Buried In A Book by Lucy Arlington is the first book in the new “Novel Idea” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), February 2012

After receiving her first pink slip at the age of forty-five, former newspaper journalist Lila Wilkins is desperate for work, even if it means taking a pay cut. After combing through the classifieds, Lila accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in the utopian town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina.

Lila can’t imagine anything better than being paid to read, but with a crew of quirky co-workers and a sky-high stack of query letters, she doesn’t exactly have time to discover the next great bestseller—especially when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency’s waiting room.

No one else seems too concerned about the man’s demise, but when Lila uncovers a series of threatening letters, she’s determined to uncover what—or who—killed the man’s dreams of literary stardom.

The town of Inspiration Valley is one that I long to visit and stay awhile. With cobblestone streets and exotically named businesses, one never expects a murder would occur. Lila Wilkins’ first day at Novel Idea is marred with the death of an unkempt aspiring writer. Puzzled that no one cares about this man’s death, Lila starts an investigation and she’ll have to move fast to stay out of harm’s way with what she has uncovered. What a great mystery that I could not put down as I quickly turned the pages to see what happens next. The novel’s background setting created an atmosphere that moved the story along in this fast-paced, action-filled and well-written drama. I adore the cast of characters, especially Lila, Althea and Makayla. The dialogue kept me entertained and the snippets of book titles excerpted throughout the story were a welcome bonus to this reader. This was a fun and enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book in this charming and delightfully appealing debut series.

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