Penelope "Pen" Parish moves from New York City to Upper-Chumley-on-Stoke, outside London, to be writer-in-residence at a bookshop run by a former MI6 agent. She hopes to overcome writer's block and finish her second gothic mystery, but, as she laments to her writer's group, she has her heroine stuck in a TSTL—Too Stupid to Live—situation. In setting up the bookstore's table for a village fair, Pen locks horns with the high-handed Regina Bosworth, chairperson of the fair. Later, the butcher's wife, retrieving more meat pies for sale, finds Regina's body in a cellar freezer. Pen does not set out to investigate, but she is intrigued by what looks like a coded notepad she finds during the post-funeral reception at Regina's house. She dutifully turns the notepad over to the attractive detective, but only after photographing it. As the clues unfold, Pen finds that she herself might be TSTL. This first in a new series, with plenty of supporting characters waiting to be developed, will appeal to fans of Paige Shelton's Scottish Bookshop series. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.
Hit with a bad case of writer’s block, American gothic author Penelope Parish heads to England where she, while working in a bookstore, gets embroiled in a murder investigation that leads to new friendships and new tricks to help her finish her novel. Original.Review by Publisher Summary 2
Hit with a bad case of writer's block, American gothic author Penelope Parish heads to England where she, while working in a bookstore, gets embroiled in a murder investigation that leads to new friendships and new tricks to help her finish her novel.Review by Publisher Summary 3
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.