Saturday, July 8, 2023

A Cryptic Clue by Victoria Gilbert Book Review

About the Book:

Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she’s about to discover, a retiree’s life can bring new thrills—and new dangers.

Cameron “Cam” Clewe, an eccentric 33-year-old collector, is also seeking something—an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane’s thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane’s delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam’s library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam’s failed romances—and now he’s suspect number one.

Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name—but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he’ll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss - but is he truly innocent?

My Review:

I liked this enjoyable mystery featuring an older woman with the wisdom of living life paired with a wealthy and intelligent young man who lacks in social skills. Jane, the older woman, is a well developed character. We see how the hurt from an abusive husband and the responsibility of raising a daughter on her own has given her a seasoned outlook on life. The character of the younger Cam is much less well developed. He is a reclusive individual, heavy on unrevealed inner thinking with little meaningful interaction with others. We see a possible change in him near the end of the novel.

The plot of the mystery is good with several suspects presented. The murdered woman had made many enemies in her short life. The villain did not come as a complete surprise. There were some hints. However, the crucial information needed for the identification is not given until the villain does, in fact, confess. We readers did not have that information ahead of time nor did Jane so there was no way to solve the mystery before the final reveal. I missed that feeling of, right, of course, it makes sense now.

This is an entertaining mystery as the beginning of a new series. Relationships are established and it looks like there might be future investigations featuring this unlikely pair. I'll be watching for them.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She writes both traditional and cozy mysteries. She’s also written fantasy and science fiction.

Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films or TV, gardening, or traveling. She loves animals, chocolate, and all the arts. You can find out more at 

Crooked Lane Books, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

No comments: