The One About A Bookstore-Owner Sleuth: Bound by Murder By Laura Gail Black | Book Review

I’ve been craving a cosy mystery lately, so after scrolling through NetGalley for an upcoming release I found this little gem. As soon as I read that the protagonist was the owner of her own bookstore…

It was an instant request for me!

Bound by Murder

by Laura Gail Black 

Kindle Edition: 288 pages

Expected publication: September 6th 2022


Series: Antique Bookshop Mystery #3

Goodreads blurb:

for fans of Ellery Adams and Paige Shelton, the wedding can’t go on when the bride is found murdered—but can love still win the day in this third installment of Laura Gail Black’s cozy series.

The birds are singing, books are selling, and the Hokes Bluff Inn has begun to host weddings on its property. Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn loves the romance in the air—until her ex-fiancé, Blake Emerson, walks in with his bride-to-be, Missy Plott. Blake continues to profess his love for Jenna if she’ll have him back, no matter the consequences. And the consequences are grave, indeed, when Missy turns up dead.

All evidence points to Blake, who was the last one to see her alive. He begs Jenna to help him clear his name. Blake’s mother, Cordelia, is also bent on exonerating her son. Jenna doesn’t believe that Blake could have killed Missy, and she starts digging for suspects. It could have been Missy’s ex-boyfriend, who proclaims a love for her he says only death could sever. Or might it have been Missy’s bitter “best friend,” who was secretly besotted with Missy’s ex.

Then, the police find evidence from a cold case years before—a case that had falsely implicated Jenna herself. Cordelia continues to beg Jenna to help prove her son’s innocence. Could Blake truly be innocent?

Jenna’s life is on the line in a final confrontation that will either prove Blake’s innocence—or damn them both. 

‘Bound by Murder’ by Laura Gail Black is the epitome of everything I could ever want cosy mystery. Like any cosy mystery series, our protagonist finds herself in an awkward situation when her ex-fiancé, Blake, arrives in their town with a new fiancé in tow (wearing the ring he proposed to her with?!). Things take a turn for the worst when the new fiancé is found dead, and Jenna happens to be the one who finds the body. All eyes turn to Blake as the main suspect, but despite their rocky past, Jenna has doubts about Blake’s charges. This book is the third book in the series, and even though I have not read the first two books, I had no trouble catching up with the main cast of characters and where we are in this series.

I love the fact that the main character, Jenna, is the owner of a bookstore— for a reader like myself, how idyllic and does that job sound? Coupled with the fact that this series is set in a charming small-town and a close-knit community of characters,, this story is just filled with “cosy” vibes. This book was also really well-written for the most part with the mystery plot line intertwined with a hint of the romance between Jenna and the town’s detective Keith. I do read cosy mysteries for the murder mystery element, BUT I am not ashamed to admit that I do love a romance in series like this— especially if it’s between the protagonist and the detective/police.

That being said, the main focus of this book was still the murder mystery. The mystery was intriguing enough to keep me reading till the very end. As someone who reads lots of crime/mystery books, the murderer reveal was a bit predictable; however, there was a small twist at the second half of the book that I was not expecting so that was a fun surprise.

I do plan on reading the first two books in this series, and look forward to seeing more of Laura Gail Black’s future works.

4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me this ARC of ‘Bound by Murder’ by Laura Gail Black in exchange for an honest review.

Do you read Cosy Mysteries?

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