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Buried in a Good Book–murder in the boonies

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Buried in a Good Book

by Tamara Berry

For anyone who likes a good bookish story, you can’t get much more bookish than Tamara Berry’s new cozy mystery Buried in a Good Book. The main character, Tess Harrow, is a best selling mystery author. Another character is a librarian who operates a bookmobile in the remote area where Tess and her precocious teenage daughter Gertrude (Gertie) go to heal after a divorce. One of the deputies there has written a very long science fiction novel. Also, with no Internet, research and reading are done the old-fashioned way—from printed volumes.

The book begins with both a grizzly murder discovery and a lot of humor (written in such a way that it is not inappropriate) as Tess compares everything to a scenario or a character in one of her books. The local sheriff has enjoyed all of her books, but doesn’t agree with some of the police procedures Tess uses in her plots. He actually has a lot in common with her main character Detective Gonzales. As the action in Buried in a Good Book moves along, the plot becomes delightfully complicated, and Tess and Gertie become increasingly involved. The number of murders grows along with the number of suspects. Tess will not be deterred from trying to discover what is going on. There are odd exotic animal sightings, and Bigfoot is even seen roaming near the remote cabin Tess inherited from her grandfather. Someone appears to have been living in her grandfather’s hardware store. An upcoming election pits the current sheriff against a moneyed businessman with logging interests. After six months of no contact with his daughter (except for receiving palimony checks from Tess), the cheating ex-husband shows up.

Meanwhile, through all the complications and dangers, the story maintains the perfect level of humor. The identity of those behind the evil and plotting was a surprise to me until shortly before the reveal. I enjoyed this cozy and am looking forward to the second in the series to be published in November of 2022.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #1 in the By the Book Mystery Series

Publication: May 24, 2022—Poisoned Pen Press

Memorable Lines:

She’d toyed with the idea of prepping Gertrude ahead of time—warning her that the next month was going to be one of rusticity and a return to basics—but she was no fool. Nothing turned a fourteen-year-old against her mother faster than the threat of prolonged one-on-one time.

Until she saw that picture of the woman’s face, Tess hadn’t realized how real all this could feel. When the body was just a hypothetical and anonymous person, it had been easy to treat everything as a puzzle to be solved—a clue to discover….Seeing the woman’s smile, realizing just how young and alive she once was, changed everything.

She’d been warned by her literary agent, early on, to be wary of the line between author and fan….Requests for personal meetings, demands made under the guise of friendship, people showing up outside your remote grandfather’s cabin…those flags weren’t just red. They were crimson.


  1. Carla says:

    Excellent review, Linda. I do enjoy humour in a cozy and this one sounds like it has a lot of good laughs. I looked at this one, but am behind in so many cozy series already, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start another one. Maybe I will need to revisit that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WendyW says:

    I enjoyed this one too, Linda. It’s full of laughs and the mystery was very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I felt a little funny as I wrote about the humor in the book; how can a murder be humorous? I think the key is that the humor came from the main character poking fun at herself and from her relationship with her teenage daughter. So, yes it is funny!


  3. Gretchen says:

    I do enjoy bookish stories. And a cozy with a good dose of humor is always welcome. I’ll add it to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

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