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Reserved for Murder

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More bloodshed at a bibliophiles' bed-and-breakfast as Victoria Gilbert's delightful series continues. Meeting your favorite author in the flesh can be the chance of a lifetime. But for one unlucky fan, her plum place in line at a book signing will lead to her untimely demise. Beaufort, North Carolina, is home to Chapters Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by former schoo More bloodshed at a bibliophiles' bed-and-breakfast as Victoria Gilbert's delightful series continues. Meeting your favorite author in the flesh can be the chance of a lifetime. But for one unlucky fan, her plum place in line at a book signing will lead to her untimely demise. Beaufort, North Carolina, is home to Chapters Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed. This historic 18th-century inn draws in voracious readers from far and wide with its lovingly curated special events celebrating a host of genres and authors. On this sunny July weekend, a visit by one of the biggest names in romantic fantasy attracts throngs of admirers to the quaint coastal village. That's not ideal, as the author retreated to Chapters to get away from it all for a while. No matter--she'll appease her fans with a "Tea and Talk" meet-and-greet at the B&B celebrating her bestselling series (starring a devilishly dashing, time-traveling pirate), follow that up with a quick book signing at Bookwaves, the hip indie bookstore across town, and spend the remainder of the weekend in delightful repose. But when the president of the reclusive writer's fan club is found dead in the harbor by the Beaufort docks--done in by a blunt-force blow to the head--it's up to Charlotte Reed, her neighbor Ellen, and Ellen's trusty Yorkshire terrier to sniff out the killer. Because if they can't, a spectacularly successful book series--and its author--may come to a sudden, lethal conclusion.


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More bloodshed at a bibliophiles' bed-and-breakfast as Victoria Gilbert's delightful series continues. Meeting your favorite author in the flesh can be the chance of a lifetime. But for one unlucky fan, her plum place in line at a book signing will lead to her untimely demise. Beaufort, North Carolina, is home to Chapters Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by former schoo More bloodshed at a bibliophiles' bed-and-breakfast as Victoria Gilbert's delightful series continues. Meeting your favorite author in the flesh can be the chance of a lifetime. But for one unlucky fan, her plum place in line at a book signing will lead to her untimely demise. Beaufort, North Carolina, is home to Chapters Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed. This historic 18th-century inn draws in voracious readers from far and wide with its lovingly curated special events celebrating a host of genres and authors. On this sunny July weekend, a visit by one of the biggest names in romantic fantasy attracts throngs of admirers to the quaint coastal village. That's not ideal, as the author retreated to Chapters to get away from it all for a while. No matter--she'll appease her fans with a "Tea and Talk" meet-and-greet at the B&B celebrating her bestselling series (starring a devilishly dashing, time-traveling pirate), follow that up with a quick book signing at Bookwaves, the hip indie bookstore across town, and spend the remainder of the weekend in delightful repose. But when the president of the reclusive writer's fan club is found dead in the harbor by the Beaufort docks--done in by a blunt-force blow to the head--it's up to Charlotte Reed, her neighbor Ellen, and Ellen's trusty Yorkshire terrier to sniff out the killer. Because if they can't, a spectacularly successful book series--and its author--may come to a sudden, lethal conclusion.

30 review for Reserved for Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is the second book in a series set in Chapters B&B in North Carolina. I would love to stay there myself especially in the Mystery Room. I might just sit in the room for my whole visit, ordering room service and reading the books. Charlotte is hosting an author event when an important member of the fan club is murdered. There is a lot of information about authors, ghost writers and fan fiction which is all very interesting, but could it really incite anyone to commit murder? Apparently the an This is the second book in a series set in Chapters B&B in North Carolina. I would love to stay there myself especially in the Mystery Room. I might just sit in the room for my whole visit, ordering room service and reading the books. Charlotte is hosting an author event when an important member of the fan club is murdered. There is a lot of information about authors, ghost writers and fan fiction which is all very interesting, but could it really incite anyone to commit murder? Apparently the answer is yes. If you have read the first book you will know that Charlotte's next door neighbour and fellow amateur sleuth used to be a spy. It sounds a bit ridiculous but this author makes it work. A new character, Gavin, is introduced as a fellow spy and maybe romantic interest for Charlotte. I enjoyed the action and the investigations. Everyone behaved in character, the clues were all there and the murderer was still a surprise to me! I am looking forward to the next book and maybe a bit more about Gavin. My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Charlotte Reed, in her B&B called Chapters, in Beaufort, North Carolina, was hosting an author visit for the week with three fans who had won free accommodation and the chance to meet their favourite author. There were activities and special events planned for the week with locals invited as well as the guests. Alicia and Damien, Charlotte’s assistants, helped out as needed, while Charlotte’s neighbour, Ellen was her usual friendly self. But when one of the guests was found murdered, the local p Charlotte Reed, in her B&B called Chapters, in Beaufort, North Carolina, was hosting an author visit for the week with three fans who had won free accommodation and the chance to meet their favourite author. There were activities and special events planned for the week with locals invited as well as the guests. Alicia and Damien, Charlotte’s assistants, helped out as needed, while Charlotte’s neighbour, Ellen was her usual friendly self. But when one of the guests was found murdered, the local police became involved, with both Charlotte and Ellen doing their amateur sleuthing as they had the previous year. As investigations continued, it seemed there were many suspects – many with hidden secrets. Would Charlotte and Ellen find the culprit? Or would they put themselves in danger, poking their noses in where certain people didn’t want them? And who was the strange man who was lingering in the area? Reserved for Murder is the 2nd in the Booklovers B&B Mysteries series by Victoria Gilbert and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fun, light and entertaining with intriguing characters from all walks of life, the clues were there but I didn’t figure out the ‘who’ until just before the reveal. A delightful read which I highly recommend. With thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cozy Reads

    Charlotte Reed runs Chapters Bed and Breakfast, a book lover’s themed B&B. In Reserved For Murder Chapters is hosting a Romance author who wants a little peace in quiet in between her book tour. When it doesn’t exactly stay hidden that the author is staying at the B&B she agrees to do a meet and greet and book signing for her fans. When the president of the author’s fan club is found dead Charlotte decides to find the killer! Chapters B&B sounds like a dream, books everywhere, even in your room Charlotte Reed runs Chapters Bed and Breakfast, a book lover’s themed B&B. In Reserved For Murder Chapters is hosting a Romance author who wants a little peace in quiet in between her book tour. When it doesn’t exactly stay hidden that the author is staying at the B&B she agrees to do a meet and greet and book signing for her fans. When the president of the author’s fan club is found dead Charlotte decides to find the killer! Chapters B&B sounds like a dream, books everywhere, even in your room. I would love to stay in the mystery suite and fall asleep surrounded by mystery books. The writing style was well done. It was nice to get to know Charlotte more in this book. There was lots of mystery and suspects throughout the book to keep you guessing the entire time. In book two we also get to hear more about Charlotte’s aunt Isabella’s past. If you like your cozy mysteries heavy on the mystery side I think you would enjoy this book. - I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tahera

    It's been a year since her first foray into hosting a booklovers week at her B&B called 'Chapters' ended up in murder and Charlotte Reed wants nothing more than to not have a repetition of those events. Hence, she is wary when she reluctantly agrees to host a book tour/book club weekend and accommodate historical romance author Amanda Nobel, her publicist Tony and three winners of a contest and big fans of Amanda-- Lisette, Harper and Molly at her B&B. Charlotte's wariness is justified when Lise It's been a year since her first foray into hosting a booklovers week at her B&B called 'Chapters' ended up in murder and Charlotte Reed wants nothing more than to not have a repetition of those events. Hence, she is wary when she reluctantly agrees to host a book tour/book club weekend and accommodate historical romance author Amanda Nobel, her publicist Tony and three winners of a contest and big fans of Amanda-- Lisette, Harper and Molly at her B&B. Charlotte's wariness is justified when Lisette's dead body is found in the river with circumstances pointing towards murder. Charlotte once again puts on her amateur investigator cap and with the help of her elderly neighbour and friend Ellen and the local police tries to figure out who the culprit is. Reserved for Murder is the second book in the series and I like how the overall plot is moving forward. Along with the characters that were introduced in the first book, we have some new appearances, the most vital being of Gavin who introduces himself as Ellen's cousin but Ellen hints otherwise. Gavin's presence leads Charlotte to find out a bit more about her late aunt Isabella as well who used to be a spy working alongside Ellen. Initially, Charlotte is suspicious of Gavin but slowly warms up to him and I feel this hints towards a future romance. I am really enjoying reading cozy mysteries ever since I got introduced to them last year and the first book of this series was one of the first books  I read in the genre. Needless to say I enjoyed reading this book as well and I look forward to following this series. It is the first cozy mystery series I have read from the beginning. My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher Crooked Lane Books and the author Victoria Gilbert for the e-Arc of the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Esme Addison

    What's not to love about this series? Being from North Carolina, I am ALWAYS looking for books set in the south, especially North Carolina. And this series takes you deep into the community of Beaufort NC. Gilbert has clearly done her research, especially since I have lived in this part of NC for a time I know exactly what she's talking about and can visualize the setting as I read. I don't want to give away the plot but I'll say there is lots of bookishness with a book themed B&B and a visiting a What's not to love about this series? Being from North Carolina, I am ALWAYS looking for books set in the south, especially North Carolina. And this series takes you deep into the community of Beaufort NC. Gilbert has clearly done her research, especially since I have lived in this part of NC for a time I know exactly what she's talking about and can visualize the setting as I read. I don't want to give away the plot but I'll say there is lots of bookishness with a book themed B&B and a visiting author, an interesting foray into the world of publishing and fan fiction and a nicely developed mystery with layers. It's a perfect summer-y read but not so light that you burn through it. You really want to savor the story, getting to know the characters, thinking about the clues and trying to figure out the whodunnit. There's also a slow and simmering romance element which I enjoy. Looking forward to book 3!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I highly anticipated reading Reserved for Murder because of how much I enjoyed the first book in the series. But I was disappointed. Charlotte owner of Chapters Bed and Breakfast was welcoming a new author to spend the weekend there with three of her biggest fans.to have one of her fans murdered was an exciting plot. But the subplot was dull and not as exciting with Charlotte's ex-spy neighbor being involed In espionage and bringing another innocent friend into it was not exciting.Bringing in a n I highly anticipated reading Reserved for Murder because of how much I enjoyed the first book in the series. But I was disappointed. Charlotte owner of Chapters Bed and Breakfast was welcoming a new author to spend the weekend there with three of her biggest fans.to have one of her fans murdered was an exciting plot. But the subplot was dull and not as exciting with Charlotte's ex-spy neighbor being involed In espionage and bringing another innocent friend into it was not exciting.Bringing in a new character for a possible romance with Charlotte was intriging. Thank you Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley the ARC of this book. I have this book a honest review

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    This second in the B&B Mysteries series is a nice addition to the series set in the rich in history coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. Charlotte Reed inherited Chapters, a Bed and Breakfast, from her aunt Isabella, who was a member of the US intelligence community. The theme of the B&B is based on books and guests sometimes stay there for book themed events. This week author Amanda Nobel is on tour, staying at Chapters along with a representative of the publisher and three fan club member This second in the B&B Mysteries series is a nice addition to the series set in the rich in history coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. Charlotte Reed inherited Chapters, a Bed and Breakfast, from her aunt Isabella, who was a member of the US intelligence community. The theme of the B&B is based on books and guests sometimes stay there for book themed events. This week author Amanda Nobel is on tour, staying at Chapters along with a representative of the publisher and three fan club members who won the opportunity to stay with the author. There appears to be tension between several of the guests from the beginning but is ramped up when one of the guests is found dead in the harbor. Charlotte's neighbor Ellen was Aunt Isabella's handler and these days works with Charlotte to untangle mysteries. This is their second murder to figure how in as many years. We have several possible suspects to consider but motive is not known either. The dead woman's ex-husband appeared in town the same day as the murder so he is on the suspect list. Ellen also has a guest staying with her posing as a cousin but she obviously doesn't want him there so this adds another layer of interest as to who he is and why is he in town. An interesting story with a lot of unknowns but the suspect list gets narrowed down gradually as alibis are confirmed. Lovely setting and premise for a B&B with interesting recurring characters, so a nice read for cozy mystery lovers. I received a complimentary ARC from Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.

  8. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Charlotte is pleased Chapters is doing well but she's exhausted and hot! Still, she needs the income so Charlotte welcomes bestselling time-traveling historical romance author Amanda Nobel for a quiet weekend of r &r during her book tour. Amanda will sign books at Julie's store and Charlotte will host a few small low-key events for Amanda's fan club contest winners. While Amanda is lovely, her publicist is controlling and her fan club members a bunch of drama queens. At the book signing, Julie's Charlotte is pleased Chapters is doing well but she's exhausted and hot! Still, she needs the income so Charlotte welcomes bestselling time-traveling historical romance author Amanda Nobel for a quiet weekend of r &r during her book tour. Amanda will sign books at Julie's store and Charlotte will host a few small low-key events for Amanda's fan club contest winners. While Amanda is lovely, her publicist is controlling and her fan club members a bunch of drama queens. At the book signing, Julie's boyfriend Scott's friend Roger Warren, a historian, offends the fans with his questions about the lack of historical research in Amanda's books. What else could go wrong on what was supposed to be a quiet weekend? When Lisette, the president of Amanda's fan club fails to return to Chapters on evening, Charlotte is shocked when Detective Johnson calls to say Lisette's body was found in the water. Oh dear not again! Detective Johnson asks Charlotte and her neighbor Evelyn to do a little sleuthing on their own and report back to her even though the police feel the murderer was Lisette's ex-husband. Meanwhile, Evelyn has her own drama back home when a mysterious "cousin" comes to stay. Charlotte doesn't trust Gavin one bit and she's sure he's up to no good. Could his visit have something to do with Evelyn's previous clandestine activities and does Aunt Isabella fit in somewhere? Charlotte is determined to protect her friend and her late aunt's memory. This story was better than the first one but I still find the Cold War spy plot far more interesting than the main mystery. I liked the romance theme and the little digs at passionate reader reviewers, fan fiction writers and historian. GoodReads is even mentioned LOL! I happen to enjoy historical romance novels AND I'm a historian. I agree there needs to be some degree of accuracy and an author SHOULD do research but they also have to balance the history with likable characters readers can relate to. While Amanda's books feature time travel as a plot device, I do believe Diana Gabaldon does a lot of research and incorporates history into her novels. I did not guess who the murderer was, even towards the end I wasn't quite sure which one of the two remaining suspects did it. I like the little romantic subplot for Charlotte. I hope she starts to move on soon. Whether I read the next one depends on the hook. Charlotte is likable enough. She's trying to improve as an employer and figure out how to deal with Alicia, who jealously guards the B&B. Charlotte is friendly, a gracious host and super nosy. However, her nosiness is not like other cozy heroines who poke around, plod along and get into trouble. Charlotte is perceptive and a good judge of character. She's protective of her friends and wants to make sure her guests (and herself) are safe. The police recognize her sleuthing skills. That makes the story a bit different and more realistic but also not funny or silly like a traditional cozy. I was so happy Charlotte got a light beginning romantic subplot. She's devoted to the memory of her late husband and doesn't see herself moving on yet after 4 years. I think Brent would want her to though. She seems like she's attracted to this other person and he seems into her. At first I didn't like him. He seemed arrogant and rude but then he learned to respect her intelligence and enjoy her company. He seems into her but for his own personal reasons, he too, is not interested in a relationship. I hope he comes back! I really like Ellen. Her story is so intriguing and far more interesting than the main modern mystery. Ellen is an older version of Charlotte. She's wary of strangers and protective of her friends. Back in the day when she was young she made mistakes and while I don't agree with what she and Isabella did, I can forgive them. It was a long time ago and Ellen learned from her past mistake and has grown as a person. Her Yorkie, Shandy, is just adorable and I hope he helps in sleuthing next time. Alicia, the housekeeper and cook at Chapters is still a bit stiff with Charlotte but she's coming around. Charlotte is trying to be understanding and connect with Alicia. I think Alicia sees Charlotte as a mere girl but is coming to accept Charlotte's good sense and that she won't run the business into the ground. Damian, the young chef who caters events at Chapters, is a good guy. He was a punk kid who has turned his life around. He may have some crucial knowledge that will crack open the case. Charlotte's best friend Julie is more of an extrovert than I would expect from a bookstore owner. She's fun and lively but she doesn't really know Charlotte's deepest secrets. Julie is very much in love with Scott and they're working it out. I was happy to see them together because I thought he was a nice guy. He still is but maybe a bit too much of a loyal friend than devoted boyfriend. He blunders big time. Julie is not the best judge of character and I am worried about her new potential silent partner. I was expecting him to be connected to the secondary mystery but that plot is dropped. Maybe it will be a part of the next book? Amanda Nobel, bestselling romance novelist, seems like a very nice person. She seems very tired and wrung out during this book tour. She could use some rest but she is not a very good advocate for herself. She worries too much about her reputation and being fired from her publisher. Like Ellen, she made a big mistake once and it's coming back to haunt her. Her publicist, Tony, is a slimy guy. He keeps pushing her like a machine and he acts like he works as her bodyguard and keeper and not the general publicity and marketing manager for the publishing company. He won't even let her talk about her passion project. I do understand that generally, publishers will allow authors to write something else as long as they do it under a different name so he wouldn't want the fans to know but he's not nice about it or anything else. He's just rude. I suspect Tony is the murderer. Lisette Bradford, president of a major Amanda Nobel fan club, fan fiction writer and murder victim was one nasty woman. She was selfish, had a huge ego, used people to get what she wanted and lied . Still, she didn't deserve to be murdered. She did seem genuinely afraid of her stalker ex-husband. If it was one of the fan club members then I can understand their temptation to get Lisette out of the way but not like that. Honestly, she's unpleasant but I'm not sure she committed any crimes. (view spoiler)[CAN you copyright fan fiction on the Internet? Plagiarism is wrong and profiting from it is worse but I don't think it's actually illegal. (hide spoiler)] Harper Gregg, another major fan, is quiet and intense. Molly Zeleski is the exact opposite. She's intense and fiery. She's DEVOTED to Amanda Nobel and apparently some fanfiction writer AmethystAngel- unless she IS AmethysAngel, she's crazy obsessed with standing up for this person. If she is writer, then why doesn't she say so? She's rather a loyal fan or maybe a loyal friend. Roger Warren, a historian who sneers at fiction, is a good choice for murderer. He was wildly inappropriate at the book signing. No academic non-fiction doesn't pay like bestselling fiction and TV shows but they can't be compared. Amanda writes fiction to entertain and the fans don't seem to mind the lack of accuracy. These books are not for me, as a historian, but I'd never be petty and jealous for the money these authors make. I wouldn't write drugstore/grocery store romances either. I love a good historical romance novel but it has to be accurate or I will give it a bad review. I would never intentionally give a bad review to an author who gave a bad review to an author of another genre though. Amanda's fans are wacko. I would have liked to have read excerpts from Amanda’s books to see which side of the divide I’m on. Who is Ellen's guest Gavin Howard? Is that his real name? Is he really her first cousin's boy? She doesn't act like a doting aunt to him at all and they really are quite frosty. Charlotte guesses who he might be and even others guess he isn't really a relative. What is he up to and why? Is he a murderer? The other locals are a quirky lot. I love sweet, little, old Ophelia Sandburg. I don’t like her flirting with men young enough to be her grandson, but she’s sweet and innocent. Her sister, Bernadette, is much more relatable for me. She’s sharp, shrewd and looks after her little sister. She’s very protective. Probably rightfully so because I think Ophelia may have a touch of dementia or she’s just not as strong as her sister. Pete and Sandy Nelson are a cute married couple who run the local café. They’re a lot of fun. Detective Johnson is great. Naturally, a female detective won’t bumble through an investigation! She seems to know Ellen’s secret and accepts that Charlotte has what it takes to follow in Ellen’s footsteps if she chooses, therefore, they make good consultants in this case. This book contains spoilers for the previous one so it’s best to read in order. I’m interested in Ellen more than Charlotte but I might pick up the next. We’ll see. I wish we heard more directly from Aunt Isabella.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    Checked in for another author visit at Chapters B&B, but things go awry when an attendee gets snuffed out leaving Charlotte wondering if she was once again sleeping with a murderer under her roof! The characters are rich in personality and well developed to add flavor to a well thought our plot wrought with potential suspects. This cozy mystery will keep you entertained for hours as you gleefully devour the pages to see who did it and what is in store for the characters! I absolutely must put th Checked in for another author visit at Chapters B&B, but things go awry when an attendee gets snuffed out leaving Charlotte wondering if she was once again sleeping with a murderer under her roof! The characters are rich in personality and well developed to add flavor to a well thought our plot wrought with potential suspects. This cozy mystery will keep you entertained for hours as you gleefully devour the pages to see who did it and what is in store for the characters! I absolutely must put this series on my must read list to be sure not to miss future books that come out!

  10. 5 out of 5

    eda

    Drinking game: take a shot every time someone says "he/she softened their tone." From the synopsis of Reserved For Murder, I was really excited to start reading it! A BnB, and bookstore sounds like the perfect setting for a mystery!! One problem I had with this book is that the story was dominantly the characters speaking. There needed to be more 'showing'. Everything was being explained and I found it frustrating because the I can-along with every other reader, can read between the lines and un Drinking game: take a shot every time someone says "he/she softened their tone." From the synopsis of Reserved For Murder, I was really excited to start reading it! A BnB, and bookstore sounds like the perfect setting for a mystery!! One problem I had with this book is that the story was dominantly the characters speaking. There needed to be more 'showing'. Everything was being explained and I found it frustrating because the I can-along with every other reader, can read between the lines and understand what is happening without having to be told every step of the way. I also found the sub-plot with the spies was not needed. It definitely was interesting, but did not fit into the book. Overall, I think this book had a great story/plot but it was not executed properly. Thank you to Netgalley for an eARC of Reserved For Murder!

  11. 4 out of 5

    BonnieM☂️

    I really enjoyed this book and found it very entertaining. All the characters were great and added to the story line. There were two parts to the story with the murder and the other espionage. The main character, Charlotte Reed and her neighbor, Ellen Montgomery intertwined between the two story lines perfectly. There was suspense, with the espionage shifting between the past and the present. Ellen Montgomery and Charlotte's great aunt Isabella were both spies during the war. Aunt Isabella died I really enjoyed this book and found it very entertaining. All the characters were great and added to the story line. There were two parts to the story with the murder and the other espionage. The main character, Charlotte Reed and her neighbor, Ellen Montgomery intertwined between the two story lines perfectly. There was suspense, with the espionage shifting between the past and the present. Ellen Montgomery and Charlotte's great aunt Isabella were both spies during the war. Aunt Isabella died and left the B&B to her niece, Charlotte. Ellen and Gavin Howard were brought into the present to continue the story line. The arrival of an author, Amanda Noble, came to stay at the B&B was the second part of the story which brought a whole new set of characters.. The climax with both parts of the stories merged into the ending. The book kept the reader on their toes trying to figure out what was happening. I look forward to seeing where some of the characters go in the next part of the series. Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    This mystery is second in what is fast becoming another of my favorite “bookish” series. Included is a charming, Southern B & B with a fabulous library that offers literary events. The protagonist and her friends are three-dimensional folks that I enjoyed getting to know better, and the mysteries have just enough twists and turns to keep me entertained. It is written with excellence, and the characters are best defined through their realistic conversations and actions. Charlotte was an English te This mystery is second in what is fast becoming another of my favorite “bookish” series. Included is a charming, Southern B & B with a fabulous library that offers literary events. The protagonist and her friends are three-dimensional folks that I enjoyed getting to know better, and the mysteries have just enough twists and turns to keep me entertained. It is written with excellence, and the characters are best defined through their realistic conversations and actions. Charlotte was an English teacher before inheriting Great-Aunt Isabella’s B & B, Chapters. A forty-something widow, she could start over after the loss of her beloved firefighter husband. A murder took place at one of the literary events after she began to manage Chapters. She worked hard to find whodunit with the help and encouragement of Ellen, her next-door neighbor and friend of Isabella. Ellen has secrets that Charlotte wishes the sweet lady hadn’t told her. Some of those secrets concern work that she and Isabella had done in their younger years. Ellen has a houseguest this week who she introduces as Gavin, the son of her cousin. When he starts paying too much attention to Chapters and two of their elderly neighbors, it seems that visiting family is not why Gavin is in town. The highlight of the week is Chapters’s special event. The famous romantic adventure novelist Amanda Nobel, her publicist Tony, and three fans who won the prize of spending a week with her are at Chapters. Amanda has published twelve of the time travel novels of a swashbuckling pirate that now has a TV series. Her stay has been kept under wraps so she can take a break from her book tour. The day after the only public event, Lisette, head of one of Amanda’s top fan clubs and author of many fan fiction stories using Amanda’s characters is found dead in the water (literally) near the docks. It looks like she was murdered. Other than her abrasive personality and her stalker ex-husband, a reason for her murder is not evident. Charlotte and Ellen were invaluable help to Detective Johnson last year. They told her anything they overheard from guests, and she asks them to do so again. After all, one of fans, the author, and her publicist have a week left at Chapters, one of whom could be a killer. The more they learn, however, the more suspects they find. Charlotte is braver – or maybe rasher – than I am! I didn’t get why she showed her hand when talking to a couple people. I’m not sure I could confront someone I thought was a killer as if they were a recalcitrant high school student. It worked for her, thankfully, and she and Ellen remain my favorite characters. This is an excellent cozy that invited me in on the first page, and I very much enjoyed it! Chapters, Isabella’s wonderful library, and her friends are such a great setting I would love to visit. There were a couple red herrings, then one tiny clue that helped show me the real whodunit despite almost overwhelming motives for others. No loose ends were left, and the end was very satisfying. I highly recommend this to those who appreciate well-written cozy mysteries, Southern hospitality, B and B’s and book centered events. From a thankful heart: I received an eARC of this novel from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This is another enjoyable cozy mystery from Gilbert. I like the setting of a B & B as we get to see the murder suspects in a variety of situations. Much of the investigation Charlotte, our amateur sleuth, does is by listening to conversations. Charlotte is a good investigative heroine too. She's nosy so pays attention to conversations others miss. I like her sidekick, Ellen. Next door neighbor and previous government agent during the cold war, she adds some spice and expertise to the work. This m This is another enjoyable cozy mystery from Gilbert. I like the setting of a B & B as we get to see the murder suspects in a variety of situations. Much of the investigation Charlotte, our amateur sleuth, does is by listening to conversations. Charlotte is a good investigative heroine too. She's nosy so pays attention to conversations others miss. I like her sidekick, Ellen. Next door neighbor and previous government agent during the cold war, she adds some spice and expertise to the work. This murder plot revolves around authors and publishing and is quite informative. We learn about fandom and fan fiction. We also learn about the pressure bestselling authors are under to produce the next hot novel. We find out about ghost writers and how they come to an author's rescue when burnout occurs. And then there is the elephant in the room, plagiarism. As we find out in this novel, it can be deadly. This is a good cozy mystery for readers who like an informative murder plot with engaging characters. It is the second in The Booklover's B & B series but reads very well on its own. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    2 1/2 stars. A solid mystery based on the cut-throat writing and publishing industry. It was interesting to see fanfiction being mentioned as a factor in writing and publishing. I enjoyed the characters. However, the subplot involving spies and a short-lived love affair decades ago seemed far-fetched. Also, I didn’t like how some characters voiced that a stalker ex-husband really loved his wife when he attempted to find out who killed her. So what. That doesn’t diminish the terror and danger of p 2 1/2 stars. A solid mystery based on the cut-throat writing and publishing industry. It was interesting to see fanfiction being mentioned as a factor in writing and publishing. I enjoyed the characters. However, the subplot involving spies and a short-lived love affair decades ago seemed far-fetched. Also, I didn’t like how some characters voiced that a stalker ex-husband really loved his wife when he attempted to find out who killed her. So what. That doesn’t diminish the terror and danger of people who are being stalked. They are constantly on alert, never knowing where the person will appear and what they will do. They never get a break. They are the ones suffering. I just thought it made a little light of the problems of stalking and abuse. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a free copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    When your cheating ex and his replacement bride to be show up wanting to get married at your new job, you do the mature thing right!?! Right, you hide, hide, hide! Or are you maybe hiding because the hot landscaper keeps finding you!?! A fun summer read to have you giggling with delight in no time at all! A sweet romance with a strong cast of females to befriend and wind your way through a fun and well thought out plot with! I have discovered that this is one of a series and now must go back and When your cheating ex and his replacement bride to be show up wanting to get married at your new job, you do the mature thing right!?! Right, you hide, hide, hide! Or are you maybe hiding because the hot landscaper keeps finding you!?! A fun summer read to have you giggling with delight in no time at all! A sweet romance with a strong cast of females to befriend and wind your way through a fun and well thought out plot with! I have discovered that this is one of a series and now must go back and read or rather listen to the entire series! Never fear though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book without having read the previous books so it works well as a stand alone book too! I'm just wanting to expand my reading/listening pleasure so I'll go back to the begin and read or rather listen my way through! Especially since the narrator of this book did such an outstanding job of helping bring the characters to life! I can't wait to listen to the rest of the books in the series!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    I think the premise and the plot of the book were quite intriguing, but overall it fell flat for me. Much of the story was moved along via dialog, and I think it would have benefited from some more world building. I received a free ARC from NetGalley.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is the second book in the Booklovers B & B Mysteries series by Victoria Gilbert. Charlotte Reed Beaufort, owns and operates Chapters Bed and Breakfast in Beaufort, North Carolina Charlotte is a former schoolteacher. Scheduled at the B & B is a tea with a celebrity author. Unfortunately, the president of the reclusive writer's fan club is found dead by the Beaufort docks. Means of death is blunt force trauma. Charlotte and her crew delve into the mystery. There are plenty of twists and turns. I This is the second book in the Booklovers B & B Mysteries series by Victoria Gilbert. Charlotte Reed Beaufort, owns and operates Chapters Bed and Breakfast in Beaufort, North Carolina Charlotte is a former schoolteacher. Scheduled at the B & B is a tea with a celebrity author. Unfortunately, the president of the reclusive writer's fan club is found dead by the Beaufort docks. Means of death is blunt force trauma. Charlotte and her crew delve into the mystery. There are plenty of twists and turns. I found this story a pleasant escape. Looking forward to more in the series. I was given an ARC e-book copy from Netgalley. I am not required to leave a positive review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    I honestly couldn’t put this book down. What a whirlwind story, beginning with a wonderful stay at the lovely Chapters, and of course, ending in murder. There’s nothing I love more than reading a well written book filled with colorful characters who always make me smile. I’m anxious to see what will happen next.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the 2nd installment in the Booklover’s B&B mystery series. Charlotte Reed runs the Chapters B&B in Beaufort North Carolina which she inherited from her Great-Aunt Isabella. Charlotte has a famed romance novelist Amanda Nobel whose series is also a hit TV show and three of her superfans who won a contest hosted by her publisher. Amanda’s presence is not known as she has been on a book tour and does not want to be hounded by her fans. All three of the contest winners cannot disclose but on This is the 2nd installment in the Booklover’s B&B mystery series. Charlotte Reed runs the Chapters B&B in Beaufort North Carolina which she inherited from her Great-Aunt Isabella. Charlotte has a famed romance novelist Amanda Nobel whose series is also a hit TV show and three of her superfans who won a contest hosted by her publisher. Amanda’s presence is not known as she has been on a book tour and does not want to be hounded by her fans. All three of the contest winners cannot disclose but one is the head of fan site (Lisette)and the other two (Molly and Harper) are diehard fans and rounding out the guests is Tony Lott who is the publisher’s marketing specialist in charge of the events. There appears to be tension between Lisette and all the other guests. Charlotte’s friend Julie who runs an independent bookstore is hosting a book signing event and Tea and Talk event on the front lawn of Chapters. At the event, Roger Warren a local historian along with Julie’s boyfriend Scott question Amanda about the historical inaccuracies in her books and asked why she did not do any research. Needless to say her loyal fans are not happy and words are exchanged after the event and Lisette threatens Roger and Scott and suggests fans should log on to book review sites and rate their books lowly. That evening Lisette does not return from dinner in town that was hosted by the publisher and is later found dead. Lisette’s husband who she had a restraining order against was seen at the event earlier and he becomes the prime suspect. Detective Johnson warns Charlotte that there were the group was heard arguing during dinner so any one of her guests could be a killer. Along with finding out if one of her guests killed another guest there is another mystery as to who is the gentlemen staying with her friend and neighbor Ellen . Ellen introduces him as her cousin Gavin but everyone seems to doubt that and Alicia (Chapters housekeeper and Aunt Isabella’s friend) says that he has been to see Aunt Isabella before and the visit was mysterious. In the last book, Charlotte learned her Great Aunt was an intelligence operative for the US and her handler was Ellen. Charlotte also has to keep on him as well. This was a good mystery and I like Charlotte and how she is growing in her relationships. Her relationship with Alicia was at times a little frosty in the first book but they seem to be finding common ground and mutual respect. This is a engaging read and I look forward to the next installment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert is the 2nd book in A Book Lover’s B & Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone if you have not had the time to delve into Booked for Death. However, you would understand more about Isabella, Charlotte’s aunt who left her the house, if you read Booked for Death. I thought Reserved for Murder was well-written with good characters. I like that we get to know a little more Charlotte Reed and her aunt. Charlotte is a retired schoolteacher who now runs a l Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert is the 2nd book in A Book Lover’s B & Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone if you have not had the time to delve into Booked for Death. However, you would understand more about Isabella, Charlotte’s aunt who left her the house, if you read Booked for Death. I thought Reserved for Murder was well-written with good characters. I like that we get to know a little more Charlotte Reed and her aunt. Charlotte is a retired schoolteacher who now runs a literary themed bed and breakfast called Chapter’s. Each room features a different genre of books (romance and mystery for example). I love the descriptions of Chapter’s. I would love to own this home filled with books. In Reserved for Murder a bestselling author is coming to stay along with three fans who won a contest. There will be a special event as well. Unfortunately, one of the fans who is also president of the author’s fan club ends up dead. Charlotte, of course, is going to investigate. There are several suspects in this whodunit along with misdirection to keep readers off the trail of the real killer. I did find it a cinch to identify the guilty party. I can also guess the why based on the details provided. I like putting together the various pieces and arriving at the conclusion (like putting together a puzzle). The more I read, the more my suspicions were confirmed. There is a subplot involving Charlotte’s neighbor and her guest, Gavin. Personally, I do not feel the spy element adds anything to the story. It did not go with the rest of the book. There is, though, sparks between Gavin and Charlotte. There is a significant amount of dialogue in this story as they discuss the mystery and other events. I could have done with less talking and more action. I enjoyed Booked for Death more than I did Reserved for Murder. I thought this story moved along at a slower pace which is courtesy of the dialogue. I like that we get a glimpse into the world of publishing and fanfiction. Charlotte has a great circle of friends. They are a friendly bunch who are there for each other. Reserved for Murder is a literary cozy mystery with a weary writer, a frustrating fan, a circumspect spy, a mystifying murder, suspicious suspects, and an inquisitive inn owner.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert is the second in this cosy mystery series set in Beaufort, North Carolina. I love a cosy mystery and I wanted to read this particular novel as I have a fancy for cosies about book-lovers, libraries and other book-related things. Centred around Chapters, a book-themed Bed & Breakfast, I thought this was a fabulous story. Chapters, a perfect book-lovers retreat is run by forty-something widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert is the second in this cosy mystery series set in Beaufort, North Carolina. I love a cosy mystery and I wanted to read this particular novel as I have a fancy for cosies about book-lovers, libraries and other book-related things. Centred around Chapters, a book-themed Bed & Breakfast, I thought this was a fabulous story. Chapters, a perfect book-lovers retreat is run by forty-something widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is hosting a visit by one of the biggest names in romantic fantasy, author Amanda Nobel. Charlotte meets Amanda's publisher and marketing manager, Tony Lott who is nothing like she had imagined him to be. The event is to include a meet-and-greet session with hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer and liquor as refreshments. Unfortunately, one of Amanda's fans, Lisette who is also president of her fan club ends up dead, found near the docks. The descriptions of small-town life with all its complications and relationships were very enjoyable and believable. I also enjoyed the flow and style of writing and character development. The characters were distinct and entertaining and I continued to really warm to Charlotte in particular - she oozes confidence and style and I adore her matter-of-fact approach. Ellen Montgomery, an ex film location scout, friend and neighbour of Charlotte, also deserves a special mention. She assisted with the sleuthing as well as helping Charlotte with other matters. She is straightforward and convincing and slotted into the storyline perfectly as a secondary character. Victoria Gilbert provided exactly the right amount of description of the Beaufort, North Carolina setting and I found myself wishing that I could take a trip to Chapters myself. Reserved for Murder is a brilliantly executed cosy that kept me guessing and I would love to see what Victoria Gilbert has in store for Charlotte in book #3. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Crooked Lane via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 stars This is the second book in the Booklovers B&B mystery series by Victoria Gilbert. This is a great book. This is one of those tales that is about authors for readers to enjoy. There is an old rivalry between two fan fiction authors in this plot which finds its way into be a big clue into what is really going on with the murder. A mega-popular romantic adventure author comes to Charlotte’s bookstore for an author chat with local fans. Then the president of her fan club is found dead. But a 4.5 stars This is the second book in the Booklovers B&B mystery series by Victoria Gilbert. This is a great book. This is one of those tales that is about authors for readers to enjoy. There is an old rivalry between two fan fiction authors in this plot which finds its way into be a big clue into what is really going on with the murder. A mega-popular romantic adventure author comes to Charlotte’s bookstore for an author chat with local fans. Then the president of her fan club is found dead. But all is not what it seems and they have to dig into all the motivations behind what happened in the past that lead to this unfortunate death. Great story. I loved following this former teacher and her friend the former spy. I also enjoyed the romantic adventure author, Amanda. She would make a great recurring character, I think. I like how this book was structured and the characters all really stood out to me and made me fall in love with the series all over again. I have to admit that I resonated with this book but I couldn’t recall the previous book in the series. I took a look back, and I read book one a few weeks before my mother passed away last year. A lot of the things back then were a bit more difficult for me. You know the drill, I was just stunned and shocked for a long time. I am afraid I blocked a lot of stuff I truly want to remember more clearly… especially the backstory to the characters in this series. I am definitely going to reread book one in order to cement it into my mind so I am well up on the series when book three comes out. Highly recommended. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title. Opinions are completely my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mareli Thalwitzer

    It feels like it took us forever to get into the story! We did finally get into the story and ended up enjoying it quite a lot. That's after it took us days to figure out where all the characters fit in (there are a lot of characters to keep track with), how Charlotte ended up in Beaufort New Carolina, and the two story lines that have nothing to do with each other, really baffled my Mommy's little human brain. We've read a few other reviews from people who enjoyed this book tremendously and we It feels like it took us forever to get into the story! We did finally get into the story and ended up enjoying it quite a lot. That's after it took us days to figure out where all the characters fit in (there are a lot of characters to keep track with), how Charlotte ended up in Beaufort New Carolina, and the two story lines that have nothing to do with each other, really baffled my Mommy's little human brain. We've read a few other reviews from people who enjoyed this book tremendously and we came to the conclusion that it's definitely us, not them. And the reason we didn't feel a spark here, was because we didn't read the first book in the series. *Note to self: Do not request books out of series. You won't see a flicker of light. All good murder mysteries, need to follow the basics of a game of Clue: You need a victim You need a killer You need a murder weapon You need a location What Clue doesn't have, is the why. Why did Colonel Mustard kill Madam Peacock in the library with a candlestick? Now that was brilliant in Reserved for Murder. The why made this book a successful read for us. The subplot with James Bond and company, intrigued us enough to want to read the first in the series. *You do know that Ian Fleming was looking for a very boring and non-descriptive name when he named his 007 spy? Gavin No-One from Reserved for Murder sure fits that profile perfectly. We want to know more about Charlotte's neighbor and her deceased aunt's espionage history, so we'll try to get hold of Booked to Death and hope to get a few more answers. All in all, Reserved for Murder was a decent read and we will most probably read the next one in the series. That is if we read the first one though!

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    Reserved for Murder is a quick, easy read without a ton of filler. It is dialogue-centric with a bit of action thrown in. Although this may not be every reader’s cup of tea, it is consistent and enjoyable. Charlotte is a nice everyday character that readers can relate with; her neighbor, Ellen, is not your average sweet old lady. Alice and Damian are interesting and help the story move along. The introduction of what may turn out to be a love interest for Charlotte has great potential. Charlotte Reserved for Murder is a quick, easy read without a ton of filler. It is dialogue-centric with a bit of action thrown in. Although this may not be every reader’s cup of tea, it is consistent and enjoyable. Charlotte is a nice everyday character that readers can relate with; her neighbor, Ellen, is not your average sweet old lady. Alice and Damian are interesting and help the story move along. The introduction of what may turn out to be a love interest for Charlotte has great potential. Charlotte’s B&B, Chapters, is every reader’s, and I dare say most writers’ idea of a dream come true. When a fan of a visiting author is killed, Charlotte steps into the fray. Even though the fan didn’t die at Chapters B&B, Charlotte feels that she needs to help find the killer and protect her guests, who are also suspects. A few people had good reason to kill Lisette, the fan of author Amanda Nobel, who is murdered, including Amanda herself. The motives aren’t ironclad and might even be flimsy, such as professional jealousy, but people have killed for less. Evidence isn’t easy to find, but it’s there, lurking in the shadows. Reserved for Murder isn’t rife with massive action scenes or detailed descriptions, and many readers find the dialogue-driven story a bit hard to take. Still, in general, this book is meant to be a more relaxed, character-driven series, not overly time-consuming, and easy to imagine. Charlotte’s B&B, Chapters is an ideal location for intrigue. The characters are likable, even if some of them are a bit prickly, and the secret agent aspect adds a bit of fantasy to an otherwise ordinary cozy. It was a pleasant read and fits well with the first book in the series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jerri Cachero

    A lovely B&B, a woman looking for a new start after tragedy, a senior retired CIA operative and her adorable Yorkie , a decades old case of spy intrigue , a handsome mystery man and a present day murder are not quite what Charlotte Reed had in mind for a new quiet life. Now, she and her friend Ellen and Yorkie Shandy are in the middle of a romance author's murder! What a great book! So many things to like - Charlotte who is. a relatable main character, quirky and likable supporting characters, a A lovely B&B, a woman looking for a new start after tragedy, a senior retired CIA operative and her adorable Yorkie , a decades old case of spy intrigue , a handsome mystery man and a present day murder are not quite what Charlotte Reed had in mind for a new quiet life. Now, she and her friend Ellen and Yorkie Shandy are in the middle of a romance author's murder! What a great book! So many things to like - Charlotte who is. a relatable main character, quirky and likable supporting characters, a mystery you can't put down (I couldn't!) and an ocean setting that is lush and very southern. I would love to relax on the B&B's porch under the outside fan, with a cocktail or sweet tea.. Having a senior retired CIA operative - Ellen - brought even more to the mystery.. Add in the handsome Gavin and you have a delightful and intriguing cozy mystery with an international feel! I received an ARC from NetGalley and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    I quickly fell in love with this series last year when the first one came out. What could be more fun than a good cozy mystery mixed with a little bit of spy intrigue? Ellen is the coolest neighbor having been a spy at one time in her life, but once a spy...well you know how it goes. I love her character, and we got to meet a new person that I hope will keep their word and come back soon. There wasn't a book club book that the murder coincided with, but it did get into the drama of the fan fictio I quickly fell in love with this series last year when the first one came out. What could be more fun than a good cozy mystery mixed with a little bit of spy intrigue? Ellen is the coolest neighbor having been a spy at one time in her life, but once a spy...well you know how it goes. I love her character, and we got to meet a new person that I hope will keep their word and come back soon. There wasn't a book club book that the murder coincided with, but it did get into the drama of the fan fiction world a little bit. With no shortage of suspects, Charlotte and Ellen had their work cut out for them being eyes and ears for the police as they all tried to sort this out. The showdown was great with everyone (of the good guy crew) having a part in it. I hadn't suspected whodunit until Charlotte did. I thought the ending wrapped everything up perfectly with all the local friends gathering and discussing the case. Then the very ending was really good and makes me wish the next book was coming sooner! (Not a cliffhanger, no worries, just some wishful thinking on my part!) I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jodi | Bibliostatic

    r/suggestmeabook: I want a cozy mystery steeped in publishing and fandom focused on solving a murder. First, let’s get the disclosure out of the way: I didn’t read the first book, so some of my issues might be solved by reading it. But it won’t cure all the ills I perceive in this cozy mystery. tldr: Flat characterization; tell, don’t show; hard-to-swallow situations Victoria Gilbert has posed a good puzzle. Most of the clues are there at the beginning, although the key clue isn’t given until towar r/suggestmeabook: I want a cozy mystery steeped in publishing and fandom focused on solving a murder. First, let’s get the disclosure out of the way: I didn’t read the first book, so some of my issues might be solved by reading it. But it won’t cure all the ills I perceive in this cozy mystery. tldr: Flat characterization; tell, don’t show; hard-to-swallow situations Victoria Gilbert has posed a good puzzle. Most of the clues are there at the beginning, although the key clue isn’t given until toward the end. If your taste runs to plot uber alles, then you may be fine with this story. I’m a character junkie, and this book just didn’t give me my fix. For the complete review, go to https://bibliostatic.com/2020/11/09/b...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Charlotte Reed is a widowed former high school English teacher who inherited Chapters B&B after the death of her Great-Aunt Isabella. This week she is hosting Amanda Novel who is a best-selling author of historical fantasies and contest winners from her various fan clubs. Charlotte has only read one of her books and isn't a fan. The first thing Charlotte notices when her guests arrive is the amount of tension between them all. Amanda and her publicity guy Tony are at odds. The three contest winne Charlotte Reed is a widowed former high school English teacher who inherited Chapters B&B after the death of her Great-Aunt Isabella. This week she is hosting Amanda Novel who is a best-selling author of historical fantasies and contest winners from her various fan clubs. Charlotte has only read one of her books and isn't a fan. The first thing Charlotte notices when her guests arrive is the amount of tension between them all. Amanda and her publicity guy Tony are at odds. The three contest winners - Lisette, Harper, and Molly - aren't friends either. There are questions about Amanda's latest book which is the thirteenth in her series. There are discussions about scandals in the fan clubs with some references to fan fiction and possible plagiarism. There is also some tension with her neighbor Ellen and her unexpected houseguest Gavin. Ellen is a former spy and it seems apparent that Gavin is also a spy. Ellen and Charlotte has solved a murder mystery the previous year and Charlotte, at least, is hoping that had been a once in a lifetime experience. But when Lisette is found dead, Charlotte knows that it is likely the killer is one of her guests. Along with Ellen they begin an investigation looking into the pasts and present of all of them while trying to figure out why Gavin has come to see Ellen. The story was filled with lots of nice twists and turns and lots of information about fan clubs, fan fiction, publishing and even spycraft.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Not for me. The characters were one-dimensional. The dialogue was totally unnatural, everyone sounded the same, and the sentences went on foreeeeever, like "Jack, Mary's boyfriend, who was a fireman, a job which required him to put out fires, sauntered over to us and smirking, picked up a canape and popped it into his mouth." And everyone is introduced by their full names and says "But please, call me First name." Drove me nuts. DNF at 15%. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Not for me. The characters were one-dimensional. The dialogue was totally unnatural, everyone sounded the same, and the sentences went on foreeeeever, like "Jack, Mary's boyfriend, who was a fireman, a job which required him to put out fires, sauntered over to us and smirking, picked up a canape and popped it into his mouth." And everyone is introduced by their full names and says "But please, call me First name." Drove me nuts. DNF at 15%. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Amanda Nobel is a bestselling author of romantic fantasy series turned into a hit TV series. She has scheduled a stop of her book tour at Chapters, a B&B in Beaufort, North Carolina that is run by Charlotte Reed. Amanda is also staying at the B&B along with Tony, a manager from her publisher and three winners of a contest for her fans. One of them, Lisette is the head of the Amanda Nobel fan club. Molly, another guest, is known to Damien from high school as a woman with a bad temper. The third g Amanda Nobel is a bestselling author of romantic fantasy series turned into a hit TV series. She has scheduled a stop of her book tour at Chapters, a B&B in Beaufort, North Carolina that is run by Charlotte Reed. Amanda is also staying at the B&B along with Tony, a manager from her publisher and three winners of a contest for her fans. One of them, Lisette is the head of the Amanda Nobel fan club. Molly, another guest, is known to Damien from high school as a woman with a bad temper. The third guest is Harper. There are a lot of undercurrents before and during the author event. Charlotte overhears Tony and Lisette having a heated argument that set off alarm bells in her head. Harper and Molly tell Charlotte about a division in their fan club over fan fiction published by Lisette that others claim she plagiarized. They also mention that Lisette has an ex-husband that has been stalking her. During the author event, a local historical challenges Amanda on the lack of historical accuracy in her books and is supported by another local writer. And Charlotte spots Lisette’s ex-husband. Other motives arise as well but I’m avoiding potential spoilers. And so, when Lisette’s body is found dead in the harbor the next morning, there are plenty of suspects to weed through. And Charlotte and her elderly neighbor Ellen are ready, especially when the local police detective asks Charlotte to be her ears at the B&B because she was impressed with her assistance in a prior murder mystery. There’s also a subplot (maybe more of an additional plot) with a man who is staying with Ellen, who is introduced as Ellen’s cousin’s son. This appears related to the first book in the series and history related to Charlotte’s Aunt Isabella career in espionage. I hadn’t read the first book but I think there’s enough backstory provided in this one. But it detracted from the main mystery and I’m not sure why it was added unless to add a future romantic interest for Charlotte. So, bottom line, I enjoyed the book. Feel the spy related portion was not necessary and it would have been better spent giving more insight into Charlotte and the other characters. But I do look forward to a potential future relationship/partnership with Charlotte and Gavin in future books. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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