Book Review: “A Margin For Murder” by Lauren Elliott

Cover of "A Margin For Murder" by Lauren Elliott
Cover of “A Margin For Murder” by Lauren Elliott

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “A Margin For Murder” by Lauren Elliott! I’ve read many murder mysteries before, but I’m hoping to expand more of my horizons on reading different authors as opposed to reading many books by one author. Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“Addie leaves her Greyborne Harbor bookstore, Beyond the Page Books and Curios, in the capable hands of her assistant while she travels to the neighboring town of Pen Hollow to attend a book sale at a library that is closing due to lack of funding. But the real find is a bookmobile bus, which she’s excited to refit as a traveling bookstore to hit all the summer festivals. The bookmobile also holds a surprising treasure: several classic first editions and an early edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

But before the bookmobile can be delivered to Addie, a fatal car crash occurs. When an autopsy reveals poison in the victim’s system and the first editions go missing, it’s up to Addie to determine what would drive someone to murder. If she’s not careful, however, she may be the next one to be dead on arrival…”

Plot Development: 3 out of 5 stars

I thought that the overall main story was fine to read. The investigation was interesting to read, as well as learning about the characters’ connections to each other (and the victim).

However, one main aspect of the story I disliked was that it took way too long for the main characters to get things done. Did they have a thorough investigation? Yes. Could they have been a lot faster with getting it done? Probably. The pacing of the entire book could’ve been a lot faster than it was, and characters could have been a bit faster with making specific character connections or heading from one place to another to find clues.

As for the subplots (the pregnancy subplot and will-Addie-ever-get-her-proposal-from-Simon-or-not subplot), both were fine to read. I initially disliked the Addie and Simon romance sideplot, but I felt there was adequate-enough chemistry to root for them as a couple. I thought they could have used one or two more bonding scenes together. The tension between them felt too-neatly resolved at the end of the book. Yes, I’m aware that I’m not reading this book in order, as this is the eighth book in a series and I haven’t read the first seven, but still.

Characters: 2 out of 5 stars

None of the characters were memorable. I thought they were fine and served what roles they needed to serve for the novel, but that was about it. None of them stuck out to me as being particularly interesting.

As for Addie, the main heroine, I thought that she needed more of an individual character arc outside of her romantic issues. This seems to be a problem in many murder mysteries I’ve read before. However, I also acknowledge that I’ve read one-too-many murder mysteries from one particular series where the main subplot was nothing but romance issues and indecision.

Overall, I’m rating this book 2.5 out of 5 stars!

This was a fine murder mystery book in terms of its main story. However, the lack of character development, let alone memorability, let it down. Additionally, the main heroine needs character development outside of her romance issues. However, if you put those character issues aside and just read it for the mystery, it’s still a good book.

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