Gates' Bookstore

Diane Gates Book 1

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
395 Pages
Reviewed on 09/21/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jamila A Stone lives in Washington, D.C with her two dogs. Jamila is driven to tell stories without censorship and for the continued creativity in the world of literature. As an African American woman, she understands the lack of opportunity persons of color have to let their artistic creativity be seen on equal platforms, so she created her own publishing company called Black Glory Publishing House. She thinks not just of herself but of the current and future of literature namely increasing the diversity and inclusion within the literary community.

    Book Review

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.

Jack Magnus

Gates' Bookstore: Diane Gates, Book 1 is a sleuth murder mystery novel written by Jamila A. Stone. Dr. Diane Gates had been a renowned forensic specialist who was highly in demand, but the untimely death of her father combined with her last case had dramatically changed her outlook on life. Owning and operating a bookstore seemed to make the most sense to her at this point. Her friend, Catherine, the young and ebullient waitress from the coffee shop near her bookstore, helped Diane cope with the change in circumstances and the limited amount of interaction she now had as a store owner. She and Catherine shared a love of reading, and Diane’s psychological profiling instincts couldn't resist trying to figure out what made the young woman tick. There was the deep scar on her wrist, which Catherine refused to discuss, and her poetry, while prolific, was very dark, indeed. Diane’s decision to persuade Catherine to leave her coffee shop job and come to work with her would be good for both of them. They had shared so many conversations about life and books; it seemed the most natural of progressions. But Diane found herself jolted back into her old world one morning when she opened the door to her bookstore and noted the unfamiliar scent of bleach in the air.

Jamila A. Stone’s Gates' Bookstore will delight any fan of serial profiler mysteries. Gates is lean, determined, and smarter than just about anyone out there, and she doesn’t take being condescended to or patronized sitting down. Gates’ Bookstore is a powerful tale that contains the elements of a police procedural as seen through the lens of a psychological profiler, one whose own demons make her story even more fascinating and complex. Stone’s characters are finely crafted and effectively draw the reader into their world, and her plot is solid and satisfying. Gates' Bookstore: Diane Gates, Book 1 is highly recommended.

Jon Michael Miller

Gates' Bookstore by Jamila A. Stone has more ups and downs than a pogo stick, one that traversed some grisly terrain. And I must warn you, even if you delight in surprise endings, this one is a real shocker. Diane Gates has retired from her profession as a forensic criminologist and, with an inheritance from her deceased father, she has opened a popular bookstore. She has an avid reader and poetess as an assistant and some regular customers, among them blind Steven who buys books for his young daughter. A horrific murder occurs in the store and also at a coffee shop across the street. Diane gets involved in the investigation with an aggressive detective who becomes the story's love interest. The Chief is also invested in his quest for the mayorship.

I loved the twists and turns in Gates' Bookstore by Jamila A. Stone. Diane is a great protagonist: sharp-witted, sexy, sassy, and highly skilled at her job. She carries the narrative fabulously, and I laughed with her, feared for her, and even shed a tear or two. Ms. Stone writes with passion, wit, and knowledge, and she has an excellent sense of pace. She's not afraid to hit hard. Her relationship with the steady-at-the-helm Eric, who is quite flawed, kept me guessing. If you like romantic/suspense/horror novels, this one is for you. But, if you like it all wrapped up in a red bow, the ending might turn you upside down. So give that pogo stick a ride, and enjoy.