Molly Kimball is at a crossroads. Her beloved father recently passed away, and she is about to lose her job as assistant librarian. Fate intervenes in the form of a letter from her estranged Aunt Violet in Cambridge, England. Aunt Violet needs help at the family bookshop, Thomas Marlowe, which has been in the family for centuries, and about to be lost. Molly and her mother, Nina, jump on a flight and head to Cambridge. Upon arriving they discover they are in the midst of the local literary festival. Luckily for them, one of Aunt Violet’s college classmates, Persephone Brightwell, is a famed poetry author and has graciously agreed to do a reading at Thomas Marlowe to bring in the customers. With Persephone in town, this also becomes an impromptu class reunion. When one of their classmates is found murdered, with one of Aunt Violet’s knitting needles no less, Molly is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Secrets and scandals abound as Molly digs into the ladies’ past, which the murderer is not about to let happen, even if they must kill again.
CHAPTER AND CURSE is a charming start to a new British cozy mystery series. Set in historic Cambridge, England, readers will savor this beautiful setting. From page one I was drawn into this story, and it didn’t let up until the last page. The murder mystery was so expertly plotted, my guess at whodunit was thrillingly wrong. The cast of characters are introduced so well it’s almost as if this isn’t the first book in a new series. We meet Sir John who is determined to protect Violet at any cost, Daisy the local baker who becomes fast friends with Molly and has some family tragedy of her own, and local bicycle shop owner Kieran, who has some royal ties and is also keen on a certain recent American transplant.
CHAPTER AND CURSE is a must-read for mystery fans in general, but for cozy fans of British and/or bookshop genres, this will fast become a new favorite series.
In Elizabeth Penney's Chapter and Curse, Molly Kimball is used to cracking open books . . . but when a poetry reading ends in murder she must use her skills to crack the case. Librarian Molly Kimball and her mother, Nina, need a change. So when a letter arrives from Nina’s Aunt Violet in Cambridge, England requesting their help running the family bookshop, they jump at the chance.
Thomas Marlowe—Manuscripts and Folios, is one of the oldest bookshops in Cambridge, and—unfortunately—customers can tell. When Molly and Nina arrive, spring has come to Cambridge and the famed Cambridge Literary Festival is underway. Determined to bring much-needed revenue to the bookstore, Molly invites Aunt Violet’s college classmate and famed poet Persephone Brightwell to hold a poetry reading in the shop. But the event ends in disaster when a guest is found dead—with Molly’s great-aunt’s knitting needle used as the murder weapon. While trying to clear Violet and keep the struggling shop afloat, Molly sifts through secrets past and present, untangling a web of blackmail, deceit, and murder.