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Laura Gail Black Books In Order

Publication Order of Antique Bookshop Mystery Books

For Whom the Book Tolls (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Laura Gail Black is a cozy mystery author best known for her debut novel, For Whom the Book Tolls. She’s also an avid book collector, a hobby she took after working in an antique bookstore right after college. Her bookshelves are filled with antique books, with some dating up to 200 years.

When not writing, Laura enjoys making jewelry, crochets, stitching, and taking copious amounts of tea. The author lives in South Carolina with her husband and rescue dogs. She also enjoys exploring the lake with her husband from their home on the shores of Lake Marion

For Whom the Book Tolls

For Whom the Book Tolls is the first book in the Antique Bookshop Mystery series. The protagonist is Jenna Quinn, a young woman with a troubled past and an uncle who is ready to offer a chance for a new start.

However, for Jenna, things don’t go as planned. Jenna leaves her hometown in Charlotte to stay with her uncle in Hokes Folly, NC, only for her uncle to turn up dead. On the day she arrives, Jenna gets to her uncle’s so late that she doesn’t bother to wake him. She just lets herself in and goes straight to bed. Her biggest shock comes in the morning when Jenna goes to look for her uncle only to bump into his body, crumpled on the staircase between the apartment and his bookstore.

As if things cannot get worse, Jenna is listed among her uncle’s murder suspects. First, she has a troubled past, and the police seem eager to pin this murder on her. Soon enough, Jenna also learns that her uncle left her everything. His apartment, antique bookstore, a tidy sum of money, and a trust fund that all adds up to about one million dollars. This unexpected windfall escalates Jenna to the prime suspect, and the police think she killed her uncle to get the inheritance. A second murder happens in this small town, which only cements this young woman’s status as a murder suspect.

What is a girl to do in such a situation?

Jenna cannot help but wonder why trouble seems to follow her everywhere. Just a while ago, Jenna lost her job, fiancé, friends, and home when she was falsely accused of murder and embezzlement. The little money she had was spent paying her attorney, and her uncle was her only hope for a fresh start. Now Jenna is a suspect again, and she barely gets time to grieve for her uncle’s death before the police are on her neck, trying to imply that she knows something about his death. Why won’t everyone believe her and offer their sympathies during this difficult period?

Heartbroken and with little if any family left, Jenna has to decide on her next course of action. She can run and hope that the police find whoever is responsible for the killings or stay and stand up for herself. If she chooses to stay, there is no telling when the killer will strike again, and Jenna instinctively knows that she is next on the murderer’s list. Well, this is one challenge that Jenna is not willing to run away from. Besides, she has already made a few friends, and there is no one else to run the bookshop she inherited. Jenna also feels that by staying, she can outsmart her uncle’s killer and ensure that justice is done.

Things take a twisted turn when a man claiming to be her uncle’s illegitimate son shows up. Jenna already has her hands full playing detective and running a business she knows little about. How does she even deal with a supposed cousin whose greatest motivation is her uncle’s wealth? There is nothing Jenna can do about the strange man but wait until there is enough evidence to prove that her uncle was childless. Despite the dark cloud over Jenna’s life, a ray of light is evident. New friends are developing, and Jenna is happy to have a few people on her side. There is also the possibility of some romance in the future.
This is an intriguing story characterized by a believable plot, lovable characters, and an exciting storyline. At the center of it is a good mystery, numerous suspects, and a murderer on a mission. The small-town settings add a lot of character, and Jenna is just the right protagonist to complete this story. For book lovers, the fact that there is an antique bookstore is a plus, and the numerous twists and turns help to keep things interesting. So, will Jenna find out who killed her uncle and get out of all this unscathed? What happens to the lazy detective who wants to pin the recent crimes on this young woman?

Jenna is an interesting character. It is clear that she wants to start life afresh and is looking forward to her new job at the bookstore. When her plans are thwarted, she decides to stand up for herself instead of just giving up and going into hiding. The secondary characters are just as intriguing. It is easy to love Jenna’s new friends and laud them for sticking with her even when things get tough. A local police-officer also turns into Jenna’s confidant, and she is happy to have someone conversant with the law on her side. The bad cop-good cop vibe adds intriguing to the story, not to mention the tension that escalates as the tale progresses.

For Whom the Book Tolls is a fascinating cozy mystery story with a solid plot, consistent pace, and a host of interesting characters. The book is well-written, and the narration is so flawless you will not want to stop once you start reading. There is also the mystery that carries throughout the story, and you will have a hard time guessing the killer until the end. Do you want to curl up with a mystery story where the action picks up from the first chapter? This book is the perfect choice.

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