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A Treacherous Tale

Elizabeth Penney takes us back to Cambridge for another fun whodunnit!

A Treacherous Tale by Elizabeth Penney features a book within a book to help solve a mystery! This delightful cozy is the second book in the Edgar Award Nominated Cambridge Bookshop series.

We return to Cambridge, England, and amateur sleuth Molly Kimball. Molly and her mother moved from Vermont to help run Thomas Marlowe Manuscripts and Folios. An old bookstore that their family has run for generations. Molly and her mother are visiting a beloved local children's author when they find the body of a man who has fallen off the roof. Also, one of the author's daughters is missing, and there might be a connection to her husband's death 20 years earlier, and to the classic children's story, she has written.

I love the setting of this series, in one of Cambridge's oldest and most charming bookshops. And the way the author describes the location and lifestyle really takes you there. Having enjoyed the first book in this series, it was great fun to return. A lively supporting cast surrounds Molly the MC, including her family, her handsome boyfriend, and the distinguished former MI6 agent, Sir Jon. This is a well-written and well-plotted cozy with an interesting archaeology and antiquities plotline. Plenty of red herrings and the use of the book within the book to drop clues made it fun to try to figure out whodunnit.

I look forward to reading more of this series and seeing what the author does with it! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's press for the opportunity to review this ARC. I enjoyed it!

Publication date is August 23, 2022

My steep was Strawberry Shortcake Loose Leaf Tea by Pinky Up Tea.

This and other delicious blends can be found at


Lately, Molly has been feeling that she might have fallen into a fairy tale: she's reinvigorated the family bookshop Thomas Marlowe—Manuscripts and Folios, made friends in her new home of Cambridge, England, and is even developing a bit of a romance with the handsome Kieran—a bike shop owner with a somewhat intimidating family pedigree.

Having recently discovered The Strawberry Girls, a classic children's tale, Molly is thrilled to learn the author, Iona York, lives nearby. But while visiting the famous author at her lovely cottage in nearby Hazelhurst, an old acquaintance of Iona's tumbles off her roof to his death.

Then, when one of Iona’s daughters—an inspiration for the original Strawberry Girls—goes missing, Molly begins to worry this story might be more Brothers Grimm than happily-ever-after. Especially after Molly learns about the mysterious long-ago death of Iona’s husband and co-author of The Strawberry Girls…could past and present crimes be linked? Molly must put the clues together before someone turns this sweet tale sour.

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