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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Gates' Bookstore is a work of fiction in the murder mystery, suspense, and thriller sub-genres, and was penned by author Jamila A. Stone. The opening book in the Diane Gates series, this compelling read introduces us to a bookstore owner who has sworn to leave her criminology career and its many darknesses behind. But when a series of break-ins result in a body being found right on Diane’s property, she knows that she’ll have to rely on her previous experience if she’s to prove herself innocent. Teaming up with Detective Eric Barnes, Diane begins a fast-paced race to unravel the clues before the evidence stacked up against her becomes too much to bear.
Author Jamila A. Stone has crafted a very compelling mystery novel with plenty to wonder at and muse over during your reading experience. For me, the two factors which any accomplished mystery ought to have are a high-quality, intricate plot, and a central figure whom you really feel you know well, and this novel delivers both of those aspects with detail, atmosphere, and charm. Diane is a heroic figure, but not without her dark edges, which makes for a perfect ploy as the evidence mounts up against her and we feel the palpable tension in those around her. Detective Barnes is a nice touch and a well-developed figure that complements Diane, as well as bringing great procedural touches to the story. Overall, I would highly recommend Gates' Bookstore as an enthralling mystery novel and a thrilling opening to a promising new series.