A Cryptic Clue



A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case

A Cryptic Clue

A Hunter & Clewe Mystery Book 1

by Victoria Gilbert

Genre: Mystery

A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case—in acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s new series, the perfect literary adventure for fans of Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay.

Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she’s about to discover, a retiree’s life can bring new thrills—and new dangers.

Cameron “Cam” Clewe, an eccentric 33-year-old collector, is also seeking something—an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane’s thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane’s delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam’s library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam’s failed romances—and now he’s suspect number one.

Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name—but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he’ll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss—but is he truly innocent?


Thinking this offered a good opening to further prove my worth as an employee, I slid to the front edge of my chair. “I know the cataloging comes first, but I’d be happy to help any of your guests with research, since that’s another one of my skills.”

Cam drummed his fingers again, this time against the other sleeve of his ivory sweater. “Thanks. I’m not sure that will be necessary, but I’ll keep it in mind. Anyway, I’m sure you won’t get any requests for research assistance this weekend. Everyone’s focused on the fundraising gala happening on Sunday evening.” Perhaps sensing my surprise, Cam added, “Two friends of mine are actually hosting it. I’m just supplying the space, because their homes aren’t big enough. It will be rather a large crowd.” Cam grimaced, as if the thought pained him. “Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll have Lauren give you a tour of the house and property.”

In other words, I was being dismissed. I rose to my feet and crossed to him, extending my hand. “I really am delighted to be here, Cam. It’s a librarian’s dream to get to work with such fascinating materials.”

Cam examined my outstretched fingers for a moment before placing his own hands behind his back. “I’m just glad you’re so enthusiastic about the job. I hope that attitude won’t change when you have to dig through stacks of dusty boxes.”

“You really think I haven’t done that before?” I dropped my hand and offered him a rueful smile. “As I mentioned in my cover letter, we took in a lot of gifts at the library, and one of my duties was to examine and inventory those materials. Trust me, I’ve dealt with dust. Mold too,” I added, wrinkling my nose. “I doubt your collection is in as bad shape as many of those donations.”

Cam stared down at his expensive leather loafers. “That’s right. It’s one reason I put your résumé on top of my consideration pile. Along with your knowledge of cataloging and research, of course.”

I tugged down my slightly rumpled jacket. “I hope I can live up to your expectations.”

As he raised his head to meet my gaze, the ghost of a smile flickered over Cam’s handsome face. “Honestly, that would be a first,” he said.

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Raised in a historic small town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. Now retired, she’s worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and university library director.

Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B Mystery series, and the Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching TV and films, gardening, or traveling. A member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and two very spoiled cats.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting during the A CRYPTIC CLUE blog tour. I appreciate it!

  2. Great cover for this mystery read. I enjoyed reading the excerpt.

  3. A great title. I love to read mysteries.

  4. Really looking forward to reading the book. Sounds like a great mystery.


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