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Saturday, October 6, 2018

#NetGalley Book Review: Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert

I enjoyed this solid, easy, cozy mystery.
Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert
Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by [Victoria Gilbert]
File Size: 4606 KB
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies. October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.
The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.
That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder in Shelved Under Murder, the charming second installment in Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries, perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Miranda James.

Amy Webber is the library director for this historic village of Taylorsford, Virginia. The town hosts an annual Heritage Festival in October during which the library runs a yard sale fundraiser. The library fundraiser always tries to include art work, especially from local artists. This year they have arranged for pieces to be donated by a famous local artist. However, when Amy and her friend/assistant, Sunny, arrive to pick up the works, they find a dead artist instead. The police search of the studio, scene of the crime, reveals a hidden cache of what appear to be forged paintings. Since Amy studied art history and is skilled at researching, she is asked by the sheriff’s office to help in the investigation.

An art expert is brought in on the case and he is invited to stay with Amy and her Aunt Lydia since the local inns are full of tourists. The gentleman confirms the forgeries but also discloses a connection to Lydia’s late husband who was an undiscovered artist. Amy and Lydia now have to try to unravel the mystery of the forged paintings while trying to stay away from the murderer.

There are several suspects available, including the deceased woman’s husband, a local youth who has a drug problem and a local wealthy man whose business history is a bit shady. Amy’s fiancé, Richard, a dance and choreographer artist, is along board for moral and physical support. Richard would like to know she is safe, but he has reason to worry. It seems that Amy has a knack for getting into trouble as she was involved in a murder investigation during the summer.

I enjoyed the easy style of this cozy with its real to life writing and lovely autumn descriptions. This is right in line with what I expect from a cozy mystery with the small-town atmosphere, a few quirky characters, jealousies and misdirections. The elements of art forgery added interest. There were also some hints of romance among other characters.

I enjoyed this enough to be interested in reading the first in the series, A Murder for the Books, to find out how Amy and Richard meet and fall in love – as well as learning about the first murder event. I recommend this easy read to fans of the cozy mystery genre.

Source: NetGalley 2018. This qualifies for my 2018 NetGalley Challenge.


  1. Definitely my cup of tea, Martha. Thanks for reviewing!

  2. Great review. I live this type of cozy mysteries myself, so I'm going to have to check out this series. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this story with us.


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