"The Bodies in the Library" By Marty Wingate: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it from from Amazon and an indie bookstore.

First Edition Intrigue!

Hayley Burke is the new curator for The First Edition Society managing the renowned first edition collection of Lady Georgiana Fowling housed in Lady Fowling’s former residence, Middlebank House, in Bath, England. Fueling her life-long passion, she has amassed an impressive selection of first-edition books of women authors from the Golden Age of Mystery: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and even suspense work from Daphne du Maurier. The Society’s interests are managed by Mrs. Glynis Woolgar, close friend and decades-long personal assistant of Lady Fowling’s, who wishes to keep the group exclusive and restrict access to the collection to members only. In contrast, Hayley hopes to expand their base and offer a variety of literary salons and lectures invoking a popular quote from Lady Fowling herself that...“we are dedicated to the enjoyment, education, and furtherance of both readers and writers of mysteries, by connecting the public to our collection.”

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After Lady Fowling’s death, The First Edition Society, with its five member board of directors, continued on, however beset with serious difficulties. Originally viewing their role as monthly gatherings relaxing with glasses of sherry, they instead were met with diminishing interest from literary researchers, rare book fans, and mystery enthusiasts, Fowling’s nephew hoping to overturn the will, and an ill-prepared curator. Enter Hayley Burke, mid-forties, divorced, mother of an early-twenties daughter, whose friend and board member Adele Babbage believes she is perfect for the job. Haley has a degree in nineteenth-century literature, but her lack of experience with the mystery genre could be a deal breaker. However Adele said, “You’ve a university degree in literature...Books are books.” She got the job along with a delightful flat on the third floor hoping with several proposals illustrate how “forward thinking and thorough she can be.”
Image Source Berkley

The Bodies in the Library earns 5/5 First Edition Treasures...Engaging Fun!
Hayley has arranged for the five members of a fan-fiction writing group to meet at Middlebank House to discuss and brainstorm their “outside the box” work. However, their zealous discussions, furniture mishaps, and twists to Agatha Christie that might be consider sacrilegious put their future meetings at the House in jeopardy. Trist Cummins, the leader of the writers group whose facial expression seems set in a perpetual scorn, argues that they are following the rules set by Mrs. Woolgar...even insisting any mishaps may be attributed to the ghost of Lady Fowling haunting the House. But, the infighting and bickering among the group leaves Hayley thinking they may need to find alternate facilities, but that might not be necessary...Trist is found dead!

Kudos with a capital “K” I am an eager fan of Marty Wingate’s writing style, and her new series doesn’t disappoint! A unique kind of library which will offer volumes of adventures. Although as book one background and introductions are important, it was intriguing as she has laid out a wonderful set of characters, motivations, and friendships while also weaving in the conflicts, arguments, and complaints that ultimately lead to murder. I greatly enjoyed the first-person narrative from Hayley’s perspective sharing her inner thoughts on family, a long-distance relationship, her ideas for the Society, and thoughts about the other characters. Along with marvelous descriptive language painting pictures, she includes dialogue that illustrates well the personalities, tone, and emotions. The mystery leads in various directions revealing several secrets with the local CID as an impediment to Hayley’s own investigation. And the ending is a big Wow!

This first book in the series can be enjoyed in print, eBook, and in audiobook. The audio version found on Audible greatly enhances Marty Wingate’s engaging story with the voice artistry of Fiona Hardingham. She goes beyond the traditional reading out loud with various British dialects especially the enjoyable voice she performs for Hayley. Almost ten hours of marvelous entertainment!

Be a Big Fan!
Along with her new First Edition Library series, she writes another personal favorite, the six-book Potting Shed Mystery series following Pru Parker who takes on a variety of gardening positions which usually ends with murder. Using another nature-lovers theme she pens the four-book Birds of a Feather Mysteries with Julia Lancaster heading off to the English countryside to manage a tourist information center. Marty treats readers to delightful and informative insights into the floral and fauna.

Facebook – Marty Wingate Author

Website - Marty Wingate Mystery Author

To enter to win a copy of The Bodies in the Library, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "bodies” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 2, 2019. US residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. And if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win (this information will not be used for any other reason). You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! The last 3 episodes are perfect for Halloween, don't miss them!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Opens to author website

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I absolutely love this storyline and book cover. I would absolutely be thrilled to win this book. Thank you for the chance.

  2. I love books about books. Sounds like a great new series.

  3. Sounds like a super new series - sure would love to win, thanks for the chance, trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

  4. I would love to win this book

  5. Sounds like my kind of book. Would really like to read.

  6. Sounds like a book I would love - thanks for the chance to win a copy

  7. I have been wanting to read this series. I think this would be a great start...thank you for the chance.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  8. I would love to read this...thank you for the chance.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


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