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Buried in a Book
A Novel Idea Mystery, No 1
Lucy Arlington

Berkley Prime Crime
Feb 2012 / ISBN: 978-0-425-24619-1
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

What does a newspaper journalist do when she loses her job at 45 years of age? Will she reinvent herself? Lila Wilkins is desperate for a new job. She has a son, Trey, who is just starting college, and tuition isn't cheap. She finds a job, perhaps a dream job, as an intern at A Novel Idea, a literary agency. She loves to read, and loves books, so this could be just the ticket for her new career choice.

Before long, Lila realizes that no job is perfect. Her coworkers run the gamut from those typical of a literary agency and office, to those who are quirky to say the least. Her first day on the job is challenging; she has a quota of 100 queries a day to get through, and to sort them into categories, or send rejection letters. After a homeless man, Mariette, brings her flowers and wants to know about the status of his query letter, Lila starts to wonder how many more surprises her job will bring. During a coffee run, Lila makes a new friend, Makayla, and feels that her day has markedly improved. That is until she finds Mariette resting on the office sofa; he's not just resting though -- he's dead as a doornail!

In the fashion of most cozy mysteries, Lila lives in a small town. Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, is home to many interesting characters, businesses and yes, murder: murder of a homeless, aspiring author who only wanted his manuscript read. Lila is determined to get to the truth. With help from her friends and coworkers she may just be the one to solve the crime.

I really enjoyed this book for the traditional cozy feel that was not written by a rote or formulistic method. While the book does employ some standard features, such as the female protagonist who can't keep her nose out of trouble, Lila is both smarter and more cautious than many others in the genre. I loved the town of Inspiration Valley, and aside from the dead body and the quota of 100 query letters a day, I wouldn't mind having her job!

Book addicts are sure to enjoy Buried in a Book. It is so well written that readers may feel like they are the fly on the wall in Lila's life. Although it sounds cliché it is a real page- turner that is fast paced and rich with detail. Lucy Arlington is the name of writing duo Sylvia May and Ellery Adams. Both have books of they've written solo. You may also enjoy the Library Lover's Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. Read our review of Books Can Be Deceiving for further information.

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2012
© 2012