Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Double Booked For Death- Ali Brandon

Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #1)

I know, I know- another mystery with a cat and a bookstore, right? Well, when it's well done, it's not so bad, and this IS well done. Texan Darla has moved to NY to run the bookstore left to her by her deceased aunt. She's also inherited the bad mannered black cat, Hamlet. We begin after she's been there for a few months and is about to host her first big book signing, for an author of the latest teen blockbuster series. She's been warned that this author can be difficult to handle, and is calling this her Up Yours tour. The reason? She's a failed romance writer who was only able to get signings at a few indie bookstores around the country before hitting big with her paranormal teen book. Now all the big chains want her to do signings for them, but she's only planning to go back to the stores who acknowledged her earlier books, and Darla's store is the first stop. Darla enlists neighbor & former NYPD officer Jake (short for Jacqueline) to help with crowd control. Things seem to be going well at first, despite some infighting among the bookstore staff, the appearance of a protester and the threat of a church group picket, and then all hell breaks loose. Val, the author, winds up dead in the street when she's supposed to be signing books. The police at first think it's a simple, yet awful accident, but things keep nagging at Darla until she & Jake start putting pieces together, with the unwitting (or is it?) help of Hamlet and they realize there's a LOT more going on than anyone realized. There's also a subplot with mysterious break-ins at the store and Darla's apartment (nothing is stolen, but someone is CLEARLY looking for something), a potential future romance for Darla, and the developing relationship between Darla & Hamlet the wonder cat. All in all, a good read for a chilly day and a promising start for a new series.

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