A Book by Its Cover (Secrets of Mary's Bookshop #6)
Author: Elizabeth Adams
Publisher: Thorndike Press (2014) Published by arrangement with Guideposts
Genre: Cozy Mystery
This is a unique series in two ways. One, while it is a mystery series, there are no murders involved. Two, each book is written by a different author. I wondered if the authors would be able to maintain the character development from book to book. They have done an exceptional job.
Our heroine is Mary. After her husband passed away, she sold their house in Boston and moved in with her sister Betty, who is also a widow. Mary and her husband had a dream of opening a bookshop, but he passed away before they could realize their dream. Betty lives in Ivy Bay, a town in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts, where Mary and Betty spent some time in their childhood. Mary has opened Mary's Mystery Bookshop in a quaint old building on the main street in town.
In this book, Mary is trying to solve a mystery involving a box of old books that were left outside the shop. The books seem familiar to her and with the help of her sister, she realizes their mother had books like these. When a note written by their mother falls from one of the books, Mary and Betty are shocked. Who dropped these books outside of Mary's shop? Why are there notes written by their mother to a man who was not their father in the books? Mary is determined to find answers.
Mary is someone I would like to be friends with. I appreciate the relationship she has with her sister and the ways they help one another out. I love books written by authors that contain descriptions of daily details. These books have plenty of those with descriptions of meals eaten, clothing worn, cozy living areas, charming stores and restaurants. These types of descriptions help me get to know the characters and the setting by painting a picture in my mind of their surroundings.
The mystery is an interesting puzzle to solve that introduces Mary to new people. There is a faith element woven throughout and Mary seems to learn something about herself and others in each book. Some of the themes are: deception, love, judging by appearances, the past, helping others, family and the importance of friends.
I always leave Ivy Bay feeling hopeful and looking forward to the next installment of Secrets of Mary's Bookshop.