Black's promising debut and series launch introduces Jenna Quinn, who gladly accepts her uncle Paul Baxter's invitation to come to Hokes Folly, N.C., to help him run his bookshop, having recently been acquitted of embezzlement and murder, crimes she didn't commit, in her hometown of Charlotte, Va. But the morning after Jenna arrives in Hokes Folly, she finds her uncle lying dead in his shop. Det. Frank Sutter, one of the investigators on the case, learns of Jenna's alleged crimes and seems determined to prove that Jenna killed her uncle; that Paul has left her everything in his will doesn't help her. Fortunately for Jenna, Det. Keith Logan, Frank's partner, is convinced of Jenna's innocence. If Jenna can find a lost antique diary, she may discover who's willing to kill to get their hands on a hidden treasure. An appealing heroine, an old bookstore, and a picturesque small-town location make up for some clichéd characters and a couple of improbable plot twists. Cozy fans will be satisfied. Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Agency. (Aug.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.
Accepting shelter and a job from her uncle in the wake of unsavory events in her Charlotte hometown, Jenna finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore and teams up with new friends to clear her name of suspicion.Review by Publisher Summary 2
In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna--his primary beneficiary--becomes the prime suspect.Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle's gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she'll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle's body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore. Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she's inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy...which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna--bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna's status as the prime suspect in both deaths.Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle's killer. On the one hand, she's made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address--and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna's story.