#BookReview: MURDER BY THE MINSTER by Helen Cox @Helenography @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #SocialMediaBlast

51o7z9VKKUL._SY346_Publication: 1st July 2019 (eBook, hardback); 31st October 2019 – Quercus

Meet Kitt Hartley: librarian, trilby-wearer, Lady Grey tea-drinker, taker of no nonsense… detective?

It’s a perfectly normal day for Kitt Hartley at her job at the University of the Vale of York library, until Detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her desk to tell her that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is under suspicion of murder. Evie’s ex-boyfriend Owen has been found dead – with a fountain pen stabbed through his heart – and all the evidence points to her.

Kitt knows there is no way Evie could murder anyone – let alone Owen, who she adored. Horrified that the police could have got it so wrong, Kitt decides there’s only one thing to do: she’s going to investigate Owen’s murder herself. She’s read hundreds of mystery novels – how hard can it be?

With the help of her assistant Grace, and the occasional hindrance of the library’s eccentric regulars, Kitt summons up all her investigative powers (absorbed over years of reading everything from Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin) and gets to work.

She soon discovers that down the quaint streets and snickelways of York lie darker doings than she’d ever dreamed, but she needs to watch her step: the murderer is watching her. And they haven’t finished killing yet…


I’d like to thank Ella Patel and Quercus book for providing me with a copy of the novel and introducing me to this engrossing series. I devoured Murder by the Minster, the first novel featuring Kitt Hartley, a librarian who finds herself investigating a murder.

After a weekend spent drinking with her best friend Evie, Kitt is still recovering on Monday morning when two detectives arrive at her place of work, the library of the University of York. They are investigating the murder of Evie’s ex boyfriend and they suspect that Evie is somehow involved. Eager to prove her best friend’s innocence, Kitt starts investigating on her own, uncovering a truth twistier and more dangerous than she thought.

I loved the protagonist, Kitt Hartley, librarian during the day, detective during the night (and sometimes even during working hours). She is smart and down-to-earth and like Sherlock Holmes, she has her own Watson to help her, or Watsons, plural. Her assistant Grace, a genius in finding out other people’s information online, Evie, suspected of murder, but also ready to prove someone else’s innocence even if it means she may end up in jail, and Ruby, an eighty-something woman who believes to have psychic powers and gets her information on the bus 59. There is no stopping these women as they search for the truth and they create some entertaining and funny moments that made me laugh.

The story is twisty and addictive. I didn’t figure out who the killer was until it was revealed and it was suspenseful until the end. Being a librarian and a bookworm, Kitt makes many literary references which I enjoyed and I also wrote down a few books that I haven’t read and that now I am curious to read.

Crime fans will highly enjoy this engaging cozy mystery and I am already looking forward to reading the second book, A Body in the Bookshop (love this title!!!).

Murder by the Minster social blast poster-page-001 (1)


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