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The Printed Letter Bookshop: 05/02/21
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay has the set up of a cozy mystery without the murder. There is, however, a death and a funeral. Aunt Maddie has died and has left her entire estate to her niece, Madeline. That includes a bookstore, two employees, a house, and a huge debt.
Madeline plans to sell everything as quickly as possible, but her plans change when she doesn't make partner at the law firm. She's passed up for a younger, brasher, sloppier lawyer. She decides to give running the shop a go.
The novel doesn't just have Madeline's point of view. We're also given lengthy scenes or even full chapters from the two employees. I found their scenes boring and for the most part unnecessary, save for a few scenes near the end of the novel that help solve a tacked on mystery.
If this novel had been a mystery, the sabotage / vandalism that comes at the start of the third act, would have been the end of the first act. The near destruction of the bookshop would have come on the heels of Maddie's death, serving as evidence that her death might just have been murder. Here, though, the damage serves to force Maddie to accept defeat.
There is a happy ending of sorts, one that finally brings the three protagonists together. But as the ending to a novel, it felt rushed.