Cozy Mystery Review – Off the Books by Lucy Arlington

Off the Books by Lucy Arlington
A Novel Idea Mystery, #5

Off the Books (Novel Idea, #5)

Goodreads description: 

Literary agent and amateur sleuth Lila Wilkins is back to seal the deal in the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mystery series.
Lila is showcasing some of her biggest authors at a bridal expo. But when the joyous event turns deadly, she’ll have to figure out who penned the perfect crime…
The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspiration Valley, celebrating not only North Carolina’s best vendors but also some of the agency’s most popular bridal books. The fact that Lila can use the event to plan her own impending nuptials is just the icing on the cake.

But wedding bells turn to warning bells when Lila finds a dead man facedown in the frosting. Soon it’s discovered that the victim was connected to several Novel Idea authors, all of whom quickly become suspects in the case. It’s up to Lila and her fellow agents to find the real killer before one of their clients winds up scribbling stories from behind bars…

Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating: ***** 5 of 5 stars)

I have been lucky with my book choices lately, and this cozy mystery was another great read. I jumped in at book #5, but still felt a connection with the characters almost right away. You definitely don’t need to have read the first four books in the series before diving into this installment.

In Off the Books, Lila is helping prepare for a bridal expo jointly presented by an event organizer and the literary agency she works for. The event no sooner gets started than Lila, already nicknamed the “murder magnet” by some in town, finds yet another corpse. This one turns out to have been murdered in a way suggestive of scenes from two of her agency’s authors’ books. With A Novel Idea’s reputation at stake, Lila’s boss decides that the staff of the agency need to band together to find out who the real murderer is.

An unusual method of murder and a plethora of suspects kept me guessing until the end, and Lila’s personal life kept it interesting as well. I enjoyed getting to know the staff at A Novel Idea and Lila’s family and friends, and can’t wait to return to Inspiration Valley to learn more about them. I’ve already picked up book #1 in the series so that I can catch up.

I would highly recommend this one to all cozy mystery lovers, or to anyone who has ever thought about publishing a book (or is even a little bit curious about the process). I enjoyed the glimpses into Lila’s professional life – enough to give you a taste of a literary agent’s life but not bog down the story with too many details. 🙂

NOTE: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

WAYRW – Off the Books by Lucy Arlington


What Are You Reading Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by It’s A Reading Thing. To participate, open the book you are currently reading to page 34 (or 34% in your ebook) and answer these three questions.

The Questions are:
1. What’s the name of your current read?

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a complete sentence. (or two!)

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

Now for my answers this week…

1. Off the Books by Lucy Arlington
Off the Books (Novel Idea #5)
A Novel Idea Mystery, #5

I received an advanced copy for review from the author, but you can pick up your own copy on 2/2!

2. Page 34 only contains about 1/2 of a paragraph at the end of a chapter, but here goes…

So I simply shrugged and turned away, busying myself with gathering files and paperwork I’d need for the status meeting. Behind me, I heard the scurried clicking of claws against the hardwood floors, then a loud hiss and a sharp doggie yelp, followed by Bentley’s own form of barking: “Ms. Crump, get that cat into the break room now!”

3. Inspiration Valley North Carolina sounds like my kind of place, with all the southern charm you’d expect from a town in a cozy mystery. I’m sure it would be a great place to live.