Booked for Murder

Vigilante Magical Librarians Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
552 Pages
Reviewed on 04/24/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

After a senator is gruesomely murdered, a group of librarians searches for his killer in the delightful urban fantasy, Booked for Murder (Vigilante Magical Librarians: Book 1) by R.J. Blain. Personal magical abilities are measured and quantified by the government, and those who are mundane pay a hefty price. Janette understands the difficulties that accompany magical and non-magical skills. Because of her extraordinary magic, Janette is on a lifetime contract as a bodyguard for Bradley Hampton. While fulfilling her contract, Janette nearly dies in a car crash. Several months later, Janette awakens from a coma, crippled, and the prognosis is not good. Bradley tells her he expects her back when she is in prime condition. Taking his words literally, Janette changes her name, falsifies her magical capabilities, disappears into the city, and becomes a librarian. However, when a prominent senator is murdered at the library, Janette's life turns topsy turvy. Bradley is part of the investigation, and now, Janette's freedom and fake identity are in jeopardy.

Booked for Murder (Vigilante Magical Librarians: Book 1) by R.J. Blain is a sensational urban fantasy that will thrill everyone from young adults on up. The engaging plot includes a little drama, plenty of humor, charming characters, and exciting scenes. The characters are so authentic and likable, it was easy to lose myself in their unusual and intriguing circumstances. Janette's and Beatrice's cheeky attitudes are entertaining, and I enjoyed the banter between the two of them. I loved all of the characters, but with her fierce loyalty and concern for others, I think Beatrice is my favorite. While this story contains action and excitement, it is combined with a light touch of romance and a lot of humor, creating a dramatic and captivating novel.

K.C. Finn

Booked for Murder is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy genre, and it serves as the first book in the Vigilante Magical Librarians series. It is aimed at the mature reading audience and was penned by author R. J. Blain. The book follows a former minder with magical abilities who has tried to retire from her old life to the quieter world of librarianship. But when the body of someone from her former life is found dead on the library steps, Janette must work with her colleagues to keep herself out of a prison cell and out of the clutches of her former employer.

Booked for Murder is a story that combines everything that we love about murder mysteries and the very best parts of fantasy novels to deliver a highly engaging novel. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this novel was the magic system and how it worked in the context of the story. The author did a brilliant job of keeping it consistent and believable, whilst also making it exciting and fresh for those who read a lot of fantasy novels. Protagonist Janette is three-dimensional and endearing. I especially enjoyed and connected with her backstory, which felt well thought out and helped me invest in her. Author R. J. Blain did a fantastic job of creating a diverse and interesting cast of characters, each with their own flaws and quirks – including Janette’s cat, which is no easy feat! Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Booked for Murder to fans of murder mystery novels, fans of fantasy novels, and those who enjoy the two.

Jose Cornelio

Booked for Murder by R.J. Blain is the first book in the Vigilante Magical Librarians series and a strong one to pull fans of urban fantasy into the series. Janette’s job has been a difficult one — a bodyguard and driver for rich, powerful people. Once upon a time, she was the lethal shadow of a man who wanted to change the world to his liking—Bradley Hampton. But protecting him with her life in a crash has cost her an injury that changed her life forever, even her “for life” contract. It also gave her the chance to disappear. Now the library where she works gives her the perfect cover. No one cares about her in this universe where books have become her best friends. But when her former employer’s best friend is killed on the steps of the library, she knows something sinister is headed her way. She could be booked for murder if her name is not cleared but there is worse. Enlisting the help of her colleagues, she starts her investigation, but the plans her former boss has for her are far more sinister than she might have thought.

Booked for Murder is an enthralling story rippling with action and magic. The characters are seemingly ordinary people with extraordinary magical skills. A woman who pledged her life to defend a viciously cruel man finds herself in dire straits when she becomes hunted by him. And this time, she is weakened by an injury sustained while protecting him. It is strong for a premise, but what follows will have any fan of urban fantasy racing through the pages. The narrative voice is captivating and irresistibly so. R.J. Blain seduced me with the writing and Janette’s point of view is so clearly and beautifully written that her voice, as the narrator, literally sang in my ears. The author creates a great story and introduces an appealing heroine to readers. The narrative moves forward with suspense. You’ll love the crisp writing, the nonstop action, and the magical world the author creates. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Romuald Dzemo

If you ever read a book and find yourself saying, “Wow, wow, wow,” then Booked for Murder by R.J. Blain will give you just that “Wow” experience, and more. This first entry in the Vigilante Magical Librarians series introduces Janette, a girl with unique magical skills who has worked as the driver and bodyguard of a powerful and dangerous man, Bradley Hampton. She signed a contract for life and after sustaining an injury protecting him in a crash, she finds herself working in a library. The perfect place to disappear. Or so she thought. But when a murder is committed on the steps of her library, she is stunned. When she finds out the victim is the best friend of her ex-boss, she knows she is in trouble. Bradley Hampton never gives up and it seems he has found her. Now, she has to solve the murder or be booked for it, with help from colleagues, and also find a way to keep her ex-boss at bay. Can she?

Booked for Murder by R.J. Blain is a mesmerizing story told in the first-person narrative. It is page-turning. The reader is immediately pulled in by the exciting voice of the narrator, a hypnotic voice that reflects the worldview of the female protagonist. A hard-boiled heroine and a labyrinthine plot are elements of this story that combine to deliver an unforgettable reading experience. It is incredibly fast, and I adored the fact that Janette is a character that is flawed. In spite of her knowledge and magical skills, she is handicapped by the injury sustained while protecting a cruel man. This makes her a genuine character and one that immediately won my sympathy. Bradley Hampton is a powerful character, driven by greed and his singular ambition to turn the world into something that suits him. Booked for Murder has everything a reader needs for a spellbinding and utterly satisfying reading experience — strong prose, exceptionally good characters, an unpredictable plot, and much action.