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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + CHARACTER INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert (Cozy Mystery)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I'm featuring a BOOK REVIEW of SHELVED UNDER MURDER, the second book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series as part of the Great Escapes book blog tour! The book's leading lady and library director, Amy Webber, has stopped by for an interview!


Shelved Under Murder
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery, Book 2

by Victoria Gilbert
  Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Date of Publication:  July 2018
Number of Pages:  336


Scroll down for Giveaway!





Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried. 

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder  





An INTERVIEW with Victoria Gilbert's Amy Webber!

THAT'S WHAT SHE'S READING: Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed for this special feature as part of the blog tour! Can you tell readers a little about yourself?
AMY:  I’m the public library director for the historic town of Taylorsford. I’m thirty-three and single, although I am dating someone seriously at the moment. I live with my widowed aunt, Lydia Litton Talbot, in the beautiful Queen Anne Revival-style home that’s been in my family since 1900. My family on my mother’s side has lived in Taylorsford forever, but I was not raised there, so I don’t really qualify as a “native,” at least according to the long-time residents. My mom moved away after college, and she and my dad raised my younger brother and me in eastern Virginia, a little less than two hours from Taylorsford.  

Everyone tells me that I look just like my great-grandmother, Rose Baker Litton, who resembled the 1920s film star, Louise Brooks, although Rose was a bit more voluptuous (as am I!) I’m just under average height but curvaceous, which can make finding clothes that flatter me difficult. (Which is why I tend to favor simple, tailored outfits for work, and t-shirts and shorts or jeans at home). I love gardening, which is good, since Aunt Lydia’s extensive garden requires a lot of maintenance. I also love to read, and I enjoy watching films, walking, and anything to do with art. I’m not an artist myself but I majored in Art History as an undergrad and it’s remained a passion of mine.
As a fellow public librarian myself, what was the transition like for you from an academic to a public library setting?
It was a challenge at first. For one thing, academic libraries use the Library of Congress classification system, while public libraries use Dewey Decimal. Sometimes I still mix them up! Also, in a public library there’s much more emphasis on engagement with the community, and not only related to books and reading. I don’t really mind that change, though. I like the fact that a local library is a social and educational hub for the community, where I can assist people with a variety of needs, including job searches, literacy, homework help, genealogical research, and so on. 

The other aspect that was a major change was that my public library only has two paid employees—me, and my assistant Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. We do have a number of volunteers who assist with events and help cover the circulation desk, but all of the management duties fall on Sunny and me. Coming from a university, where there are multiple librarians in each department of the library, this was a big adjustment. I discovered that not only does the buck stop with me, it starts there too!
Exactly! It's so important to distinguish between the varying roles within the communities you serve! I've also had experience working in a small town! What do you love about it and what do you wish was better?
I love the fact that most of the people in small towns are very involved in the life of their community. Many of them are willing to volunteer a considerable amount their time to town activities and events. I also love the fact that history is kept alive through family and community stories.

Of course, the most difficult part of living and working in a small town is that everyone seems to know everyone else’s business—especially when you have someone like my aunt’s best friend, Zelda Shoemaker, around. I love Zelda, but I have to admit that not even a wisp of gossip escapes her notice. So I guess I would say that I wish there was a little more privacy in Taylorsford. But I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.
I know! You've perfectly captured my sentiments! Let's chat a little about your reading preferences. What book do you consider the most underrated? Most overrated?
I love the urban fantasy, TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON by R.A. MacAvoy (as well as the rest of MacAvoy’s books). While it is well-respected, I think TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON should be better known. Although it is an older book, and its references to computer technology are dated, I also think someone should turn it into a film! I love its slightly older protagonist, who reminds me of my Aunt Lydia.

Overrated? MOBY DICK. I know it’s a classic, and it is brilliant, but I’ve never been able to get through that tome. I guess you could say finishing that book is my “white whale,” LOL.
HAHAHA! I'm sure it's the same issue for a lot of readers as well! With summer in full swing, can you provide a few recommendations for summer reading?
I’m an eclectic reader, so my list will be eclectic as well! 

KISS OF THE ROYAL by Lindsey Duga (YA Fantasy)
THE ROLE by Richard Taylor Pearson (Contemp. Fiction, LBGTQ) 
PROTOCOL and 39 WINKS by Kathleen Valenti (Mystery)
A MUDDIED MURDER by Wendy Tyson (Mystery)
KA: DAR OAKLEY IN THE RUIN OF YMR by John Crowley (Fantasy)
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (Contemp. Fiction) THE DAUGHTER OF TIME by Josephine Tey (classic Mystery)
The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett (Historical Fiction, 6 book series – first book is THE GAME OF KINGS)
And the last question I like to ask everyone, what are you currently reading?
A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd. It’s one of my book club’s selections for later this year. I love book clubs, not just because I enjoy literary discussions, but also because researching for titles helps me discover new authors and books.
I couldn't agree more! Thank you so much for your time and best wishes to you and the library!

BOOK REVIEW


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

I say this a lot and I have no problems saying it again:  I am a huge fan of cozies that feature anything having to do with books or libraries. Having read and reviewed the first book in this series last year, which you can check out HERE, I couldn't wait to find out what shenanigans Amy would find herself in this time around! And needless to say, I wasn't disappointed!

As was the case in the previous book, the library isn't the focus of the mystery or the story, but I certainly enjoyed learning more about the underworld of art forgery. When actual paintings were mentioned, this was one of those books where you wish there were pictures! But with my Kindle, I could simply highlight the text, search for the image, and stare wonderingly at the creativity of the human spirit. 

Secrets continue to run deep in this small town, especially for one still reeling from the events in the previous book. But not to worry, this is still very much a standalone novel; however, I would still encourage you to check out the first one just to have a complete understanding of how shady many of these secondary characters can truly be!

The pacing was much better to me this time around as the suspense built gradually to an unpredictable conclusion. The mystery was quite elaborate, while the additional storylines and well developed characters added those subtle red herrings and remarkable twists necessary to keep readers guessing. 

Overall, this series continues to get better and I'm highly anticipating the third installment, PAST DUE FOR MURDER, arriving on shelves early next year. This is highly recommended for fans of bookish cozies, but certainly a good selection for any mystery reader!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.
When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.
Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats.
You can connect with her on:
FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  INSTAGRAM  |  WEBSITE  |  GOODREADS

GIVEAWAY INFO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Best of Luck!

I hope that you enjoyed today's special feature and will be adding this book to your reading! Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and Victoria Gilbert! It was a pleasure hosting and being a part of the tour! And be sure to check out the other blog stops for opinions and author extras!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 9 – The Ninja Librarian - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
July 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW
July 16 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
July 20 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for participating in the blog tour, the character interview, and the review!

    ReplyDelete

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