Can’t Judge a Book by its Murder by Amy Lillard

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I received a free digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

Can’t Judge a Book by its Murder is the first in A Main Street Book Club Mystery Series by Amy Lillard set in small town Mississippi.  Arlo Stanley owns a book store with a coffee shop attached along with her friend Chloe.  The entire town is getting revved up for a big reunion, which is seeing the return  of a local boy who has “done good” as a nationally known crime writer.  Arlo and Chloe both knew him in high school and when he ends up dead on the doorstep of their shop, Chloe finds herself in jail and Arlo launches an investigation to free her friend.

A well done southern, small town setting with a nice cadre of side characters in terms of both the book club members and the Chief of Police, Mads, and the PI, Sam, as possible future love interests.  The mystery is well done with plenty of red herrings.  I was firmly convinced I knew who did it and I was completely wrong!  Enjoyable start to a cozy mystery series.  I look forward to more in the series.

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Taking Pity by David Mark

23398659  Taking Pity is book 4 in the Aector McAvoy series set in Hull.  This follows Sorrow Bound, in which things end in a pretty dark place for Aector and his family, who mean everything to him.  In Taking Pity Aector’s boss is taking every measure she can to keep Aector’s wife and daughter safe even if it means he can’t see them or know where they are.  On orders, she distracts Aector by having him look into an old case that never went to trial, the perpetrator has been held for 50 years under the Mental Health Act instead.  The events and characters  from Sorrow Bound with some new additions continue to roll forward in a menacing death march through this book as Pharoah works to hold onto her job and her ethics while keeping people she cares about alive.

This was really well written, with mounting tension throughout the book.  I think it is one of the best in the series so far.  I do think you need to read the series in order to appreciate it.