First Edition Library Mysteries

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The First Edition Library mysteries are set in the lovely Georgian spa town of Bath. Here we find Hayley Burke, curator of an impressive collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery—Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, and all the rest. Too bad Hayley has never read a detective story in her life.

The Librarian Always Rings Twice by Marty Wingate

The Librarian Always Rings Twice (2022)

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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Murder is a Must

Murder Is a Must (2020)

“Lively and engaging.”

Hayley Burke is determined to make the First Edition Library a success, but she hadn’t counted on having to solve an old friend’s murder in this all-new mystery.

Hayley is settling into her position as curator of the First Edition Library at Middlebank House in Bath, England and is busy preparing for an exhibition that will showcase library founder Lady Fowling’s life and letters. Hayley knows the exhibition is a huge undertaking and decides, against her better judgment, to hire Oona Atherton, her former demon of a boss from the Jane Austen Centre, as exhibition manager.

Hayley learns that Lady Fowling owned a priceless edition of Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers, signed by many authors of the Golden Age of Mystery. This could be the big draw at the exhibition, but where is the book? When Oona texts Hayley with the news that she know where it is, Hayley rushes over only to find Oona dead at the bottom of a spiral staircase. Did her discovery of the whereabouts of the rare book get Oona killed or was it some angry shadow from her past? Hayley must read between the lines to catch a malicious murderer.

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The Bodies in the Library

The Bodies in the Library (2019)

A CrimeReads 2019 Notable Selection — Traditional Mysteries

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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