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From the Queen (Bibliomysteries) by Carolyn…

From the Queen (Bibliomysteries)

by Carolyn Hart

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What I like about the Bibliomysteries that I've read so far is that they are all about books and that the authors' love for books is obvious. The mystery aspect has not been that strong, unfortunately.

When a signed first edition of an Agatha Christie book is discovered in the Dead on Demand book store (with which I was unfamiliar since this is the first book I've read by this author) it's not long before the book disappears. And it's worth a small fortune.

The story was what I'd call a cosy mystery with the bibliophile searching for the thief. Due to the fact the story is so short, but there's a whole list of suspects to go through it felt rushed and I couldn't really connect to the story. I'd rather see that it focused a bit more, so that an interview perhaps lasted a little longer.

The writing was nice enough, but the mystery was not enough of a mystery for me to get me really engaged in the story. Therefore only 2 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
This is another short mystery about a thrift store owner that finds a first edition of an Agatha Christie book signed by the author inscribed to the Queen of England, but then it disappears and she must find it. A good story line and characters.

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review*** ( )
  druidgirl | Aug 22, 2015 |
Carolyn Hart has been on my List of Favorite Authors for … ever. I’ve been reading the adventures of Annie and Max and Death on Demand for, yes, ever. They are quick and easy reads. Guilty pleasures, in a way; almost a waste of reading time that could be spent on more substantial books. But enough fun to read that I’ve never much cared.

They’ve also been kind of useful, especially in those halcyon pre-Goodreads days, in building wishlists. Because the basic setting of the series is a mystery bookshop, author names and book titles are dropped like ticker tape after a moon landing.

They are rained down indiscriminately, though, grimdark thrillers cheek by jowl with mysteries every bit as cozy as this DoD series, classics alongside new releases, so as to-be-read lists go it takes some homework. In this 66-page story there are over a dozen books mentioned. It can be a little overwhelming.

It has been a long time since I visited the series, though; I can’t remember when my last DoD read was. Before I was keeping track on Goodreads, at least … wow. Good grief, the series has doubled in length since I picked one up. I’m gobsmacked.

So “From the Queen” on Netgalley (free in exchange for an honest review) was an easy request to make. A monetarily struggling fellow shop owner, Ellen Gallagher, comes to Annie one evening hoping for help with a book she has received as a bequest – a beautifully kept first edition copy of Agatha Christie’s Poirot Investigates, inscribed by the author to the Queen. Of England. Annie gently corrects her friend’s guess that it might be worth a few dollars: it’s going to be worth beaucoup de dollars.

“Just think, the Queen held that book in her hands.” And Agatha Christie, too.

Just sayin’.

And here’s where the story elevated itself a bit for me. It went from “basic and kind of fluffy cozy” to… well, that with a thin layer of social commentary, which I don’t think was all in my head. The difference this book, or rather the sale of this book, will make to Ellen is … everything. Now she has trouble paying her bills, does without, lies awake at night worrying, is always afraid that some unforeseen catastrophe will put her on the streets. You know how they say money doesn’t buy happiness? Pfft. Money brings security, which makes happiness more likely. Money allows one to do things for others, which brings happiness. Money means education is more easily obtained, and more and better health care can be paid for, and that one doesn’t ever need to lie awake at night worrying about what can and can’t be paid that month, or whether something absolutely must be paid at another creditor’s expense. Relief and alleviation of worry pretty much leads to happiness, I think. So the adage? Busted, as Adam Savage might say.

Anyway. The book is stolen, and I wound up yelling at the Kindle for the circumstances. It was improbable… but such is the way of cozies. Also improbable is the thinking of the thief. “She’ll never be able to prove I haven’t had a similar book for some time.” Similar … to a first edition of Poirot Investigates inscribed by Dame Agatha to Queen Elizabeth? Oh, sure. There’s bound to be more than one. But, you see, the suspension of disbelief required for this series is so high that little quibbles like these skate on by. After all, this is a series in which a woman makes a comfortable living running a small book shop (unlikely), specifically a mystery book shop (less likely), on a sparsely populated island that relies on seasonal tourism (so unlikely). So what’s a little more illogic?

“Petty crime was not much of a problem on a sea island accessible only by ferry. Crime happened, the occasional burglary in rural areas, stolen hubcaps and cell phones when the island teemed with vacationers in the summer, but burglaries on the boardwalk shops were rare.” Well, burglaries and petty crime may be rare; murders, though … Murders have led to a 25+ book series. ( )
  Stewartry | Aug 20, 2015 |
From the Queen by Carolyn Hart is a Death on Demand short story (extremely short). Annie Darling is alone this week while her husband is away at Pebble Beach (for golf tournament). Annie is about the close the bookstore for the day when Ellen Gallagher comes in quite excited. Ellen owns the second hand store called Ellen’s Keepsakes. Ellen received a book that she thinks might be worth a little money. It is a first edition of Poirot Investigations signed by Agatha Christie to the Queen (of England) in 1925. If the book is authentic it could be worth over $100,000. Annie promises to contact the right person for authentication for Ellen.

The next day the book is gone. Ellen left it in her store on a shelf (a store without security alarms, cameras, and a window with a broken latch). Ellen told three people (she should have kept her mouth shut about the book). Annie decides to set a trap and catch the culprit. Annie is lucky that Officer Hyla Harrison knows Annie cannot resist an investigation and keeps an eye out for her safety.

I enjoyed reading From the Queen. It is a nice, well-written story. It is a very short story and the mystery is quickly solved. The only thing I did not like was Ellen. I found her to be a complete idiot (sorry, but it is very true) and very naïve. Otherwise, a cute cozy mystery! I like Annie Darling and look forward to reading more books in this delightful series. I give From the Queen 4.5 out of 5 stars. From the Queen can easily be read without having read any of the other books in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of From the Queen from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Aug 17, 2015 |
For the Queen was an enjoyable short story that captures the reader's interest from the beginning with the discovery of an old and valuable first edition book. Hart does a great job at setting the scene with her main character Annie Darling's shop that sells mystery and suspense novels. Naturally when this rare book goes missing, Annie decides to solve the case. The mystery has several different suspects, and I liked how Hart brought an end to the mystery. I really enjoyed this short story, and I would definitely want to read from the author again. If you enjoy a good short mystery, then For the Queen is for you.

Received a copy of For the Queen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Sable677 | Aug 3, 2015 |
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The next story in the Bibliomysteries series, penned by MWA Grand Master Carolyn Hart Everyone dreams of stumbling upon a long-lost treasure in the attic or inheriting a fortune from some distant relative. But for Ellen Gallagher, the impoverished owner of a thrift shop in South Carolina, that dream comes true. She finds in her possession a first edition of Agatha Christie's Poirot Investigates that has been signed by the author . . . and inscribed to the Queen of England. When the book disappears from her shop, Ellen must call on her friend Annie Darling, owner of the mystery bookstore Death on Demand, to track it down.… (more)

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