This is the first of a new mystery series entitled A Booklover’s B&B. It is well-written and will keep the reader wrapped up in the mystery of a murder which occurs during a Tey mystery book club discussion. The discussion takes places a bed and breakfast named Chapters in Beaufort, North Carolina.
The reader will learn about North Carolina and about a Scottish mystery writer named Josephine Tey. Tey is actually a pseudonym for author Elizabeth MacIntosh, but that is never revealed in the story. I had never heard of Tey, so naturally I began to research her to see if she actually existed or if Gilbert had invented her. MacIntosh, herself, is an interesting character who wrote non-fiction under her own name and wrote plays under the name of Gordon Daviot. As Josephine Tey, she wrote mystery novels. Perhaps she felt that keeping the three genres under different names added to the credibility of each one.
This is a squeaky-clean story also about a widow named Charlotte Reed who inherits a bed and breakfast from an aunt she barely knew after her husband’s untimely death. Charlotte sets out to reinvent herself and finds that the aunt who had left her the bed and breakfast had a similar journey in life. What she discovers about her Aunt Isabella, though, also makes her a suspect in the murder.
Gilbert weaves a very believable story about each character, but she leaves little clues as to the identity of the murderer and the true story of Aunt Isabella along the way. At the end, I figured out who the murderer was just before I read the reveal scene. This book obviously sets the stage for the rest of the series. I shall be looking forward to reading more in this series. I recommend it for all ages of mystery readers.