The Fatal Folio
reviewed by Warner Holme
Elizabeth Penney’s The Fatal Folio represents the latest addition to her Cambridge Bookshop mystery series. Having overcome the initial challenges and potential sophomore slump, this volume marks the beginning of a long-intended continuation.
Molly Kimball continues to manage her family’s bookshop in Cambridge, charmingly named Thomas Marlowe Manuscripts & Folios. Family secrets and literary enigmas play a significant role in this tale. The central manuscript is an original written copy of a novel published over a century ago, which has since garnered infamy. It’s believed that it was initially published under a pseudonym, with Molly’s boyfriend’s family suspecting that it might have been penned by one of their ancestors.
Soon after Molly starts cataloging their library, the manuscript goes missing, triggering a string of thefts and increasing body count. It doesn’t take long for Molly’s past detective endeavors to resurface, and she’s thrust into the midst of a mystery that might end in heartbreak. With potential suspects being those closest to her, Molly begins to question if there can be a positive resolution.
Interwoven between Molly’s investigations are captivating excerpts from the central novel. These segments subtly alter the atmosphere, intensifying the curiosity surrounding the manuscript and its true authorship. While the story refrains from revealing too much, early discussions offer tantalizing hints and foreshadowing towards the eventual revelation.
This installment promises another engaging read for series enthusiasts. The cover illustration humorously depicts a damaged book, which may shock some bibliophiles but will certainly appeal to cat aficionados and those appreciating the story’s seasonal setting. It’s a must-read for those in search of a cozy mystery with just the right mix of intrigue and charm
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