Cover Image: Proof of Murder

Proof of Murder

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Member Reviews

I wanted to like this book a lot more. I picked up the previous books in the series to gear up to read this one. Overall the writing is strong & the premise is good but my sticking point was the protagonist. She’s not very likeable & I found her petulance to be too distracting. This could just be me, so I still think based on the author’s writing skills people could enjoy the series quite a lot.  I would still try another new series by the author down the line.
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Another excellent edition to a wonderful series! Full of twists and turns that leaves you wanting more and enjoying each moment until the end when the killer is caught!
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Local bookshop owner Addie Greyborne is excited to see a preview of a local mansion's estate sale, due to knowing the right people. The book is intriguing in several ways--there is a missing cousin, haunted mansion, rare Sherlock Holmes editions by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a locked room murder! If it sounds busy, it is, but the story moves quickly as Addie is in turn questioned and then utilized for information about the books and state of the room. Her personal life takes up a bit of the story too, I hope that all settles down and everyone can be friends.
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This series tends to be a mixed bag for me. I've read all 4 now and will likely continue to read them. I think Elliott has a great setting going--both the physical setting of the New England seaside and the more pronounced setting of the used and rare book store our protagonist Addie owns. There's a decent cast of secondary characters and the mysteries tend to be fun. (I especially like the cantankerous bakery owner next door to Addie's shop!)

I am one of those readers, though, who can't fall in love with the protagonist. She just isn't my cup of tea. Often, there are character interactions that make me wonder why anyone in the books like her at all. In this book, I had one other particular issue [SPOILER AHEAD]: I kept feeling like I missed a book in the series. I looked several times to make sure there wasn't an entry that I skipped over. The biggest draw to cozy mysteries for me is the character development. At the end of Book 3, Addie has the love triangle clearly in play (again) and it looks like she's going to have to make a big decision between Marc and Simon. Then, BAM! This book starts 6 months later and we discover that Marc proposed in the interim, she turned him down, he went away and got a new girlfriend, and Addie is trying to make things work with Simon. It seems like those are developments that might have better worked on rather than off "screen," so to speak. In fact, it could have just been done in the Book 3 if the author was ready to move on. So it was a little disorienting to me to jump into this entry with so much having happened between novels. I guess I would say, in Elliott's defense, that she has done this before (like, starting the whole series AFTER a huge life event for Addie--the death of her father and murder of her fiancé--that would normally be the basis for a first book). 

My final recommendation is that if you like cozy mysteries and this setting and background appeal to you, then go ahead and give this is shot. Despite my gripes, I tend to enjoy reading these and will most certainly be back for the next entry in the series!
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Addie is headed to a local estate sale to purchase books for her bookstore.  There is something fishy going on with the management of the sale. Now with two dead bodies and someone trying to prevent Addie from solving the mystery it's a closed room mystery straight out of a murder mystery.  This is book 4 in the Beyond the Page Bookstore series. I enjoy this small town set in Connecticut and it's residents.  I like Ms Elliott's writing style, nothing to graphic but a good murder to solve.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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And enjoyable fourth book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. I liked the characters and their interaction with each other, and the storyline. 

Thank you to the publisher, Kensington, and to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor.
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This was my first time reading a book in this series and I found it to be a really enjoyable mystery. I look forward to reading more books in this series.
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This is the four book in the Beyond the Page Bookshop series, and should be read in order, since characters are continued in the storylines. Addie is the smart, charming protagonist in this book and she is off to an estate sale looking for books for her shop, but along the way there is a murder, ghosts, and romance that have you reading till the wee hours of the morning. This was a well written book and I loved the twists and turns that the story took. I was excited to figure out who the murderer was, and I was not disappointed.
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As a first time reader to this series, I found the book very accessible.  The author provided narration that brought new readers up to speed, but I don’t think readers who have been there since the beginning would be put off by the summary.  I really liked the characters and the setting of the novel;  sometimes cozy mystery characters are very derivative of each other, but I did not find that to be the case here.  Overall, I quite enjoyed this book, and I will be reading the others in this series.
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Proof of Murder by Lauren Elliot is the fourth book in the Beyond the Page Mystery series.  Bookshop owner Addie heads to an estate auction hoping to finds some books for her shop.  Instead the following day she finds a dead body inside a locked room.  In addition some very valuable books are missing.  The mystery was good, but I had a few areas that bothered me personally.  First Addie abandons her own shop to constantly help out at the auction.  I could see a bit of time spent helping, but she practically gave up her own business.  Second her ex-boyfriend (almost fiance) returns to town with a new girlfriend.  This new girlfriend immediately decides Addie is guilty of everything.  If the ex had mentioned "following the evidence" one more time, I would have happily had him be the next murder victim.  Addie would have been better off hiring a lawyer to sue for harassment and go back to her bookshop.
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Locked room murder mysteries are one of my favorite.  This one was well crafted with enjoyable characters.  Rescuing a rare book is another favorite story line and this one was very well done.
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Proof of Murder:  A Beyond the Page Mystery
By Lauren Elliott
Kensington
June 2020

Review by Cynthia Chow

There are two things that Beyond the Page rare book and curio shop owner Addison Greyborne finds irresistible; mysteries and estate sales.  The auction being held at Hill Road House offers both of these, having not only a huge library collection up for sale but also its own myth of residing ghosts.  In 1945, new wife and mother Kathleen Gallagher fell down the stairs to her death, while her in-laws would commit suicide there five years later.  Addie doesn’t believe in ghosts though, and she has a very living relative from her past reappearing to complicate her life.  Kalea Hudson has whisked into Greyborne Harbor, New England ostensibly to visit the cousin she hasn’t seen in 10 years, but Addie suspects that the man-motivated flirt’s presence is motivated by reasons related to her still-married boss.  Nevertheless, both women are enlisted in helping catalog the enormous book collection up for sale when the Addie’s longtime family friend is unhappy with the pace of his auction house’s current insurance appraiser.  Charlotte McAdams reluctantly accepts their assistance, but when she becomes a part of a locked-room mystery she completely upends the auction and puts Addie in the hot seat.  Addie and Kalea have the horrific experience of finding Charlotte dead in the locked room of the library, but just as alarming as Charlotte’s frozen face of terror and Kalea soon going M.I.A.

Also missing from Addie’s life for months was Chief of Police Marc Chandler, who reappears at the most awkward time with a very unwelcoming addition.  FBI agent Ryley Brookes displays interest not just in Marc but in seeing Addie behind bars, gathering up evidence and interrogating her in such a way that leaves no question of whom the agent suspects of being a murderer.  Not about to allow herself to be railroaded into prison despite Marc’s warnings to stay uninvolved, Addie unravels the discrepancies in the library inventory, most specifically the missing collection of Sherlock Holmes books.  Worth over hundreds of thousands of dollars, Addie is the only one now present able to testify that the books were ever present in the first place.  With coroner – and suitor- Simon Emerson at her side, Addie and her superstitious friends must determine whether the lingering ghosts of the past may have somehow led to the book theft crimes of the present.

This fourth in the series is so successful at building up Addie as an admirable and likable lead character that every attack against her feels very personal.  Marc’s stubbornness and faith in Ryley is infuriating and unfair, especially considering Addie’s past record in finding clues and tracking down killers.  Her BFF and tenant Serena Chandler – also Marc’s sister – is as wary of Hill House ghosts as Addie’s bookstore employee Paige Stringer, but they are dependable allies and emotionally supportive.  Even more rewarding is the presence of the charming Simon, who proves his reliability by staunchly defending her against police accusations and Marc’s jealousy-driven intimidations.  Book lovers will delight in the mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes’s attention, especially the drawn out reveal and confession by the culprit.  A dénouement tying up loose ends and serving up satisfying resolutions leaves readers more than satisfied and eager for Addie’s next adventure full of romance, books, and mysteries.
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I was really excited about heading to New England, meeting Addie, and wandering through the aisles of Beyond the page (Addie’s bookstore).  The estate sale I was going to attend with her...I could take or leave.  Upon arriving I got a quick tour of the shop and met Paige (Adde’s assistant @ the bookstore), and then Addie was rushing us out the door to head to the estate sale for a sneak peek of the books.  Even though auctions aren’t really my thing...I was excited to wander through the mansion and intrigued when Addie told me the estate was supposedly haunted.  We finally made it to the house...it would have been faster, but some impatient driver whipped into a spot Addie was clearly going for.  After the rude encounter and finally finding a parking spot we made our way inside and headed straight to the library.  This place was truly amazing!  Addie was looking @ some very valuable Sherlock Holmes books, when a woman came bursting in yelling at us for being in the library.  She was going on about a sign on the door, but the door was open when we came in, and the sign was hidden.  The woman seemed to be not listening to explanation when an older gentleman came in to see what the fuss was about.  Turns out the older gentleman Blake was a friend of Addie’s father, and was handling the estate sale.  This day was a reunion of sorts...we had already run into Addie’s long-lost cousin Kalea.  The angry woman turned out to be the appraiser of the sale Charlotte McAdams.  Addie offered to help Charlotte with the inventory of the books for the sale.   After the lady realized who Addie was...apparently Addie was well known for her appraisal of rare books @ the Boston Public Library, and the stress she was under for the sale to go well….she was happy to have Addie’s help.  Well a couple things about that statement are wrong...first she wasn’t happy (she really wasn’t even grateful for the help), and two it wasn’t just Addie’s help...it was also mine and her cousin Kalea’s help.  We worked for what seemed like forever.   Finally we wrapped up, and went home….well actually after helping all day doing their work...we were not so kindly Dismissed.  The next morning when we arrived for the auction...we greeted Blake and agreed to do a few odds/ends things before meeting up at the library to check on Charlotte and her assistant Robert.  When we made our way to the library we knocked and waited for your highness to grant entry.  It was silent and the door was locked.  Blake had a master key...so no problem.  Problem...after unlocking the door it still wouldn’t open.  Blake explained that there was a bolt that could only be latched from the inside.  Needless to say, it was like fort Knox getting into the room. We finally got the door open, but it took the maintenance guy to do it….  at first we thought the room was empty….but how could someone lock it from the inside?  Then we noticed that someone was sitting in the chair, and it was turned around….anyone see where I'm going with this? Yep, the woman in that chair was dead! The woman was Charlotte McAdams the appraiser for the estate sale.  Her death was labeled a homicide.  Here’s a tip for you: when your ex boyfriend’s  (the chief of police) new girlfriend is an FBI agent...that just wants to “speed up the investigation” you get put at the top of the suspect list.   We had to work fast to figure out what really happened to those precious missing books...oh and Charlotte…  

 
My thoughts: 

I have never read any of the other books in this series, and although it is a standalone...it would have been very helpful to have read the first three first.  Specially to understand that dynamic between Mark and Addie.  I enjoyed the author's writing style and I thought the mystery was done well.  It kept me guessing with lots of twists and turns.   The main character was witty, intelligent, and maybe a little bit stubborn at times.  The secondary characters were well developed, but I will say I don’t like really mean characters (a little obstinate/cranky fine but just plain mean...no) in my cozy (and some of these characters were right at my line in the sand)...unless they are being offed….otherwise I think it takes away from the cozy vibe.   

 
 My best endorsement is to say that immediately upon finishing this book...I ordered books 1-3.   It’s getting harder and harder to hide the amazon boxes from my husband. Lol.   

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I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Netgalley, the author Lauren Elliott, and the publisher for this opportunity.
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My thoughts

Would Recommend it? Yes

Would I read more of the series? Yes

Would I read more by this author? Yes

First time I read anything by this author , and I'm glad I picked this up,what could be be better then a bookstore own who gets in pulled into a murder case. Other thing I liked about this book was how the author used old book titles in her story as well as a creepy old house that had a spooky history to it as well. The only thing that I didn't really enjoy about the story was the love  triangles that was going on and how Marc treated Addie , as well as  the treatment that she got from the friend of his, and how one moment he was saying he was a friend and the next wasn't even listing to her or believing her at all. But thank goodness that she had Simon, because he was there for when she needed someone, other then at I found this story to be well-written, delightful, and thoroughly entertaining reading and at times I was smiling because of Simon and Addie, so much so that I want to read more of the series ans see what happens next. With that sais I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read and review it .
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All In A Days Work.....
Book four in the Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery series finds bookstore owner Addie attending an estate sale in a grand old mansion. Little does Addie know that ghosts and ghouls, rare books and a dead body will be all in her days work this time. Can Addie find a killer? An enjoyable, fun cosy mystery and a light hearted read.
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A bookshop, a Sherlock Holmes original, a murder in a seaside New England town – what more is there to love in the premise of this story. Home to many grand estates, Greborne Harbor where Addie inherited her great aunt’s estate and Beyond the Page bookstore. Addie, looking for rare editions as a bookstore owner, discovers a rare book, A Study In Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel in one of the estate sales. However, a mysterious death in the library with the room bolted from the inside of the rumoured haunted home, piqued my interest and kept my fingers turning those pages. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and a first book I have read from this author. I highly recommend this and worked for me as a standalone book.
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When I read the first book in the series I wasn't sure if it would be one I would be excited about. Let me tell you my first impression was wrong. I get super excited when a new book is released. I have enjoyed seeing Addie come into herself as a bookstore owner and learn to love again after the death of her husband. 

I have found myself learning new things as I read this series. As crazy as it sounds for a mystery buff like me I have not read any Sherlock Holmes novels or stories. I found it very interesting to learn about the first story in the series was released.

I have found I enjoy reading the books much more than listening to the audiobooks. I listened to a little of the audiobook for this book and the previous. The narrator is good but she doesn't fit what I think of as Addie.

All the covers in this series are absolutely gorgeous. I could look at them for hours and still find something I missed. They are true works of art.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
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Lauren Elliott gives us another Beyond the Page Bookstore mystery.  Addie is roped into helping review the books in a house contents auction; she stumbles over a body. What could go wrong?  Someone is trying to frame her and the girlfriend of the police is eager to follow that trail.  Is the murder house haunted?  Is a former associate stealing first editions from the mansion?  Lots of red herrings.  Enjoy.
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This is the fourth book in Lauren Elliott's Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series, and I continue to enjoy it. In this outing, Addie Greyborne is attending an auction preview at a mansion that is rumored to be haunted. When she arrives, she meets up with a family friend who is running the auction. The appraisers he has hired are not finished and the auction is supposed to occur the next day. She is asked to help appraise some extremely rare and valuable books. She leaves all the information for the appraiser to enter into the computer listing, but the next morning, the appraiser is found dead, the valuable books are missing and all the information Addie left is gone. In previous books in this series, Addie is in a relationship with Marc, the local police detective, but it did not work out and Marc left town. Well, he's back and is investigating the theft, but he's not alone. Arriving in town with Marc is an FBI agent, who might be on administrative leave, and she is out to prove that Addie is the murderer, or at least the thief of the rare books. It seems she is in a relationship with Marc and is a tad jealous of Addie. Well, Addie is not taking it sitting down and is bound and determined to find the real culprit to clear her name.

I really enjoyed this well-written mystery. I like Addie, even though she can be a bit brusque. She is smart, stubborn, creative and a bit reckless. She is also loyal to her friends and willing to help them out when they need it, which is what got her into trouble in this book. The mystery was well-plotted, with just enough suspects and a few red herrings to keep readers engaged. I loved how the house became a character in this story. It was the history of the house that finally allows Addie to solve this one. There was a bit of a paranormal feel to this story as well. I enjoy the characters in this town, some are wonderful, some not so nice, but that is the way of the world. I enjoyed the ending and final reveal in this story and was quite satisfied with the ending. I look forward to my next visit with Addie and her friends in Greyborne Harbor. I recommend this series to those who enjoy cozy mysteries, especially those involving books, bookstores or libraries.
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Disclaimer:  I was given an eARC of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the fourth book in the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series.  It does have a bit of a different tone than the previous books but it was just as good as the previous books.  This installment does seem to have more at stake for Addie personally which did give me more of an investment in the story.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys cozy mysteries.
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