cover image The Bodies in the Library

The Bodies in the Library

Marty Wingate. Berkley Prime Crime, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9848-0410-5

Hayley Burke, the narrator of this appealing, if flawed, series launch set in Bath, England, from Wingate (the Potting Shed mysteries), accepts a major responsibility when she becomes the curator of the late Lady Georgina Fowling’s collection of first editions of women authors from the golden age of mystery. Desperate to prove her worth and revitalize the public image of the library that houses the collection, Hayley invites a group of mystery writers to hold their weekly meetings there. When the arrogant group leader is found with his head bashed in on the library floor, the police have no murder weapon and no clues. Inspired by Miss Marple in Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library, Hayley turns amateur sleuth. Wingate focuses more on setting up the characters and a romance for Hayley than on developing the mystery, making for a somewhat muddled plot. Hopefully, the sequel will better balance the various elements. Fans of British sleuths will appreciate the references to the classics of the genre. [em]Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Oct.) [/em]