Cover Image: Bound By Murder

Bound By Murder

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Member Reviews

4/5 stars

Thank you to Netgally, the publishers, and Laura Gail Black

This is a book set in a small cozy town where everyone knows everyone, and if you are ever in a pickle there is always a line of people there to help you out. This book sets place in a small locally owned bookstore.

It is the third book in a series, and although you can read it as a stand-alone, I recommend reading all of the books in the series because it helps you learn more about the characters and come to love them more. The characters are lovable and well-written, and the characters that are supposed to annoy you really do.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a cozy mystery that is really easy to read and follow. Definitely one of my new favorite cozy mystery series.
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"Bound by Murder" the 3rd instalment in the "An Antique Bookshop” Mystery series by Laura Gail Black. I loved it even more than the first 2 books. This is one of my favourite series

Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn loves the romance in the air—until her ex-fiancé, Blake Emerson, walks in with his bride-to-be, Missy Plott. Blake continues to profess his love for Jenna if she’ll have him back, no matter the consequences. And the consequences are grave, indeed, when Missy turns up dead. 

I really loved this story, there were Bridezillas, mean girls, friendship, betrayal along with a little romance and murder.  What’s not to like!   I read almost in one sitting but finally succumbed to sleep with only a few chapters left.  

The mystery moved at a good pace, was interesting and I thought well plotted. I loved the characters living in Hokes Folly especially Jenna’s BFF Rita and now Shelby.  Overall I found it to be a very entertaining read.

I recommend this book to all my cozy lover friends. I’m looking forward to book 4 to find out what Jenna does next.

I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Jenna Quinn,  the local bookseller, is thrilled that the Hokes Bluff Inn is now hosting weddings so that the wedding planner guide in her store window is garnishing some good sales.  However, she isn't happy when Blake Emerson, her ex, waltzes in with his bride-to-be, Missy, the woman he was cheating on her with. She's even wearing the engagement ring that Blake had bought for her.  Being a professional she sells the planner to Missy, but doesn't enthusiastically embrace the mean girls who are her bridal party.  Missy is definitely a bridezilla and there is no surprise when she turns up dead just before the big day.  But who killed her?  

What fun to watch the mean girls get their due while seeing Jenna happily wave bye-bye to her ex.  Good mystery, great characters.
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Great series that you should definitely read.  It would help to read in order but you could skip around in needed.  This story is a great mystery and I love the main character.  In this book she is thrown in jail and accused of a horrible crime.  She is finally able to clear herself and get out of jail but no one seems to believe she is really innocent.
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⭐⭐⭐ -- Great cover on this one!

I read and enjoyed the previous book in this series, so I was looking forward to diving into this one. Alas, I just did not enjoy this one as much. First, I hate romantic relationship angst in my cozies. If I want to read that I would have picked up a romance. And this book had way too much of it. The second issue was how over the top Missy's character was. We get it, she is a "mean girl". However, he actions were ridiculously over the top and she entered cartoon villain territory every time she was on page. Aside from those two issues, the book was pretty good. The mystery kept me guessing. I love the setting and Jenna remains a solid lead (who should definitely dump Keith...just saying. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️). I am still onboard to see what the next book brings...

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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Bound By Murder is the latest in the Antique Bookshop Mystery series by Laura Gail Black.  Once again Jenna finds herself in a bit of a sticky situation when she stumbles across another dead body.  Could this new murder be tied to past murder and embezzlement case, both of which Jenna was framed for?  Read Bound By Murder to find out.  Bound By Murder has a lot more going on within its pages than murder, for example there is arson, vandalism, stalking, embezzlement, and last but certainly not least some relationship drama.  If that has piqued your interests, then I encourage you to read Bound By Murder by Laura Gail Black.
I enjoyed reading Jenna’s latest story and look forward to reading the next one.  Though I didn’t think it was as good as the two before it, it was still an enjoyable read.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC. 

🌟🌟🌟🌟 4/5 stars 

Another excellent installment in the Antique Bookshop Mysteries. Bookseller Jenna is back and this time is dealing with her ex-fiancé and his bride-to-be. However, when the bride is found dead, Jenna is forced to help her ex, risking her new relationship in the process. 

I just love this series. It is so cozy and twisty and full of lovable characters. The setting is perfection and I continue to ship Jenna and Keith. I am so excited for whatever Laura Gail Black writes next! 

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Laura Gail Black continues her Antique Bookshop cozies with Bound By Murder.  Jenna Quinn has just settled into bookselling at Twice Upon a Time and her romance with Keith a local policeman when her ex boyfriend and  his fiancee from hell  show up in town.  Then the fiance is found dead in a dumpster by Jenna.  What could go wrong?  The former not so nice boyfriend is arrested and Jenna's store is vandalized twice.  Read and vote for your candidate as murderer.
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We return to Hokes Folly in Bound by Murder where Jenna Quinn rebooted her life after it imploded in Charlotte.  She is surprised when her ex-fiancé, Blake Emerson with his new fiancée, Missy Plott enters her bookstore.  They are planning to get married at the Hokes Bluff Inn in five days which offers period weddings.  Missy and her posse of bridesmaids are a nasty bunch.  When Missy turns up dead, Blake is suspected of the crime.  Blake and his mother ask Jenna for her help.  Jenna ends up helping and uncovers several suspects.  The case takes a turn when the police uncover evidence on a cold case that they originally tried to pin on Jenna.  Jenna is beginning to wonder if Blake is truly innocent.  Bound by Murder by Laura Gail Black is the third An Antique Bookshop Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  I like the author’s writing style which makes the story easy to read.  There is a great cast of characters that includes Jenna, Keith, Rita, Mason, and Jenna’s adorable canine.   The characters are friendly, realistic, relatable, and developed.  I love Jenna’s shop.  It is a place where I could spend hours browsing through the shelves of books.  I enjoyed the description of her wedding themed window display.  Like Jenna, I am a fan of the Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney (I have a vintage copy of the book).  The mystery gave us several suspects who could have done the deed.  There is misdirection to lead armchair sleuths astray.  I picked my guilty party out early and then joined Jenna on her investigation to see if I was right.  There are various events that keep things lively as well as clues to help readers solve the crime.  I enjoyed the tense reveal.  There is mild foul language in the book (just a little bit).   There is romance in the story.  Jenna is dating Detective Keith Logan.  Their relationship is progressing nicely, but the road to happily ever after does have a few potholes.  Mason, Jenna’s shop manager, is smitten with Lily Monahan who works at The Weeping Willow.  I enjoyed reading Bound by Murder, and I am looking forward to returning to Hokes Folly in the next An Antique Bookshop Mystery.  Bound by Murder is an entertaining tale with a frustrating ex-fiancé, a cuddly canine, a bridezilla with her band of bridesmaids, a wasted witch, a furtive fire, a smitten store manager, and a distressing discovery.
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Bound By Murder:  An Antique Bookshop Mystery
By Laura Gail Black
Crooked Lane Books
September 2022

Review by Cynthia Chow

Love is in the air for the historic district of Hokes Folly, North Carolina as the Hokes Bluff Inn ramps up its plans for destination weddings. Not only are wedding planners and guests looking for the perfect gifts and décor at Jenna Quinn’s Twice Upon a Time used and antique bookstore, her employees also seem to be swooning under the spell of amour.  Jenna’s own boyfriend Detective Keith Logan has recently declared his love for her, and being able to share those same feelings is something that Jenna never thought possible.  She had fled to Hokes Folly after a scandal that cost Jenna her job, her reputation, and her fiancé, and the injustice of being falsely accused has left her reluctant to trust.  Just when she thought she was moving past the trauma, she’s forced to face it again when the newest bridezilla in town happens to be the fiancée of Blake Emerson, the man who abandoned Jenna when she was at her lowest. Missy Plott is the epitome of every Mean Girl in existence, snidely bringing her bridesmaids to Jenna’s bookstore for the purpose of dismissing the wares, implying that Jenna really did embezzle funds, and warning her away from Blake.  All does not seem well between the soon-to-be-Emersons, and after a public fight between the engaged couple it doesn’t seem too surprising when the demanding, self-centered Missy goes missing.

What unfortunately isn’t surprising for Jenna and her recent body-discovering habit is that she is the one to stumble across Missy’s dead body.  Keith immediately suspects Blake for the murder, warning Jenna to stay out of his investigation.  Surprisingly, it is Blake’s mother who begs Jenna to intercede, insisting that she should know that her former fiancé could never have committed murder. Missy Mean Girl “M Squad” – Mandy, Molly, and Mickey – possibly setting a fire in Jenna’s store doesn’t make her any more enthusiastic about helping Blake, especially considering that he gave Jenna’s engagement ring to Missy.  Keith is revealing his own rather unflattering green side, and Jenna worries that his jealousy might be influencing his professional judgment.  An act of vandalism prevents Jenna from staying on the sidelines, even if it places her relationship and even her life in jeopardy.

This third in the series closes the circle on mysteries uncovered in the first, and it delivers the resolution that gives Jenna the answers she needed to move forward in her life.  Blake is revealed to be the absolute Worst, and readers are always on edge that Jenna might weaken and allow herself to be sucked into his vortex.  The relationship dramas are as tense and fascinating as the main mystery, and readers will enjoy the emotional roller coasters so many characters endure.  Jenna’s investigation into spurned lovers, jealous rivals, and unrequited love make this a fun mix of romance and murder, with Jenna showing just how strong and confident she has grown.  A very satisfying conclusion ensures for a rewarding read and that fans will be eager for the next.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Jenna’s life is full of wonderful things including her business, her friends and her love life.  So when her ex struts in with his new fiancée, who is sporting the ring he bought for Jenna, there are a lot of unresolved feeling that bubble to the surface.  Like how he failed to stand behind her when she was falsely accused on embezzlement and murder, how he kicked her to the curb when she was exonerated and how shabbily he treated her in general.  Her disbelief is ratcheted into the stratosphere when he tries to convince Jenna that she is the only one for him and he wants her back.  In spite of his stalking her all over town, she is not in the least interested.  So when his fiancée is murdered why are her bridesmaids targeting her for some mean girl revenge?

Even though she is never truly considered a suspect, her cop boyfriend is having all sorts of issues with the ex showing up.  While Jenna has no use for her ex, she does not believe he murdered the woman.  His arrest drives a further wedge between Jenna and her beau and brings her ex’s mother to her door to beg her to intervene on his behalf.  Try as she might to stay out of the investigation, she is doomed to be drawn in.  In the meantime she becomes a victim when her store is attacked twice.

There are no surprises when the culprits are revealed.  And I must confess, I had the other crimes pegged pretty well too- including the murders and the embezzlements.  But it did not detract from the story.  In fact, I found it to be an entertaining read.  Four purrs and two paws up.
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It was so good to return to Hokes Folly and catch up on the lives of Jenna, Keith, Rita, Mason, and others. This time, Jenna's ex-fiancé comes to town with his new fiancée. Jenna and Keith's relationship is tested when Jenna works to prove that Blake did not kill his new fiancée. Along with the murder mystery, we finally get some more information on the murder and embezzlement case that sent Jenna fleeing to Hokes Folly in the first book.

Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I would like to start by saying that I very much enjoyed the previous book that I read in this series.   Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the free Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review.  Overall, I was disappointed in this installment.  A lot of the action was rather mad-cap and over the top. Of course, the cozy genre should not be thought of as necessarily realistic, but these plot lines seemed more pushing the envelope than I like.  In addition, part of the plot centered around a group of women who gave off Mean Girls vibes.  Those types of characters really bother me. 

I do think that this is a case of the book not being for the reader rather than a badly written book.  The book is well-written. I gave this book three stars.  I would recommend this book to readers who like a bit more craziness in their mysteries than I do.
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This is another fun cozy mystery centered around a bookstore. This episode of Jenna's adventures contains more relationship drama as she and her boyfriend have a disagreement that makes us wonder if their relationship would survive. 

One aspect of this mystery I liked was something not usually seen in a cozy mystery. A group of ladies try to get Jenna to leave town because of her involvement in so many murders. This brought some harsh reality to a series where the same woman repeatedly is involved in and solves murder mysteries. Other cozy mystery series generally ignore this issue and I was glad to see Black include it.

I liked this entertaining mystery with an emphasis on relationship issues, both with a current boyfriend and an old one.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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In this book we finally get some answers into what happened in Jenna's past. Her ex-finance shows up with his new soon to be wife in tow; when Missy is found dead all fingers point to Blake. 

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and didn't realize I had missed the second book, I'm reading it now, but I was still able to enjoy this book and didn't feel like I had really missed very much. 

Now that the past shouldn't keep cropping up on Jenna I look forward to seeing what happens to her next. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and Crooked Lane books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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This was a fantastic cozy read/listen for me! I loved the mystery of it-it was so well done and I enjoyed that it pulled in the events that brought Jenna to Hoke's Folly several months before. I loved pretty much everything about this story. There were a couple small things I didn't like but overall this was a great read!
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I enjoy reading this series. I like the characters and the town. The mystery kept me guessing, and I was really hoping one of the suspects was not the murderer. I hope there are many more in this series.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the third book in the series. Bookseller, Jenna Quinn has waved goodbye to her hometown of Charlotte and has inherited her Uncle Paul's bookshop, now called Twice Upon A Time, located in the small town of Hokes Folly, North Carolina. She is surprised when her ex-fiancé turns up with his new bride-to-be, Missy Plott. Hours later he tells her that he wants her back and that he never stopped loving her. When Missy Plott turns up dead Jenna decides to investigate in spite of her detective boyfriend, Keith Logan's warning, who she met during her sleuthing in book one.

With great characters, including Rita Wallace, her next-door neighbour and a supportive close friend, it was a pleasure to continue this new cosy mystery series. This book was such a fun read and I was on a merry-go-round of doubt as I puzzled over the suspects. The mystery itself was very well executed, with snippets of humour and abundant red herrings to sustain my interest. With a cute dog named Eddy in the mix, I will certainly be returning to see what Jenna is getting herself into next in the fourth 'An Antique Bookshop Mystery'. A very highly recommended, fantastic whodunit.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This is a good series and I like Jenna and the cast of characters. This a well plotted mystery full of twists that kept me guessing.
I think it's better to have read the rest of the series because what happens is related to things in the past.
A well plotted and entertaining story that I recommend.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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An interesting story. Since this is several into a series that I have not read, the earlier one are worth a read.  This one could be understood without having read the prior ones.
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