How to book a murder

Cynthia G. Kuhn, 1965-

Book - 2021

When a murder occurs during a mystery-themed dinner party, bookstore owner Emma Starrs and her aunt Nora work together to try to solve the crime.

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MYSTERY/Kuhn Cynthia
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1st Floor New Shelf MYSTERY/Kuhn Cynthia (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 15, 2022
Kuhn, Cynthia G., 1965- Starlit Bookshop mystery.
Detective and mystery comic books, strips, etc
Detective and mystery fiction
Cozy mysteries
New York : Crooked Lane 2021.
First edition
Physical Description
297 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Cynthia G. Kuhn, 1965- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Newly minted Ph.D Emma Starrs turned down a tenure-track position to return to Silvercrest, Colorado, to help revive her family's business, Starlit Bookshop. Due to the store's dire financial situation, Emma impulsively offers to host a mystery party for her high-school nemesis, Tabitha Baxter, after the author's party planner cancels at the last minute. Mean girl Tabitha and her friends tormented Emma in high school, and things haven't changed much. Still, the party goes swimmingly until Tabitha's husband, Tip, is found dead, and Tabitha accuses Emma and her Aunt Nora of the murder. To clear themselves, the two investigate, interviewing suspects and ultimately piecing together the clues as others die. Complicating matters further, flamboyant English professor and writer Calliope Nightfall hires Emma to coordinate her launch party, and Emma encounters Jake Hollister, now a police detective, who was her chief competitor in high school. Well-drawn, sympathetic characters, a close-knit family, the charming small-town bookstore atmosphere, and a potential romance distinguish this series debut. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Kuhn ("Lila Maclean" series) begins a new series featuring Emma Starrs, a newly minted PhD who goes home to Colorado to help her sister Lucy run the family bookstore. When their parents retired, Lucy took over running the shop; now she's overwhelmed, and the store may close if the sisters can't find more money. They learn that Emma's old high school frenemy Tabitha Baxter is married to Tip, a college dean, and the couple have great contacts for the bookstore. Looking for an in, Emma seizes the opportunity to take over as event planner for Tabitha's murder mystery dinner. When Emma finds Tip's dead body after the party, Tabitha immediately accuses Emma and her aunt Nora, a faculty member. Tabitha's clique begins issuing threats against the Starrs sisters' bookstore, and flamboyant author Calliope Nightfall decides to have her Poe-related release party at the shop—on the same day the killer strikes again. VERDICT The story is a formulaic introduction to a new cozy series, but Calliope stands out as a character. Fans of mysteries with a bookstore or academic focus may want to try.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This congenial series launch from Agatha Award winner Kuhn (the Lila Maclean series) introduces sisters Lucy and Emma Starrs. Lucy took over running the Starlit Bookshop in Silvercrest, Colo., after their parents' untimely death, and is now assisted by Emma, who despite a PhD in English has forsaken an academic career. With the bookstore on the verge of closing, Emma organizes an Edgar Allan Poe–themed mystery party to help raise money to save it. Emma's willing to do so even though the party is in honor of wealthy Tabitha Baxter, her high school nemesis. The party takes a macabre turn when Tabitha's husband, who's dressed as Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin, turns up murdered. Matters go from bad to worse when the clues point to Emma as the killer, and handsome Det. Jake Hollister, who investigates, unsettles Emma just as much as he did when they were in high school. The tension rises as the sisters and their mystery writer aunt set out at their peril to solve their own whodunit. Kuhn breaks no new ground, but cozy fans will look forward to seeing more of the Starrs sisters. Agent: Lesley Sabga, Seymour Agency. (Dec.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In an effort to bolster her family’s floundering Colorado bookstore, Emma Starrs hosts a mystery-themed dinner party for a wealthy former classmate, but becomes an actual suspect after her friend’s husband is found murdered at the party.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a murder occurs during a mystery-themed dinner party, bookstore owner Emma Starrs and her aunt Nora work together to try to solve the crime.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

To help save her family's floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, Emma Starrs agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy friend Tabitha Baxter. Tabitha's husband Tip hosts the affair, in the guise of Edgar Allan Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin. When Tip is murdered, Emma and her aunt Nora become suspects. When celebrated author Calliope Nightfall implores Emma to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome, another shocking crime occurs. Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind! -- adapted from jacket

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Kate Carlisle, in Agatha award-winning author Cynthia Kuhn’s series debut, small-town bookseller and literary event planner Emma Starrs is out to close the book on a killer intent on crashing the party.To help save her family’s floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted Ph.D. Emma Starrs agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy, well-connected high school classmate Tabitha Baxter. It’s a delightful evening of cocktails and conjecture until Tabitha’s husband, Tip—hosting the affair in the guise of Edgar Allan Poe’s detective C. Auguste Dupin—winds up murdered. In a heartbeat, Emma and her aunt Nora, a famous mystery writer, become suspects. Emma is sure the party’s over for Starlit events, until celebrated author Calliope Nightfall, whose gothic sensibilities are intrigued by the circumstances, implores the bookseller to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome. Throwing a bash to die for while searching for additional clues is already enough to drive Emma stark raven mad, but another shocking crime soon reveals that Silvercrest has not yet reached the final chapter of the puzzling case. Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind, and if Emma cannot outwit the killer, she and her beloved aunt will land behind bars, to walk free nevermore.