~ WEDNESDAY COZY MYSTERY
BOOK FEATURE ~
A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom) by Dorothy St. James
About A Book Club to Die For
When a member of an exclusive book club is checked out, spunky librarian Trudell Becket must sort fact from fiction to solve the murder.
The Cypress Arete Society is one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive clubs. When assistant librarian Trudell Becket is invited to speak to the group about the library, its modernization, and her efforts to bring printed books to the reading public, her friend Flossie invites herself along. Flossie has been on the book club’s waiting list for five years, and she’s determined to find out why she’s never received an invitation to join.
But not long after Tru and Flossie arrive for the meeting, they’re shocked to find the club’s president, Rebecca White, dead in the kitchen. Rebecca was a former TV actress and local celebrity, but was not known for being patient or pleasant. She’d been particularly unkind to the book club’s host for the evening, who also happens to be the mother of Detective Jace Bailey, Tru’s boyfriend. And Rebecca had made it clear that she didn’t think Flossie was book club material.
With her boyfriend and one of her best friends wrapped up in a murder, Tru has to work fast to figure out who cut Rebecca’s story short before the killer takes another victim out of circulation....
This is our mission. This is our passion.
We are the bringers.
We are the beacons cutting through the darkest of nights.
I should be thrilled to be able to provide this service to a local book club that calling itself the Arete Society. So why did I have this sudden desire to turn around, march back to my car, and drive home as fast as my old Camry would take me?
I’d been asked to give a presentation. I’d been tasked to share my knowledge of books and my experiences working at the library with a group of ladies who love books as much as I do. I lived for moments like this.
“Trudell Becket, what’s got you dragging your feet like this?” Flossie Finnegan-Baker turned her wheelchair toward me. “I do believe a cornucopia of slugs just passed us.”
“Cornucopia? Of slugs?” I asked. That couldn’t be right. But before she could explain that a group of slugs was indeed called a cornucopia, I said, “Never mind.” Flossie was rarely wrong when it came to grammar and etymology. Besides, slugs weren’t important. “This,” I said. “This is a mistake.” I felt the truth of it like a stone in my gut. I stood in the middle of the long, winding sidewalk leading up to Hazel Bailey’s front porch and scrunched my eyes closed. “I shouldn’t be here.”
“You’re suffering from a case of the jitters.” My friend touched my hand. I looked at her, and she smiled encouragingly at me. Flossie had dressed for the book club meeting in muted shades of turquoise and tan. The colors spiraled together on her long, homemade tie-dyed dress, but it was quite a shift from the bright (and often) clashing colors she usually wore. She’d attached a large golden pin in the shape of Edgar Allen Poe’s face to the collar of the thick white button-up sweater she’d worn over her dress. “Honey, even I get the jitters every time I do something new. Everyone does. That’s why you brought me. To have your back. And I do. I’ve got your back. And you’ve got this. Let’s go.”
Our host lived at the edge of town in the middle of a forest of cypress trees that gave the town its name. The cypress’s silvery trunks stood tall and straight, like the spines of books on a shelf, gleaming in the fading embers of the sunset.
Books were the reason I’d been asked to speak to the Arete Society. And those same books were the reason I couldn’t go through with it.
Meet Charlie Newcastle:
the Hunky Owner of the Deckle Edge Bookstore in A BOOK CLUB TO DIE FOR by
Dorothy St. James
“I can feel
infinitely alive curled up on the sofa reading a book.” ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Everyone seems so
interested in my past, which is silly. My past is boring. Sure, Hollywood makes
a life like mine seem fascinating. That’s all done to sell movie tickets. The
reality of my past, working in Vegas, is filled with empty cartons of greasy
fried chicken, emptywhiskey bottles, and broken promises. It wasn’t glamorous.
The hours stunk. And it certainly wasn’t good for the long-term.
That’s why I would
escape into books every chance I got when on the job. A job you really don’t
care to hear about. I’d rather tell you about my present life and my love of
“Books give a
soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to
everything.” ~ Plato
I heard from an
addict in Vegas about this small town in South Carolina where they were
practically giving away buildings in their dying downtown.I had been building a
tidy retirement fund, waiting for a chance to escape from this life that wasn’t
for me. I didn’t care that the downtown wasn’t doing well. I could make things
work as an online business.
“One of the
best things about reading is that you’ll always have something to think about
when you’re not reading.” ~ James Patterson
I was overdue for
a change in my life, so I took it. I bought a historic building that hadn’t
completely crumbled on its foundations and moved to a part of the country that
seems both foreign and somewhat wonderful to me. I love the silences here. I
love that I don’t have to be at work in the middle of the night. I love that I finally,
finally, finally got the chance to surround myself with books as I opened a
bookstore that sells both new releases and rare collectors editions.
“If you are
going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books.” ~ Roald Dahl
I expected this sleepy small town to prove to be wonderfully, refreshingly dull.
card is the start of a lifelong adventure.” ~ Lilian Jackson Braun
It’s been anything but that! The friends I’ve made in the town keep finding themselves in the worst sorts of pickles. Murders happen. Books are endangered. And people keep whispering their secrets to me as if I’m some sort of priest sworn to hear and absolve their sins.
If I wasn’t so in
love with the town and my new friends here, I might be tempted to close up shop
and move back to the safety of the Las Vegas strip. But my new friends, my
book-loving friends, they’re helping protect the things in life I cherish most.
So I’ve decided to stay and help them.
“It is better
to be shoeless than bookless.” ~ Icelandic Proverb
I hope you’ll
join me in the pages of Tru’s latest adventure in A BOOK CLUB TO DIE FOR. It
might be her most challenging one yet. What looks like an open and shut case to
the police will put her boyfriend’s mother in jail for murder. Tru has promised
to try and find another answer. The more she looks into the murder of the
president of the local book club, the more she worries that she won’t like the
answer she’s going to find.
I’m trying to
support her as much as I can. Perhaps you can help her too.
About Dorothy St. James
Dorothy St. James is a former Folly Beach beach bum. She now lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with her family, slightly (OK, terribly) needy dogs, and the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet. Author of a dozen novels, Dorothy enjoys writing both cozy mysteries and romance.
Follow Dorothy Online:
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?