Booked for Death is the debut of the Booklovers B&B Mystery series set in the small waterfront village of Beaufort, North Carolina and featuring Charlotte Reed, widowed, retired from teaching and now running the Bed and Breakfast that she inherited from her great aunt Isabella. The B&B known as Chapters, specializes in literary retreats and this particular theme week revolves around Josephine Tey, a British mystery author.
The guests for the week include wealthy businessman Todd Rowley and his younger wife Kelly and book dealer Lincoln Delamont along with his wife Jennifer and daughter Tara. Charlotte also invites members of her local book club to the weekly gathering of events including elderly sisters Bernadette and Ophelia Sandberg and cafe owner Pete Nelson and his wife Sandra. Of all the guests Lincoln seems to be the least liked; belittling his wife and daughter, snooping around in Charlotte's library, hinting he knows a secret about great aunt Isabella and antagonizing Chapters employees, Alicia Simpson and Damian Carr. When Lincoln turns up dead in the adjacent carriage house being rented by author Scott Kepler, there's no shortage of suspects including Charlotte's best friend and bookstore owner Julie Rivera who was having an affair with the married man.
As the police name everyone in her potential circle as a suspect in the murder, Charlotte decides that in order to save her business and her friends she needs to track down the real killer. Teaming up with neighbor, Ellen Montgomery she begins an investigation that leads to shocking revelations regarding her great aunt.
The book got off to a slow start and it was difficult to connect with the main character, Charlotte. She just seemed "off" and for someone who is running a bed and breakfast appeared cold in her interactions with the other characters. The mystery was well plotted and several clues along the way made it easy for me to identify the killer before the final reveal. I feel that maybe now the background has been set and Charlotte seems to be settling in among her peers she'll begin to grow on me. Certainly plenty of possibilities for Charlotte and Ellen in future additions to the series.