I received an ARC of Reserved for Murder by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and interpretations are solely my own. #netgalley #reservedformurder
When I saw this book was available for review, I jumped at the chance to do just that. An author visit, a time-travel romance author no less — a bed and breakfast and a literary theme! It was all I’d love to read about all in one book. I’d read other reviews of the author, Victoria Gilbert’s, first book, Booked for Death and noticed that several reviewers mentioned the main character and owner of the B&B was not a sympathetic character and I have to agree.
Charlotte never seemed to be happy about running the Inn. She also seemed to disparage the visiting author’s book but grudgingly read it.
I did enjoy the plagarism subplot as well as the whodunit aspect. I tried to solve the crime along with Charlotte and her neighbor Ellen and Ellen’s “cousin” Gavin. I am not certain if the murder (I don’t want to give away who it was) having essentially a monologue as to why the murder was committed was a “cheat” or not. Charlotte was certainly gathering clues and spending time eavesdropping on guests, but I am not certain she actively solved the murder. I realize that not all main characters in cozy mysteries do solve the crime on their own so that is not a fault in the book.
Charlotte reciting clues back to the photo of her deceased husband seemed to drag out the book. I don’t know whether that moved the book along at all or if it was just the author’s way of disseminating the clues to the reader.
I also wondered, even though Charlotte helped solve the murder in the first book, whether the police chief would truly ask a civilian to get involved and share clues with the department. I would think a police chief would find a civilian to be meddling in the solving of the crime if he or she were gathering clues.
The subplot of Charlotte’s deceased aunt having been a super spy/secret agent seemed out of place in a cozy. I realize books need subplots, but I feel like this one was so far afield that I wasn’t engaged in that part of the book.
As a rating of one star to five stars I would give this book a solid three stars. There were portions I truly enjoyed, but I found it so hard to connect to Charlotte and I felt she spent a lot of time eavesdropping.
Review by Robbi Hess