The New First Edition Library Mystery

The Librarian Always Rings Twice (January 4, 2022)

The Librarian Always Rings Twice by Marty Wingate

“Fast-paced and quirky fare for literature sleuths and those who love them.”
Kirkus Reviews

It has been nearly a year since I took up my position as curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s collection of Golden Age of Mystery writers’ first editions at her library in Middlebank House. I have learned that I need to take the good with the bad. The good: I have finally convinced Mrs. Woolgar to open up the collection to the public one day a week so that they too can share in Lady Fowling’s passion. The bad: although he would not be my first, or even tenth, choice, at the insistence of the board Charles Henry Dill, Lady Fowling’s unscrupulous nephew, is now my personal assistant.

On one of our first days open to the public, Mr. John Aubrey shows up at Middlebank House and insists that Lady Georgiana Fowling is his grandmother. Mrs. Woolgar is scandalized by his claims, and Charles Henry, who feels he has been cheated out of his rightful inheritance as Lady Fowling’s heir, is furious. I do not know that I believe Mr. Aubrey, yet he has knowledge of Lady Fowling’s life and writings that few possess. To further complicate matters, an associate of Mr. Aubrey’s intends to help us uncover the truth of John’s story. But before he can do that, he is murdered and the police have reason to suspect Charles Henry.

As much as I would like to lock up Charles Henry and throw away the key, I cannot believe he is a killer. And I also know there is something dead wrong about Mr. Aubrey’s tales regarding his “grandmother” Lady Fowling. I will need to make sense of her past in order to suss out the true villain of this story.

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Pru and Christopher are back in the latest Potting Shed mystery!

Bittersweet Herbs by Marty Wingate

Bittersweet Herbs

Home at Greenoak in Hampshire, Texas transplant Pru Parke joins a society to establish a medieval herb garden near the twelfth-century Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester. But when a flamboyant supporter of the garden who promised a million-pound donation is found hanged, Pru finds herself drawn into more than the study of medieval gardens.

A dangerous herbal concoction made from an ancient recipe was found near the body. Had the poison been taken willingly or under duress? Was it suicide or murder? Murder, police say. Detective Inspector Christopher Pearse—Pru’s husband, partner in crime-solving, and the only one legally allowed to do so—is called in on the case by Detective Superintendent John Upstone, who was Christopher’s first “guv” more than twenty years earlier.

Murder is a fact, but motives involve emotions—deep grudges, resentment, jealousy, revenge. Who are the likely suspects? What will happen to that promised huge donation? Pru and Christopher investigate. Like walking two different paths in the garden, she follows her heart and he follows the evidence, but they end up with the same answer: someone else is in danger.

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