Little Free Libraries have been popping up not just in America but all over the world. With their increase in popularity, it was only a matter of time before one was featured in a mystery novel. “A Most Curious Murder” by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli opens with Jenny Weston discovering her mother’s Little Library destroyed just after her return to Bear Falls, Michigan. Jenny meets her mom’s next door neighbor at the same time, Zoe Zola. Zoe is an author, current Lewis Carroll fanatic and a little person. Zoe points the finger at Adam Cane, another neighbor, as the possible villain, but he is soon found dead in Zoe’s fairy garden. Suspicion lands on Zoe as a strange outsider in the small town, but Jenny is sure of her innocence. But as Penny and Zoe try to untangle the mysteries of Adam’s death and the Little Library destruction, more attacks deepen suspicions against Zoe. Penny must deal with old secrets, hidden aggressions and tangles of the heart if she’ll have any chance of solving these crimes.
As a steward of a Little Free Library, I was ecstatic to find a mystery featuring one. It was interesting to read the differences in how the Penny’s mother ran hers, and I appreciated the love for the written word expressed by various characters in the book. The mystery was interesting, but I was off put by Penny’s negative viewpoint at times. I also found the dialogue a little stilted and the characters a little over the top at times. But all in all, “A Most Curious Murder” was an entertaining read.
Jenny Weston moves home to Bear Falls, Michigan to nurse her bruised ego back to health after a bitter divorce. But the idyllic vision of her charming hometown crumbles when her mother's little library is destroyed.
The next door neighbor, Zoe Zola, a little person and Lewis Carroll enthusiast, suspects local curmudgeon Adam Cane, but when he's suddenly found dead in Zoe's fairy garden, all roads lead back to her. Jenny, however, believes Zoe innocent, so the two women team up to find the true culprit, investigating the richest family in Bear Falls, interrogating a few odd townspeople and delving into old, hidden transgressions — until another body turns up.
Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli's quaint and compelling series debut A Most Curious Murder will delight cozy mystery readers new and old.