charlotte to finding her uncle dead and inheriting the bookstore to a man trying to usurp her inheritance and then winding up dead himself and it kept the pace moving quickly. The plot was very well done, I went back and forth between suspects throughout the book, so the ending was a bit of a suprise, but satisfying.

My only minus to this story is Sutter. I feel like the whole “bad cop” trope in cozy mysteries has been done to death; as a device to add tension to a story, all it manages to do is annoy me so much, I start flipping pages. And really Jenna, if you’ve already been falsely accused and arrested for a serious crime once, wouldn’t you realize that talking to a hostile detective without a lawyer present isn’t a good idea? And it takes her what, 3 times to do it? *sigh* Get it together, Jenna!

Overall, an excellent start to a new series and I look forward to reading more from Jenna and Hokes Folly.
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Jenna was in a  very tight spot indeed, spending three months in jail for a crime she did not commit, wiped her entire life she once had, fiance, and all away. Here comes this incompetent local law officer who is on the lookout for a promotion. Try his best to bundle her away for another crime only this one was way too close for comfort. Jenna has finally had enough of being a victim, she decided to solve her uncle's Murder before cuffs were placed on her. I love the emotional opening of this story, it held you captivated to the end, a great cozy read.
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Hokes Folly in North Carolina is a small town where people look after each other. Jenna Quinn needs that reassurance after a traumatic experience in her home town of Charlotte ended up with her losing everything. Invited by her Uncle Paul to stay for a while she agrees gratefully, arriving in the middle of the night and sleeping late the following morning. Looking around her uncle's apartment Jenna is horrified to find his body at the bottom of a staircase. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Jenna is a great main protagonist, the setting of an old style bookshop is great and the front cover gives a picture to work from which shows somewhere I would love to rummage. The investigation into Paul's death and the events following on from that is entertaining with a varied group of suspects who come into and out of contention in a very satisfying way. 

Although there is no indication of this being the first book in a series I hope there will be at least a second instalment as I would definitely be up for reading more about Jenna and her friends. It is written in a friendly, easy to read way and the characters are ones you want to cheer for. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys cosy crime novels with a good plotline and characterisation.
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This is a new author for me . I really enjoyed this cozy. Jenna is the sleuth in this story and a suspect in the death of her Uncle Paul. Her uncle invites her to come stay with him. She does but she never sees him alive as she is the one that finds him. She decides that she is going to find out who murdered him. The person sets her living quarters on fire and then knocks her out on the beach and she suffers a concussion. In the mix of everything someone comes forward to claim they are Paul's son. This is a GOOD READ.
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Jenna Quinn has her life destroyed in Charlotte NC. Her uncle invited her to come stay with him and work in her Bookshop in Hokes Folly, NC. It all goes down the tubes when she discovers her uncle murdered. Jenna makes fast friends with a few people that loved her uncle. Determined not to let the police arrest her for the murder she begins investigating. 
Great start to the series. I would love to know in more detail her troubles she left behind. I enjoyed the book and was left wanting more.
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I can't wait to read more in this series by this author.  The character was smart and the mystery was interesting.  I enjoyed this debut immensely.
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I do not usually read mysteries, but thoroughly enjoyed this book. The fact that it takes place in a bookshop caught my interest. There is plenty of intrigue and I felt like I really got to know the characters. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy. My review is voluntary and my honest opinion.
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