Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington

Title: Buried in a Book
Author: Lucy Arlington
ISBN: 9780425246191
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Genre: Cozy, #1 Novel Idea Mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.

First Line: I thought I'd be writing articles about church bazaars and Girl Scout cookie sales until I retired, so you can imagine my surprise when, at forty-five years of age, I was handed my very first pink slip.

Newly unemployed journalist Lila Wilkins needs a job-- not just because she has to keep body and soul together-- but because she has a son who will be enrolling in college very, very soon. Almost as if they heard her cry for help, the Novel Idea Literary Agency in Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, places a newspaper ad for an intern. Lila applies, she's hired, and on her first day an aspiring author drops dead in the office. No one seems to care much about the man's death; after all, he was just some smelly vagrant who came in every day and drove them crazy. Tender-hearted Lila thinks the man deserves more than this. Without really knowing what she's doing, she begins to check into a few things, and when she stumbles across something that has someone trying to scare her off, she knows she's on the trail of a killer.

I jumped at the chance to read this book, primarily because I love the idea of a mystery series set in a literary agency. The setting does pay off because I did get a feel for the way such a place works. The Novel Idea Literary Agency is filled with quite a cast of characters, too, and that should lead to many interesting books in the future.

I wasn't prepared for how much I liked the main character, Lila Wilkins. She's a genuinely nice person who's a hard-working single mother raising a  typical (thoughtless) teenage son. She's got a rather wacky and loving mother, and when Lila moves to Inspiration Valley, she even finds a couple of handsome, intelligent men that make her heart go pitty-pat. But it's Lila's heart that really made me warm to her as a character. The woman genuinely cares about people, and she goes out of her way to see the good in everyone. I love Lila's empathy, and I find it refreshing after reading about so many characters who have jaded, sarcastic tones of voice.

Although I immediately knew the identity of the book thief, it didn't put me off reading this book. Sometimes the only thing a mystery has going for it is the element of surprise. Take that away, and there's nothing left to hold your interest. This is certainly not the case with Buried in a Book. There's much more to the plot than deducing the identity of a thief and/or murderer, and the cast of characters is so engaging that I definitely want to read many more books about them.



16 comments:

  1. I love fun mysteries that in some way pull in book related environments...I'm adding this one to my WishList :)

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  2. Sounds like a great series! I love the idea of it being set in a literary agency too.

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    1. The setting alone was a winner for me, Kathy!

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  3. Cathy - I'm already sold just on the fact that this takes place at a literary agency! And a likeable protagonist just makes the series even more appealing. I love it that I'm always learning about new-to-me authors from you...

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  4. This is on my wish-list - I think I'm going to have to move it up some. Thanks for the review!

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    1. You're welcome, Debbie. I hope you enjoy it!

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  5. Are you going to be at the Tucson Festival of Books this year? Jill (from Rhapsody in Books) and I are trying to get a book blogger dinner together.

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    1. I just got an email from Jill about this. Unfortunately, no, I won't be. We'll be having a very dear friend staying with us then, and since he's not a book fiend, I'm not even going to suggest it. One of these years I'll get down there!

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  6. It's too bad that you won't be able to make it, but I completely understand. I hope you have a wonderful time with your friend!

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    1. This friend is a Sure Thing. Every time he visits, we have a wonderful time. And he doesn't visit nearly as often as we'd like him to!

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  7. I can't resist it simply because it obviously has a bookish theme - thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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