Rating: Very Good
Description: 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.
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: The first in the series was one of my favorite cozy mystery reads so I knew I couldn't miss this one.
My Impression: I loved the first book in this series and was so excited for this one! This series has so many of my very favorite things that it's hard to believe it's not written specifically for me. There's a librarian who does research, there's some art theft, there some mysteries and scandals from the past floating up, a dead body or two, and even a touch of romance. I really loved seeing more of Richard's work and just what a professional dancer/choreographer does. As well, I felt we saw a bit more of Aunt Lydia and got to know her past more. I also found the added element of the library fundraiser and the relationship between the library director (Amy) and the head of the Friends of the Library group really interesting.
The characters come alive from page one and the mystery had me invested early on. Amy's involvement did make sense given the art angle and the small town staffing limitations. I can't say the ending was a shock but I still enjoyed getting there. The pacing was fast, the characters were likable, and the mystery was thoroughly entertaining - what's not to love?
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Yes! Is the next one available yet?
Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy bookish cozies you must read this series. I think you could jump in here with no problem but the first one is so fun it shouldn't be missed!