Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on November 9, 2015

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A Dickens of a Murder (Canterville Book Shop Mystery 1)
Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (November 3, 2015)
ASIN: B015269QSI


Christmas at Canterville!

Lisa Wellman and Simon Canterville are surprised to find a dead man on their roof in the midst of rushing to open the Canterville Book Shop in time for the holidays. And not just any dead man – Ebenezer Hart – the man who opposed the book shop opening in Olde Town, Portsmouth, Virginia.
What might be more surprising is when Daniel Fairhaven – Lisa’s ex – turns up at the door of the three-story Victorian house to head the police investigation. She hasn’t seen him in years but the sparks start to fly as soon as they are in the same room together.

Simon and Lisa are obviously the best suspects for the murder. Each of them had something to gain by Hart’s death. Then an attempt on Simon’s life throws that theory into a tailspin.
But the biggest surprise yet comes when the ghost of Charles Dickens turns up to help Lisa with the murder investigation – and writing the mystery novel she has been working on for years.
Without a doubt, Daniel and Dickens in Lisa’s life means trouble. And there’s still the matter of trying to get the book shop open with a killer on their heels.


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What happens when you throw books, an author’s ghost and murder into the mix? A crazy adventure with mayhem and even past love.

I love to read and therefore love bookstores, so of course the setting intrigued me. Then as I’m reading along a ghost appears, and not just any ghost, the ghost of Charles Dickens. Throw in the fact that Lisa’s ex-husband is on the police force (and she hasn’t seen him in about 12 years) and he is the one investigating this case, well there might be some sparks flying by the end.

This book kept me engaged and I really liked that they pulled in characters from 2 others series (and since they write so many books it isn’t hard to do).

The mystery is definitely a mystery and with the somewhat limited cast of characters I suspected one character. When shown it couldn’t be this character, my mind did wonder about another character but with nothing to put my finger on other than comments and reactions in different situations. (boy it is hard to be vague so as not to give away the killer!)

I’m hoping this series will continue, but with the death of Joyce, I’m not sure if Jim will continue this series. I do hope so because it seems like the bookstore is haunted and visited by many ghosts of authors past.

We give this 5 paws up!


About the Authors

jim-joyceJoyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. Jim lives in rural North Carolina with his family as Joyce passed away in late October 2015.  She will be missed.

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