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Determined to make the First Edition Library a success, Hayley Burke wasn’t expecting to have to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She's even made pr Determined to make the First Edition Library a success, Hayley Burke wasn’t expecting to have to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She's even made progress with Lady Fowling's former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling's life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning. Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. Oona feels this book could be the focal point of the exhibition and becomes obsessed with finding it. When they find clues that appear to point to the book being somewhere in the First Edition Library, Oona is certain she's unraveled the mystery and texts Hayley the good news, but upon arriving back at Middlebank, Hayley finds her old boss dead at the bottom of the stairs. Did her discovery of the rare book get her killed or was it some angry shadow from her past? Hayley must read between the lines to catch a malicious murderer.


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Determined to make the First Edition Library a success, Hayley Burke wasn’t expecting to have to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She's even made pr Determined to make the First Edition Library a success, Hayley Burke wasn’t expecting to have to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She's even made progress with Lady Fowling's former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling's life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning. Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. Oona feels this book could be the focal point of the exhibition and becomes obsessed with finding it. When they find clues that appear to point to the book being somewhere in the First Edition Library, Oona is certain she's unraveled the mystery and texts Hayley the good news, but upon arriving back at Middlebank, Hayley finds her old boss dead at the bottom of the stairs. Did her discovery of the rare book get her killed or was it some angry shadow from her past? Hayley must read between the lines to catch a malicious murderer.

30 review for Murder Is a Must

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    Hayley Burke is the curator at Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library in Bath, England. The library is a mystery lovers dream, containing many Golden Age mysteries. Hayley and her former boss, Oona, are preparing a new exhibit showcasing Lady Fowling’s life and letters. When they learn a rare, signed book may be located somewhere in the library, Oona wants to locate it. Before the book id located, Oona is found dead. In addition to getting involved in the murder investigation, Hayley als Hayley Burke is the curator at Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library in Bath, England. The library is a mystery lovers dream, containing many Golden Age mysteries. Hayley and her former boss, Oona, are preparing a new exhibit showcasing Lady Fowling’s life and letters. When they learn a rare, signed book may be located somewhere in the library, Oona wants to locate it. Before the book id located, Oona is found dead. In addition to getting involved in the murder investigation, Hayley also needs to find the missing book. Murder Is a Must is the second book in the First Edition Library Mystery series by Marty Wingate. This book can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the first book, The Bodies in the Library, before this one. It’s a fabulous cozy series, and fans of cozies and Golden Age mysteries are sure to enjoy both books. The setting is charming. The cast of characters is quirky and relatable. Hayley is a likable protagonist – smart, witty, and hard-working. The story is entertaining, and along with the mystery also includes other things happening in Hayley’s life. A delightful cozy mystery. Recommended for fans of cozies, especially ones that feature books and libraries. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    I received an advance review copy from the publisher, via Netgalley. Dorothy L. Sayers is my favorite Golden Age of Mystery writer, so I couldn’t resist this modern-day takeoff on her classic Murder Must Advertise. The protagonist of the book (and of the first in the series, The Bodies in the Library) is Hayley Burke, the curator of the First Edition Library in Bath, which resides (as does Hayley) in the stately Georgian home of the late Lady Fowling, a minor mystery writer herself. Fowler’s home I received an advance review copy from the publisher, via Netgalley. Dorothy L. Sayers is my favorite Golden Age of Mystery writer, so I couldn’t resist this modern-day takeoff on her classic Murder Must Advertise. The protagonist of the book (and of the first in the series, The Bodies in the Library) is Hayley Burke, the curator of the First Edition Library in Bath, which resides (as does Hayley) in the stately Georgian home of the late Lady Fowling, a minor mystery writer herself. Fowler’s home is a treasure trove of Golden Age books. As curator, Hayley organizes frequent speaker nights and other events. As this novel begins, Hayley is determined to mount an exhibition featuring Fowler and her collection. Hayley’s ambitious project requires her to hire an exhibition manager—or at least she thinks it does. She chooses Oona Atherton, a supremely talented woman, but also a perfectionist who is difficult to work with. In short order, Oona is ordering around her intern, Clara, as well as Hayley and Hayley’s lover, Val, who is a literature professor. And in short order after that, Oona is found dead at the bottom of a spiral staircase, just like the featured death in Dorothy L. Sayers’s classic, Murder Must Advertise. Coincidence plays a strong role in moving the plot along. Hayley is a fairly appealing character, though I grit my teeth at women like her, who lack self confidence and who allow themselves to be manipulated. The romance element is there for those who enjoy that, but isn’t too obtrusive. I chose this book for its Golden Age connection, but there really isn’t all that much of it worked into the fabric of the book. The Golden Age is more of a hook for the series that an integral part of it. While this isn’t anywhere near the level of the Golden Age writers, it will likely appeal to those looking for a light cozy read with a bit of non-graphic romance thrown in.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    Another well plotted installment in an interesting new series. I was glad that Mrs. Woolgar was treating Hayley a lot better in this book. Hayley was doing a good job getting used to her position as curator and actually even got a few compliments from the woman. I was glad to see Hayley and her boyfriend Val were in a good place in their relationship too, and she even met his twins. The showdown with the killer was a good one, and someone I thought might be a killer turned out to be a big help. Another well plotted installment in an interesting new series. I was glad that Mrs. Woolgar was treating Hayley a lot better in this book. Hayley was doing a good job getting used to her position as curator and actually even got a few compliments from the woman. I was glad to see Hayley and her boyfriend Val were in a good place in their relationship too, and she even met his twins. The showdown with the killer was a good one, and someone I thought might be a killer turned out to be a big help. I really liked the character of Dom, he kind of cracked me up and reminded me a little of Sheldon on TV with his exactness and how he remembered things. It'll be interesting to see where Hayley's adventures take her after the Lady Fowling remembrance exhibition. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another book that I have mixed feelings about. The story was pretty interesting, but it felt like there was a lot of talk about what the characters were going to do, but they didn't get around to doing them for a long time. It could have been shorter. (SPOILER ALERT): The killer wasn't a surprise. I don't know why the police couldn't figure out that his alibi didn't cover the complete time that he could have committed the crime. So, it was okay. I might read another in the series. Another book that I have mixed feelings about. The story was pretty interesting, but it felt like there was a lot of talk about what the characters were going to do, but they didn't get around to doing them for a long time. It could have been shorter. (SPOILER ALERT): The killer wasn't a surprise. I don't know why the police couldn't figure out that his alibi didn't cover the complete time that he could have committed the crime. So, it was okay. I might read another in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Murder is a Must earns 5/5 Classic Books...Engaging and Clever! Haley Burke is anxious, about her first public event as curator of the First Edition Society. She has arranged for a literary salon evening with author Arthur Fish specking on “Fifty Ways to Murder,” and in exchange for having his own books available for purchase, he will waive his fee. A win—win for both her and Fish himself. Now...the next project. Haley has high expectations for an exhibition showcasing the fascinating life of Lad Murder is a Must earns 5/5 Classic Books...Engaging and Clever! Haley Burke is anxious, about her first public event as curator of the First Edition Society. She has arranged for a literary salon evening with author Arthur Fish specking on “Fifty Ways to Murder,” and in exchange for having his own books available for purchase, he will waive his fee. A win—win for both her and Fish himself. Now...the next project. Haley has high expectations for an exhibition showcasing the fascinating life of Lady Fowling, the author, collector, and name sake of the First Edition Society. “Lady Georgiana Fowling: A Life in Words” would include a display of her personal journals, her own detective books on François Flambeaux, and, after finding a personal letter from Lady Fowling to Dorothy L. Sayers thanking her for the first edition copy of her “Murder Must Advertise” signed by members of the Detection Club, a find that could create a successful frenzy. She needs to get the Society’s approval, a venue to exhibit the artifacts, and someone to put it all together, but things fall into place with a cancellation at a popular location, a fortuitous run in with a former colleague, and an over-the-moon excited board of directors. But, the colleague from hell, leaked details about a book yet to be found, overzealous collectors, and after an incomplete text about the missing Sayers’ novel, a dead body suspiciously found at the bottom of a set of stairs, Haley is put into serious overdrive. Brilliant! Marty Wingate has done Sayers proud with a MUST read mystery perfect for all cozy fans. The drama has elements found in Sayers’ “Murder Must Advertise” with a staircase, an accident not an accident, and as karma is dished out nicely, it is not without a few perilous moments. My inner “Lord Wimsey,” Sayers’ fictional detective, had suspicions about the killer and motive, but lots of misdirection kept me guessing to the end. Haley is a favorite cozy character with whom many can easily identify: witty, patient, clever, but struggling, as we all do, with self-confidence. The supporting cast envelopes a variety of different personalities making it well-rounded and complete. The setting in a mansion turned into a sanctuary of mystery books is the perfect element to entwine those classics and spark further reading. Wingate’s well-written and steady-paced first-person narrative is enriched with descriptive language and dialogue that illustrates well emotions and the different personalities. Be prepared to be reading well into the late hours, as I did, so put on a pot of tea! Disclosure: I received an ARC from Berkeley Books thru NetGalley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This was fun and held my attention; the lead character, Hayley Burke, was smart and driven, and her trajectory and personal relationships were interesting. I loved the setting - a library of first editions from mystery's Golden Age of Detective Fiction, curated by Hayley, who is also hoping to stage an exhibition. (Fans of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, and their fellow writers will find much to enjoy here - one of Sayers' novels, Murder Must Advertise, even features prominently i This was fun and held my attention; the lead character, Hayley Burke, was smart and driven, and her trajectory and personal relationships were interesting. I loved the setting - a library of first editions from mystery's Golden Age of Detective Fiction, curated by Hayley, who is also hoping to stage an exhibition. (Fans of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, and their fellow writers will find much to enjoy here - one of Sayers' novels, Murder Must Advertise, even features prominently in the plot). When Hayley hires an exhibition coordinator, things go awry, and it's up to her (in cooperation with the local police) to solve the murder that results. I don't usually read a lot of cozies, but this is definitely one I would recommend to my library customers in search of that genre.

  7. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Crime for the advanced review copy. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own and not affected by the giveaway. Hayley Burke, Curator of the First Edition Society, a library for first and rare editions of classic mystery novels by women writers in the Golden Age of mysteries. (Agatha Christie was the focus of the first novel in the series and Dorothy L. Sayers is the focus of this second book). Hayley is passionate about the Society, started by the Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Crime for the advanced review copy. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own and not affected by the giveaway. Hayley Burke, Curator of the First Edition Society, a library for first and rare editions of classic mystery novels by women writers in the Golden Age of mysteries. (Agatha Christie was the focus of the first novel in the series and Dorothy L. Sayers is the focus of this second book). Hayley is passionate about the Society, started by the late Lady Georgiana Fowling. Hayley is about to launch an innagural lecture series and is anxious that should go well. Then she wants to do an exhibit on Lady Fowling's life and writings. The only problem- well two problems- is finding a venue and hiring an exhibition manager. Her ideal venue, The Charlotte, a Georgian terraced house across from The Assembly Rooms, is booked solid for 3 years. That is, until Hayley happens to overhear a cancellation and books the place immediately. Gulp! With the board members on her side at last, Hayley seeks an exhibition manager. She manages to land Oona Atherton , the premiere exhibition manager and someone she worked with while at the Jane Austen Centre. The only problem is Oona is hell to work with! She's demanding and leaves no spare time but she really is the very best. The exhibit will center around Lady Fowling's rare, first edition, copy of Dorothy L. Sayers's Murder Must Advertise signed by many of the famous authors of the day. There's just one little hitch- no one knows where the book is! Hayley must try to use the clues Lady Fowling left behind to search for it in time for the exhibition. When Oona's assistant, Clara Powell, finds Oona dead at the bottom of a winding staircase outside the office space just as she discovered the whereabouts of the missing book, it seems life is imitating art. Who would want Oona dead? Hayley is forced to hire her second choice exhibition manager, Zeno Broadfield. He's very eccentric and Hayley worries what the board and their guests will think! Meanwhile she and her boyfriend Val are trying to find some ALONE time together, in private, without interruptions, when his daughters come to town unexpectedly and want to meet Hayley. Hayley is very nervous! She also has to field phone calls from her daughter about her ex-husband Roger's latest schemes. Can she do her job, find the book, manage Zeno, keep the board and sponsors happy as well as keeping her romance alive? She'll leave murder solving to the police this time ... well maybe she'll just ask a few people to confirm their alibis! I have no memory of requesting an ARC of this book and forgot all about it until I logged onto my NetGalley account. oops! It was well worth requesting. I enjoyed it very much. The mystery had enough red herrings to keep me guessing. I was positive it was one of two people but the murderer turned out to be a surprise. I had it all figured out but then got distracted. I especially liked the lost book plot and the quest to find it, almost more than the murder mystery. I am intrigued enough to want to read Murder Must Advertise and have downloaded a digital copy from the library. My only major complaint about this story is that Hayley has too much going on in her life. I would rather have seen the romance slowed down and evolve gradually and leave the family drama for later. It was unnecessary for a relationship of barely only 4 months and made the book super long. I could have done without the Roger drama too but he's necessary for Hayley to figure out her dynamic with Zeno. For an ARC, I didn't notice too many errors. There were a couple of typos but Adobe Digital Editions wouldn't let me highlight or bookmark when I saw them. There was one formatting error with the large capital letter The characters are great! I LOL at Hayley because I also have a degree in 19th-century literature and would love to work for the Jane Austen Centre but have little knowledge of the classic mystery writers. I know a wee bit more than Hayley because I read cozy mysteries but like Hayley, I've read one Christie and seen a few movies! Hayley is kind and motherly. She's frazzled and sometimes snaps at people when she shouldn't but that's OK because it makes her human. She tries to look after younger women and protect them. Hayley is a Mama Bear when it comes to her Dinah. At 23, Dinah isn't quite ready to be an adult yet and needs her mother's guidance and help, especially when it comes to her father, Roger. Roger is one of those ne'er do well dreamers with big plans and schemes but no results. This time Roger goes too far. I really like how Hayley tried hard with Clara and how she dealt with Val's daughters too. What I really don't like is the romance. Four months seems awfully fast to be sleeping together and meeting families. He was forced to meet Dinah because she showed up at her mum's flat unannounced when he was there but she doesn't really need to meet his daughters yet. Maybe I'm out of touch with modern, middle-aged romances but if I'm going to read a series, I want a nice, slow burn romance. Val is a nice guy but rather bland. I don't get much chemistry between them. Bess and Becky are opposite sides of one coin! Bess is bold, tough and bossy while Becky goes along with whatever her sister says. I understand their protectiveness towards their dad but he's a grown man and can take care of himself. Bess's story didn't go where I thought it would. Mrs. Woolgar is growing on me. She seemed uptight and conservative in the first book, but she's getting to know Hayley better and they seem to be coming to an understanding. She's just protective of the Society and Lady Fowling's memory. I have to admit to liking Bunter, the cat too. He's charming and not over used or used in a cartoony, cutesy sort of way. Adele is a fun friend but her romantic drama was misplaced and unnecessary. Board members Mrs. Audrey and Mrs. Sylvia Moon are lovely ladies and don't appear enough in this novel. Hayley's mum is very wise and witty. I love how she does anagrams - on an app on her phone! I hope the anagrams keep her mind sharp. Hayley doesn't need to deal with her mom losing her memory. New characters include author Arthur Fish. He's an odd duck but seems popular. His friend, Bulldog Moyle is a sketchy guy. He's an unusual book collector. He seems more the flipper type but his passion seems to be buying rare books on the cheap but not selling. He's way too interested in the Sayers book to not be suspicious. Bulldog becomes Hayley's chief suspect in the murder. I adore Dom Kilpatrick, an IT manager who once worked with Hayley. He appears to be on the autism spectrum given his love for routine, attention to detail, lack of understanding of emotions and not wanting to be touched. He's a positive portrayal of someone with a disability. I think he's sweet and although most people would say he lacks social skills, he really doesn't. He makes eye contact and he speaks quite well. Dom even has a girlfriend! I was happy with the role he plays in the story. Another writer, Margaret Raines, is also eccentric. Are all writers in this world talkative and eccentric? She sure talks a lot about herself, especially for an ex-cop. People seem to really like her though. I can see why Oona was murdered. She's very driven and doesn't understand people who don't have type A personalities and her work ethic. She's way too intense for me even with her creative ideas. I really disliked how she announced prematurely the rare book find. Doesn't she know that invites thieves possibly murderers into the Society's orbit? Oona seems to have a brilliant mind and solves the mystery of the missing book but her notes are also missing! Was the murder about the book or was it personal? If it was personal, it could be someone she worked with in the past or present. The murderer could be also be about a failed relationship! Even though she was a difficult person, Oona really didn't deserve to die, especially not like that. Not that anyone deserves to be murdered but as far as characters in a book go, she didn't. She was complicated and unlikable, yes but not a bad person. Zeno Berryfield reminds me a lot of Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Zeno is... unusual. His sense of style is eclectic and his idea of a great exhibition is too sensational for the stuffy First Edition Society. I understand Hayley's concerns, especially later on when he starts brainstorming (OMG snooze) but sometimes I think she's a little hard on him. Still, that doesn't mean I like the man or would hire him for a literary exhibition. He's lazy and creativity is as unusual as his suit and tie. Could he be a murderer? He doesn't seem to know Oona is dead at first and seems genuinely shocked at the news. Plus he doesn't know about the book or the exhibition yet, does he? Naomi Faber, reservations manager at the Charlotte seems a bit uptight. Just because one organization with a committee didn't work well together doesn't mean all others automatically won't. She's the reservations manager so why is she so concerned with the exhibition? I think she's rather rude and snippy to everyone and bossy too. I suspect she could be after Oona's job and may have murdered the other woman. It seems plausible yet she has an alibi. Clara Powell seems like a nervous young woman and an eager beaver. She's a bit over eager to achieve and has made Oona her model. I don't think that's very healthy. She seems fragile. There seem to be hints that Clara feels underappreciated, perhaps put-upon and that makes her appear more like she has a steely spine and perhaps her shock at finding Oona dead is faked or shock over having killed someone? Tommy King-Barnes is a modern day druid. He seems fun and unique but Hayley uncovers some information that makes him seem suspicious. I don't want him to be a murderer or a co-conspirator. He's so friendly and nice and helped Hayley a lot. He takes Naomi's fussiness in stride too. Detective Sergeant Hopgood is tough but fair. He seems to respect Hayley but is also annoyed by her interference in the first investigation. I appreciate the fact he's not incompetant because Bath is a city and there IS some crime. Kenny Pye is a nice young man. He knows not to cross his boss but he also knows Hayley is going to do what she wants anyway. Kenny is kind and considerate. He has a sympathetic nature and an understanding of something that is unique to himself and another character. I can relate to that. Lady Fowling sounds like she was an amazing woman. I liked the brief look into her mind and the little peek at her detective hero. I especially thought it was cute how she wrote in radio play commercials. I was disappointed Hayley didn't realize that's what Lady Fowling was doing. I love how Bath is a character in the novel. I enjoyed an incredible visit there in 2013 and in my mind I could walk the streets with Hayley. I recognized a lot of the street names and of course the Jane Austen Centre and Assembly Rooms. I did not remember seeing what was across from the Assembly Rooms and the author's note reveals the Charlotte is fictional. One quibble - COFFEE? In a Georgian city? :Cringe: Do only tourists seek out quaint tea shops? I loved all the references to biscuits eaten with tea and now I have to see if I can buy some McVitie's Penguins! I somehow missed them the two times I was in England. I do like digestive biscuits though and don't think Hayley should turn her nose up at Maries. They're sort of like thick graham crackers. Yes they could be improved by chocolate LOL! The ARC doesn't have the preview of the third novel in the series but that makes me even more eager to read it! Content: Loves touching skin Closed door love scenes

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Hayley Burke is determined to make the First Editions Library a success and relevant to today's fans of mystery novels. She is beginning a series of literary salons. But the big event to increase the Library's membership and reputation is an exhibition. Hayley needs to find a perfect location and an exhibitions manager. Her first choice of venue has a surprise cancellation that Hayley is quick to jump on and an exhibitions manager that Hayley worked with previously is able to take the job. Oona A Hayley Burke is determined to make the First Editions Library a success and relevant to today's fans of mystery novels. She is beginning a series of literary salons. But the big event to increase the Library's membership and reputation is an exhibition. Hayley needs to find a perfect location and an exhibitions manager. Her first choice of venue has a surprise cancellation that Hayley is quick to jump on and an exhibitions manager that Hayley worked with previously is able to take the job. Oona Atherton is a wonderful, creative exhibitions manager but she is also a severe taskmaster who makes many enemies as she finishes her creative exhibitions. Hayley herself once with with Oona and knows her faults but thinks she's the best choice considering the need for a quick turnaround. Hayley has also found a clue in one of the Library's books that indicates that there is a rare first edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE by Dorothy L. Sayers hidden somewhere which contains the autographs of all of the members of the Detection Club from 1933 including Sayers and Agatha Christie among others. The book would make a fine centerpiece for the exhibit - if only Hayley can find it. But then Oona is found murdered and Hayley has a murder to solve, a new exhibition manager to hire, her boyfriend's two daughters to meet, and various other problems to solve including a fire caused by her ex-husband at her daughter's rental flat. I enjoyed the many interesting characters in this one from an exhibition manager who is rather famous for his disasters to a computer geek with an obsessive personality but a great eye for detail. I enjoyed Hayley's new romance with Val which has many other obstacles than his two daughters disapproval of a a new woman in their father's life. This was an engaging and entertaining new episode in this series. I look forward to more of Hayley's adventures.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Murder Is A Must is the second book in the First Edition Library Mystery series. Haley Burke is settling in nicely to her job as curator of the First Edition Library. The library of the late Lady Fowling’s collection of first edition books of Golden Age of Mystery authors, First Edition Library. Haley has started having literary salons, and these salons have been quite popular. When an opening comes up at a nearby exhibition hall, she decides to have an exhibition that will showcase the library. Murder Is A Must is the second book in the First Edition Library Mystery series. Haley Burke is settling in nicely to her job as curator of the First Edition Library. The library of the late Lady Fowling’s collection of first edition books of Golden Age of Mystery authors, First Edition Library. Haley has started having literary salons, and these salons have been quite popular. When an opening comes up at a nearby exhibition hall, she decides to have an exhibition that will showcase the library. She hires Oona, who she has worked for before and not the best of conditions, but she knows Oona is a top-rate organizer. They soon find a note suggesting a first edition copy of Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers and signed by all the Golden Age authors. Soon, Oona informs Haley that she may know where the missing book is. Haley heads over to the exhibition hall but arrives too late, finding Oona’s dead body at the bottom of a staircase. Haley will now have to learn whether Oona was murdered because she had information on the missing book or she had made someone mad enough to end her life. The blossoming romance between Haley and Val continues to grow. Haley will meet Val’s twin daughters and fears that they will try and come between Haley and Val. I enjoyed this story and felt it was well-written and plotted, and the characters were well-developed and quite enjoyable. It will be interesting to see what will happen next for Haley.

  10. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/m... Murder is a Must First Edition Library Mystery #2 By Marty Wingate ISBN 9781984804136 martywingate.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: Determined to make the First Edition Library a success, Hayley Burke wasn’t expecting to have to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling’s collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the Fi https://openbooksociety.com/article/m... Murder is a Must First Edition Library Mystery #2 By Marty Wingate ISBN 9781984804136 martywingate.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: Determined to make the First Edition Library a success, Hayley Burke wasn’t expecting to have to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling’s collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She’s even made progress with Lady Fowling’s former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling’s life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning. Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. Oona feels this book could be the focal point of the exhibition and becomes obsessed with finding it. When they find clues that appear to point to the book being somewhere in the First Edition Library, Oona is certain she’s unraveled the mystery and texts Hayley the good news, but upon arriving back at Middlebank, Hayley finds her old boss dead at the bottom of the stairs. Did her discovery of the rare book get her killed or was it some angry shadow from her past? Hayley must read between the lines to catch a malicious murderer. (From Goodreads) Review: It is a delight to read the second in this fresh and exhilarating series that highlights authors and best- selling novels from the Golden Age of Mystery! I enjoyed visiting these delightful, well-defined characters in Bath, England. The author mixes wit, history, and mystery into a unique blend that entertains modern readers in the same way that the classics enthralled readers past and present. The First Edition Society was begun by the late Lady Georgiana Fowling, who gained a love of the classic mysteries from her beloved late husband. She included his extensive collection of signed first editions in the library at Middlebank House and added to it throughout her life. Hayley is the new curator of the library, and one of her goals is to rebuild the Society to the world-wide membership it once enjoyed. Hayley, with the assistance of Val, her boyfriend, is preparing for the inaugural literary salon, a six-week program which highlights lecturers from various walks of life who are also mystery authors. As one who believes she needs to prove herself in this position, Hayley has also proposed an exhibition to highlight the life of Lady Georgiana Fowling. Included will be her journals, mysteries she wrote, and mysteries she loved. The exhibition will take place in about a year, dependent on obtaining a venue and exhibition manager. When a cancellation occurs at the preferred venue, Hayley jumps on it, and must find a manager quickly as the cancellation is only three months away! Oona is a brilliant manager that Hayley once worked for. Her shows are excellent, but she is a challenging lady to work for. As demanding as she is with her assistants, she is equally demanding on herself. It is with mixed feelings that Hayley presents her to the board as a potential manager because Oona is the one person who could pull off the exhibition in the allotted time. Thankfully, she now comes with her own personal assistant. Oona wows the board with her ideas for the show. Hayley secures a room for Oona and Clara, her PA, to work from at the venue. When searching through various collectible editions in the library, Hayley found a draft of a letter Lady Fowling sent to Dorothy Sellers. If Hayley can find the book referenced in the letter, it will be a focal point for the show – a first edition of the famous author’s 1933 novel, ‘Murder Must Advertise’ signed by all members of the famous Detection Club! It will also add an unprecedented value to the library. Oona texted Hayley that she found THE clue that will help them locate the novel, but her text is incomplete. Hayley hurries to see what Oona found, but someone else may have been the taken the clue. Oona is dead on the landing of exterior stairs to the office, a victim of murder, perhaps by someone with an interest in the valuable volume. Hayley and others are described well with characteristics that bring them to life. Glynnis Woolgar, the secretary of the First Edition Society board and former PA to and close friend of Lady Georgiana, is warming up to Hayley. She wears elegant 1930’s-style clothing she has sewn herself. Hayley has many endearing attributes, including getting Bunter, Lady Fowling’s tortoiseshell cat, a new catnip mouse every week and talking with the life-size portrait of Lady Fowling on the library landing. And what woman dating a father of adult daughters hasn’t trembled when meeting those daddy’s girls? Plot twists and turns identify or eliminate suspects in this murder investigation. It might not be in Hayley’s job description, but she feels the need to solve the case to protect Clara and make sure the exhibition is known for Lady Georgiana and her work rather than an unsolved murder. She also feels the responsibility to find the valuable Sayers first edition. This challenging mystery includes several surprises, including who provides the vital clue that identifies the real bad guy. I highly recommend this hard to put down novel with an incredible ending!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    This is a classic style whodunit by one of my favorite authors. Hayley seems to be enjoying her new job at the First Edition Library, and against her better judgement, she hires her former boss to help with an upcoming exhibit. Secret clues intrigue Hayley and her old boss, but soon things take a disastrous turn, and Hayley finds herself wrapped up in a murder investigation. Fans of this author will enjoy Murder Is a Must. #netgalley #murderisamust

  12. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Hayley Burke is settling into her new life as curator for the late Lady Fowling's First Edition Library at Middlebank. She has her own flat in the home, and even the company of the house's resident cat, Bunter. She's even coming to get on a better footing with Miss Woolgar, Lady Fowling's secretary, who also lives and works there. But Hayley is not only starting her own salons with noted writers, she's on a mission -- she wants to have a public exhibition of some of Lady Fowling's first editions Hayley Burke is settling into her new life as curator for the late Lady Fowling's First Edition Library at Middlebank. She has her own flat in the home, and even the company of the house's resident cat, Bunter. She's even coming to get on a better footing with Miss Woolgar, Lady Fowling's secretary, who also lives and works there. But Hayley is not only starting her own salons with noted writers, she's on a mission -- she wants to have a public exhibition of some of Lady Fowling's first editions, along with a history of her life and what it all meant to her. The ideal location would be the Charlotte, but they're completely booked and Hayley can't find a location...until almost a miracle occurs and now she's faced with finding an exhibition manager. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, she discovers her old boss Oona Atherton in town, who happens to be the best at what she does, and Hayley hires her. But it seems the woman hasn't changed, and runs roughshod over everyone, Hayley included. But when a tragic event occurs and Oona is killed, Hayley is faced with the realization of not only needing to find another manager, but the fact that a murderer is on the loose, and they might be someone she already knows... I have read all of Ms. Wingate's books, and they are top-notch. Her writing is crisp, clear, and descriptive, and this book is no different. We are transported to England, and become a part of Hayley's life, along with her strengths and yes, her insecurities. She's also got a blossoming relationship with Val Moffat, a local writing teacher who helps her and supports her in her endeavors, and that's a refreshing thing in itself. When the unpleasant woman dies, Hayley could easily spin into panic mode, but she keeps her wits about her and carries on, trying to balance her personal life -- which is a tale unto itself at the moment -- and her professional life, which is needing more attention than before. She's afraid of putting her career in danger and disappointing people, but refuses to allow it to get the better of her. What Ms. Wingate has brought from all this is a very human character in Hayley Burke; much like anyone else we could know. We cheer for her when she rights things; we feel her worry and watch as she figures things out. But when Hayley is looking for a killer, she's got suspects she's focusing on, and wanting to know who killed Oona. When the answer comes quite random it seems, but really not so, Hayley unknowingly puts herself in danger too late. But watching the outcome is the best part, and the ending gives us even more to look forward to in the next book. I thoroughly enjoyed this and can't wait for the next one. Highly recommended. I was given an advance copy from the publisher and NetGalley but this in no way influenced my review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Oh no! Oona, a problematic but brilliant woman and ace exhibit manger, is dead. Murdered at Middlebank House where she was helping Hayley plan an event to showcase the first edition collection of Lady Fowling. Lady Fowling loved Golden Age mysteries and she had a lot of them- enough that Hayley curates the First Edition Library. She had a bit of a rough settling in period but things seem to have evened out and now...this! Fans of the cozy know that Oona's fractious personality is more likely to Oh no! Oona, a problematic but brilliant woman and ace exhibit manger, is dead. Murdered at Middlebank House where she was helping Hayley plan an event to showcase the first edition collection of Lady Fowling. Lady Fowling loved Golden Age mysteries and she had a lot of them- enough that Hayley curates the First Edition Library. She had a bit of a rough settling in period but things seem to have evened out and now...this! Fans of the cozy know that Oona's fractious personality is more likely to have led to her demise than the recent discovery that a copy of a Dorothy Sayers novel, signed by multiple authors, has gone missing. I loved this for all the references to these wonderful mystery writers (I'm going to go back and read some I've missed) as well as for the characters. Hayley's a mature woman with a mature love life and a nose for detective. The mystery is twisty (no spoilers from me) but not too complex. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A fun read which was fine as a standalone for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Hayley is settling into her job as curator at the First Edition Library, and is preparing for an exhibition featuring Lady's Fowling's life ad correspondence. She hires her prickly former boss to oversee preparations for the exhibition, and things are going well – until Hayley finds a body at the bottom of the stairs. This is the second book in this series, and I liked it more than the first book, perhaps because the setting and background have already been established. Most of the recurring cha Hayley is settling into her job as curator at the First Edition Library, and is preparing for an exhibition featuring Lady's Fowling's life ad correspondence. She hires her prickly former boss to oversee preparations for the exhibition, and things are going well – until Hayley finds a body at the bottom of the stairs. This is the second book in this series, and I liked it more than the first book, perhaps because the setting and background have already been established. Most of the recurring characters seem like people I would like to spend time with, and I like the way Hayley's relationships – both professional and personal – are developing. It's a nice change of pace that both Hayley and her love interest have adult children to deal with, instead of the young and childless main characters that are so common in many cozy mysteries. The mystery was a good one, with plenty of suspects and red herrings along the way. I thought I knew the identity of the villain, but I was wrong :) I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Hayley is the new curator of Lady Fowling's collection and member of the First Edition Society which involves (among a host of regular duties) arranging for an exhibition showcasing Lady Fowling's writing and collection. The regulars are certainly characters, but the infinitely capable but socially disastrous first event manager is murdered and her assistant is stuck in first gear since finding the body. Then there is the second event manager who is pretty loony in a different way. Hayley has be Hayley is the new curator of Lady Fowling's collection and member of the First Edition Society which involves (among a host of regular duties) arranging for an exhibition showcasing Lady Fowling's writing and collection. The regulars are certainly characters, but the infinitely capable but socially disastrous first event manager is murdered and her assistant is stuck in first gear since finding the body. Then there is the second event manager who is pretty loony in a different way. Hayley has been in contact with the DCI on the case before and keeps him up on any and every thing she happens across, all the while having some major wrangles in her personal life. I had not read the first book in series but never got lost in past issues. I loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Berkley Publishing/Penguin Random House via NetGalley. Thank you!

  16. 5 out of 5

    N

    Murder Is a Must written by Marty Wingate is my first review of the New Year. It is a very good cozy mystery and the 2nd in the series. The setting is Bath, England at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. Hayley Burke is the curator of the collection and the main character. She is also somewhat of an amateur sleuth. The references to Golden Age mysteries is interesting and this is where the story finds it’s center. It’s an easy, fun book to read so grab your cookies (biscuits) and a ni Murder Is a Must written by Marty Wingate is my first review of the New Year. It is a very good cozy mystery and the 2nd in the series. The setting is Bath, England at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. Hayley Burke is the curator of the collection and the main character. She is also somewhat of an amateur sleuth. The references to Golden Age mysteries is interesting and this is where the story finds it’s center. It’s an easy, fun book to read so grab your cookies (biscuits) and a nice cup of tea, sit back and enjoy. Thanks to Goodreads Giveaways and Berkeley Prime Crime for the complimentary copy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    good, good, good

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Review to follow

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lorandos

    While technically a cozy, I think this title (second in The First Edition Library Mystery series) is so much deeper and more developed than that. The research that Wingate does, and references to Sayers, Christie, etc makes me want to go read (and reread) everything from the Golden Age so I can catch even more of her Easter Eggs. Simply loved this book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne, Unfinished Woman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. SPOILER ALERT One of the few cozy mystery series I really enjoy. This time Hayley Burke is well into the salons at Middlebank House, she has developed with Val Moffat, teacher at Bath College, and her boyfriend, which are becoming very successful. She has also convinced the board that an exhibition of Lady Georgiana Fowling as a figure and her collection of Golden Age Mysteries be launched. She hires Oona Atherton to manage the event. She is an obnoxious and bossy woman, but highly competent exhi SPOILER ALERT One of the few cozy mystery series I really enjoy. This time Hayley Burke is well into the salons at Middlebank House, she has developed with Val Moffat, teacher at Bath College, and her boyfriend, which are becoming very successful. She has also convinced the board that an exhibition of Lady Georgiana Fowling as a figure and her collection of Golden Age Mysteries be launched. She hires Oona Atherton to manage the event. She is an obnoxious and bossy woman, but highly competent exhibition manager. She has come excellent ideas for the show, one of which centers on the Queen Anne Desk that was Lady Fowling and the missing book by Dorothy Sayers, "Murder Must Advertise", that is referred to in a letter that Hayley accidently finds. It indicates that it is a first edition and that is signed by all of The Detective Club. It would be a one of a kind find and a huge draw, and worth a great deal of money. Oona also hires a PA Clara Powell. They put out a notice that there is a special book that will be the center of the exhibit, and Hayley is not best pleased that she didn't get permission before the notice. The book still needs to be found. However, there is also another manager, Zeno Berryfield, a blustery and large man that Hayley considers at first. When Oona is murdered, coshed and pushed down the dangerous spiral staircase at the Charlotte, the venue for the exhibition, she reconsiders Zeno and he takes Oona's place. As the investigation into the killing progresses, it becomes clear that Zeno has lied over and over. The three references are one and the same man with multiple businesses. He had known Oona, in fact was married to her. He did see her before she was killed...the list goes on and on. Hayley believes that the valuable book must be the reason for the killing. Oona had texted her just before her death saying she had found it, but cut off before she could finish. The office at the Charlotte has been turned over. A page of the notebooks of Lady Fowling that Hayley had transcribed is missing: one with four elusive lines with Oona's notes on it. There are a significant number of inquiries about the book, including by "Bulldog" Stuart Moyle, a collector. Hayley as is her character continues to ask questions. She is not impressed by the lack of inspiring ideas by Zeno, and finds more and more evidence that she passes on to DS Ronald Hopgood and DC Kenny Pye (a budding writer of mysteries in Val's class at college). He encourages Clara to go off on her own without consulting Hayley, as does he, to keep Hayley off balance. Hayley also discovers that the manager of the Charlotte knew Oona, and had not had a pleasant experience working with her. As the investigation comes to its climax, Hayley finds out from Dom Kilpatrick that he did see Zeno at the Charlotte on the Thursday when Oona was killed despite his supposedly being in another town. They find him on CCTV disguised, and the police are seeking him. He killed Oona out of jealousy for her success and his failure. She had what he wanted. When Hayley searches for a missing Clara, she finds her tied up and duck-taped in the bathtub of her apartment. She releases her. When Zeno grabs Hayley Clara hits him with the tea kettle, and the police rush in. During this story Hayley meets Val's two twin girls who are not particularly receptive to their relationship. But when Hayley offers a hand Becky tells her she has accepted a job as a theatre group manager in New York, going with her boyfriend Adam. She doesn't know how to hell her father and sister Bess.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sam Sigelakis-Minski

    3.5 stars, raised to 4 because I really enjoy this series and think some of the quirks may be ARC related. RTC. Update: Full Review on Sam's Beach Reads. What I Loved: Oona Atherton. It is sad that one of my favorite characters in Murder is a Must is the murder victim, but there you have it. Oona reminds me of Anna Wintour ala Devil Wears Prada, with a slightly less icy demeanor replaced with brusqueness instead. Like Clara, that is the kind of boss I enjoy having, one who works her as 3.5 stars, raised to 4 because I really enjoy this series and think some of the quirks may be ARC related. RTC. Update: Full Review on Sam's Beach Reads. What I Loved: Oona Atherton. It is sad that one of my favorite characters in Murder is a Must is the murder victim, but there you have it. Oona reminds me of Anna Wintour ala Devil Wears Prada, with a slightly less icy demeanor replaced with brusqueness instead. Like Clara, that is the kind of boss I enjoy having, one who works her ass off and has high expectations of everyone else she works with. Hayley is petrified of her and calls Oona’s appeal “the Oona effect,” seemingly insultingly, but Oona is just highly confident, good at her job, passionate, and thorough. Hayley could use some of that confidence, since she is also thorough, good at her job, and passionate. It really seems to me like Oona got a lot of flak for being awesome. Exhibit planning. I know that Lady Fowling is a fictional character, but she feels so real in this series that you become actually invested in seeing this exhibit come to life. A woman widowed young, who spent her life as a patroness of the arts and female writers in particular, who glories in detective fiction and writes in code? Sign me up. Not only is Lady Fowling an easily believable character, but the pitfalls of large scale exhibition planning were also very realistic and painful to watch. Having been in the service industry and helped on multiple events of this scale, there is a lot of planning involved that made this a very relatable read. I wish Lady Fowler and the Charlotte exhibition center were real! What Didn’t Work as Well: Hayley’s Flaws. Gosh, what I mean thing to say. I generally like Hayley as a protagonist – her instincts, when she listens to them, are on point, I love that she speaks with Lady Fowler’s portrait, and she has my dream job. However, she is immensely insecure, dwells on her budding relationship too much, and was clearly one of those guilty type single parents who now has a child that isn’t as mature as she should be at 23. Each new character introduced further highlighted these flaws (Oona’s cool competence, Val’s daughters with great careers at the same age as Hayley’s daughters), and even as she notices these flaws, she doesn’t improve. Hayley herself makes a clear comparison between her ex husband’s gaslighting behavior and Zeno’s, and yet she doesn’t put her foot down when Zeno acts poorly. Her instincts are good but she never listens to her gut, and it hurts her at every turn. It is frustrating to read about a smart woman who self sabotages. The Murder Mystery. This is a bit vague, but I honestly loved the set up of the mystery and various clues, and felt that too many red herrings and unnecessarily complex plot points led to a more obvious murderer than it should have. I like being surprised, and found this mystery to be a little dull. The mystery of the missing singed book was much more intriguing and fun.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: I have never been disappointed by anything I have read by this author and I am not disappointed in this one either. Hayley is still trying to win over all the people associated with The First Edition Library and the thing that could seal the deal is a successful exhibition in honour of the woman whose collections and former home are now under Hayley’s management. There is a rumour that hidden amongst the books, there is a priceless signed book that would make the focal Princess Fuzzypants here: I have never been disappointed by anything I have read by this author and I am not disappointed in this one either. Hayley is still trying to win over all the people associated with The First Edition Library and the thing that could seal the deal is a successful exhibition in honour of the woman whose collections and former home are now under Hayley’s management. There is a rumour that hidden amongst the books, there is a priceless signed book that would make the focal point of the exhibition. The problem is nobody, including Bunter, the library cat, knows where it is. The first woman hired to put it together thinks she may have discovered the clue. Sadly, moments later she is murdered and the page that might hold the vital clue is missing. The dead woman, a marketing dynamo, was not well loved by the people who had worked with her, including Hayley. Was she murdered for past transgressions or did it have to do with the missing book. Thankfully Hayley has a good relationship with the Bath police and a loyal boyfriend, Val, who are most helpful with her enquires. She needs it. It seems some of the prime suspects are people with whom she is now working. At the same time all this is going on Hayley and Val are juggling the assorted trials and tribulations of their grown up daughters- twins for Val and one for Hayley. Hayley is a great character as you see her put on her various hats and pull off each of them with finesse. The mystery was good and it kept me guessing to the very end with a rather nifty twist. Five purrs and two paws up.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    What a wonderful read-I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that I couldn't put it down. Murder is a Must is the second book in the author's A First Edition Library series featuring Hayley Burke, the curator of the First Edition Library which features the collection of Lady Fowling's first edition mysteries from the Golden Age of Mystery.-Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers etc. I did not read the first entry (but I will!) and had no problem at all with following along. It would be fine What a wonderful read-I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that I couldn't put it down. Murder is a Must is the second book in the author's A First Edition Library series featuring Hayley Burke, the curator of the First Edition Library which features the collection of Lady Fowling's first edition mysteries from the Golden Age of Mystery.-Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers etc. I did not read the first entry (but I will!) and had no problem at all with following along. It would be fine as a standalone. Haley has convinced the Board of the Library to hold an exhibition about Lady Fowling and her collection. She's not confident to manage the exhibition herself so she hires Oona Atherton. Haley had worked with Oona before, and while it was not a pleasant experience, she knows she has the skills to get the job done especially with a quick turnaround-a cancellation at the preferred venue in only three months. Unfortunately, Oona is found murdered-a tumble down a staircase. Haley searches for motives-was it related to a priceless book that Lady Fowler has hidden, or due to her personality or past. Haley is not a TSTL protagonist, while she does some snooping, she shares the info with the local police. Haley is someone I'd like to share a coffee with, a divorced woman in her 40's who has a daughter and a mother she loves and spends time with. She also has a love interest who is also a strong character himself. I highly recommend this book-I had a heavy sigh when it finished and can't wait to see how things progress in the next volume.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Homerun2

    3.75 stars This second series entry is entertaining and a fun read. I love the setup -- the main character is the curator for a special English museum celebrating female detective authors from the Golden Age of mysteries. Hayley Burke loves her job, and despite not having previously been a mystery fan, is trying to get up to speed. She ambitiously decides to start a series of weekly literary salons, and also mount an impressive exhibition spotlighting the late museum founder, also a mystery autho 3.75 stars This second series entry is entertaining and a fun read. I love the setup -- the main character is the curator for a special English museum celebrating female detective authors from the Golden Age of mysteries. Hayley Burke loves her job, and despite not having previously been a mystery fan, is trying to get up to speed. She ambitiously decides to start a series of weekly literary salons, and also mount an impressive exhibition spotlighting the late museum founder, also a mystery author. With mixed feelings, Hayley hires an old employer to manage the exhibition. Despite the woman's prickly overbearing personality and dictatorial style, she is really excellent at what she does. So, when she is found dead at the foot of a spiral staircase, the question is whether it was murder or an accidental fall. Hayley and her new love are thrown in with the local literary/museum community, which is also the main suspect group. Hayley is frantically trying to carry on with the exhibit plans, stay current with museum happenings, and sniff around the murder investigation. Meanwhile, routine domestic crises -- such as her boyfriend's daughters' concerns about her, and her own daughter's catastrophes, require even more time. Interesting series background, likable characters, and fun reading. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    For fans of Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey, as well as other Golden Age of mystery authors. Hayley is the new curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, and is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. Along with the library comes Miss Woolgar, Lady Fowling's lifelong secretary. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling's life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decide For fans of Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey, as well as other Golden Age of mystery authors. Hayley is the new curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, and is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. Along with the library comes Miss Woolgar, Lady Fowling's lifelong secretary. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling's life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning. Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of Murder Must Advertise, signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. While searching for the mysterious book containing all the signatures of the mystery authors of that time, Hayley goes out for coffee after coffee, and tea after tea. There are numerous references to Sayers, Christie, and others. If you enjoy these authors, you will want to go read everything from the Golden Age . I received an e-book from NetGalley and Berkley Publishers, in exchange for a review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    A new book by Marty Wingate? Yes, please. Hayley, the no nonsense middle-aged curator of a first edition book collection/library, must hire a project manager to be in charge of a literary exhibit. Well, it didn't exactly end well with the manager's murder. A second manager was quickly hired as there was a huge time crunch for the important exhibit. Mysteries and secrets swirl as Hayley determines to discover who is responsible, having to wade through deception after deception. Not only does she k A new book by Marty Wingate? Yes, please. Hayley, the no nonsense middle-aged curator of a first edition book collection/library, must hire a project manager to be in charge of a literary exhibit. Well, it didn't exactly end well with the manager's murder. A second manager was quickly hired as there was a huge time crunch for the important exhibit. Mysteries and secrets swirl as Hayley determines to discover who is responsible, having to wade through deception after deception. Not only does she know the person murdered but also wishes to proceed with the exhibit. It's personal. She enlists help and finds out more information than she had imagined. As a Golden Era mystery fan, including author Dorothy Sayers, I appreciate the references and connections in the story. There was a little something which surprised me, difficult to do in light cozies. Most was predictable but enjoyable nonetheless as in my mind the focus wasn't necessarily the whodunit. I liked that Hayley isn't a stereotypical "perfect" young flighty female sleuth. At the same time, I didn't really connect with her, either. This book is a fun and light read for those who enjoy light cozies. It would be perfect on a chilly evening with tea at hand and a blazing fire in the fireplace.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pam Walker

    Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She's even made progress with Lady Fowling's former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling's life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Hayley Burke, curator of Lady Fowling's collection of first edition mysteries, is settling into her position at the First Edition Library in Middlebank House. She's even made progress with Lady Fowling's former secretary, the ornery Miss Woolgar. The women are busily preparing for an exhibition that will showcase Lady Fowling's life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgement, to hire Oona Atherton, her former boss from the Jane Austen Centre to help with the planning. Oona is known for being difficult, but all seems to be going swimmingly until she and Hayley uncover a one-page letter that alludes to a priceless edition of MURDER MUST ADVERTISE signed by several Golden Age of Mystery authors. Oona feels this book could be the focal point of the exhibition and becomes obsessed with finding it. However, before the book can be found, Oona is murdered, and Hayley must try to find the killer and the missing book. I read the first in this series last year, so was thrilled to get the second one from NetGalley and the publishers. The plot is well-written and the characters interesting. I enjoyed this new installment very much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    April

    Hailey Burke has grand aspirations for Middlebank and it’s future. Her grand salons are just getting started but she has her eye on an exhibition. That idea for an exhibition is where all the trouble starts. One of Hailey’s former bosses, Oona Atherton, takes the job as exhibition manager and then is murdered. Hailey is up to her ears in other issues - the progression of her relationship with Val, meeting Val’s twin daughters, Dinah’s problems and her mother’s possible surgery. Still she becomes Hailey Burke has grand aspirations for Middlebank and it’s future. Her grand salons are just getting started but she has her eye on an exhibition. That idea for an exhibition is where all the trouble starts. One of Hailey’s former bosses, Oona Atherton, takes the job as exhibition manager and then is murdered. Hailey is up to her ears in other issues - the progression of her relationship with Val, meeting Val’s twin daughters, Dinah’s problems and her mother’s possible surgery. Still she becomes involved in little details of the investigation into Oona’s death. She goes to the police station so often with tidbits it’s a wonder they don’t charge her with interfering in an investigation, but the police in book Bath are very patient with the bits and pieces Hailey brings to their attention. I’ve never read the book that this mystery is based on (Murder Must Advertise). This didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this second First Edition Library series mystery. This book may be the definition of life is what happens when you’re making other plans. The mystery gets solved along the way of living every other bit of life. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book prior to publication.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacque

    Hayley, curator of Lady Fowling’s golden age of mysteries collection, has just begun hosting literary events, but now she wants to put on an exhibition. She may not know a lot about mysteries (yet), but she loves her job and is enthusiastic about promoting Lady Fowling’s collection. When an opportunity arises to have the exhibition in the perfect location, she secures the dates, even though it only leaves her a few months to prepare. Hiring an exhibition manager becomes top priority, and prickly Hayley, curator of Lady Fowling’s golden age of mysteries collection, has just begun hosting literary events, but now she wants to put on an exhibition. She may not know a lot about mysteries (yet), but she loves her job and is enthusiastic about promoting Lady Fowling’s collection. When an opportunity arises to have the exhibition in the perfect location, she secures the dates, even though it only leaves her a few months to prepare. Hiring an exhibition manager becomes top priority, and prickly Oona is her choice. Oona and her PA, Clara, get started, but a death soon disrupts the preparation. Hayley tries to leave it to the police, but keeps hearing tidbits that she passes along to them. In addition to the murder, Hayley is searching for a priceless first edition of Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers, signed by all the famous golden age authors. If that wasn’t enough, she and Val are trying to carve out time together, and Val’s daughters seem unwelcoming to Hayley. This is a fun read and I love all the references to authors and stories that I have read and enjoyed many times.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cozy Cat Reviews

    This is such a fun read from a favorite cozy author of mine. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC. My review opinion is my own. I love the charcters and the humor the author infuses into this book. Hayley Burke our protagnist is the curator of the First Edition Society a library for first and rare editions of classic mystery novels by women writers in the Golden Age. Haley is putting on a lecture series and a exciting exhibit . Her reputation is on the line for the events. Sh This is such a fun read from a favorite cozy author of mine. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC. My review opinion is my own. I love the charcters and the humor the author infuses into this book. Hayley Burke our protagnist is the curator of the First Edition Society a library for first and rare editions of classic mystery novels by women writers in the Golden Age. Haley is putting on a lecture series and a exciting exhibit . Her reputation is on the line for the events. She finds the venue and signs on a event manager she previously worked with. The women is demanding and difficult to work with for everyone. When she is found dead on a staircase Hayley must find a missing book she was seeking before her death to save the exhibit and her reputation. As she struggles to manage to hold the event together while solving the murder of her very contentious former event manager she finds the victim was disliked by many and clues to her death abound. I enjoyed the charcters and the humor throughout this fun read. . I look forward to the next in series.

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