"The Librarian Always Rings Twice" By Marty Wingate: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and links to purchase it.

Books can be…murder!

Hayley Burke, forty-something divorcée, is curator for The First Edition Society located in a marvelous Georgian building, Middlebank House, in Bath, England. Her job is to manage the late Lady Georgiana Fowling’s world-renowned collection of first editions from authors of the Golden Age of Mystery along with Fowling’s own journals and books about detective Flambeaux’s adventures. Hayley’s degree in nineteenth-century literature is helpful, but she’s only now reading the mystery genre. The Society’s interests are managed by Lady Fowling’s friend and personal assistant Glynis Woolgar who is too often in opposition with the plans Hayley has for the Society and Lady Fowling’s collection. However, Mrs. Woolgar is the least of Hayley’s worries, and surprisingly, she may be her only ally. The board has decided, duped more like it, and her good friend Adele Babbage among them, to appoint the late Lady Fowling’s nephew as Hayley’s assistant. Charles Henry Dill has been a continuing bother since he believes the collection and Middlebank House itself was to be his inheritance. Hiring him may be akin to hiring a fox at a chicken farm, especially since this fox has already absconded with a few chickens.

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Image Source Penguin
The Librarian Always Rings Twice
earns 5/5 Shocking IDs…Engaging & Clever!

The first meeting to finalize Dill’s employment has Hayley on edge, but she’s able to stave off his participation until after their first public opening. The doors open on Wednesday afternoons allowing the public to enjoy the collection, and although they’re not a “lending library,” guests are able to stay, peruse, read, and enjoy the atmosphere. Despite only a dozen guests popping in with varying interest and desire for a tearoom, it was still a successful start. Until…checking to make sure all guests had left, Hayley finds one man yet to leave. John Aubrey appears quite knowledgeable of Lady Fowling’s own mystery books and her fictional detective Flambeaux, but his claim to be her long-lost grandson is beyond shocking. His claim, of course, needs to be substantiated beyond his odd stories and a photograph, but seeing Charles Henry squirm and resorting to violence may be a motive for murder. An associate of Aubrey’s who informed Hayley he had some background of interest on Aubrey’s claim is found dead. Were the details he alluded to motive for murder or was someone else the intended target?

Check it Out! Marty Wingate has “wowed” me again with the third book in her First Edition Library Mystery series with a claim Lady Fowling had a child, now a grandson, at the center, and the evasive responses given by the “maybe” grandson casting serious doubt on his character. Several people, especially the bonafide nephew, are emotional about his claim, but the murder victim was a total, yet brilliant, surprise. The compelling journey is well paced and complex sending Hayley and her boyfriend and professor Val Moffatt on a search for answers and a killer, interviewing witnesses, avoiding personal injury, and compiling a fascinating story of personal loss, desire for belonging, and a fine line between reality and literature. The ins and outs of managing the library, its new events, and relationships between the very senior citizen board members, the selfish nephew, and the usurper creates a page-turning read, and Hayley’s romance with Val is delightful…supportive and loving. There are several references to real literary figures and their work for realism, but I wish Lady Fowling and her work wasn’t fictional; they sound exciting. Maybe another series, Ms. Wingate…the Flambeaux Mysteries by (pen name) Georgiana Fowling?

The First Edition Library series

The Bodies in the Library (2019) KRL News Review HERE

Murder is a Must (2020) KRL Review HERE

The Librarian Always Rings Twice (2021)

Audio Alert! For audiobook fans check out Audible. The Bodies in the Library, book one, is found HERE with the artistic performance by Fiona Hardingham. The second book, Murder is a Must, is HERE with the talented voice of Marisa Calin. This third book, The Librarian Always Rings Twice, is HERE with Fiona Harrington again as narrator. Be sure to explore the audio versions of the Wingate’s other series: six of the Potting Shed Mystery books narrated by Erin Bennett and four audio books in the Bird of a Feather series narrated by Beverley A. Crick.

Be a Big Marty Wingate Fan!

Along with her two-book First Edition Library series, USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate writes another of my personal favorites, the seven-book Potting Shed Mystery series following Pru Parker, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England. Using another nature-lovers theme, she pens the delightful four-book Birds of a Feather Mystery with Julia Lancaster, a passionate bird lover. Marty treats readers to clever mayhem along with delightful and informative insights into the floral and fauna of the English countryside.

Facebook – Marty Wingate Author

Website - Marty Wingate Mystery Author

To enter to win a copy of The Librarian Always Rings Twice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "rings,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 29, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. 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! A new episode went up this week.

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

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. Just finished this book a couple days ago.
    I've been following the series and it is
    excellent. Highly recommend it.

  2. This sounds so good. Congratulations on another book! ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. I need to check this one out! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. A new author and series for me, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. Finished reading the first in the series and really enjoyed it. Will be reading the rest of the series.


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