A Dickens of a Murder by Joyce and Jim Lavene
The First Canterville Book Shop Mystery
The story starts in mid November as we meet Simon Canterville and Lisa
Wellman, a unique duo who, while knowing each other for about a year,
just became partners in a new venture-a book store. Looking at their
Victorian shop they see a man and ponder what he's doing on their roof.
While still attempting to figure out the truth of the matter the police
arrive on the scene, but it's not just any patrol office, it's the
Deputy Chief of Police, who happens to be Lisa's ex-husband.
Unfortunately, the man on the roof is not the cable man, he's a dead
Joyce and Jim Lavene have brought another great group of characters to life in their new Canterville Book Shop Mystery series, featuring Simon Canterville, the slightly mysterious, steely, yet vulnerable, older partner and Lisa Wellman, the woman who needed a change after the loss of her mother and was willing to take a risk on a new venture. Lisa is down to earth, and I think mystery fans will find a distinct kinship in her, a former librarian who goes into partnership of a book store giving her extra time to write her own mystery novel! Sounds like heaven to many of us! Also endearing are the facts she remembers from her many classes about crime and how she relates them to her current situation. We have our nefarious characters as well; the ne'er do well son, the neighbors, and of course, our victim. The most unique character however, is the ghost of Charles Dickens. The Lavenes have a knack for making the paranormal normal. It seems almost natural that the ghost of Dickens would appear in a Victorian book shop, even if it is located it Portsmouth, Virginia, not England. What was even more normal was Lisa's initial reaction!
The Lavenes lay out a brilliant plan by telling us that many literary ghosts have appeared in the shop. In A Dickens of a Murder we meet and say goodbye to Charles Dickens. Now we're hooked-what literary figure will appear next?! Literary ghosts aside, there are other reasons I'm hooked on this new series. I want to return to the Canterville Book Shop to see how the store flourishes, to see how Lisa's book progresses, if her relationship with Daniel progresses, if the ghost hunters return, and yes, whose ghost will show up next!
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