The Edwin Drood Murders by Christopher Lord

Next installment to a fun Dickens-inspired mystery series.  
Synopsis of The Edwin Drood Murders by Christopher Lord: The Droodists have arrived in Dickens Junction. Local bookstore owner Simon Alastair has his hands full in his role as co-chair for the latest convention honoring Charles Dickens's uncompleted novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. A movie star, a pesky blogger, dueling scholars, a stage hypnotist, and an old family friend (among others) all have claims on Simon's time. In addition, some Droodists are clearly more--or less--than they appear, including a mysterious young man by the improbable name of Edwin Drood. When a priceless ring and a rare Dickensian artifact go missing, Simon and his reporter-partner Zach Benjamin learn that someone will do anything--including murder--to obtain an object of desire.

The Edwin Drood Murders is the new entry in the Dickens Junction mystery series that began with The Christmas Carol Murders, a book that New York Times thriller writer Chelsea Cain called "a love letter to both Dickens and to the small town amateur detectives who've kept the peace in hamlets from River Heights to Cabot Cove."

My two cents

Simon Alistair returns, along with some decided Dickens diehards, are organizing a convention which brings together even more Dickens diehards. It becomes sticky though, when they find that it brings out two opposing sides of the Dickens academia. Things start to turn ugly as a mysterious man who called himself Edwin Drood, the very character of one of Dickens's works, is found murdered in even more mysterious circumstances. Whodunit?

Bringing together the memorable characters of the first book, this includes a blossoming romance between Simon and the hunky reporter Zach Benjamin, and a host of new characters that have secrets the come to light in wake of a murder.

This is the second installment in the Dickens Junction Mystery books by Christopher Lord. This series is pretty unique since it builds a town and a storyline around a love for Dickens. That's what makes this series pretty special, in my opinion.

I enjoyed the first book, The Christmas Carol Murders so I couldn't help picking up the next book! Like the first, this did not disappoint. Why:

  • The mystery was satisfying. The motivations were interesting, the pacing was good, and the red herrings totally threw me off the scent. Now that's what good mysteries are about!
  • I got to know the main characters and the town better and I appreciated how they were painted as real. Simon continues to endear himself and ...
  • Since this is a new book, the new characters were very intriguing -- the spunky actress Jennifer Wren, the precocious blogger Quilpy, even the so-called Edwin Drood himself. As the story developed and their backstories came to light, I found myself second-guessing their motivations and their true characters.
  • It's a fun, funny, breezy read!
I hesitate to say much because I hate giving away anything, especially where mysteries are concerned. 

Verdict: Again, I probably missed out on the multitude of Dickens references. Even if you're not a huge Dickens reader, this decidedly contemporary cozy mystery is bound to intrigue and satisfy.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall