Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Bodies in the Library - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Bodies in the Library (First Edition Library Mystery #1) by Marty Wingate

Rating:  Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling's former secretary.
Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley's ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight--an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House.

But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've enjoyed other series by Marty Wingate and I can never resist a cozy mystery that has a title that's a play on an Agatha Christie title.

My Impression:  I've enjoyed other series by Wingate so I was not surprised at all when this one pulled me in from the beginning.  I adored the setting for this series - a lovely Georgian home in Bath filled with first editions of Golden Age mystery authors.  I would love to sit in the library (pre-dead body) and just stare at all those beautiful Agatha Christies, Patrica Wentworths, and Dorothy L. Sayers. I thought the addition of an Agatha Christie fan fiction added a bit of humor though most (okay all) of their ideas made my eyes wide with horror.  This is especially delightful/horrifying if you're an Agatha Christie fan.  While Hayley is new to crime fiction Wingate is clearly not and I loved all her obscure mentions of some of my favorite detectives.

At first I thought it was a bit odd that Wingate made her MC have very little interest in crime fiction but as the book progressed I thought it added a fun element to see Hayley embrace the genre.  The mystery was entertaining and the pacing kept me reading.  The characters are varied and interesting and definitely people I'm looking forward to getting to know as the series progresses.

The book wasn't flawless.  The plot got a little convoluted at times and I regularly forgot that Hayley is supposed to be a woman in her 40s with a daughter in her 20s.  Most of the time she reads much younger and more immature.  I would have put her in her 20s and not her daughter.  Despite the minor flaws this was an enjoyable read with likable characters and a fantastic setting. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I've really enjoyed every book I've read from this author and definitely will be continuing her books. 

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy lighter cozies then this is a great book to pick up - especially if you're a fan of classic mysteries.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Yes the setting does sound gorgeous and I laughed at how you'd like to be there before the dead body!