A Beach Reads Mystery: Book 3
Publication Date: February 6, 2024
When Beach Reads bookshop hosts a Valentine’s Day event, “Romance by the Sea,” bookseller Summer Merriweather has no idea that the guest author is under investigation for her own husband’s murder. When that same author is found dead at the local bed and breakfast, nobody assumes it’s natural causes–there were plenty of people who wanted her dead.
As Summer searches for the truth about the author’s stranger-than-fiction life, Summer finds suspicious indications of shady behavior in the author’s belongings. But the casual sleuthing is quickly derailed when Summer’s friend Glads gets hauled in for the murder, and they launch a full-blown investigation to clear her name.
As Summer and company pick through the scant clues to solve the case, they may find more treachery and heartbreak than they bargained for.
I saw A Killer Romance on NetGalley, and having read the prior two books in the series, I decided to pick it up. Then, the request for a review for a book tour came through, and I knew I was meant to read it.
The last Beach Reads Mystery book by author Maggie Blackburn came out in 2021, so it’s been a couple of years, and I’ll admit that it took me a few chapters into A Killer Romance to refresh my memory of Summer and her bookstore. If I hadn’t read the earlier books, I don’t think I’d have that same bout of confusion as the book does stand on its own. But it was nice to be back on Brigid’s Island, reconnecting with Summer and her friends and family.
Summer’s attitude has much improved since the first book. I almost didn’t recognize her, but it was a change for the better since she was so snobbish, and now she’s embracing the bookstore she inherited and the types of books they sell. She’s also hosting a romance author book signing for Valentine’s Day. But when the author dies following the signing and one of Summer’s friends is arrested, she jumps into investigating the murder.
Within the first chapter or two, Summer sprains her ankle and is primarily homebound for most of the book. This was a nice twist to have her focus and actively work on solving the mystery. I knew pretty early on who the murderer was. I didn’t get the motive immediately but was somewhat disappointed in the reveal. Not so much how the reveal occurred, but more Summer’s role in it.
A Killer Romance has an interesting epilogue, which almost made me feel that this might be the final book in the series. Usually, there’s a teaser that makes the reader think that something is coming, but this one didn’t didn’t have one.
A Killer Romance was a commendable read. It was my favorite in this series and stands on its own. It was an enjoyable day’s read, and I’d recommend it to cozy mystery fans.
Maggie Blackburn is the pen name for bestselling mystery author Mollie Cox Bryan, who writes cozy mysteries with edge. She’s the author of several bestselling mystery series Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman’s World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People’s Choice Award. She’s also penned a historical mystery under the name of Mollie Ann Cox. She lives in Crozet, Va. and is the mother of two grown, nearly perfect daughters.
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