Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Dirty Book Murder: An Antiquarian Book Mystery by Thomas Shawver

The Dirty Book Murder    

Not your typical dirty books, but books of erotica that any antiquarian bookseller would covet come up for auction.  Michael Bevin discovers exquisite Japanese scrolls in the lot, then Gareth Hughes, a fellow dealer, points out a first-edition by Colette with an inscription by Hemingway.  What a magnificent haul.  Bevin and Hughes are then surprised when a third bidder upsets their plans.  And then a fourth.  The price goes up beyond the means of Bevin and Hughes.  

Before the winning dealer can collect the books, Hughes covertly pockets the Colette.  Big mistake.

The first in a projected series featuring Michael Bevin, The Dirty Book Murder has a surplus of eccentric characters.  Unfortunately, one of the most interesting is Gareth Hughes, who is murdered.   Bevin becomes a person of interest because of a public argument and finds himself caught up in trying to determine who really killed Hughes.

I wish Shawver had kept Hughes around for future books, but be that as it may, there are plenty of other strange suspects to consider.

I liked the premise and the odd assortment of characters, but was much less interested in Bevin's relationship with his daughter.  The plot got a little wild at the end, but overall it was an interesting mystery about a subject that I enjoy.  

Read in January.   Post scheduled for April 14, 2014.

NetGalley/Random House/Alibi

Mystery.  May 6, 2014.  


  1. I am going to be reading this soon. Hopefully I like it!

  2. Hmm. This sounds interesting. Eccentric characters, a book about books, a mystery . . . I'll have to look for this one.

  3. Kelly - I hope you like it. There are some aspects that I wasn't crazy about, but the stuff about the books was interesting for anyone who loves to read.

    Wendy - :) Books about books AND a mystery!

  4. This sounds like it has potential and maybe the second one will get better. Of course, it's a bummer when a character you like is killed-off!

  5. I hope the second one is better! I'd like another series focused on a bookseller.