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Friday, November 13, 2015

A Dickens of a Murder by Jim and Joyce Lavene

A Dickens of a Murder
(Canterville Book Shop Mystery 1)

Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (November 3, 2015)
ASIN: B015269QSI


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.


What I Thought:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I have all of Jim and Joyce's books.  It will be sad that Joyce is no longer with us, but I know that Jim, with the help of their daughter, will keep this legacy going.  This book captivated me from the beginning.  I am like the main character Lisa, and I love books and have often dreamt of having my own book store.  Lisa's dream has become reality through the help of her friend Simon Canterville.  But when a body is found on the roof of Simon's home, which is about to become Canterville Bookshop, Simon is accused of the murder and Lisa's dream may come crashing down.  Lisa has to use her skills as a mystery writer to try to find the real culprit.  Filled with quirky characters, like Lisa's ex-husband who is the homicide detective and Simon's son, who seems only interested in obtaining Simon's possessions, this book had me turning the pages.

I will truly miss Joyce Lavene as I got to know her through social media, but I look forward to more from Jim.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About The Authors –

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Links

Purchase Link


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  1. A Dickens of a Murder sounds positively delightful, and the cover is adorable.

  2. This recent series by Joyce and Jim Lavene is only another fine example of the great writing ability. I can't wait to read the second book when it is released. I was saddened by the death of Joyce Lavene and hope that Jim will be able to carry on this series and their others.

  3. Joyce will be missed by many, she gave pleasure in reading to so many. Hugs to Jim and her family

  4. Fantastic sounding new book and what an opening...a body on the roof. I love Christmas themed books...thank you for the chance.

  5. I loved this new one too. And I'll miss Joyce also. Had some lovely and fun chats with her. I hope Jim and his daughter can continue with these wonderful cozies:)

  6. I, too, am missing Joyce but I'm glad her daughter is continuing on facebook. Thanks for the contest.

  7. I have read all jim and joyce's book. it is Amazing books. but it will be sad that joyce is no longer with us.