Monday 13 November 2023

The Bookshop Murder

Finished November 3
The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham

This is the first book in a series of historical mysteries and is set in the mid-1950s. Flora Steele owns a bookshop in the village of Abbeymead in Sussex. She inherited it from her aunt, who raised her after the death of her parents when she was young. Flora had plans for her first few months after getting her library degree, but her aunt's illness and death meant that she is now tied to the store and her life there. When a customer discovers a body in her store, she finds that gossip and rumour are hitting her financial, with a decrease in sales and traffic. With the police not interested in tracking down the reasons this stranger broke into her store, she decides to take matters into her own hands, with the assistance of the crime-writing customer who discovered the body. 
I got a real sense of village life here, and how people were reacting to events of the time, like the end of rationing, and the turnover of traditional manor properties. Flora is a determined young woman, and is unhappy about not being taken seriously. She is full of ideas, but also open to critiques of those ideas with solid facts. One gets a very concrete examples of how women's views and concerns were not treated with the same respect as men's. I definitely got a sense of how the series might continue and how some plotlines might develop further in future books. An enjoyable read. 

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