From the publisher: Christmas at Canterville! Lisa Wellman and Simon Canterville are surprised to find a dead man on their roof in the midst of rushing to open the Canterville Book Shop in time for the holidays. And not just any dead man – Ebenezer Hart – the man who opposed the book shop opening in Olde Town, Portsmouth, Virginia.
What might be more surprising is when Daniel Fairhaven – Lisa’s ex – turns up at the door of the three-story Victorian house to head the police investigation. She hasn’t seen him in years but the sparks start to fly as soon as they are in the same room together.
Simon and Lisa are obviously the best suspects for the murder. Each of them had something to gain by Hart’s death. Then an attempt on Simon’s life throws that theory into a tailspin.
But the biggest surprise yet comes when the ghost of Charles Dickens turns up to help Lisa with the murder investigation – and writing the mystery novel she has been working on for years.
Without a doubt, Daniel and Dickens in Lisa’s life means trouble. And there’s still the matter of trying to get the book shop open with a killer on their heels.
Every now and then a book is so special that you know it will have a cherished spot on your keeper shelf forever. For me, this is that book.
I was first introduced to A Dickens of a Murder during the summer when I read the blurb and saw Christmas, book shop, Victorian house, ghost of Charles Dickens. I was hooked and could hardly wait for it to be released.
Then in August authors Joyce and Jim Lavene held a contest to name the pet characters in the book and having just lost my precious Angel Truffles, I submitted her name. Not only was Truffles chosen as the tortie in the book, her character is on the cover. Joyce said to us, "How could I name any tortie without thinking of Truffles?" She's even listed "in memory" on the acknowledgements page of the book.
Then the unthinkable happened and Joyce Lavene passed away on October 20th, just days before A Dickens of a Murder was scheduled to be released. It has all seemed like a nightmare we would wake up from, sadly it's not, but she left us with a book to remember.
Lisa Wellman is a former librarian who has the once in a lifetime opportunity to open a book shop with Simon Canterville in his old Victorian while writing her own novel in her spare time. It's the perfect time to start a new life following her mother's death and being forced to sell the family home to pay the bills. Now two weeks before Thanksgiving, the goal is to open the shop by Black Friday, but then Ebenezer Hart is found dead on the roof. Simon and Ebenezer had been fighting over the shop opening in a residential neighborhood, which makes Simon the main suspect until he's assaulted as well. Distractions in the form of the lead detective who is also Lisa's ex-husband, and the ghost of Charles Dickens who wants Lisa to help him finish writing his last novel, attempt to keep Lisa and Simon from achieving their dream.
I loved every single moment of this book and tried to read it as slowly as possible to keep it from ending. I can't wait to find out what's next for these characters.
If you read only one cozy this year, I ask that it be this one...in honor of Joyce and Truffles, both gone far too soon.
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