Karen Nash is packed and ready to go to England with her boyfriend, Dave, when he calls her up and dumps her. Literally hours before she's supposed to finally visit England, he says it's over. She decides she'll pay the extra expense of a last minute ticket and goes anyways. She's been looking forward to this trip and has been planning it for a long time. What she didn't plan for was waking up from a hangover at the B&B and finding a dead man holding an upside down book. What she also didn't plan was finding Dave in England with his new, much younger, girlfriend. She also didn't plan on having feelings for the owner of the B&B who has a motive for murder.
This was such a delightful book. I'll admit, if you're a mystery fan, you'll probably be disappointed. This is so much more slice-of-life than it is murder mystery and that's probably why I enjoyed it so much!
That and the main character, Karen, is a middle-aged librarian who's lived in the American Mid-West for many years. How could I not relate to that demographic? I adored Karen and her determination to move on and have fun. She and I don't share tastes in literature, but that "thrill of the hunt" she gets when visiting Hay-on-Wye and its many, many stores is something I understand. Her feeling stunned when she sees herself in a shawl for the first time? I felt similar the first time I realized I look good in cardigans (and that they're comfortable). I hope that I can be son independent when I'm her age.
The vast majority of the story is her wandering London. She only thinks about the death here and there. As a result, we get to experience more of the city from her than if she were hard-set on solving the mystery. I rather appreciate that. I also learned, from her mistakes, that an English pint is way more than an American pint. Something I'll have to remember should I ever get to visit.
The other characters are only so-so in terms of depth and entertainment. Caldwell, the owner of the Bed & Breakfast was well thought out, but he was also the main love interest so that was kind of needed. I did love her depictions of him while he was at work in the kitchen. And the kindling romance between two book worms is so much fun to read.
If you're looking for a slice-of-life about a woman who's determined not to let being dumped stop her, I do recommend this book. It's probably not one for the die-hard mystery fans, but it's a lot of fun for others. 4 hoots!