If you’re ever not sure what to read, I highly recommend you listen to our podcast, Checked In: A Davenport Public Library Podcast. As of this writing, we have sixteen episodes ready for you! Our podcast is hosted by three librarians: myself and two others. Each month we talk about different topics, plus we share our reading recommendations and what we are currently reading. My latest read came recommended on the podcast when we were discussing new cozy mystery series. This read was a very fun start to a new series with a concept that I hadn’t read before: murder in a record shop.
Vinyl Resting Place is book one in the Record Shop Mystery series by Olivia Blacke. Blacke has a criminology degree, something that is apparent as you read this title. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers as well as Sisters in Crime. Her writing hooked me from the start – the punny title alone grabbed me and made me want to read.
Vinyl Resting Place tells the story of three sisters and their journey to open a family business in their hometown. Juni Jessup and her sisters, Tansy and Maggie, have put everything into Sip & Spin Records, a record and coffee shop in Cedar River, Texas. Juni has moved home from Oregon, her sisters quit their jobs, and they put their savings into opening up a new record store in the same storefront that their grandparents had their record store. In case it’s not evident yet, family is everything to the Jessups.
At the kick-off party the night before the store is set to open, friends, family, and people from town fill the store. The Jessup sisters have high hopes that their store will fill a need. Being that they are so close to the Austin, Texas music scene, they are able to stock their store with local musicians. As the party winds down and they start cleaning up, the three are excited everything went so smoothly. Their joy pops when they find a dead body in the supply closet. Things escalate quickly: their uncle is arrested, they put up Sip & Spin for collateral, and then Uncle Calvin disappears! They are devastated that he would put them and their business at risk. Juni and her sisters decide they have to find Uncle Calvin. The best way to do that: to find the murderer. At least the three have each other, but even their help might not be enough to keep Juni safe and to solve the crime.
This start to a new series is charming. It’s full of tropes that make up a cozy mystery: a small town, a new entrepreneur turned amateur sleuth, a meddling family, and a love triangle! This isn’t your conventional cozy though: the setting and the protagonist are edgier than others. The family dynamic is different, the mystery and killer were unexpected (looking back now, I can see the hints), and Juni is intriguing. Plus there were so many music references that eventually I started writing them down, so I could look them up later! I can’t wait for the next one to come out!
Record Shop Mystery series:
- Vinyl Resting Place (2022)
- A Fatal Groove (2023)
- Rhythm and Clues (2024)