Essie Lang’s series debut is perfect for fans of Lorna Barrett, Vicki Delany, and book lovers everywhere.

Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks.

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York’s breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt’s bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store’s second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island.

But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder—and find the killer before he strikes again—in Trouble on the Books, Essie Lang’s clever and captivating series debut.

approx. 336 pages

Out March 13, 2019


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Okay, did I mention that I’m now addicted to cozy mysteries? Thanks Jen from PGC for getting me hooked! 🙂

This is the first book in a new series and how can you go wrong with there being a bookstore involved. You can’t! But put in a mysterious castle and wham! Fantastic idea.

This book also takes place in the Thousand Islands region, a place where my family camped for years when I was just a kid. My dad loved it there.

I blew through this book in two sittings and only stopped inbetween because I was making homemade chicken soup with noodles and veggies.  Putting it down and tearing myself away from it so I wouldn’t burn all my hard work was a struggle lol.

I even found myself reading excerpts to my husband while waiting for the soup to cook. If that isn’t an addiction, I don’t know what it is. 🙂

The setting, the fact the MC lives in a rented houseboat is just another likable element to this series. Then there’s the great, layered and flawed MC who’s spunky and quirky and the likeable secondary characters… A great beginning for a fabulous series.

I gave it:


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