A research-loving Virginia librarian digs up entirely too much information for her own good.
After a nasty breakup with her boyfriend, a narcissistic musician, left her too crushed to continue her job at Clarion University, Amy Webber moved in with her aunt Lydia Talbot in the insular little town of Taylorsford and took a poorly paid but interesting job at the local library, a historic Carnegie building. When well-known dancer/choreographer/instructor Richard Muir appears at the library, Amy and her assistant, Sunshine Fields, are struck by his good looks. But it’s his request for information that could prove Eleanora Cooper innocent of poisoning her husband that really hooks Amy. Richard lives next door to Amy’s aunt in the Cooper house, which he inherited from his mother’s relative, journalist Paul Dassin. Dassin, who was certain that Eleanora was innocent, wrote a fictional account based on the case. Although the jury exonerated Eleanora, everyone in town still thought her guilty, especially after she vanished following the trial. When Amy and Richard enter the archive, they find dementia patient Doris Virts shot to death, presumably because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Deeply upset, Amy does what she does best and begins researching the history of the town. It turns out that her own grandmother Rose Baker Litton’s claim that she saw Eleanora with an herbal containing recipes for poison made her the star witness for the prosecution. Although Amy’s abortive romance has made her gun-shy of anyone in the arts, she warms to Richard, who strives to overcome her distrust as they work together to solve murders old and new. A deeply buried secret will provide the clue that closes the case.
Gilbert’s series kickoff offers an intricate mystery, an interesting look at the past, and a clever and determined heroine.