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Reserved for Murder: 01/04/23
Reserved for Murder by Victoria Gilbert (2021) is the second book in the Booklover's B&B mystery series. While I prefer to post reviews in order, sometimes I goof, especially if I have different volumes in different media. That's what happened with this series as I had the third book as an audio but hadn't yet read the print volume that comes before it.
The president of a reclusive author's fan club is murdered after an event at Chapters. Charlotte takes that as a call to solve another mystery. Meanwhile her neighbor, a former handler, has a suspicious man staying with her. Is he involved in the murder or something else but equally sinister?
I have to admit that the whole great aunt as spy shtick in this series isn't keeping me interested. She's dead. Her career is over. If the author is more interested in said aunt, she should just start a series of historical mysteries.
The modern day mystery involves the weird and sometimes creepy overlap between authors, readers, fans and trolls. A big part of the controversy stems from fan fiction and accusations of plagiarism. Infamous (in some circles) book review site (and Amazon shill), GoodReads is invoked in the midst of the mudslinging. That detail earned a genuine chuckle.
Mostly though volume two is rather pedestrian. There's nothing here to set it apart from the half dozen or so other cozies I've read with similar plots. The shenanigans with the next door neighbor spy guy were distracting filler and slowed down the actual mystery.
The third book is A Fatal Booking (2022).