Friday, February 16, 2024

Book Review and Giveaway - Once Upon a Murder (A Lady Librarian Mystery) by Samantha Larsen

My Review
Once Upon a Murder is a historical mystery set in 1784 England.  Tiffany Woodall is a librarian at an English manor house.  When a man who used to work at the estate is found dead outside her cottage, her romantic interest, who owns the village bookstore, is accused of murder.  She works as an amateur detective to prove his innocence.

I wanted to read this mystery because I was intrigued by the idea of a librarian in 1780's England.  I love historical mysteries and cozy mysteries, and this book falls in both of those categories.

This is the second book in the Lady Librarian Mystery series, but it read fine as a standalone.  

I absolutely loved this book!  I read it over a couple of days because I wanted to read it in all my spare time.  Tiffany is a character to cheer for.  She is brave, bright, and loyal to her friends and the man she loves.

I especially liked the romantic relationship between Tiffany and Samir.  There were obstacles, but they were so well suited.  They are a literary couple to cheer for.

As someone who collects and sells vintage children's books, I loved the details about vintage children's books in this mystery.  The author did her research, and the details will delight other book lovers.

The book blurb compares Once Upon a Murder to Bridgerton, and I found that comparison apt.  I am a big fan of Bridgerton, and loved the diversity and smartly written dialogue in this novel as well.

I enthusiastically recommend Once Upon a Murder for fans of historical mysteries or cozy mysteries (and especially for readers who enjoy both).  I look forward to future mysteries in this series!

Book Synopsis
Miss Tiffany Woodall must sleuth the slaying of a footman to clear her beloved’s name in the second Lady Librarian mystery, in the vein of Deanna Raybourn and perfect for fans of Bridgerton.

1784 England. Officially hired as the librarian for the Duchess of Beaufort, Miss Tiffany Woodall is through with masquerades and murders for good. That is, until she stumbles upon the frozen dead body of former footman Mr. Bernard Coram. The speed with which her peaceful new life is upended is one for the record books: the justice of the peace immediately declares her the primary suspect in the murder.

As Tiffany hunts for the truth to clear her name, she learns that Bernard got into a fight over a woman at the local pub the night of his death–but he was also overheard blackmailing Samir. The justice of the peace arrests Samir, and Tiffany realizes that her life may have more in common with a tragic play than a light-hearted romance.

With her love locked up in jail and her own reputation on the line, Tiffany must attempt to solve the murder before the book closes on her or Samir’s life.

Author Bio
Samantha Larsen met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, having tea parties, and chasing her four kids. She has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Reading (UK). She also writes historical romances under Samantha Hastings. Learn more at

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