Sunday, February 22, 2015

Played by the Book by Lucy Arlington

I'll admit I knew early on who did it in Lucy Arlington's latest Novel Idea mystery, Played by the Book. That didn't spoil the enjoyment of the story, though. This series featuring a literary agent is a favorite, probably because of all the discussion of books.

Although her boss at the Novel Idea Literary Agency may be thrilled with the return of a local boy, a successful television personality, literary agent Lila Wilkins is horrified when she's told they put her little cottage on the garden tour. Damian York is the author of Perfect Outdoor Spaces, the first in a series of gardening books. Lila is to plan the gala event, and the garden tour will end at her house. At least that was the plan, until Lila's son digs up a skull while helping with the gardening.

Now, Lila is juggling her day job at the literary agency, her planning for Damian's book signing and gala presentation, while wondering who the girl was who was buried in her yard. And, then her Mama, the Amazing Althea, a self-proclaimed psychic, sees danger for the family.

Even if the killer was easy to guess, Arlington's books are welcoming mysteries. It's a series with a great cast of characters, beginning with Lila's family, and extending to the local business people and the literary agency staff. But, it's the setting that is the main draw, a quaint little town in North Carolina called Inspiration Valley. The town that was once a draw for free thinkers suffered through a recession, and then welcomed the Novel Idea Literary Agency. Re-inventing itself, the town now revolves around literary themes.

Played by the Book, the latest mystery by Lucy Arlington, means a return to Inspiration Valley, and a literary world.

Lucy Arlington's website is

Played by the Book by Lucy Arlington. Berkley Prime Crime. 2015. ISBN 9780425276631 (paperback), 310p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, with no promise of a review.

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