Thursday, May 15, 2014

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Dirty Book Murder

About The Dirty Book Murder: An Antiquarian Book Mystery

  • Publisher: Alibi (May 6, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
In this smart, fast-paced mystery debut, Thomas Shawver introduces a charming, unlikely hero from the rarefied world of antique books.
Book merchant Michael Bevan arrives at the Kansas City auction house hoping to uncover some hidden literary gold. Though the auction ad had mentioned erotica, Michael is amazed to find lovely Japanese Shunga scrolls and a first edition of a novel by French author Colette with an inscription by Ernest Hemingway. This one item alone could fetch a small fortune in the right market.
As Michael and fellow dealer Gareth Hughes are warming up for battle, a stranger comes out of nowhere and outbids them—to the tune of sixty grand. But Gareth is unwilling to leave the auction house empty-handed, so he steals two volumes, including the Colette novel. When Gareth is found dead the next day, Michael quickly becomes the prime suspect: Not only had the pair been tossed out of a bar mid-fistfight the night before, but there is evidence from Michael’s shop at the crime scene.
Now the attorney-turned-bookman must find out who wanted the Colette so badly that they would kill for it—and frame Michael. Desperate to stay out of police custody, Michael follows the murderer’s trail into the wealthiest echelons of the city, where power and influence meet corruption—and mystery and eroticism are perverted by pure evil. Unfortunately for Michael, one dead book dealer is only the opening chapter in a terrifying tale of high culture and lowlifes.
Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links


The Dirty Book Murder may look like another cozy mystery, but that really isn't the case. Sure it has the elements of most cozy mysteries, a bookstore owner with a cat and some really quirky characters, but there's a real dark side to this story and as you read on, you'll definitely see that it isn't a cozy, but a good opener for a new series. But don't worry, it isn't a scary mystery that will have you fearing for our sleuth's life.

The book stolen is from an auction by one of Michael's book merchant friends lands that guy dead, but only after he and Michael had come to blows, thus making him the suspect numero uno! (As the murder weapon seems to be an item owned by Michael)

Michael knows he has to find out what's going on, or he would end up behind bars, and then another book merchant ends up dead.

There's a very seedy side to this mystery and it has to deal with the erotic novels all three merchants were looking to buy. The original owner had some interesting sexual habits and that might just be the reason someone wanted these books no matter the cost. (The owner of the books wife is quite a character, especially when he first meets her) Its a bit hilarious to try to envision an older lady that's a dominatrix!

That's when he learns there's more to these murders than just the theft of some very rare books. Some prominent people in town are part of a sex club and someone took names and pictures!

Thrown in the mix is Michael's daughter and her new boyfriend, who happens to be an old geezer, that's trying to revive his acting career.

There's a lot of drama between father and daughter and Michael's sleuthing seems to land him in more hot water with each new discovery.

This was a super fast paced read, and quite a good mystery. A wonderful start to a new series, and I look forward to the next book.

Rating:  4 flowers

About Thomas Shawver

Thomas Shawver is a former marine officer, lawyer, and journalist with American City Business Journals. An avid rugby player and international traveler, Shawver owned Bloomsday Books, an antiquarian bookstore in Kansas City.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs