No, he knew that the shadiest spot was Avery Sharecross's bookshop, housed in a three-hundred-year-old mission right there in the town of Good Advice. Chief Dockerty is there to interrupt the meeting of Sharecross's book club because he needs the former police detective's help. The body of Good Advice's premier book collector has been found on the floor of his family library, and Dockerty needs the sharp eye of a fellow collector to help him find a killer.
I stumbled across this short story while looking for something else, and the line "Bibliomysteries: Short Tales about Deadly Books" -- and its price-- sold me. "Book Club" is a neatly crafted and swiftly moving tale that will please any book-loving sleuth. How could you not be lured in after reading one of the descriptions of the bookshop:
Generations of children had dared one another to approach the place after dark, when the ghosts of William Shakespeare and Mark Twain prowled among the stacks (or during the day, when the proprietor did the haunting); none accepted. Even at high noon, a visitor needed a flashlight to explore the place without running into Thackeray or Gibbon and cracking a tooth.
I really enjoyed watching Sharecross spot evidence and put the clues together. Combine the little mystery with the author's obvious love of books, and this story is a winner. Moreover, like one of those late night commercials, you're going to hear me say, "But wait-- there's more!" This is only one of the short stories in the Bibliomysteries series. Others are written by talented crime fiction authors such as Anne Perry, Jeffery Deaver, Laura Lippman, C.J. Box, and Ken Bruen (plus others). I feel as though I stumbled upon a small treasure box of gems, and I fully intend to indulge myself by reading the rest.
I would recommend that you read "Book Club" (and the others) if you love books and you love crime fiction. These short stories are perfect palate cleansers between full-length novels, and they're also a wonderful way of test driving authors you've heard about but may not have read yet.
Book Club by Loren D. Estleman
Open Road © 2013
eBook, 21 pages
Short Story, #8 Bibliomystery
Source: Purchased from Amazon.