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Murder in the Margins

Murder in the Margins, October 2020
Open Book #1
by Margaret Loudon

Berkley Prime Crime
320 pages
ISBN: 0593099265
EAN: 9780593099261
Kindle: B084FKFM3M
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List


"A Great Start to a New Series!"

Fresh Fiction Review

Murder in the Margins
Margaret Loudon

Reviewed by Alison Ellis
Posted October 27, 2020

Mystery Cozy | Mystery Private Eye

Penelope Parish is a new, best-selling, American gothic author with a deadline for book number two. Unfortunately, she also has a serious case of writer’s block. She decides to completely change things up and accepts a position in Chumley-on-Stoke, England at The Open Book bookstore as their new writer in residence. Leaving behind her family and not-really boyfriend she thinks this is the perfect opportunity to unleash her creativity once again. While giving a speech at Duke Worthington’s castle for their annual Worthington Fest, Pen is interrupted by an earth-shattering scream. The chairwoman of the fest has been found dead in the basement. Fingers begin to point at the fiancé of the Duke, Charlotte Davenport, who is also a best-selling American author. Charlotte turns to fellow American, Pen, for help. As Pen investigates, she may not only help clear Charlotte’s name, but she also may unleash the writer’s block that has plagued her.

MURDER IN THE MARGINS is book one of a new series by Margaret Loudon, also known as Peg Cochran. Yes, we get a new series by this beloved author! I love this premise of this book. Small town England, bookstores, and royal families tied in. Swoon! I am unfamiliar with the gothic genre, so this was also a fun little learning curve for me. The plotline was perfectly paced and kept me engaged from page one. The cast of characters, from new friend Figgy to bookstore owner Mable, are all fun characters and fundamentally different, yet the perfect eclectic mix. The settings, from the descriptiveness of the small town outside of London, to Pen's adorable cottage, and of course the bookstore, will leave you feeling as if you are Pen's shadow. I adored this book and hope to see many more of Pen's adventures in the future. 

MURDER IN THE MARGINS should definitely be on your list of books to read this year! Book two in this series is set to be released in June of 2021.

Learn more about Murder in the Margins


The plot thickens for American gothic writer Penelope Parish when a murder near her quaint British bookshop reveals a novel's worth of killer characters.

Penelope Parish has hit a streak of bad luck, including a severe case of writer's block that is threatening her sophomore book. Hoping a writer in residence position at The Open Book bookstore in Upper Chumley-on-Stoke, England, will shake the cobwebs loose, Pen, as she's affectionately known, packs her typewriter and heads across the pond.

Unfortunately, life in Chumley is far from quiet and when the chairwoman of the local Worthington Fest is found dead, fingers are pointed at Charlotte Davenport, an American romance novelist and the future Duchess of Worthington. Charlotte turns to the one person who might be her ally for help: fellow American Pen. Teaming up with bookstore owner Mabel Morris and her new friend Figgy, Pen sets out to learn the truth and find the tricks that will help her finish her novel.

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