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The Bodies in the Library

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Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling's former secretary. Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley's ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight--an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House. But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.


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Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling's former secretary. Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley's ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight--an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House. But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.

30 review for The Bodies in the Library

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    The Bodies in the Library is first in the new First Edition Library Mystery series from Marty Wingate. It’s set in Bath, England, one of my favorite places on earth, and it’s a cozy involving books. What could be better? Hayley has landed her dream job as the curator of the First Edition library located in a swoon-worthy Georgian home. Hayley aims to modernize the library, but she is met with resistance. Someone ends up murdered in the library (of course!), and Hayley must find the killer to The Bodies in the Library is first in the new First Edition Library Mystery series from Marty Wingate. It’s set in Bath, England, one of my favorite places on earth, and it’s a cozy involving books. What could be better? Hayley has landed her dream job as the curator of the First Edition library located in a swoon-worthy Georgian home. Hayley aims to modernize the library, but she is met with resistance. Someone ends up murdered in the library (of course!), and Hayley must find the killer to keep her job and everyone safe. The Bodies in the Library kept me guessing and was so much fun. Hayley is a charmer and I can’t wait to see what she’s up to in the next book. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Book of Secrets°ღ

    3.5 Stars Hayley Burke is the new curator of The First Edition Society, a library dedicated to first editions from the Golden Age of Mysteries. How she got the job, I’m not sure, because she’s never read a mystery, which made me laugh. It’s a sweet position she doesn’t want to lose, but when a member of an Agatha Christie fanfic group is murdered at the library, Hayley’s future there is threatened — she allowed them in, after all. I loved the setting of Bath, England, and the gorgeous Georgian 3.5 Stars → Hayley Burke is the new curator of The First Edition Society, a library dedicated to first editions from the Golden Age of Mysteries. How she got the job, I’m not sure, because she’s never read a mystery, which made me laugh. It’s a sweet position she doesn’t want to lose, but when a member of an Agatha Christie fanfic group is murdered at the library, Hayley’s future there is threatened — she allowed them in, after all. I loved the setting of Bath, England, and the gorgeous Georgian home that housed the precious books. The murder mystery is definitely Christie-inspired, with many quirky suspects. With her job at stake, as well as the survival of the society itself, I can understand why Hayley would want to launch her own investigation, or at least give the police a gently nudge here and there. I can’t resist a cozy mystery revolving around books, and this one was a quick, fun read. Now I need to catch up on my Christie. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    The first book in a new cozy mystery series by Marty Wingate. The First Edition Library Mystery series features Hayley Burke, the new curator at Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library in Bath, England. The library is a mystery lovers dream, containing many Golden Age mysteries. Hayley is attempting to modernize the library, but she's hiding the fact that she doesn't know diddly about the mystery genre. The cast of characters is quirky and relatable. Hayley is a likable protagonist - The first book in a new cozy mystery series by Marty Wingate. The First Edition Library Mystery series features Hayley Burke, the new curator at Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library in Bath, England. The library is a mystery lovers dream, containing many Golden Age mysteries. Hayley is attempting to modernize the library, but she's hiding the fact that she doesn't know diddly about the mystery genre. The cast of characters is quirky and relatable. Hayley is a likable protagonist - smart, witty, and hard-working. After starting as curator, one of her actions was to open the library up to a group of Agatha Christie fan fiction writers. When one of the members of the group is found dead in the library, Hayley turns amateur sleuth to find the murderer. Hayley is concerned about the image of the library, and she wants to make sure the library's name is not smeared due to the murder. A charming new cozy mystery with entertaining characters and a lovely location. In addition to the mystery, there are some things going on in Hayley's personal life - she's got a daughter in college, an ex-husband, and a boyfriend. Hayley looks to be a fun amateur sleuth to follow along with in this series. A good read for fans of cozies, especially ones that feature books and libraries. I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    Many thanks to Berkley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review First the first time, I am actually looking forward to a rainy day because I can just curl up and read this. | Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest |

  5. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    I have read most of Marty Wingate's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is one is no different. It is the first book in a new series, the First Edition Library series and full of funny scenes and quirky characters which brought smiles and amusement as I read. I personally like that it is set in Bath where many of Victorian romances take place. Of course there, is a cat, Bunter, tortoiseshell cat and a nephew, who feels the estate is rightfully his. Hayley has a long-time romance. Hayley Burke I have read most of Marty Wingate's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This is one is no different. It is the first book in a new series, the First Edition Library series and full of funny scenes and quirky characters which brought smiles and amusement as I read. I personally like that it is set in Bath where many of Victorian romances take place. Of course there, is a cat, Bunter, tortoiseshell cat and a nephew, who feels the estate is rightfully his. Hayley has a long-time romance. Hayley Burke has her dream job she the curator at the First Edition Library and this library has the first edits of mysteries and has never read a mystery. She lives on the premise along with Mrs. Woolgar, the Secretary to Lady Gerorgiana Fowling. Her plans to bring the library to this century have disapproval of Mrs Woolgar. Hayley invited a group of fan-fiction writer who write stories from Agatha Christie books. One of these writers is found MURDERED in the library which brings the police into the story. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. Disclosure: Thanks to Berkley for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    The bodies in the Library by Marty Wingate was an enjoyable cozy read. Ms. Wingate's descriptive writing of Bath made me feel like I was there. The plot was smoothly paced with several quirky suspects as Hayley stumbled along trying to save her job, her home and the First Edition Library.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing This is the first of the cozy mysteries in the "First Edition Library Mystery" series. I do enjoy this genre every so often. I always know the mystery will be solved and everything will turn out well in the end. This new series is off to a good start. Hayley Burke is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition Library; a job for which she's not totally qualified. The library is the home of first edition mysteries by writers of the 30's and ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing This is the first of the cozy mysteries in the "First Edition Library Mystery" series. I do enjoy this genre every so often. I always know the mystery will be solved and everything will turn out well in the end. This new series is off to a good start. Hayley Burke is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition Library; a job for which she's not totally qualified. The library is the home of first edition mysteries by writers of the 30's and 40's and Hayley hasn't ever read one. As the new curator she allows a group of fan fiction writers to meet in the library once a week. The trouble begins when one of the writer's is murdered and his body is brought inside the library in the night. I thought the book was well written and a little odd which is perfect for this genre. I enjoyed the characters and I didn't have the mystery solved right away. It's a good first book in a new series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Hayley Burke, curator of a library devoted to the golden age of mysteries, has never read a mystery in her life. The compensation and benefit of living on the premises attract her to this dream job. Mrs. Woolgar, secretary to the library's founder Lady Georgiana Fowling, lives in the building also. Hayley tries to find ways to improve the library's visibility and invites a group of mystery writers to meet there. When a group member's body appears in the library after hours and after the group Hayley Burke, curator of a library devoted to the golden age of mysteries, has never read a mystery in her life. The compensation and benefit of living on the premises attract her to this dream job. Mrs. Woolgar, secretary to the library's founder Lady Georgiana Fowling, lives in the building also. Hayley tries to find ways to improve the library's visibility and invites a group of mystery writers to meet there. When a group member's body appears in the library after hours and after the group left, Hayley inserts herself into the police investigation to mitigate damage to the library and the writers' group. I never warmed to Hayley--perhaps because of her lack of affection for the mystery genre. I found the book easy to put down. The plot seemed convoluted. More insights into the police investigation and less of the amateur sleuth's attempts would improve the book.The library's cat Bunter was my favorite character. I received an advance review copy through GoodReads. While a review is encouraged, it was not required. (2.5 stars)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Audiobook Review The title caught my attention first echoing one of Agatha Christie's best, but then I spotted the series title and the blurb. I was already disposed to fall in love with this new mystery before I ever cracked the first page. First the title, then its set in a library focused on the golden age of British mystery which is in Bath, has a library cat, a murder, and the librarian/curator has never read a mystery? Couldn't pass it up. The Bodies in the Library started out slow, nearly Audiobook Review The title caught my attention first echoing one of Agatha Christie's best, but then I spotted the series title and the blurb. I was already disposed to fall in love with this new mystery before I ever cracked the first page. First the title, then its set in a library focused on the golden age of British mystery which is in Bath, has a library cat, a murder, and the librarian/curator has never read a mystery? Couldn't pass it up. The Bodies in the Library started out slow, nearly pedantic, as it introduced Hayley, her situation, the library, the other characters in relation to Hayley including a casual love interest, a grown daughter, her divorce situation, the curmudgeonly trust secretary, the Agatha Christie Fan Fiction writing group, and then we eventually got to the murder. The opening chapters nearly doused my early enthusiasm as I waited for something to happen knowing I was reading a murder mystery. The victim being found as the body in the library finally got things rolling. Hayley was on thin ice letting the writing group use the library, but now her job is precariously in the balance if she doesn't get this murder solved and not blackening the library, the benefactress' good name and the board. Like many cozies, Hayley acknowledges the police's role in the investigation while taking on her own first-time amateur sleuthing after perusing a mystery for the first time. I was somewhat more into it with the investigation underway, but also had some nitpicking moments that drew me away. Hayley got in a snit with boyfriend Val over something I didn't see as that big of a deal. Not a fan of drama for drama's sake even if it was brief. I also found it tough to believe she majored in 17th century lit from the get go let alone by the end when it didn't come up much with her. Oddly, I found it easy to believe she was curating a book collection from the Golden Age of British Mystery and hadn't read a blessed one of them- my sense of humor kicked in. I was well-pleased that the lead character was middle-aged and something of an average person in looks and abilities. The issues with having to start over in a new job, a grown daughter off at university for the first time, and an annoying ex along with her antagonistic relationship with the quirky library board secretary added verisimilitude. Bunter the cat made me smile often and I loved how he inadvertently assisted Hayley on the case. The mystery had me stumped though there was no shortage of suspects or reasons. The victim was not a surprise. But, when the reveal came, I had to squint in confusion. It was one of those 'couldn't get there from here' moments because I don't think anyone could have seen that coming the way it was laid out. Fiona Hardingham was a stellar match for the book as its narrator. I thought she was great at all her voices, genders, and accents even though I pictured Hayley much younger at first based on the voice. It wasn't a kid voice, but just hadn't sounded middle-aged to me. So, I ended up being moderately engaged with this one and would like to keep going with the series now that the introductory book is out of the way and things are established. I'm curious if that wisp of ghostly Lady Fowling will be real or just the imagination and I do like the library and city setting for a promising new series with a strong narrator. My thanks to Penguin Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    Marty Wingate kicks off a new cozy series, The First Edition Library Mysteries, with The Bodies in the Library. To be honest, I preferred the police over the amateur sleuth, though. For a change in a debut cozy, the investigating police officers are kind and intelligent while the sleuth herself bumbles her way through the book. Hayley Burke is not really qualified to be curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition Library in Bath, England. She knows nothing about the Golden Age of Mystery, Marty Wingate kicks off a new cozy series, The First Edition Library Mysteries, with The Bodies in the Library. To be honest, I preferred the police over the amateur sleuth, though. For a change in a debut cozy, the investigating police officers are kind and intelligent while the sleuth herself bumbles her way through the book. Hayley Burke is not really qualified to be curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition Library in Bath, England. She knows nothing about the Golden Age of Mystery, and hasn't read Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers or Ngaio Marsh. The small group that writes fan fiction and meets in the library is much more familiar with Lady Fowling's favorite authors than Hayley is. But, when one of those writers ends up dead, and the police don't seem to have any leads, Hayley decides to step in. She's going to read an Agatha Christie mystery and solve the case as if she was Miss Jane Marple. What would Miss Marple do? That's the question Hayley asks herself as she questions the police, follows suspects, and feels threatened by a few of the men involved in the case. Along the way, she meets a college lecturer who distracts her from the inattention paid her by her so-called boyfriend. He's one bright spot in Hayley's life. She's a pushover for her daughter and her boyfriend, and allows them to walk all over her. Hayley, who is in her mid-forties, just wasn't my cup of tea. Her lack of confidence and lack of knowledge wore me down, as did the length of the book. I think it could have been shortened. My recommendation is to actually read the authors of the Golden Age mysteries if that's what you're looking for. However, there may be readers who enjoy Hayley's attempt to play detective in The Bodies in the Library.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelcy

    Huge thanks to Goodreads and Berkley/Penguin Random House for sending me this ARC! Overall, I really enjoyed this mystery! As someone who is just now starting to really read Agatha Christie, I could really appreciate the references in this book. Hayley is a relatable MC - smart, funny, and is aware of her faults. I feel like typical cozies have a good amount of light romance and mystery. This one had the romantic element, but definitely focused on the mystery itself more which definitely gave more Huge thanks to Goodreads and Berkley/Penguin Random House for sending me this ARC! Overall, I really enjoyed this mystery! As someone who is just now starting to really read Agatha Christie, I could really appreciate the references in this book. Hayley is a relatable MC - smart, funny, and is aware of her faults. I feel like typical cozies have a good amount of light romance and mystery. This one had the romantic element, but definitely focused on the mystery itself more which definitely gave more time for secondary character development. Will be buying a finished copy and checking out the next one whenever it comes out!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews

    You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews The Bodies in the Library was interesting cozy murder mystery that revolved around Hayley’s job as curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition Society at Lady Fowling’s Middlebank House, turned into library containing vast collection of first edition books by women authors from Golden Age of Mystery. It was about fanfiction, maintaining and respecting the legacy, secrets, conflicts, and friendship. Book was first person You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews The Bodies in the Library was interesting cozy murder mystery that revolved around Hayley’s job as curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition Society at Lady Fowling’s Middlebank House, turned into library containing vast collection of first edition books by women authors from Golden Age of Mystery. It was about fanfiction, maintaining and respecting the legacy, secrets, conflicts, and friendship. Book was first person narrative. Hayley’s voice was relatable, fun and so very British. Like her, I also haven’t read Christie, Slayers or Daphne books, and similarly I feel so bad for not reading them now. I could see how she felt when her position as curator was questioned. Hayley’s expertise was 19th century literature. She never read mystery novels, knew nothing about Miss Marple and Poirot. She was lucky to have this job. With job, she was given accommodation in same premises, a grand and beautiful Georgian house. Mrs. Woolger, former secretary and caretaker of society, also lived and worked at Middlebank and didn’t know about Hayley’s lack of knowledge about the Golden Age of Mysteries. She didn’t like Hayleys’ ideas ways of running things. They didn’t see eye to eye. So, Hayley’s constant fear of being taken as fraud and losing her dream job was palpable. She worked hard to fulfil her job and to spread word about the society, she invited fanfiction writers to society’s library for weekly meet up, but when one of the writer’s dead body was found in the library, that ended up in jeopardizing her job and Society’s reputation. No clues and many suspects, I was curious to know how Hayley was going to find the murderer. What made the idea even more exciting was, she knew nothing about investigation until she read Christie’s Miss Marple book, The Body in the Library. It was fun to see her growing interest in mysteries and she did wonderful job in gathering clues. We could see how armature she was, not asking questions so subtly, taking risks and not keeping an open mind. Hayley was great throughout the book. I liked her passion and ideas. Her efforts to keep her job safe. Her relationship with her mother was lovely. I also enjoyed Hayley and Mrs. Woolger contrasting nature in the book and how both could work together when it came to saving Society. All characters, especially writers, were quirky and inetreting. Author did wonderful job with them. Their fanfiction ideas and stories were fun. It was entertaining to see them inquiring about murder. Each had lot of questions and advise for Sargent who was so frustrated within few days of murder. And did I tell you anything about that cat in the cover. All credit for discovering clues and mysterious things goes to him. The romance in between murder mystery was sweet. Hayley’s conflicting emotions for Van Moffatt and Wyn Rundle added spice to story. Wyn was really exhausting and I wonder why she liked him in first place. Val was brilliant throughout the book. I didn’t appreciate Val’s behavior in first meeting. He looked a bit jealous but as I knew him more, I liked him better. What I loved most in the book was modern day setting along with Golden age of Mystery. It created wonderful atmosphere. Description of Middlebank house, the First Edition Society, Bath was mesmerizing. It was interesting to know Lady Georgiana Fowling’s life and her passion. And book cannot be complete without Christie and other mystery writers’ characters. Suspense was good. I couldn’t guess who the murderer was until last few chapters. And the motive was only cleared in last chapter. End was satisfying and lovely. I can’t wait to see what new mysteries awaits for Hayley in next books. Why 4 stars- Everything was perfect but that motive for murder ruined the fun. Overall, it was promising first book in new series. Interesting writing, atmospheric setting, and cozy mystery makes this book perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and this genre. *** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)

    Marty Wingate’s latest novel The Bodies in the Library is the first installment in her new cozy mystery series entitled First Edition Library Mystery and boy, is it a gem of a book! Set in the wonderful city of Bath, England, The Bodies in the Library follows Hayley Blake, who is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. I, quite frankly, was sold on this cozy mystery as soon as I realized it was set in a library, but my enjoyment of the book only grew as I got to know Marty Wingate’s latest novel The Bodies in the Library is the first installment in her new cozy mystery series entitled First Edition Library Mystery and boy, is it a gem of a book! Set in the wonderful city of Bath, England, The Bodies in the Library follows Hayley Blake, who is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. I, quite frankly, was sold on this cozy mystery as soon as I realized it was set in a library, but my enjoyment of the book only grew as I got to know Hayley and her coworker, Glynis Woolgar. Hayley is a delightful character and it’s fun to watch her determination as she strives to make a go of her new job, with a major goal being to modernize the library and make it more relevant and vital to Bath’s society. Glynis is not a big fan of change and so pretty much fights her every step of the way. Glynis is especially not a fan of the writer’s group Hayley invites to use the library’s space for their weekly meetings. Hayley thinks it’s a perfect fit because the library is known for its collection of first editions written by famous mystery writers like Agatha Christie, and this particular writer’s group specializes in writing fanfiction based on Christie’s novels. When one of the writers turns up dead in the library, however, Hayley starts to think that maybe Glynis was right and when the police don’t move fast enough to suit her, she takes matters into her own hands to see if she can catch a killer. After all, her library’s reputation is at stake here! Okay, I really don’t want to say much else since it’s a mystery and I don’t want to spoil it, but seriously, how can you resist a cozy mystery set in a library with a bunch of fanfiction writers as possible murder suspects? The Bodies in the Library is a fun read with plenty of plot twists to keep you thoroughly entertained and guessing who the murderer is until the very end. If you like libraries, feisty protagonists, and cozy mysteries, The Bodies in the Library needs to be on your reading list! I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Hayley Burke is excited when she lands the position of curator of The First Edition Society’s library. The society is focused on the Golden Age of Mysteries. A subject Hayley knows less than nothing about, but she’s not going to let anyone know this - least of all the library’s secretary, Mrs. Woolgar, or the society’s board members. Mrs. Woolgar is not happy with the changes Hayley is making. One thing is inviting an aspiring mystery writing group to meet each week. Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley Burke is excited when she lands the position of curator of The First Edition Society’s library. The society is focused on the Golden Age of Mysteries. A subject Hayley knows less than nothing about, but she’s not going to let anyone know this - least of all the library’s secretary, Mrs. Woolgar, or the society’s board members. Mrs. Woolgar is not happy with the changes Hayley is making. One thing is inviting an aspiring mystery writing group to meet each week. Mrs. Woolgar does not like the mess they leave. She has a point since after one meeting they left behind a dead body. This is the perfect ammunition to use against Hayley and prove her incompetence. Hayley has no choice but to play amateur sleuth and solve this case. First, she must learn how to investigate crimes. Who better to teach her than Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple? Haylely sets out to read all about the most famous of amateur sleuths and discovers a whole new world. This is the first book in the First Edition Library Mystery series and it’s off to a wonderful start. It felt like an old-fashioned Christie mystery. A dead body with a long list of suspects. There is also a little romance mixed in, but the mystery storyline is front and center throughout the book. It took a little time for me to get acquainted with the cast of characters, but once I did, I felt like I knew them well. The storyline moved at a steady pace. I began to guess who the culprit was when Haylely did. It’s a light mystery with quite a few quirky characters. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Author Marty Wingate's newest series, The First Edition Library Mysteries, is off to a great start with The Bodies in the Library. Meet Hayley Burke, who's landed her dream job as the new curator of the The First Edition Society which specializes in the novels of the women authors of the Golden Age of Mystery. Two small problems - first, Hayley is completely unfamiliar with the novels, and second, it doesn't take long until she actually finds a body in the library (cue suspenseful music!)!!! Author Marty Wingate's newest series, The First Edition Library Mysteries, is off to a great start with The Bodies in the Library. Meet Hayley Burke, who's landed her dream job as the new curator of the The First Edition Society which specializes in the novels of the women authors of the Golden Age of Mystery. Two small problems - first, Hayley is completely unfamiliar with the novels, and second, it doesn't take long until she actually finds a body in the library (cue suspenseful music!)!!! Hayley must work to solve the murder and save the library from the greedy nephew of its benefactress, all whilst dealing with a multitude of relationship problems. I adored the book and think that any lover of British cozies will as well! Do yourself a favor and pour a cup of tea, grab a scone (or perhaps a ready meal from Waitrose), and commence reading!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars Let me preface this by saying that Agatha Christie is my favorite author of all time. I will read any book that even has a hint of an Agatha Christie theme or reference. So I was understandable ecstatic to read this book, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations and more. It actually was made even better since the main character Hayley had never read AC or any of the other golden age authors. Reading about her first AC experience and the way she easily falls in love with Miss 4.5 stars Let me preface this by saying that Agatha Christie is my favorite author of all time.  I will read any book that even has a hint of an Agatha Christie theme or reference.  So I was understandable ecstatic to read this book, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations and more.  It actually was made even better since the main character Hayley had never read AC or any of the other golden age authors.  Reading about her first AC experience and the way she easily falls in love with Miss Marple made my mystery-loving heart so much.  They way she (and thus the author) described what is so magical about a detective story made me feel so understood. _ I loved the writing and the setting of this book so much.  How much do I wish I could visit this fictitious society and marvel at a library full solely of golden-age mysteries?  Hayley and Mrs Woolgar are so lucky to live in such a house.  I love how fiercely they defend the society and their own jobs against any threat.  The mystery had me totally stumped and Hayley definitely arrived at the conclusion much faster than I had. _ The characters were also interesting and well developed.  Finally police detectives that are endearing and I actually really enjoyed (instead of being stubborn and rude).  Hayley was strong and I love that she is more mature sleuth who tended to (usually) think before she acted too rashly.  The idea of the Agatha Christie fan fiction writing group was lovely and I hope we continue to see fun groups such as these at the society.  A dash of romance always has me happy and I am so excited for the lack of a love triangle! A wonderful first book in a series and I cannot wait to read more! _ Thank you to the publisher for a free copy of this book.  I was happy to give my honest thoughts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    Hayley is a super likable and relatable protagonist, and I enjoyed her misadventures in curatorship and relationships alike. Wyn and Val added an element of humor and romance that was satisfyingly well developed, and the friendships Hayley develops over the course of the story are a great source of both touching and laugh-out-loud moments. The first 30 pages dragged a bit for me, but once the body was found (in the library, as you might have guessed), I was totally in it. I was right there Hayley is a super likable and relatable protagonist, and I enjoyed her misadventures in curatorship and relationships alike. Wyn and Val added an element of humor and romance that was satisfyingly well developed, and the friendships Hayley develops over the course of the story are a great source of both touching and laugh-out-loud moments. The first 30 pages dragged a bit for me, but once the body was found (in the library, as you might have guessed), I was totally in it. I was right there alongside Hayley, piecing together the clues. Her motivations and involvement in the detective work were pretty believable, unlike a lot of cozy mysteries, and I so appreciate that. Even the cat and the eerily life-like portrait were believable elements. (As an aside, I think there are just too many semi-supernatural cats featured in cozies. This cat, Bunter, is refreshingly normal. Like all cats, he sometimes does weird things no one can explain, and on occasion, his normal cat things happen to help Hayley figure things out!) There were a couple of moments that seemed a little off, like the author knew she needed that plot device in that spot, and just dropped it in without making it match the rest of the story. I won't go into specifics because spoilers. It wasn't enough to put me off the book entirely, though, and overall I thought the plotting and characterization were great. My one major complaint is the title--why is it the BODIES in the library when there's only one victim? Did Wingate not want to call it The Body in the Library and be exactly the same as Christie's title? (or maybe there's a legal reason she can't use the exact same title?) Whatever the reason, be advised, there is in fact only one body in the library. End of rant.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)

    This is a fun Read. A very classic-styled mystery. I would love to have a library like this one, full of 1st addition novels.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do . Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling's former secretary. Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley's ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight--an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House. But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job. This is a wonderfully crafted book that contains many things I love: libraries, amazing English country houses, book lovers and a great plot line. Marty Wingate always writes a great mystery and this one is an excellent addition to her oeuvre. It is the perfect play on the book "Body in the Library" which Agatha Christie wrote which of course the fan fiction writers in the book would appreciate. Before it killed them. 😂 As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millenials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 📚📚📚📚📚.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Marvelous. Simply marvelous. This first in a series promises great things. You can read the blurb -- woman, new job, odd characters, murder ensues, mystery commences. What is special here is that few things grab my book-loving heart like a book about books. And even better, this is a book focused on mystery novels. Hayley is the newly minted curator of an archive dedicated to Golden Age mysteries and yet, she hasn't read them. Not one. It seems shockingly improbable to those of us who gobble up Marvelous. Simply marvelous. This first in a series promises great things. You can read the blurb -- woman, new job, odd characters, murder ensues, mystery commences. What is special here is that few things grab my book-loving heart like a book about books. And even better, this is a book focused on mystery novels. Hayley is the newly minted curator of an archive dedicated to Golden Age mysteries and yet, she hasn't read them. Not one. It seems shockingly improbable to those of us who gobble up the genre, but stranger things have happened. For me it was especially fun to see the moment when Hayley "gets" the mystery thing. For those of us who remember that moment or who have watched it happen to others, it's fun to watch it happen in this novel. I'll be forever grateful to Marty Wingate for that. As is the case with all of Ms. Wingate's mysteries, the characters are understandable and real. They have quirks and charms all their own. They aren't just acting out a mystery; they are living their lives. She gives a sense of place as adroitly as she gives her characters character. Go forth and read this when it officially releases!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicole H.

    Hmmm... what to say, what to say. Well, for starters, it was pretty good. It had a murder mystery, books galore, and a snarky, fun main character that we followed around throughout this adventure. Or, would investigation be a better word? Either way, I was entertained for four hours and thus, I can't complain. ^_^ After I finished reading, my mom stole my kindle so she could read it because she said it must be good if I was laughing so much... Would I recommend this? Absolutely, if you're into Hmmm... what to say, what to say. Well, for starters, it was pretty good. It had a murder mystery, books galore, and a snarky, fun main character that we followed around throughout this adventure. Or, would investigation be a better word? Either way, I was entertained for four hours and thus, I can't complain. ^_^ After I finished reading, my mom stole my kindle so she could read it because she said it must be good if I was laughing so much... Would I recommend this? Absolutely, if you're into cozy mysteries, this one's for you. <3 Will I continue reading this author? Well, I'm curious about what else she has out, that's for sure. Disclaimer: I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    Very interesting, not entirely a cozy, but certainly not a hard boiled mystery either. The characters are well done, with more growth possible. I loved Hunter, the cat, he was precious. I definitely would like to read more of this series. I won this book in the hopes I would review it. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

  23. 5 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/t... The Bodies in the Library The First Edition Library Mystery #1 By Marty Wingate ISBN 9781984804105 Author’s website: martywingate.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: Hayley Burke’s fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society’s library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady https://openbooksociety.com/article/t... The Bodies in the Library The First Edition Library Mystery #1 By Marty Wingate ISBN 9781984804105 Author’s website: martywingate.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: Hayley Burke’s fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society’s library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling’s former secretary. Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley’s ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight–an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House. But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job. Review: What a great first in series! The Bodies in the Library exceeds the novels in this author’s previous series, and those are excellent – making this an absolute winner! The characters are very well-defined, the setting of a First Editions Library in an older British mansion in Bath, classic Agatha Christie mysteries, and the mystery itself make for an absorbing, wonderful read. Hayley Burke has never read a mystery, yet she is now curator of the library at Middlebank, home of the First Editions Society. It was the passion and dream of the late Lady Georgiana Fowling, also an author of mystery fan fiction, to have this society and collection of books by women authors from the Golden Age of Mysteries for those who love mysteries as much as she did. It has taken three years to settle the estate, mostly due to Lady Fowler’s nephew, Charles Henry Dill. Dill inherited a huge sum of money, and still believes the home should also be his. That his aunt didn’t feel the same didn’t matter – just his desires. On Wednesday evenings, a writer’s group of folks who are writing fan fiction meet in the library at Middlebank. When Hayley first assumed her new position, she saw a notice that they were looking for a place to meet, and she offered it, thinking that it would please the intentions of the founder. The group is a bit of a challenge, leaving chairs out of place and arguing loudly over their critiques of each other’s work. Mrs. Woolgar, who had been Lady Fowler’s dear friend and personal assistant for decades, disapproves of them and of Hayley. Hayley makes plans for the future events at the society, including the hope of regular literary salons to meet to include lectures on 1930’s authors and writings, and local entertainment and culture. Adele, her close friend, board member, and the person who suggested her for this position, suggests she get a co-sponsor, perhaps from Bath College, to help with the lectures. Through this suggestion, Hayley meets Val Moffatt, a lecturer in genre fiction and creative writing. A widower, he is intelligent and charming with twin daughters about the same age as Hayley’s daughter. Before they could get approval from the college or the board, however, a murder occurs that could change everything for the Society. Trist, the leader of the group of writers, is found on a Thursday morning, dead, in the library. Hayley had seen everyone, including Trist, leave last night, locked the door and set the alarm. There are only three people with keys and the alarm code: Mrs. Woolgar, Hayley, and Pauline, of the cleaning service that comes in weekly. Hayley and Mrs. Woolgar have apartments within the home and would have heard if the alarm went off during the night. Police believe Trist had been murdered outside and identify what his head had hit. Who would have, or even could have, lugged his body inside without leaving any trail – and why inside the library rather than leave him at the post topper where he died? Hayley’s mother introduces her to Agatha Christie’s novel, The Body in the Library, which is eerily similar to what Hayley has just experienced. She is enthralled with Miss Marple in the first mystery she reads. She wants to read more mysteries, and she wants to find who the murderer(s) could be – not only to save her job, but to get herself and Mrs. Woolgar off the suspect list. I really like Hayley and her friend Adele. They are both strong, intelligent women who enjoy their chosen literature genres. Adele is the youngest of the five Society members, all of whom were close to Lady Fowler. We even get to know a bit about each person in Hayley’s well-rounded life, including her mum, her daughter Dinah, and Wyn, the guy who is more like an acquaintance than a boyfriend. I am impressed with how well I feel I got to know the characters in this first in series. The mystery is even more impressive! This is actually the first time I’ve heard about fan fiction, and it sounds fascinating. I couldn’t imagine how exciting it would be to be curator of such an incredible collection and learn about Lady Fowling to see how she would best want her Society to proceed. The mystery is beyond challenging! I enjoyed watching the interactions with the mystery writers, the police, and Hayley, especially as Hayley went from “leaving it to the police” to helping the police with what she learns. There are a few good suspects, even some good motives – but the problem is still who would be able to get the body into the home, into the library. I highly recommend this awesome new mystery! *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kitty Jay

    3.5 stars Hayley Burke is the new curator of the First Edition Library, founded by Lady Georgiana Fowling. Unfortunately for Hayley, she knows nothing about mysteries and feels like she might have stumbled in over her depth. The disapproving secretary, Ms. Woolgate, appears to agree. With a greedy nephew trying to take the Society away and a dead body turning up in the library, Hayley has to learn how to be a sleuthing master in order to keep her job. The Bodies in the Library was an enjoyable 3.5 stars Hayley Burke is the new curator of the First Edition Library, founded by Lady Georgiana Fowling. Unfortunately for Hayley, she knows nothing about mysteries and feels like she might have stumbled in over her depth. The disapproving secretary, Ms. Woolgate, appears to agree. With a greedy nephew trying to take the Society away and a dead body turning up in the library, Hayley has to learn how to be a sleuthing master in order to keep her job. The Bodies in the Library was an enjoyable read with plenty of mystery references and allusions to tease the wit of the reader, an interesting premise, and, of course, a cat. Refreshingly, the police in this one are not incompetent, and Hayley herself admits that this is their job and she is not going to investigate (of course she does, but at least there was a nod to the fact that in the real world, murders are not solved by enterprising library curators). The writing was mostly smooth, though a few rough patches cropped up here and there. For one, the first bit - before the body was discovered - lagged on quite a bit even before we got to the corpse. I understand the necessity of setting the scene and its players, but after a day-by-day accounting of Hayley's duties, I was waiting for the bloody corpse to come on scene. Additionally, the characterization could be a bit spotty. The love interest du jour, for instance, meets Hayley and there is a half-hearted attempt at a mystery in him, which is quickly resolved, and a weird scene that leaves me frankly baffled. Hayley and Val (love interest) bat their respective eyelashes at each other, feel mutual attraction, then Val more or less randomly makes a weird comment, which Hayley overreacts to... before it's not really mentioned again. It was just an odd, odd scene, one which I feel was rather unnecessary. Further, the motive of the murderer were... eh? Which is not great. First, I don't know of any fanfiction writer who would meet in a group, so that was weird in and of itself. Not a bad idea, but one that definitely made me wonder if the author really knew any fanfic writers. But I was willing to push that little suspension of disbelief to the corner while I read. The final moments when the murderer dramatically reveals his/her scheme and motivations, though, were... well, let's just say I'm not buying it. Yes, people in real life kill each other over silly things. I once heard of a person who murdered his own brother for refusing to turn on the fan when he asked. But in the words of a very wise book, an author's job is harder than God. If I were really going to believe this person's motivations, I would at least have needed more hints that this person was unbalanced, because that's the only way I'd buy it. Other than that, however, the book was fun to read, and I'll probably pick up the next one in the series. Disclaimer: I received this book for free through the publisher in a GoodReads giveaway program.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Barlow

    I always love cozies, and if they're set in England, all the better!! This had all the elements to be a light, enjoyable read!! A library, a cat, and a not too gruesome murder. Plus plenty of subtle humor sprinkled throughout. I also loved the fact that Agatha Christie mysteries figure in this story. It's made me want to go back and reread all of them. I It looks like this is going to be a series focusing on different writers in the Golden Age of Mysteries. Some of them I'm familiar with, some I always love cozies, and if they're set in England, all the better!! This had all the elements to be a light, enjoyable read!! A library, a cat, and a not too gruesome murder. Plus plenty of subtle humor sprinkled throughout. I also loved the fact that Agatha Christie mysteries figure in this story. It's made me want to go back and reread all of them. I It looks like this is going to be a series focusing on different writers in the Golden Age of Mysteries. Some of them I'm familiar with, some I'm not, so looks like I have some "research" to do. (What a tragedy!!) I can't wait until the next one appears.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Piepie

    While the premise of this book is interesting enough, this book failed to hold my attention. I kept falling asleep as I read. It took a long time (at least, what I think is a long time) for the murder to happen and for the "body" to be discovered. I wasn't expecting much from this novel, though I was a little bit hopeful and optimistic, and so I'm glad I had set the bar pretty low. DNF. Sorry, Netgalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Katsion vadbunker

    This was a solid cozy mystery and an enjoyable read. However, for me it was lacking the humor and quirky characters I like in a cozy so it felt a bit flat to me. I would recommend it if you enjoy a no nonsense mystery with good characters. With all the books on my tbr, I am not likely to continue with the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Not awful, but not very standout. The characters were pretty bland. The thread about her mother seemed more about boosting the word count than adding to the story. It did look like she was trying to get the requisite "love triangle" out of the way early on so readers won't have to put up with that business in the rest of the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trudy Krogulski

    I am not a huge fan of cozy mysteries but I enjoyed this one. Will read more of this authors books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Calli

    A fun little cozy set in Bath.

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