A Deadly Edition
A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert
About A Deadly Edition
A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
Kindle ASIN: B085N3KN7L
‘Til death do us part” could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert’s tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery.”
The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day–and maybe just claim her life.
Planning a wedding can be murder–sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancé Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio–a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick.
Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past–but she can’t believe he’s guilty of murder.
Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. Much to Lydia’s dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt’s guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high–and the danger all too real.
Richard paused on the path that led into the trees surrounding Kurt’s manicured backyard. “To be honest, I really just wanted a moment alone with you.”
“To do what, exactly?”
“Kiss you properly, for one thing,” he said, pulling me behind the screen formed by a tall lilac bush before proceeding to do so.
Some time passed before I was aware of anything besides the two of us, but at one point, as Richard lifted his lips from mine, I caught a glimpse of something moving through the trees to my right. There was a flash of purple amid the green undergrowth. I stepped back, pulling free of Richard’s arms. “Someone’s out there, walking through the woods.”
“Probably a guest getting some air.” Richard turned to follow my gaze. “Wait, that’s Adele. What the heck is she doing, tramping through the woods?” He frowned. “She’s had some balance problems lately, and when I talked to her earlier, I noticed she was wearing pretty flimsy heels. She has no business hiking across uneven ground.”
“That is odd. Kurt doesn’t clear his woods either. He says he likes to allow them to remain natural for the benefit of the wildlife. So trying to navigate that area in heels has to be rough.”
“Good way to break a leg.” Richard rubbed his jaw with his clenched fist.
“Speaking of Kurt, there he is, popping out of the woods on the other side of the yard.” I glanced up at Richard. “What’s going on here? Some strange game?”
“A secret assignation?” Richard widened his gray eyes. “Kurt and Adele have known each other for a long time . . .”
“True, but they’re old enough not to have to sneak into the woods for a rendezvous. Anyway, I’ve never gotten the impression that they were that close, and Adele could just as easily stay after the party if they wanted private time alone. Who would know, or care?”
“No one, I suppose.” Richard’s gaze followed Adele as she crossed the yard and entered the house through the back door.
Kurt, who’d paused at the edge of the yard until Adele went inside, waited a few additional minutes before following her. As he opened the back door, I was surprised to see my brother stroll around from the other side of the house. That’s right, he went out for a walk for some reason, I thought, reaching for Richard’s hand.
“This is starting to remind me of one of those French farces— people coming and going from all directions.” Richard’s fingers curled around mine.
Looking over the area as if to make sure no one was watching, Scott also used the back door to enter the house.
“It is peculiar,” I said, “but I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation.”
A loud crash silenced Richard’s response.
“Sounds like it came from that direction,” he said, dropping my hand to sprint down the path.
I followed, running to match his longer strides. The path curved off to the right, ending at a wooden garden shed.
Richard paused, grabbing the edge of the half-open door. “Hold on,” he said as I reached him. “We should be careful. It could be some sort of wild animal, and if we back it into a corner, it could turn violent.”
“But it also could be hurt,” I said, pulling the door wider to peer inside the shed. “Can’t see much.”
There’s something on the floor.” Richard pointed toward a large, shadowy object sprawled across the center of the small room.
I backed away. “Not a bear, I hope.”
“It’s not moving. Maybe just some tarps that tipped off that top shelf.” Richard grabbed a rake that was propped next to the door.
As he crept closer to the shadowy object, holding the rake like a weapon, I stepped in behind him and moved to the side to allow light to spill in through the door.
It was a tarp—a cracked blue tarp dusted with mold. But it was draped over something else. Richard tentatively reached out and flipped up an edge of the thick plastic covering.
I gasped as an expensive leather shoe was revealed.
We both rushed forward to fling back the rest of the tarp. Then stood in silence, holding hands, as we stared down at the body of Oscar Selvaggio.
About Victoria Gilbert
Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.
Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing.
A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.
Website (includes blog): http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Gilbert/e/B071ZQZN1P
Blue Ridge Library Mystery series:
A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/a-murder-for-the-books/
SHELVED UNDER MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/shelved-under-murder/
PAST DUE FOR MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/past-due-for-murder/
Booklover’s B&B series:
RESERVED FOR MURDER (preorder): https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/659504/reserved-for-murder-by-victoria-gilbert/
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