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Murder in the Locked Library (Book Retreat Mysteries, #4)

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Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .


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Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

30 review for Murder in the Locked Library (Book Retreat Mysteries, #4)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Another enjoyable story about Storyton Hall. This had me hooked from the very first page. Jane and her sons are a delight and it's wonderful to read about people who enjoy books as much as I do. Having two mysteries to clear up, one from a long time ago & one much more recent leaves Jane and the Fins very busy investigating & getting to know their guest. The ending was unexpected and leaves you breathlessly waiting for the next book to save Edwin. #MurderInTheLockedLibrary #NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Murder in the Locked Library was an enjoyable read with an intriguing mystery and a delightful setting. Jane Steward, manager of Storyton Hall, is looking forward to breaking ground on the resort's newest addition, a luxurious spa. Her spirits are dampened however when upon breaking ground for the spa, a skeleton is discovered along with the remains of an old book. When attendees of the Rare Book Conference being hosted at Storyton Hall learn about the book, they're more than willing to lend thei Murder in the Locked Library was an enjoyable read with an intriguing mystery and a delightful setting. Jane Steward, manager of Storyton Hall, is looking forward to breaking ground on the resort's newest addition, a luxurious spa. Her spirits are dampened however when upon breaking ground for the spa, a skeleton is discovered along with the remains of an old book. When attendees of the Rare Book Conference being hosted at Storyton Hall learn about the book, they're more than willing to lend their expertise to discover its origins. After one of the attendees who helped with the book is murdered in the library, Jane is left with more questions than answers. As suspects begin piling up, Jane will need to work fast to discover who the culprit is before the killer strikes again. When Jane isn't spending her time managing Storyton Hall, she's spending it trying to wrangle her twins Fitz and Hem. Jane has a great relationship with her boys and is completely devoted to them. I liked that the author showed her getting frustrated with them rather than going the "everything is perfect" route a lot of authors choose for characters with children. Storyton Hall sits on land that has been in Jane's family for generations and Jane along with her family, still live on the property. Not only is this to help with managing the resort, but Storyton Hall also houses a secret library that Jane's family has been charged with protecting. As the current Guardian, Jane is tasked with the protection and maintenance of a library housing some of the world's rarest books. In addition to Jane, there are a number of characters who frequently appear in the book. Jane has a large group of friends she is in a book club with who are referred to as the Cover Girls. As the Guardian, Jane has a group called the Fins who help her protect the library. The Fins all work on the property in one capacity or another, so they're always around. Because Murder in the Locked Library is the first book in this series I have read, I don't know a lot about the backstory of the Fins or even how Jane's family came to be the protectors of the library. It isn't explained very well in this book, so I'm guessing you need to have read the other books in order to understand how their group works. Throughout the book there are a few plot lines that ultimately tie together. The plot that most interested me was discovering the identity of the skeleton and finding out more about the book that was discovered with it. I felt the mystery surrounding this plot point was the best one and it held my attention the most. One element in the book that didn't work for me was how much leeway the sheriff gave Jane when it came to being involved in the various crimes. I don't know if it would have made more sense if I'd read the other books, but I couldn't buy into how much Jane was allowed to do. The way the book ends, one plot line is left open and I'm interested to see where that goes in the next book. Overall while I enjoyed Murder in the Locked Library, I wish I had read the previous books in the series before reading this book as I felt I was missing a lot of backstory. I will definitely be reading the first three books in the future and would recommend the series to those who enjoy cozies with a focus on books. **I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

  3. 4 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out Dollycas’s Thoughts Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out as much as they can about the book. The police are calling in an anthropologist to help with the bones. Storyton Hall also has its own experts to investigate all the findings. But when one of the Hall’s guests suddenly dies in the Henry James Library just as he starts to share information about the book the police and staff of Storyton Hall realize they now have two murders to solve and they are probably connected. I love this series so much. I am also thrilled that this series has found a new home at Kensington Books. These characters stories were far from over after the first three installments. All my favorite characters are back. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. It is a huge job and a privilege to be its caretaker, its guardian. She has twin sons, Hemi and Fitz, who are as curious as can be. Jane has her book club, the “Cover Girls” and they always have her back. The staff of the hall have a variety of jobs and some are quite surprising. If you are new to the series you will have to discover what I mean when you read the story. The setting is magnificent, Ellery Adams has created an amazing place that all book lovers would enjoy. Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret rooms and most important of all a secret library. If I could I would pack my bags and move to Storyton Hall and probably never leave. The author has crafted an amazing story with more than one mystery. An old murder, a new murder, an old book, all entangled together in the most delightful way. She keeps the pace brisk and throws in some dynamic twists. A cozy mystery with the perfect amount of action and suspense. She draws the reader in and holds us captive until the final page. With the publisher change, the book has been written to give enough background for new readers to jump right in but this series is so fantastic I recommend you read the series in order. If you do decide to start with this one I guarantee you are going to want to read the first three. This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Jane Steward is the owner of Storyton Hall, and guardian of its secrets. The Hall is a retreat for the bookish crowd...professors, book collectors, experts and those who love to read. To make the experience even more sublime for guests, construction is starting on a spa. Guests will be pampered and spoiled. Plans come to a halt suddenly, however, when old bones are found by the construction crew excavating the new building site. And with the old bones is a small box containing a very damaged old Jane Steward is the owner of Storyton Hall, and guardian of its secrets. The Hall is a retreat for the bookish crowd...professors, book collectors, experts and those who love to read. To make the experience even more sublime for guests, construction is starting on a spa. Guests will be pampered and spoiled. Plans come to a halt suddenly, however, when old bones are found by the construction crew excavating the new building site. And with the old bones is a small box containing a very damaged old book. The book is so damaged it's impossible to tell what it once was. Luckily a group of rare book experts are coming to Storyton Hall for a conference. Jane plans to show them the ruined book and ask if they can ascertain what title it was and why someone might have been buried on the grounds with it. When a guest at the conference drops dead just after revealing facts about the book, Jane realizes there might be more to the story than just a century old murder and a damaged book. This is the first book in the Book Retreat Mystery series that I have read. Murder in the Locked Library is the 4th book in the series. It wasn't necessary to have read the earlier books to enjoy the story, but I would have understood the characters and the back story of Storyton Hall a bit better if I had read the earlier books first. The background story of the Hall is so creative and intriguing. I have definitely moved the series up on my tbr list to start reading ASAP. This book has a bit of the Indiana Jones/Librarians sort of feel to it (cozy mystery style, of course). I liked Jane Steward as a main character. Her twin sons add some shenannigans and the other supporting characters are quirky and interesting in a way befitting the background theme. I think when I go back and start reading from the start of the series I will understand her and the other characters a bit better. I like the idea of Jane being guardian of the Hall and its secret book collection. It's a very unique premise for a cozy series. I liked the front cover art for this book. I could definitely sink into one of those chairs and relax with a book! The story unfolded at a good pace with lots of suspects and interesting clues. The story definitely kept my interest the entire time! I am definitely backtracking to read the entire series, and am anxiously waiting new books in the series! I'm really never disappointed by any book by Ellery Adams. Her mystery novels are always great! Adams also writes the Books by the Bay and the Charmed Pie Shoppe series, plus The Secret Book & Scone Society. **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is a late April release but one I could not wait to get my hands on and review. I love this series. The Book Retreat series centers around a young mother, widow and guardian of a super secret book library. Her ancestral home has been turned into the most amazing retreat for booklovers. They hold teas, balls, conferences and give book lovers the opportunity of a lifetime. Right down to the ability to stay in literary themed rooms and libraries. This is Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is a late April release but one I could not wait to get my hands on and review. I love this series. The Book Retreat series centers around a young mother, widow and guardian of a super secret book library. Her ancestral home has been turned into the most amazing retreat for booklovers. They hold teas, balls, conferences and give book lovers the opportunity of a lifetime. Right down to the ability to stay in literary themed rooms and libraries. This is one of the most exciting of the series I read. Main character Jane is a literary superhero of sorts raising the most adorable twin boys, living on the estate and working to carry on with day to day life, while protecting the most important books of all time. She is not alone, having trained guards called Fins that work with her and she is up against book thieves professional and amature. I found myself holding my breath several times in this book. Great mysteries with in mysteries, cozy for sure and a healthy dose of adventure. This is a spectacular read and one not to be missed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!

    I really enjoy Adams vivid discriptions! They help you visualize. I felt like a had to take off a star because the circumstances seem very unbelievable. I love the enchanting small village, and the premise of this series being a former librarian myself. Despite suspending reality a bit, this was a good read, and I still recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I love reading a book written by Ellery Adams. I find her to be a terrific storyteller. No matter what book or series I am reading, Ms. Adams has a way of writing a plot, crafting characters and creating a setting that just draws me into the story. This book was no exception. I was happy to see this series return with Kensington as the publisher. I love visiting Storyton Hall and wish it were a real place where I could book a vacation. Once again, Jane and the Fin's are called upon to solve myst I love reading a book written by Ellery Adams. I find her to be a terrific storyteller. No matter what book or series I am reading, Ms. Adams has a way of writing a plot, crafting characters and creating a setting that just draws me into the story. This book was no exception. I was happy to see this series return with Kensington as the publisher. I love visiting Storyton Hall and wish it were a real place where I could book a vacation. Once again, Jane and the Fin's are called upon to solve mystery that has occurred at one of the events held at Storyton. The plot of this story had me turning pages to see how it would end. The characters are well developed and I love to revisit them to see their growth. I thought the mystery was well-crafted in typical Ellery Adams fashion. Although there were many guests attending the event, there were really only a few suspects that were viable candidates to be the culprit. Ms. Adams weaves plenty of clues and some really well done twists and turns that I didn't not expect. The reveal was climatic and leaves the reader with a lingering question that I hope will be solved in the next installment. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book which was provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Negalley.

  8. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is the fourth book in the Book Retreat series and was worth waiting for (even if it did seem like forever). I would love to spend a few days at Storyton Hall, Virginia with Jane, her family and the Fins. I could probably spend a month there and never get bored. Jane is one strong and dedicated woman who doesn't hesitate to act when her loved ones are in peril. The recent murder has Jane and the Fins looking at many of the attendees of the Rare Book Con Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is the fourth book in the Book Retreat series and was worth waiting for (even if it did seem like forever). I would love to spend a few days at Storyton Hall, Virginia with Jane, her family and the Fins. I could probably spend a month there and never get bored. Jane is one strong and dedicated woman who doesn't hesitate to act when her loved ones are in peril. The recent murder has Jane and the Fins looking at many of the attendees of the Rare Book Conference; but there is also an additional cold case that also must be resolved. The swiftly paced plot kept me turning the pages with so many twists and turns, two murders, a kidnapping and a missing Templar. All of these events led me along on one of the best adventures that I have had this year. Oh, and the ending, has me hanging by a thread for the next book. All of the characters have now been established; but there always seems to be more to learn about each one. I enjoy seeing the layers being peeled back as these new insights are revealed. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    When the team of workers breaking ground for the new spa dig up a shovel full of bones, Hem & Fitz are the first to notice. The discovery of the bones leads to an investigation, which involves an old book and family rivalry. Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams will take you on an exciting adventure that will keep you looking over your shoulder! 's. Adams writes a clear, concise story, while creating a vivid picture in the reader's mind, providing the opportunity to escape into the stor When the team of workers breaking ground for the new spa dig up a shovel full of bones, Hem & Fitz are the first to notice. The discovery of the bones leads to an investigation, which involves an old book and family rivalry. Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams will take you on an exciting adventure that will keep you looking over your shoulder! 's. Adams writes a clear, concise story, while creating a vivid picture in the reader's mind, providing the opportunity to escape into the story. Reading a book by Ellery Adams is always a great experience. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I think that there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of books that are going to have a particularly difficult murder/unpleasantness/nastiness etc so you are somewhat prepared when it happens. This book has that [I will not give a spoiler, but people, especially those of us who are empaths and sensitive truly need a warning, even in books] and I feel that it is appropriate to note that here. I spent the first night of reading this upset and disturbed and in tears. I realize that these are j I think that there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of books that are going to have a particularly difficult murder/unpleasantness/nastiness etc so you are somewhat prepared when it happens. This book has that [I will not give a spoiler, but people, especially those of us who are empaths and sensitive truly need a warning, even in books] and I feel that it is appropriate to note that here. I spent the first night of reading this upset and disturbed and in tears. I realize that these are just characters in books, but it was still a disturbing and upsetting scene and I would have liked a little warning. That said, this is one of the better ones in the series. The only reason that I did not give it 4 stars was because this narrator drives me insane. I can barely stand listening to her. The voice that she does for the main character grates on my last nerve [that is already to its breaking point and completely frayed! LOL] and even when the MC is close to hysteria, you just do not get that feeling. It is read is almost the same placid voice. It is so bizarre. And then she is also really whiny when she reads. I don't know, she just bugs me so much. It also has a semi cliff hanger, which I also despise. Sigh. I am going to read the dumb book, you don't have to set it up that way to get people to read ya know? Sigh. Overall, this was a very good installment - lots of interesting talk about books and authors and the book world and excitement and murder [see above] and a reveal you will NEVER. SEE. COMING. That was the best part I believe.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is the 4th book in the Book Retreat Mystery series. I have not read any and when I began to read this one, I realized that it is important to read the others in the series first. I was able to figure out what was going on but I have so many questions. The protagonist, Jane is the guardian of a Secret Book Library. She is assisted in protecting this library by a group of people called Fins. (at this point I am not sure who they are). She is a single mo Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is the 4th book in the Book Retreat Mystery series. I have not read any and when I began to read this one, I realized that it is important to read the others in the series first. I was able to figure out what was going on but I have so many questions. The protagonist, Jane is the guardian of a Secret Book Library. She is assisted in protecting this library by a group of people called Fins. (at this point I am not sure who they are). She is a single mother with twins. She runs a resort called Storyton Hall that is a retreat for book lovers. They hold teas, balls, conferences and give book lovers the opportunity of a lifetime. All the rooms, including the group rooms are literary themes. The mystery in this book involves a skeleton found during the digging for a new spa, a mystery book buried with the skeleton, the death of a rich book collector as well as repairing books for others, a hit and run and more. The characters seem to be well known and developed, but as I have not read the other books, again, I feel I have missed a lot. The plot of this story had me turning pages to see how it would end and it was well-paced. Although there were many guests attending the conference, there were only a few suspects that were investigated. There were a lot of clues, although many I missed until the end of the story. There were also many twists and turns. I had no idea who the real culprit was. The reveal was climatic and leaves the reader with a lingering question that I hope will be solved in the next book. This was a well written cozy with a very different theme from others I have read. I will go back and read the first three books in the series and I recommend that you start and read these books in order. I am sure I would have given it a higher rating if I has done so. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sue Ross

    If you start this book don't plan on getting anything done until the end. Ellery Adams writes in a way that will have your heart racing your hands sweating and you holding your breath.. If you like murder, intrigue, deception. Kidnappings. And a little romance thrown in. Then this is the series for you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    These books just keep getting better and better. The ending sets the next book up nicely and I can hardly wait. Perfect narrator for this series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Book

    Once again Ellery Adams expands the cozy genre by weaving strong thriller threads into the fabric of her latest Book Retreat Mystery, Murder in the Locked Library. Jane Steward has been named the Guardian of the secret library* of rare books hidden within Storyton Hall, the resort that Jane manages. Her twin sons, Fitz and Hem, spot the bones of a body while watching a construction crew prepare the site for a new addition to the resort. In addition to the bones, a “time-ravaged” book is found in Once again Ellery Adams expands the cozy genre by weaving strong thriller threads into the fabric of her latest Book Retreat Mystery, Murder in the Locked Library. Jane Steward has been named the Guardian of the secret library* of rare books hidden within Storyton Hall, the resort that Jane manages. Her twin sons, Fitz and Hem, spot the bones of a body while watching a construction crew prepare the site for a new addition to the resort. In addition to the bones, a “time-ravaged” book is found in a box by the bones. An anthropologist is called to help identify the gender, and possibly the identity, of the bones. In the meantime, Storyton Hall is preparing for The Rare Books Convention and Jane suggests that maybe one of the experts attending can help identify the book which may provide clues to whose bones they found. The sheriff agrees, and Jane solicits the help of the Robert Harley Rare Book Society who meet with Jane privately to examine the book. The next day, Bart Baylor, president of the Robert Harley Rare Book Society, comes to Jane and requests a private meeting so they go to the first-floor library. Bart explains that the book is quite possibly a book entitled The Devil’s Recipes because the recipes were thought to be “hazardous to the public’s health.” He also adds that the ink on the pages is not washed away but instead hidden and can be restored by a simple chemical process. At that point Bart experiences an allergic reaction and his Epi-pen is administered. Unfortunately, Bart dies within minutes. Now there are bones to identify, an active death to investigate and well devised red herrings to distract. Ms. Adams has crafted a multi-layered story that combines elements of a cozy mystery with those of a thriller. At the core is the richly drawn community that make cozies feel so comfortable while trying to solve the mystery. Throughout this adventure Ms. Adams pulls in interesting thriller threads like: the story behind the bones and book; or the backgrounds of the men who serve in various functions at Storyton Hall while insuring the security of the secret library; or the covert sect that Edwin, the Templar and man she loves, represents. Her characters are convincing. Dialogue is realistic. The pacing is steady but easily pushes the reader through the story. Bottom line: Ms. Adams conceives intriguing plotlines, writes engaging stories and literally takes the reader on a suspense filled adventure. *“A treasure trove of rare, invaluable, controversial, and potentially dangerous books…. collected since man first began recording the human narrative.” – Murder in the Locked Library

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is the fourth tale in A Book Retreat Mystery series. Jane Steward is excited that the construction is beginning on the Walt Whitman Spa. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the next evening. After the digging begins, it looks like the festivities will have to be postponed. Bones were uncovered by the excavator along with a padlocked box and a farthing. Inside the box is the remains of a badly deteriorated book. It so happens that the Robert H Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is the fourth tale in A Book Retreat Mystery series. Jane Steward is excited that the construction is beginning on the Walt Whitman Spa. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the next evening. After the digging begins, it looks like the festivities will have to be postponed. Bones were uncovered by the excavator along with a padlocked box and a farthing. Inside the box is the remains of a badly deteriorated book. It so happens that the Robert Harley Rare Book Society is attending a conference at the Storyton Hall and they are happy to help discern the books title. Bart Baylor identifies the book and then expires in the Henry James library. Jane, with the aid of her trusted, employees delves into the lives of the members of the Rare Book Society to pinpoint the culprit before the conference ends. How does the skeleton relate to Bart’s death? Jane is also worried about Edwin Alcott. There has been limited communication and the recent postcards people have been receiving seem unusually chatty (for Edwin). As the investigation into Bart’s murder heats up, her concerns about Edwin will have to take a backseat. Time is of the essence. They need to work quickly or something very precious could be lost. I love the concept for A Book Retreat Mystery series. As a booklover, I would love to visit (let’s face it—live at) Storyton Hall. If you are new to the series, I suggest starting with Murder in the Mystery Suite. There is more to Storyton Hall than a beautiful book themed inn. Jane is the latest Guardian who safeguards a hidden library filled with priceless (and rare) books and manuscripts. Jane’s role and that of her staff (the Fins) is explained in the first book. Murder in the Locked Library is well-written, but it does have a slower pace. I did not mind the pace because the story drew me in from the very beginning. Storyton Hall with its beautiful book themed rooms were brought to life for me courtesy of the author’s descriptions. The characters are established and engaging. There is a cast of regular characters that include Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Butterworth, Hem and Fitz (Jane’s twin boys), and the Cover Girls (Jane’s friends which make up the female book club). I like the boys are portrayed as mischievous and curious. Jane loves them dearly, but she does get frustrated with them at times (which is realistic). I like how the three storylines come together in the end. The mystery was compelling and complex. I do wish, though, that it had been harder to identify the guilty party. Two little pieces of information gave it away to me (this is the only weak part of the book). The why did not become apparent until much later in the book. I am glad that the sheriff works with Jane and her group on the investigation. They have resources that are not available to the local police. At the end of Murder in the Locked Library, we get a glimpse of what will be happening in the next A Book Retreat Mystery (which I am eager to read). My rating for Murder in the Locked Library is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Murder In The Locked Library is the fourth book in the A Book Retreat Mystery series. I love this series and have been a fan of Ellery Adams writing for a number of years. I am very happy that this series has found a new publisher and hope that there will be many more to come. I would say that this is best one in this series so far. Truly, a series for book lovers, what with all the different libraries at Storyton Hall and the very knowledgeable staff who are eager to serve their guests. The one t Murder In The Locked Library is the fourth book in the A Book Retreat Mystery series. I love this series and have been a fan of Ellery Adams writing for a number of years. I am very happy that this series has found a new publisher and hope that there will be many more to come. I would say that this is best one in this series so far. Truly, a series for book lovers, what with all the different libraries at Storyton Hall and the very knowledgeable staff who are eager to serve their guests. The one the thing that Jane Stewart has felt that Storyton Hall has needed is about to come to fruition, that being a spa, which will be named the Walt Whitman Spa. Heavy equipment is in place and excavation is about to begin and Jane’s twin sons, Hem and Fitz couldn’t be happier. They have front row seats to watch the earth mover jockey into position, lower its claw begin the excavation work. After just a few buckets or dirt are removed, Fitz and Hem get the equipment operators attention to stop digging as they have spotted a skull and some bones fall from the last load. Sheriff Evans shuts down the site and is able to get an anthropologist, Dr. Celia Wallace, to come and collect the remains of the unknown victim. Also found with the bones was a box containing a mysterious book that appeared to be a cookbook. From the book and a couple coins that were also found, Wallace feels that the body had been buried since the 1800’s. The Robert Harley Rare Book Society is having their annual meeting at Storyton Hall, as the bones are being discovered. Jane enlists the help of Bart Baylor, leader of the society, to find more of the history of the book and hoping that it might provide information about the person whose bones had been found. When Baylor returns his finding, he is able to relay that it is indeed a cookbook whose recipes had tainted foods used that caused many deaths. He also reports that there had been a fire at the publisher and all the books had burned, but the author had received 5 copies. Baylor proceeds to put on a pair of latex gloves to tell more of the history of the book, he experiences severe breathing difficulties. Thinking that he was having a reaction to the gloves they administer an epi-pen, but to no avail. Jane and her staff, Sinclair, Sterling, and Lachman must sort through what information they have learned who was buried at Storyton Hall and who wanted Baylor dead. When there is another death they are sure that these recent deaths are indeed related to the bones that had been dug up. Ellery Adams is a wonderful storyteller and this is a well-plotted story with a believable cast of well-developed characters. I would love to live in the village of Storyton and be able to visit with the residents all the time. I can’t wait for the next book in this exciting series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    As a fan of this remarkable series, I chose to read this book as a 'new' series since a change in publishing houses occurred. I think that was a wise choice. The Author gifted me a copy but did not ask for a review. It was a true gift. This review is of my choosing. All my favorite characters were back. However, they were re-introduced to a new readership. Well done. Twins, Hemingway and Fitzgerald were there immediately to greet me to this very interesting tale of murder, old and new. The relia As a fan of this remarkable series, I chose to read this book as a 'new' series since a change in publishing houses occurred. I think that was a wise choice. The Author gifted me a copy but did not ask for a review. It was a true gift. This review is of my choosing. All my favorite characters were back. However, they were re-introduced to a new readership. Well done. Twins, Hemingway and Fitzgerald were there immediately to greet me to this very interesting tale of murder, old and new. The reliable 'Cover Girls' which have a double meaning, were present to always cover their girl, Jane Steward were on the scene to aid in any way needed. Then there are the 'Fins.' Now, I'm going to let you, the readers that are 'new' to the series find out about them. Do take the time to find 'Book Retreat Mysteries 1-3,' and you won't be sorry. Jane Steward, the resort manager, is a dedicated Mother, Granddaughter, and protector of Storyton Hall. Jane has other skills as well, as you will realize reading this book. Storyton Hall is a resort geared entirely to the customer who is an avid reader. Each room has a novel inspired theme. However, Jane realizes that her customers may also want to partake of other luxuries such as Spa's etc. So, She decides to create a spa area. However, when you move the earth, the earth can sometimes move you... curious, yet? You should be. What is unearthed will have long reaching effects on convention goers, the staff, and the family of Storyton Hall. Not to mention...well, I'm not going to mention. You need to read this novel. My favorite part of this book, is the fact that I see the Author, Ellery Adams, taking us readers and story plots to new horizons. We are entering a mysterious world of secrets, daring adventures, and more...I see many more possibilities coming in future books, and for that? I'm so excited. Give this book and the entire series a read and you will be hooked on Storyton Hall as am I.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    A very good and solid mystery full of twists and very entertaining. As I didn't read the previous instalments I had some problems in placing the different roles and groups but no problems in understanding the relationship amongst the different characters. It's well written, there's an interesting cast of characters and it keeps you hooked since the beginning. Strongly recommended. Many thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is the fourth book in the Book Retreat series. I have fallen in love with Storyton Hall, how can you not? It is a wonderful Retreat Hall that is all about books. A place I would so love to go spend time at. Jane and her twin sons live there, she is the resort manager and guardian of a super secret book library. An old book, old secrets come alive, wonderfully charming characters and excitement that will keep you turning those pages and on the edge of your seat until the very end. I voluntari This is the fourth book in the Book Retreat series. I have fallen in love with Storyton Hall, how can you not? It is a wonderful Retreat Hall that is all about books. A place I would so love to go spend time at. Jane and her twin sons live there, she is the resort manager and guardian of a super secret book library. An old book, old secrets come alive, wonderfully charming characters and excitement that will keep you turning those pages and on the edge of your seat until the very end. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Murder in the Locked Library is the fourth book in the Storyton Hall/Book Retreat series. Jane Steward, manager of Storyton Hall, is overseeing the groundbreaking of a new spa for the manor. When bones are found along with a rare book, the Guardian of the hall and her Fins are on the case. Who is he? What is the book? Luckily, some of the world's best rare book experts happen to be in residence, and are more than willing to help out. Unfortunately, as the mystery starts to unravel, murders prese Murder in the Locked Library is the fourth book in the Storyton Hall/Book Retreat series. Jane Steward, manager of Storyton Hall, is overseeing the groundbreaking of a new spa for the manor. When bones are found along with a rare book, the Guardian of the hall and her Fins are on the case. Who is he? What is the book? Luckily, some of the world's best rare book experts happen to be in residence, and are more than willing to help out. Unfortunately, as the mystery starts to unravel, murders present day begin. Jane and her loyal Fins are in a rush to figure out who is the kill;er, and what exactly the connection to the old body and book is. This was a very good story and kept me guessing all the way through. It wasn't quite as good as the previous books, and I didn't like how this book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, considering how long it is between books. But overall, a good addition to a great series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I'm always up for a visit to Storyton Hall, where the books are plentiful and the electronics are few. In this edition, Jane Steward is watching with eager anticipation as work begins on the Walt Whitman spa. But when the big machinery is at work displacing the dirt, Jane's twin sons, Fitzgerald and Hemingway spot something--bones, and the remains of a very old book. Jane calls in the police, who call in a noted anthropologist, since the bones are obviously old. But it's up to Jane and her crew to I'm always up for a visit to Storyton Hall, where the books are plentiful and the electronics are few. In this edition, Jane Steward is watching with eager anticipation as work begins on the Walt Whitman spa. But when the big machinery is at work displacing the dirt, Jane's twin sons, Fitzgerald and Hemingway spot something--bones, and the remains of a very old book. Jane calls in the police, who call in a noted anthropologist, since the bones are obviously old. But it's up to Jane and her crew to identify the book. They enlist the help of bookaholics attending the Rare Book Society. But when one of those helping to identify the old tome dies in the Henry James Library, it's up to Jane and her staff to find out who killed Bart Baylor, and the true meaning behind the bones and the book. Murder in the Locked Library is a fantastic addition to the book Retreat Mystery series. Ms. Adams has crafted a perfect mystery that kept me guessing until the very end, which, by the way, left me with wide-open eyes. I loved the pacing of this book, from the discovery of the bones to the revelation of the killer. It's one of those that you want to read in one setting. And in the end, you want to read it again. One of my favorite parts of the Book Retreat Mysteries is the Cover Girls Book Club. Jane and her friends meet to eat and discuss books, and they always have great quotes that they pull from different tomes. I read each one, and as they talk I always feel like I'm there, participating in the book club with them. The only thing missing, for me, is the food. I always feel like I learn something from these meetings, and enjoy listing to the ladies, who come from all walks of like, talk about the books and what they get from reading them. I can't wait for the next installment, which will, I'm sure, be another page turner. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniele

    MURDER IN THE LOCKED LIBRARY has everything going for it. A wonderful whimsical setting, well developed characters, a believable amateur sleuth, and a solidly crafted mystery make it one of my favorite reads of the year. I am so glad that Kensington Publishers picked up this delightful series. It is one of the most interesting series in the cozy mystery genre. In this installment, we find young widow and mother Jane busy with plans to build a spa adjacent to her resort, Storyton Hall. However, wo MURDER IN THE LOCKED LIBRARY has everything going for it. A wonderful whimsical setting, well developed characters, a believable amateur sleuth, and a solidly crafted mystery make it one of my favorite reads of the year. I am so glad that Kensington Publishers picked up this delightful series. It is one of the most interesting series in the cozy mystery genre. In this installment, we find young widow and mother Jane busy with plans to build a spa adjacent to her resort, Storyton Hall. However, work comes to a halt when a skeleton and a ratty book are unearthed. Jane and her stalwart guardians, the Fins, know their books, but this is quite the puzzle. When guests arrive for the Rare Book Convention, participant Bart Baylor knows about the book but is murdered before he can tell Jane. With an old and a new murder on their hands, Jane and the Fins put on their investigative hats and get to work as it all leads down a dangerous path that threatens their protected secret lives and could change Jane’s life forever. I love, love, love this series. In fact, I have never read a book by Ellery Adams that I did not enjoy. Adam’s writing is top notch. She is quite the storyteller, quickly drawing me into the tale. Its pace is quick, and there is plenty of action compelling me to keep reading well past my bedtime. I enjoyed figuring out both the old and new murders and was so pleased when they became intertwined. The dangerous climax, the killer’s identity, and the tease of things to come in future books all left me on the edge of my seat. I so want to take a vacation to Storyton Hall. I highly recommend MURDER IN THE LOCKED LIBRARY to any cozy reader, to any mystery reader looking for an expertly penned yarn. I received an ARC of this title from the author and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Another very good entry in the series. 4.5*

  24. 5 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    Murder in the Locked Library is the fourth book in Ellery Adams’ Book Retreat Mysteries. This is the first book I’ve read in this series and I felt a little lost, but enjoyed the intriguing mystery. There were enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning, and kept me guessing until the reveal. Jane Steward is the guardian of Storyton Hall, a resort in Virginia, which draws book lovers from all over the world to read and enjoy time in the hotel’s book themed rooms. Fitzgerald and Hemingway, J Murder in the Locked Library is the fourth book in Ellery Adams’ Book Retreat Mysteries. This is the first book I’ve read in this series and I felt a little lost, but enjoyed the intriguing mystery. There were enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning, and kept me guessing until the reveal. Jane Steward is the guardian of Storyton Hall, a resort in Virginia, which draws book lovers from all over the world to read and enjoy time in the hotel’s book themed rooms. Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Jane’s twin sons, are watching the team of workers who are breaking ground for a spa when they notice the earthmover had uncovered a skull and bones. Not only were bones discovered, but there was also a tin containing a damaged book. They bring in an anthropologist to identify the bones, and since Storyton Hall is hosting the Rare Book Conference, Jane enlists the help of five members of the Robert Harley Society to help identify the book. Bartholomew ‘Bart’ Baylor, a renowned book restorer, is one of those attendees and when he collapses and dies, the hunt is on to determine who killed him. After a second person is murdered, Sheriff Evans makes an arrest, but Jane feels someone else is responsible and as the guardian, she is duty bound to find out who murdered two people and to protect Storyton Hall and the people and treasures housed within its walls. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Another good installment in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gaele

    AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 3 Story 5 Storyton Hall is a retreat space / great house in Virginia for those who love books, and Jane Steward is both the owner and guardian of the space and its secrets. Her twin sons, Fitzgerald and Hemingway are back in school, and it’s time to make a few changes to up the ‘pamper’ quotient of the resort, adding a spa building to compliment the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where much of the discussions about authors, tropes and twists take place. But AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 3 Story 5 Storyton Hall is a retreat space / great house in Virginia for those who love books, and Jane Steward is both the owner and guardian of the space and its secrets. Her twin sons, Fitzgerald and Hemingway are back in school, and it’s time to make a few changes to up the ‘pamper’ quotient of the resort, adding a spa building to compliment the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where much of the discussions about authors, tropes and twists take place. But, when the excavation uncovers a skeleton and the remains of a very old book – a mystery is unearthed and Jane needs to discover the answers, if only to satisfy her own curiosity. Fortunately there are a group of rare book experts staying, and Jane decides to ask their help to sort the mystery. Yet when a guest is found dead in the locked library after divulging some facts about the buried title , suspects seem to be occupying the space around her as twists, turns and questions seem to come from all directions. Could the old bones and book be somehow related to the current murder? It’s only after we have input from several of the guests and Jane is able to sort fact from fiction as she follows clues that will help to answer all questions and point to the culprit. Secondary characters are quirky and cleverly introduced, literary references are solidly placed with a nice mix of classic and current, and Jane’s presence and obvious love of literature, reading and book people shines through solidly. While not having read the earlier titles in this series, this wasn’t difficult to understand or follow along- although I do want to learn more about the history of the Hall and the decisions to get to a retreat space. Narration for this story is provided by Johanna Parker, and it was a solid first exposure to her character presentation and skills. Her presentation of Jane and her young sons felt natural and adjusted for “adult v child’ conversations, the natural frustrations that all parents experience and the reverential descriptions of the books, library and space. Perhaps straining the believable a touch with male voices, there were distinctions, defined and appropriate intonations and approach to age, delivery and pace for each character. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed

  27. 4 out of 5

    Witchy

    Ramblings: Several yrs. ago, I read Ellery Adams’s Charmed Pie Shoppe mysteries while on vacation. I was inside a remote cabin at the time and it was idyllic. Summary: Jane Steward manages the Storyton Hall Resort in a quiet Virginian village. She dreams of building a world-class spa for her guests. The Walt Whitman Spa is slated to have treatment rooms, a relaxation area, and a boutique full of natural products. Unfortunately, her plans come to a screeching halt when skeletal remains are unearthed Ramblings: Several yrs. ago, I read Ellery Adams’s Charmed Pie Shoppe mysteries while on vacation. I was inside a remote cabin at the time and it was idyllic. Summary: Jane Steward manages the Storyton Hall Resort in a quiet Virginian village. She dreams of building a world-class spa for her guests. The Walt Whitman Spa is slated to have treatment rooms, a relaxation area, and a boutique full of natural products. Unfortunately, her plans come to a screeching halt when skeletal remains are unearthed on her property. What’s the saying about the best-laid plans? Review: Murder in the Locked Library is the fourth installment in the A Book Retreat Mystery series by author Ellery Adams. Its official release date is Apr. 24th, 2018. The first three stories in the series are currently available for purchase. The debut novel is titled, Murder in the Mystery Suite, and is followed by books two (Murder in the Paperback Parlor) and three (Murder in the Secret Garden). Oftentimes, you’ll find that novels in a series are standalone stories where the author informs new readers of past events. Murder in the Locked Library is not a standalone. For example, Jane’s a widow, but I don’t know when or how William died. The novel also references both the “Cover Girls” and the “Fins” for most of the book without defining the terms. If one overlooks these references, it’s still an enjoyable whodunit with unexpected and startling twists. I enjoyed the concept of a resort catering to bibliophiles, and my favorite guest/character was Bart. His OCD led him to ask for some off-the-wall accommodations. My favorite scene was when Jane, a usually composed professional, descends into a fear-induced panic near the ending. The author threw the character’s composure out the window. And rightly so! You’ll like this story if: #1 You enjoy murder mysteries with female sleuths #2 You like mysteries but also happen to love cats 🐈 #3 Duplicitous characters are your cup of tea Did I guess whodunit? No, I never would’ve guessed since the murderer wasn’t even on my suspect list! Disclosure: I received a complimentary ARC of Murder in the Locked Library from Kensington Publishing Corp. via goodreads. I’m thankful to the publisher, author, and goodreads for the opportunity to review this mystery. Included in my review is an honest reflection of my thoughts/ramblings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Forsythe

    A book-themed murder mystery, heck yeah, I expected to love this. But honestly I just didn't. It wasn't bad, but I also wasn't impressed. Jane is supposed to be the guardian of a trove of dangerous books and the leader of a secret society, complete with martial guards and lifelong legacies, etc. But I never felt the gravitas of it AT ALL. This is very much a cozy mystery and that just doesn't fit what the author was trying to create. What's more there is A LOT of descriptions. In fact, I think i A book-themed murder mystery, heck yeah, I expected to love this. But honestly I just didn't. It wasn't bad, but I also wasn't impressed. Jane is supposed to be the guardian of a trove of dangerous books and the leader of a secret society, complete with martial guards and lifelong legacies, etc. But I never felt the gravitas of it AT ALL. This is very much a cozy mystery and that just doesn't fit what the author was trying to create. What's more there is A LOT of descriptions. In fact, I think if you took all the superfluous descriptions out, this would be about a 60 page book. Not a lot actually happens. And honestly, since so many of the descriptions are about book-themed decorations, or cakes, or food, it all just eventually felt like author wish fulfillment. I'm very much a bibliophile, but eventually it started to just feel pretentious. These descriptions did a lot more to stall the plot, than progress it, in my opinion. It is also one of those mysteries where the characters spend 75% of the book trying to solve it, and then the villain does something drastic and gives themselves away (with a bit of monologuing along the way), such that the heroine doesn't actually solve the mystery. It solves itself. This is book four in a series. So, I'm guessing some people must like this style of story telling a lot more than me. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a whole series. This one is readable, even if you haven't read the first three (like me). You feel the lack of those first books, a few things aren't explained (such as what exactly a Fin is), but you figure them out. And there is a subplot about a missing boyfriend that is obviously a carryover from a previous book and lead-in to a next. But none of it prevents you understanding the events of this one. It's not all bad. I did like the characters and the writing is perfectly readable. I think it's just a little too Dan Brown meets Mrs. Marple for my tastes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

    With the boys back in school Jane is looking forward to the new addition being built at Storyton Hall, a spa. While the space where the spa will be built is being cleared Jane's boys notice a skeleton and all work has to stop. How long has it been there and who could it be? A specialist is called in to figure out just that. When removing the bones a box is found and inside a book in not so great condition. Both Jane and Sinclair try but fail to figure out the identity of the book, luckily Storyt With the boys back in school Jane is looking forward to the new addition being built at Storyton Hall, a spa. While the space where the spa will be built is being cleared Jane's boys notice a skeleton and all work has to stop. How long has it been there and who could it be? A specialist is called in to figure out just that. When removing the bones a box is found and inside a book in not so great condition. Both Jane and Sinclair try but fail to figure out the identity of the book, luckily Storyton has a Rare Book Conference going on and Jane knows just the group that can help. Bart Baylor from the group recognizes something from the book and in the end figures out just what book it is. It's a book with quite a history, and while telling that history to Jane and Sinclair, Bart seems to have a reaction to something and dies. What looks like an accidental death ends up being murder. Who would want to kill such a nice man? Does the book have something to do with his death? Jane must figure that out and more. Can she find the answers she needs before anything else bad happens? Adams delivers a very intricately weaved mystery filled with an inventive storyline which always has me coming back for more. I can't wait to see where the next book leads Jane and how she will take it on!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    A cozy mystery about a woman and her team who run a resort that cherishes and celebrates books? Heck yeah, I'm in! I've been in for the whole series. I've enjoyed Ellery Adams' books for quite some time and this series is a nifty addition to her stable. It's such a cool premise since the hotel/resort is also a cover for what Jane Steward and her family and team protect. Books, literature that, in the wrong hands, would cause world chaos. So Jane has the running of the resort as much as she has o A cozy mystery about a woman and her team who run a resort that cherishes and celebrates books? Heck yeah, I'm in! I've been in for the whole series. I've enjoyed Ellery Adams' books for quite some time and this series is a nifty addition to her stable. It's such a cool premise since the hotel/resort is also a cover for what Jane Steward and her family and team protect. Books, literature that, in the wrong hands, would cause world chaos. So Jane has the running of the resort as much as she has of protecting this hidden treasure. The setting could be extremely precious with the name of the town being Storyton and pretty much every business being book themed named, but it works and it makes me smile. The action is pretty gritty with funny bits inserted. I like Jane, her family and her friends and team. The characters make a story as much as the mystery does. They all enhance the other. I liked that there are two mysteries to solve and it makes complete sense that Jane is involved. Both mysteries involve the resort so she needs to get to the bottom of both. I can definitely recommend this book, series and author.

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