Book One in the Booklovers’ B & B cozy mystery series.
To be published by Crooked Lane Books.
The Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina is a readers’ paradise. Its book-filled rooms are decorated to honor famous authors and it boasts an amazing library. Built in 1770, the B&B has retained its charm even after being renovated to provide modern comfort and conveniences. Offering special events to celebrate specific books, genres, and authors, it’s a cozy haven for booklovers, and the perfect literary retreat.
That is, until a retired book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during the B&B’s celebration of Golden Age mystery author, Josephine Tey.
With six guests staying at Chapters, and a few locals joining the Tey weekend celebration, a prime suspect isn’t immediately obvious. But the victim’s daughter quickly points the finger at forty-two-year-old Charlotte Reed, the B&B’s proprietor. Charlotte, a widow, inherited Chapters from her great-aunt Isabella, along with the B&B’s friendly but non-nonsense manager, Adele Simpson, and an irascible local chef, Damian Carr.
Things definitely run aground when writer Scott Kepler, who occasionally stays at the B&B while researching the town’s shipwreck and pirate history, reveals that the book dealer had shared a secret – his suspicion that the purchase of Chapters, and the accumulation of the B&B library, were only made possible through the sale of rare books and other items stolen from an estate where Isabella once worked.
Former school teacher Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in less than two years, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises. Well, nothing except her skill at managing a classroom full of teenagers and dealing with public school bureaucracy, of course. Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted – with varying degrees of success – by her staff and some members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her own innocence as well as to clear her great-aunt’s name.
But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer’s death. If Charlotte can’t outwit this unknown killer, she just might end up swimming with the fishes in Beaufort’s harbor.