Tess Monaghan’s favorite children’s bookshop seems like an enchanted place out of a fairy tale where she hopes her daughter, Carla Scout, will one day escape into the world of C.S. Lewis and Dr. Seuss while curled up in a brightly painted rocker. Like every fable, however, beneath the magical whimsy of The Children’s Bookstore lives an insidious villain: a thief whose sticky fingers threaten to bring the shop to ruin. Tess brings it upon herself to expose this shoplifter, rescue the shop, and in turn brighten the mood of the shop owner, Octavia, whose snappish demeanor worsens with each disappearing book.
As Tess, the “Accidental PI,” sleuths her way through the streets of Baltimore, she comes in contact with some of the city’s most eccentric characters, including the “walking man,” who walks endless miles in spite of his advanced age and rounded shoulders. The closer she gets to hunting down the culprit, the more it becomes clear that what initially seemed like a straightforward small time robbery ring is something else entirely.
This bibliomystery from Laura Lippman reminds us of the life that breathes between the covers of our favorite books and touches on an essential topic of our times: the importance of the independent bookstore.The book is available in paperback for $6.95. Signed, numbered hardcover copies (limited to 100) are available for $50, and signed, lettered hardcover copies (edition of 26) are available for $100. Use the drop down menu to choose.