A Killer Clue by Victoria GilbertA Killer Clue by Victoria Gilbert
Series: Hunter and Clewe #2
Published by Crooked Lane Books on September 24, 2024
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Purchase at Bookshop.org
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When Eloise Anderson, the owner of an antiquarian bookshop, arrives at the grand Aircroft estate to ask retired librarian Jane Hunter and eccentric collector Cameron Clewe for help, Jane and Cam expect a bookish inquiry. But the bookseller has a different sort of assistance in mind—clearing her mother’s name of a murder Eloise is convinced she didn’t commit.

Eloise’s mother has just died after spending many years in prison for allegedly killing Eloise’s father. Armed with new information found in her mother’s effects, the bookseller is determined to uncover the true killer so her mother can rest in peace, even though the case is now colder than ice. When Jane tracks down the original detective from the investigation and discovers him stabbed to death in Eloise’s bookshop, Jane and Cam are sure this murder is connected to the cold case. They think it’s the same killer, but the police unfortunately have their own prime suspect, and this time around it’s Eloise.

Cam and Jane’s cold case sleuthing turns urgent—find who committed the murders, or watch another innocent woman rot in jail as a cold-blooded killer walks free.

We first met Jane Hunter and her boss, millionaire Cameron Clew in the first book of the series, A Cryptic Clue. Jane is a retired librarian hired by Cam to catalog his collection of mystery books, but the two of them have also started doing small investigations for people. In this second of the series, Eloise Anderson, a bookseller Cam deals with occasionally, has approached them about her mother’s case. Her mother, now dead, was convicted of killing Eloise’s father, but Eloise believes she was innocent and wants Cam to find out who the real killer was. Things become more complicated when another murder occurs and Eloise is the prime suspect.

Jane and Cam make a good team. They have a Holmes and Watson vibe, but Jane is a more motherly figure than the usual sidekick. Jane is smart and good at talking to people, while Cam is not great at social situations and strongly prefers not to leave his home, They both bring their own strengths and it’s nice not having the typical cozy mystery two main characters flirting with romance 

The mystery moves on at a steady pace. Obviously, both murders are connected and we have several potential suspects and possible motives. There are a couple of twists, but nothing that I can say really surprised me. Progress is made on the two secondary investigations that have continued from the first book – the identity of Cam’s real father and the truth of a long-ago suicide. Usually, I’m not a fan of overarching family mysteries, but in this series, they are woven in well and don’t take over the storyline. Also, as Cam tends to not be over-emotional and we see the story from Jane’s point of view, there isn’t much dwelling on the family issues.

Overall it’s a solid book. The characters are more outstanding than the plot.

About Victoria Gilbert

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She writes both traditional and cozy mysteries. She’s also written fantasy and science fiction.

Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films or TV, gardening, or traveling. She loves animals, chocolate, and all the arts.

Victoria is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel, NY, NY, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.

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