Thursday, February 22, 2024

Book Tour: The Library Murders by Merryn Allingham (Flora Steele Mystery #8)

It’s my stop today on The Library Murders by Merryn Allingham Books on Tour. Many thanks to Sarah Hardy of Bookouture for the invite, and for NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this delightful book.

📚 About the Book:

Bookshop owner and amateur detective Flora Steele and her fiancé, crime writer Jack Carrington, discover words can kill as they solve their most puzzling case yet…

It’s a sunny morning in Abbeymead as Flora cycles through the village and knocks on the door of the local library, planning to deliver a gift to librarian Maud Frobisher to mark her retirement. But Flora is shocked when she finds Maud slumped in the corner, and even more startled when she recognises the man holding the murder weapon – an enormous hardback book.

Flora’s known Lowell Gracey since her college days, but what is he doing working for Maud and now the main suspect in her murder? Suspicion mounts when Flora and Jack discover that Lowell is heavily in debt, and that a priceless rare first edition has recently gone missing, but Lowell is adamant that he’s innocent, and Flora believes him.

The pair are once more drawn into an investigation, but who would kill a beloved librarian?Perhaps Rose Lawson, a mysterious newcomer to Abbeymead known to be in dire financial straits? Or pompous bestselling author Felix Wingrave, who rumours say would do anything to get his hands on a valuable book for his collection?

Then the village is rocked by the discovery of a second body. Flora and Jack realise a vital clue lies in the pages of a novel – but the plot is thickening and the killer is closing in…

Flora and Jack are determined to solve this fiendish case by the book – but will this be the end of their story?

A completely page-turning and addictive cozy crime mystery. Fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis will adore this unputdownable series!

📚 My thoughts:

It's good to see that the 8th book in this bookish-themed series brings us back to the charming Abbeymead village, meeting our beloved amateur-sleuth couple: Flora Steele and Jack Carrington. And this is probably the most bookish crime fiction I've ever read. Everything surrounding the mystery is about books. The victim is a librarian. The weapon is a hardcopy of Lord of the Rings (imagine how thick and heavy it is), smashed to the victim's head. The killer's motive isn't far away from literary world. And even the key clue to solve the mystery is in, or part of, a book!

The murders (yes, there's a second murder - also quite bookish) happens during a crime-writer conference which is held in Abbeymead. Jack is co-hosting, while Flora caters a bookshop stall for the participants. So, of course, beside the recurring characters (which are Flora and Jack's friends or neighbors), all the suspects are mainly literary people. And this bookish aspect makes this book very satisfying for book lovers.

Needless to say, I loved almost everything about this book. Flora and Jack's dynamic relationship after they're engaged added a sweet touch to the story, and the plot itself is cleverly woven. One thing which is a bit off to me is the denouement. While the second murder is wrapped up neatly, the first one isn't very clear. I wished to know more about it. But other than that, it is a perfect getaway book if you love books (who doesn't? 😉), picturesque village in the 1950s, loveable characters, splashed with a touch of romance and sprinkled with witty dialogs. 

📚 About the Author:

Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.

Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.

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Be sure to check out other stops on the tour to see what others thought. Happy reading!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the bookish setting of this one as much as I did. As you say, this is definitely the most bookish of these mysteries that I've read so far as well, and thought it really good fun. So happy to be on the blog tour with you.

    1. One thing's for sure, I can never look at a hardcopy of LOTR the same way again! :))

  2. Eight books in and still going strong! That's awesome.

    1. Actually I've just read the 1st and then 7th and this 8th. Can't get any e-book of the #2-6, but according to others they are generally nice, so yeah, it's quite awesome.


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