Monday, May 12, 2014

The Dirty Book Murder by Thomas Shawver + a giveaway

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Thomas Shawver's The Dirty Book Murder. There's a tour wide giveaway here so be sure to read through to the bottom to enter.

Michael Bevan is a bookman. A former lawyer and Marine, Bevan lost his license after he turned to drugs and alcohol in the wake of his wife's tragic death. He managed to pick up the pieces of his life and, with the help of a friend, opened Riverrun Books, a popular used bookstore. But Bevan hopes his used bookstore will soon be able to boast a good collection of rare and collectible titles as well. It is this hope that prompts him to attend an auction advertising "lots of erotic books (includes Shakee Hen)," which he believes may be a collection of rare Japanese art. Sure enough, the collection on auction does indeed contain the piece he'd hoped for - along with a number of other quite valuable titles. Sadly, Bevan and his fellow antiquarian dealers are outbid. One fellow colleague is not to be deterred, however, and Bevan witnesses the man steal a volume from the lot before its new owner claims them. When the same man turns up murdered soon after, with Bevan the most likely suspect, he has no choice but to find out the truth. 

I was a bit surprised at this one. Shawver's debut has a bit of a goofball side to it: Bevan and some of his friends are all a bit humorous and lighthearted, especially at the beginning. The crime itself, though, is much darker than that would have led me to believe. I'm sure some will feel the style and the plot are a bit at odds with one another but I actually found it quite appealing.

The Dirty Book Murder is to be the first in a new series featuring Bevan. I like the idea of the antiquarian book dealer as an unofficial investigator, and found that it wasn't as unlikely as it would seem. Shawver does a good job of building Bevan up as a character whose various capabilities are quite convincing: ex lawyer, ex Marine, and the grandson of the town's former chief of police as well.

All in all, while The Dirty Book Murder did have some minor flaws I associate with first outings (just some general issues with fluidity), it was a great start to a new series - one that I definitely intend to read more of down the line!

Rating: 3.5/5

And now for the giveaway. As I mentioned this is a tour wide giveaway. To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I didn't realize that this was the start of a new series - what fun!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.