In Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert, Amy Webber, director of the public library in Taylorsford, Virginia, has been helping college professor Mona Raymond dig up folklore. Mona is particularly interested in the 19th century disappearance of two young women along with a stash of gold and which is rumored to have been committed by fairies. Then, Mona’s student assistant, Lacey Jacobs, disappears and the two main suspects are Amy’s ex- boyfriend, Charles Bartos, and her current boyfriend, Richard Muir, plunging Amy into the case in a personal manner. When Mona herself turns up dead, things heat up dramatically, especially when it becomes clear that she was murdered.
I really enjoyed the previous two books in the Blue Ridge Library mystery series, and Past Due for Murder was a strong addition to the series. This book revolves around human interaction more than the other two, and the solution to the case relies on an understanding of the interactions among everyone. We also get to meet both Amy’s and Richard’s parents, who come to visit on the same weekend and thus get invited to dinner with each other. That activity gives us greater insight into the character of both Amy and Richard and ultimately strengthens their relationship.
Colleen Marlo performs the audio edition of this book and does an excellent job of voicing each character, especially Amy, who narrates the book. She gives out the impression of the well- educated and intelligent woman we see in Amy. With a gentle voice that nevertheless offers plenty of expression, Marlo makes this book seem realistic and enjoyable.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to listen to Past Due for Murder. If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, you need to read them before this one because it talks about details of the previous cases. Many reviews compare these books to Jenn McKinlay’s library series, but I think this is better than those books. I especially liked the way that Amy uses her library research skills to help solve the case. I give this book five stars.
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