cover image Murder Is a Must

Murder Is a Must

Marty Wingate. Berkley Prime Crime, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9848-0413-6

Wingate’s pleasing sequel to 2019’s The Bodies in the Library finds Hayley Burke, the relatively new curator of the First Edition Society, up to her eyebrows in turmoil as she prepares for a major exhibition celebrating the life of Lady Georgiana Fowling. On Her Ladyship’s death four years earlier, she left her beautiful Georgian home in Bath, England, and its library of first editions of women authors from the golden age of mystery fiction to serve as the society’s foundation. Haley hires creative and demanding Oona Atherton to be exhibition manager, while she busies herself organizing Lady Fowling’s copious personal correspondence and diaries. In the process, Haley discovers a letter from Dorothy L. Sayers that alludes to a particularly valuable first edition of Murder Must Advertise. In the midst of Hayley’s search for the book, Oona turns up dead at the bottom of a circular staircase, a murder that echoes the one in Sayers’s novel. Hayley investigates. Though the crime is a tad too easy to solve, cryptic clues and golden age mystery lore keep this genial novel afloat. Traditional mystery fans will have fun. [em]Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Oct.) [/em]