Month: May 2019

Book Review: Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams

If you follow my reviews, you are probably aware that I prefer to start reading a series with Book 1. So you may be wondering why I picked up “Murder in the Reading Room”, which is Book 5 in the Book Retreat Mystery y reviews, you are probably aware that I prefer to start reading a series with Book 1. So you may be wondering why I picked up “Murder in the Reading Room”, which is Book 5 in the Book Retreat Mystery series. The answer is simple: Ellery Adams! Ms. Adams is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery authors, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her latest release, even though it isn’t the first in the series.

From the perspective of a reader new to this world, I was able to jump right in and pick up on the characters, places, and situations quite easily. I must say, however, that I didn’t so much “jump right in” as get sucked right in…once I started reading, I could not put this book down! The story opens with some significant action, and I was immediately drawn to the characters and eager to see how the situation played out. Even without the background from the first four books, it was clear who the major players were, what their relationships were to each other, and what was going on.

The mysteries themselves (I use the plural, because there are two murders in addition to the initial kidnapping plot in this book) are well-plotted, with enough clues and information provided to the reader to keep things interesting, but never enough to make the answer obvious. The book opens with Jane visiting the luxurious Biltmore estate, which was fascinating. The more standard location of Jane’s own Storyton Hall is the setting for the rest of the book, and I enjoyed visiting it as well.

The book also shines in the area of characters and their relationships with one another. Jane is an instantly likeable heroine, and her Fins are also a joy to read about. The special relationship Jane has with these men is clearly evident, and plays a significant role in the story. Jane’s friendship with Eloise, romance with Edwin, and closeness to her aunt, uncle, and cleverly-named children add a great deal of depth to the story. Honestly, this is one of those rare cozy landscapes I would happily read about even without a mystery to solve….it would be a delight just to learn more about the day-to-day lives of these characters.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about “Murder in the Reading Room”. I see this line so often in reviews, but I honestly WILL be going back to book one to catch up on everything I’ve missed so far in this fabulous series. It will give me something to enjoy while I eagerly await Book six!

Overall, five out of five chunks of smooth, sharp, delectable Asiago!

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