Saturday, April 13, 2019

Book 1 in the Castle Bookshop Mysteries
by author
Essie Lang

Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks.

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York’s breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt’s bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store’s second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island.

But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder―and find the killer before he strikes again―in Trouble on the Books, Essie Lang’s clever and captivating series debut.


Oh. My. Goodness. I had the best time reading TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS. I had cleared a couple of hours to get it started, but once into it I had to put off everything else I wanted to get done. No way was I going to put this book down!

Author Essie Lang has created a wonderful world of reading where a castle on an island has a bookstore! Where do I sign up for that job? Though I’m pretty sure protagonist Shelby Cox would have gladly turned it over to me. For a lead character, she didn’t really start out as much of a people person. But I found that flaw refreshing. It was and will be fun watching her work through that.

TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS contained not one, but two mysteries. The second has to do with Shelby’s family. It was interesting to see how she dealt with both. Not the normal leap before looking ten minutes after the murder type investigating, but as with her personality flaw mentioned above, refreshing.

I enjoyed this book so much, I was at a loss as to what to read next. I wanted book two to be right in my TBR. Is it 2020 yet? Sigh. However, if the next book in the series is as good as TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS, it will be well worth the wait.

Note: As I was reading the first few chapters of TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS I had a familiar feeling of having read this author before. Since this was her first book, I knew that couldn’t be true. But one look at the author’s photo at the back of the book straightened everything out. She’s using pen name! I was reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Linda Wiken aka Erica Chase aka Essie Lang! I was already excited about this book when I first heard of it, but now I couldn’t read it fast enough!

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page
(on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click "View web version".
Then follow the above directions.


  1. Sounds great! Thanks, Lisa. Happy Saturday!

  2. Thank you for bringing "TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS" by Essie Lang to may attention and for your review. Definitely sounds like my kind of book and going to my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Kay, I'd love to hear what you think of it when it gets to the top of what I am sure is a very big TBR.

  3. I am trying to limit new series (I have too many books to read now.) so I was on the fence about this book. You sold me! Thank you (that is not meant sarcastically.)

    1. Oh, the pressure! LOL I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.