It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to.
Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant and, when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger’s cottage isn’t perfect for a woman alone but at least she has quiet neighbors.
Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell’s past and Jude’s present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything. – Goodreads.com
As a book lover, the idea of starting over somewhere and working in an overcrowded bookstore in a picturesque little town, surrounded by towers of books, appealed to me immediately, though I’d probably be fired on the first day because all I’d want to do is read.
The reader knows Jude is running from something, but the reason isn’t revealed until about halfway through the book. I honestly didn’t care for her at first, as she seemed very self-absorbed and selfish, but warmed up to her after a bit. Lowell is amusing, charming, and a perfect gentleman. The author did a wonderful job at demonstrating the good and bad of eccentric, small towns – neighbors care for each other, but everyone knows everyone else’s business.
While I’m glad I stuck around for the unexpected twists and satisfying ending, the pacing of this novel nearly drove me to abandon it. Yes, Jude has a mysterious background, but a large portion of the first half of the book is more focused on her living arrangements and the extremely detailed organization of the bookstore, aspects that didn’t really advance the plot in any way, and the slow trickle of information left me frustrated more than anything. I generally prefer a faster pace in my reading, so that may not be an issue for other readers.
If you’re a fan of more leisurely paced, cozy mysteries with a surprising turn of events, this is your book. Quiet Neighbors is scheduled for publication April 6th, 2016.
This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.