ARC Review: A Fatal Booking



SERIES: Booklover’s B&B Mystery #3

REPRESENTATION: Black supporting characters, AroAce supporting character



I’ve been a big fan of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library series from the start (currently at book #6) but I’d somehow missed this series, the Booklover’s B&B Mysteries, until I spotted this one. A FATAL BOOKING is the third instalment, so I quickly caught up on the previous two (BOOKED FOR DEATH and RESERVED FOR MURDER) to be fully up-to-date.

In keeping with what I’ve come to expect from Gilbert, the Booklover’s B&B Mysteries have a big, found family cast, a beautiful setting and a lovely way of blending historical intrigues into the current day mystery. I really like that these books combine a lot of cozy mystery ‘genres’ – the B&B running and the booklover literary connections along with historical glamour and political spies. A nice plus of this series is the casual inclusion of queer characters and characters of colour in a genre which trends very straight and white.

To take A FATAL BOOKING on its own for a little bit…

I thought this was the strongest book in the series so far. The main characters are well-established and their relationships with each other feel well-grounded. The supporting regulars are becoming more and more fleshed out, and the ‘guest stars’ for this instalment are fresh and intriguing.

The mystery is well done, and I liked the progress of the investigation, the way all the suspects felt viable and the level of detail (nothing gory though, of course) with which Gilbert explains and explores how the poisoning might have occurred.

I’ve loved catching up with the Booklover’s B&B Mysteries so far, and I’d recommend doing so, but you could also read A FATAL ATTRACTION mostly as a standalone if you preferred. I’m a bit disappointed that now I’ll have to wait for the next one, but looking forward to picking it up when the series continues.

Booklover Charlotte is delighted to welcome an eclectic group of guests to Chapters Bed and Breakfast for a book club retreat focused on fairy tales and classic children’s literature. But when one of the guests is poisoned at a Mad Hatter tea party, Charlotte realizes she’s fallen down a rather unpleasant rabbit hole

The victim – an opinionated busybody whose jewelry store sold original designs, along with some possibly “hot” merchandise – had plenty of enemies, spurring Charlotte and Ellen to offer their well-honed investigative skills to assist the local police. But as they delve deeper into the each of the guest’s stories, they realize all of them had a motive, and the means, to close the book on the unfortunate victim.

Enlisting the aid of a few local residents, as well as their new ally, agent Gavin Howard, Charlotte and Ellen vow to reveal the truth, even if the path to any sort of happy ending is strewn with deadly danger.

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

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