Friday, October 14, 2022

Bound by Murder by Laura Gail Black

About the Book:

The birds are singing, books are selling, and the Hokes Bluff Inn has begun to host weddings on its property. Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn loves the romance in the air—until her ex-fiancĂ©, Blake Emerson, walks in with his bride-to-be, Missy Plott. Blake continues to profess his love for Jenna if she’ll have him back, no matter the consequences. And the consequences are grave, indeed, when Missy turns up dead.
All evidence points to Blake, who was the last one to see her alive. He begs Jenna to help him clear his name. Blake’s mother, Gwendolyn, is also bent on exonerating her son. Jenna doesn’t believe Blake could have killed Missy, and she starts digging for suspects. It could have been Missy’s ex-boyfriend, who proclaims a love for her he says only death could sever. Or might it have been Missy’s bitter little sister, who was secretly besotted with Missy’s ex.
Evidence turns up that links Missy's death to embezzlement and another murder—crimes that had falsely implicated Jenna herself less than a year ago. As Gwendolyn continues to beg Jenna to help prove her son’s innocence, Jenna wonders if Blake could truly be innocent.
Jenna has to choose whether to risk it all—her reputation, her growing relationship with her boyfriend, and maybe her life—or let a possibly innocent man go to prison.

My Review:

This is another fun cozy mystery centered around a bookstore. This episode of Jenna's adventures contains more relationship drama as she and her boyfriend have a disagreement that makes us wonder if their relationship would survive.

One aspect of this mystery I liked was something not usually seen in a cozy mystery. A group of ladies try to get Jenna to leave town because of her involvement in so many murders. This brought some harsh reality to a series where the same woman repeatedly is involved in and solves murder mysteries. Other cozy mystery series generally ignore this issue and I was glad to see Black include it.

I liked this entertaining mystery with an emphasis on relationship issues, both with a current boyfriend and an old one.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series: For Whom the Book Tolls and Murder by the Bookend.

About the Author:

Laura Gail Black writes cozy mysteries on the beautiful shores of Lake Marion in South Carolina, where she lives with her husband and five rescue dogs. When not writing or participating in endless rounds of tug-of-war, fetch, or tummy rubs, Laura loves to spend time on the water. She also enjoys beading, crochet, cross-stitch, and all things tea. You can find out more at

Crooked Lane Books, 288 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.)

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