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A new cozy mystery series is coming your way!

Updated: Jun 18

Bestselling author Ellie Alexander releases two books in her new A Secret Bookcase Mysteries

*photo by Colleen @ilikeoldbooks

I am so excited to have guest blogger Colleen, who runs the incredible book review account @ILikeOldBooks1213 on Instagram! Colleen and I collaborate regularly on a cozy mystery series called "Cozy Scenes And Themes" on Instagram, and we recommend cozy mysteries based on certain themes or interests. Colleen and I will adding conversations with cozy mystery authors in a Q&A style. First up will be bestselling author Ellie Alexander, who has a new cozy series coming out this week, titled A Secret Bookcase Mysteries! Ellie pens two other successful series with her Sloan Kraus and Bakeshop Mysteries.

You'll get to read both Colleen's and my reviews here today for The Body In The Bookshop, the first Secret Bookcase Mystery! This book and the second book in the series, A Murder At The Movies, will be published on June 19, 2024.

Both Colleen and I would like to thank Storm Publishing and Netgalley for the gifted review copies.

Colleen's review of The Body In The Bookshop

I was so excited when Ellie announced this new series. I mean, a mystery-themed bookstore? A mystery festival? Not to be resisted, plus as a bookseller I can't get enough of bookstores!

This is a cute and fun mystery with some classic cozy tropes along with some unique elements. We've got a mystery bookstore with themed rooms that mystery readers will absolutely love, along with a mystery festival with fun events. The sleuth has an interesting backstory, with a degree in criminology and a best friend's murder that she's been trying to solve for ten years. Also refreshing is how she actively works with the police, and the police are shown in a very positive and capable light. Alexander's many fans will enjoy this and be eager for the next, and luckily book 1 and 2 are releasing on the same day!!! How fun is that?

My reviews of The Body In The Bookshop and A Murder At The Movies

The Body in The Bookshop

The Secret Bookcase series is set in a charming California bookshop, complete with a Sherlock Holmes expert and an entire room devoted to Agatha Christie. Basically, it's a mystery lover's dream bookstore! Our amateur sleuth is bookseller Annie Murray. Her education is in criminology, but grief-stricken, she gave it up when her college best friend, Scarlet, died under suspicious circumstances.

Book one in the series sets up the world of Redwood Grove and introduces us to Annie, her colleagues, her best friend, Pri, and her cat, Professor Plum. Alexander does an incredible job making this dream bookstore come to life, populating the book with vivid and interesting characters, and balancing the world-building with the mystery. The opening scene is quite memorable, and the book maintains that momentum with good pacing and a well-plotted, fun mystery.

Annie is a likable, intelligent sleuth, and her background in criminology is a clever touch, lending weight to her investigations. In this book, her background comes in handy when a body is discovered in a hidden room behind the bookshelves. I am very intrigued by the dynamic between Annie and the lead detective on the case, a woman who was Annie's criminology professor and also impacted by the loss of Scarlet. The overarching mystery surrounding the death of Annie's college friend intrigues me. I love books about books and good mysteries. So this one, with its incredible bookstore and so many fantastic literary references, is a great kickoff to the series!

A Murder At The Movies

Bookseller and event organizer Annie has just been enlisted to launch her town's first film festival. But when an infamous film critic meets his end during the screening of a Hitchcock-inspired thriller, Annie has work cut out for her to find the culprit. Like the first book, this one also has a very memorable crime scene!

I enjoyed the film and literary references and getting to know the recurring characters a bit more. This group is already growing on me, and I look forward to many more adventures with them. I also enjoyed the romantic storylines for both Annie and her best friend Pri.

The behind-the-scenes drama involving the film's stars and creators lent plenty of motives to the large suspect pool. The secrets that drip out and this tightly woven plot with its red herrings will keep you guessing!

If you are looking an entertaining cozy mystery series, this one fits the bill! 

The title of book three has already been announced: Death At The Dinner Party

My steep was Reading Nook Blend from Plum Deluxe Tea

A black tea with rose, lavender, chamomile, and vanilla

Publisher's Synopsis The Body In The Bookstore:

Welcome to The Secret Bookcase, a quirky bookstore in a grand, converted manor house, where the selection of crime fiction is dangerously good. The store has been bookseller and events manager Annie Murray’s sanctuary ever since her dreams of starting a detective agency with her best friend died, literally, when Scarlet was murdered.

Annie has never stopped trying to solve the mystery of her friend’s death, but her quiet life in leafy Redwood Grove, with its warm community of like minded local business-owners and book-lovers, has provided the solace she needed. Until now.

Publisher's Synopsis A Murder At The Movies:

When bookseller and events organizer Annie Murray invites the glamorous world of Hollywood along to her small-town film festival, she finds herself entangled in a sinister plot as twisted as any big-screen thriller…

After the success of her first event, which revived the fortunes of the bookstore she loves so dearly, Annie is excited to launch Redwood Grove’s first film festival. But when an infamous film critic plunges to his death during the premiere of a Hitchcock-inspired thriller, Annie’s instincts tell her that this was no accident. She soon discovers that many of the cast, crew and guests are harboring dark secrets; from the lead actress with a scandalous past, to a film historian obsessed with protecting his vintage reel collection.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Annie must sift through a tangled web of hidden agendas and deception to expose the killer before they strike again. Can she crack the case and save her film festival – or will she find herself in the spotlight?

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