If you’d asked me what a day in my life was like before he walked into my library and my life, I’d have a very different response.
Especially after we stumbled over that dead patron. . .
Now, I admit working in a public library has taught me to expect surprises. Like picking up the picture book with the bubblegum smeared all over its cover by one of our readers, or discovering Young Adult books erroneously shelved between auto repair manuals by the patron we’ve lovingly dubbed “The Nightingale.” (For the nurse, not the bird).
But dead bodies are still a bit of a shock.
I’m Amy Webber, the somewhat new—one year and counting—library director at the Taylorsford Public Library. I used to work as an academic librarian, but that was before the fateful reception where I caught my former boyfriend, a pianist, tickling the fancy of a blonde violinist instead of the ivories. Since I was conveniently clutching a glass of champagne, I chucked at him. Sadly, my shaking hands threw off my aim and I hit the Dean of Music instead. I wasn’t fired, but the sheer mortification of this event compelled me to flee my old job as well as my failed romance.
Fortunately my aunt still lives in our historic family home in a nearby Virginia mountain town. Her offer of free housing allowed me to accept the grossly underpaid position as library director of Taylorsford. Since then my days have been as smooth, as lovely—and about as exciting—as Aunt Lydia’s string of matched pearls.
But that was before our new neighbor, Richard Muir, showed up.
Good-looking? You bet. He has the grace and body of an athlete too, which isn’t surprising since he’s a well-known contemporary dancer and choreographer. After renovating the farmhouse that once belonged to his Great-Uncle Paul Dassin, Richard sought my research assistance to help him prove that the woman his great-uncle loved was innocent of a sensational 1925 murder.
Naturally my first thought was to dig into the town archives, which are housed in a small stone building behind the library. I thought we might find some clues in old newspapers and documents. Instead we found a body.
Yeah, it was that kind of day—a “meet a charming guy and fall over a dead patron” kind of day. Not my usual, I must admit. Although if I’m totally honest, there’s a part of me that finds the idea of investigating mysteries exciting. It’s like research. You never know where digging into the past might lead.
Truthfully? I can’t wait to start sleuthing. . .
If you want to find out where Amy’s adventures lead her and her charming but eccentric band of family and friends, pick up A Murder For The Books, the first installment in the “Blue Ridge Library” mystery series.
Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia and busies herself managing the town’s public library The last thing she needs is a handsome new neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.
Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle. Town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his own wife, an outsider. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy’s skeptical, until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families— including her own.
When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest
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Meet 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’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. When not writing or reading, she likes to watch films, garden, or travel. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. You can find out more about Victoria and connect with her via her social media links at her website: victoriagilbertmysteries.com.
All comments are welcomed.