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Merryn Allingham Books In Order

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Publication Order of Allingham Regency Classic Books

Dance of Deception (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Duchess of Destiny (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Masquerade (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Romancing the Rake (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dangerous Disguise (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lizzie Meets Her Match (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Daisy's War Books

The Girl from Cobb Street (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Nurse's War (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Daisy's Long Road Home (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Flora Steele Mystery Books

The Bookshop Murder (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder on the Pier (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at Primrose Cottage (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at the Priory Hotel (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at St. Saviour’s (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at Abbeymead Farm (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Summerhayes House Books

The Buttonmaker’s Daughter (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Secret of Summerhayes (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Tremayne Mystery Books

Venetian Vendetta (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dangerous Promise (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Caribbean Evil (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cornish Requiem (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rio Revenge (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The London Reckoning (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Victorian Mystery Timeslip Books

House of Lies (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
House of Glass (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Tale of Two Sisters (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Venice Atonement (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Through a Glass Darkly (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Merryn Allingham is an English author of romance, mystery, and historical fiction books best known for her Flora Steele mysteries which have had over 16 million page reads. Being born into an army family meant that she spent most of her childhood traveling around the United Kingdom and abroad. This experience gave Allingham an urge to always travel to new places, and while in her twenties, she quit a secretarial career to work as a cabin crew and quench her thirst for travel.

While she still enjoys traveling to new places, especially historical places with an exciting history, marriage meant living a settled life with children and cats south of England. Settling down allowed her to return to school and eventually become a university lecturer.
Merryn’s love for history saw her publish her debut historical romance suspense novel in 2014, The Crystal Cage. Since then, she has authored over 20 books and four books series.

The Bookshop Murder is the first book in Flora Steele Mystery series. It’s a historical mystery series set in Abbeymead, Sussex, in the 1950s.

They say that money is the root of all evil and that saying is proven to be accurate as Jack and Flora are able to unmask their gold-digging treasure seeker. However, the destruction left behind by this cold and calculating man and the loss of life makes for a heinous crime, especially when Flora is destined to be just collateral damage.

The year is 1955 in Abbeymead, a small village in the cozy countryside of Sussex. We meet Flora Steele, the owner of All’s Well bookshop, which she inherited from her dead aunt Violet and the owner of a comfy cottage where she now lives. Orphaned at a very young age, Flora’s aunt returned from overseas travels and took care of her niece Flora as her child. Violet herself had purchased the bookshop when Flora was still young. She was well known and connected in the small village, so it was no surprise when the local church helped with her funeral when she died after a long battle with cancer, leaving Flora the cottage and the bookshop.

At 25, Flora had her own plans set in motion to travel the world, but when her aunt became ill, the plans were shelved for her to take care of her aunt. After her death, the least she could do in honor of violet was to run the bookshop, and soon the shop was flocking with new and regulars purchasing for their pleasure or reference. One of the most notable customers was J. A Carrington who had lived in an old house five years earlier. Flora and Carrington, aka Jack, cross paths when Jack comes to the bookshop to collect an order he had placed.
It’s during this encounter that a mystery begins as soon as Flora descends the steps to get Jack’s order. Upon returning, she finds Jack gone for some seconds only for him to reappear with the news of a shocking discovery. Theirs is a body in one of the bookshop’s sections. The cops are called to investigate but soon dismiss the cause of death as natural causes and contact the deceased relatives to have the man’s body sent to Australia.

But it’s not long before rumors spread across town of the bookshop being haunted by ill presences, ghosts, deadly poisons, and other superstitious entities. Soon, Flora’s business takes a serious plunge downhill.

She enlists Jack’s help to help with an amateur investigation. Still, when a gardener suddenly dies in the hotel where the dead man is staying, Flora discovers something sinister is happening to her serene village. Could the two deaths be connected? Is someone at the local hotel responsible for the deaths?

The unlikely duo of amateur sleuths embarks on a journey to investigate the baffling murder case. Soon, they discover that not everyone in the small village of Abbeymead is as they seem.

The first in Flora Steele’s mysteries is a quick and enjoyable read. The characters and plotline give a certain nod and touch to Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton. It’s a multi-layered story skillfully structured with ease and confidence by a writer who understands in which direction she needs to take her reader and how they should engage with the characters. The narrative itself is well textured with some nicely placed visual imagery to the words, resulting in a story rich in atmosphere that offers a real sense of time and place, placing the reader in the midst of the action.

There are also a few lighter, more lighthearted interludes of conversation among Jack and Flora that Merryn handles very easily while intensifying the action in an instant.

Merryn has developed a cast of multifaceted, well-defined characters that, whether on the side of either good or evil, are indeed accurate to the era and really credible in the positions for which they have been created. Drawn from a broad section of society, they are relevant and simple to connect with, resulting in good dynamics and synergy.

The author has given the characters a strong adequate voice that they can control and steer the plot with just occasional authorial nudges. Jack and Flora made a fantastic team within the larger community, balancing each other out as they played to their unique strengths and worked methodically through all the possibilities of the case, which was firmly rooted in historical events.

Overall the Bookshop Murder lives up to its genre, giving the reader an enjoyable mystery to solve. The story is neither complicated nor simple and flows smoothly as Jack and Flora balance each other pretty well.

Neither main characters are right or wrong, as they each have strengths and weak points making the story more realistic. Since it’s the first book in the series, the author gives us a bit detail of the main character’s past, which adds to the character arch. The mystery case is solved in this book so that it can be read as a standalone.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Merryn Allingham

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