The Dirty Book Murder
A Rare Book Mystery
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In this smart, fast-paced mystery debut, Thomas Shawver introduces a charming, unlikely hero from the rarefied world of antique books.
Book merchant Michael Bevan arrives at the Kansas City auction house hoping to uncover some hidden literary gold. Though the auction ad had mentioned erotica, Michael is amazed to find lovely Japanese Shunga scrolls and a first edition of a novel by French author Colette with an inscription by Ernest Hemingway. This one item alone could fetch a small fortune in the right market.
As Michael and fellow dealer Gareth Hughes are warming up for battle, a stranger comes out of nowhere and outbids them—to the tune of sixty grand. But Gareth is unwilling to leave the auction house empty-handed, so he steals two volumes, including the Colette novel. When Gareth is found dead the next day, Michael quickly becomes the prime suspect: Not only had the pair been tossed out of a bar mid-fistfight the night before, but there is evidence from Michael’s shop at the crime scene.
Now the attorney-turned-bookman must find out who wanted the Colette so badly that they would kill for it—and frame Michael. Desperate to stay out of police custody, Michael follows the murderer’s trail into the wealthiest echelons of the city, where power and influence meet corruption—and mystery and eroticism are perverted by pure evil. Unfortunately for Michael, one dead book dealer is only the opening chapter in a terrifying tale of high culture and lowlifes.
Praise for The Dirty Book Murder
“A page-turner . . . gripping and engaging . . . or, as dealers rate rare books, definitely VF—Very Fine!”—Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author of the Death on Demand mysteries
“An antique book auction, complex characters driven by greed, and bittersweet family tensions come together in this atmospheric thriller. Readers of crime fiction will enjoy the ride and look forward to bookstore owner Michael Bevan’s next adventure.”—Sally Goldenbaum, bestselling author of the Seaside Knitters series
- Random House Publishing Group, May 2014
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