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Buried in a Book (Novel Idea #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,403 ratings  ·  230 reviews
After losing her job as a journalist at the age of forty-five, Lila Wilkins accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in North Carolina. Being paid to read seems perfect to Lila, although it's difficult with the cast of quirky co-workers and piles of query letters. But when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency's waiting room-and Lila ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 285 pages
Published 2012 by Berkley Publishing Group
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
311th out of 1,051 books — 1,211 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonPleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonFatal Fixer-Upper by Jennie Bentley
First books of some good cozy series
143rd out of 316 books — 414 voters

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Community Reviews

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I had seen the genre "cozy mystery" all over my goodreads timeline. I would go to the used bookstore and there was a section labeled "cozy mystery". I didn't get what it was. So I looked it up and figured out it was basically a mystery that usually takes place in a small hometown, the mystery is usually almost always solved at the end of the book. There is usually a series of the same sleuth throughout the series solving mysteries, and the sleuth is usually someone that you wouldn't expect to be ...more
Carolyn Hill
Two and a half stars. I picked up this book on a whim because it was a cozy mystery with a literary theme and it was set in North Carolina. Cute, but totally unrealistic. And that's not only because Lila Wilkins, the main character, finds a new job the day she gets fired from her old one, OR that she manages to put her house on the market and sell it in little more than a week - without even painting it, OR that she cleans the house to sell it and packs to move out in one day. What world does Li ...more
Kathy Davie
First in A Novel Idea mystery series revolving around Lila Wilkins, a new book agent in a charming little town in North Carolina.

My Take
This book is a dichotomy of writing. Arlington chooses the most beautiful words to mangle with her writing. You will enjoy the story very much if you don't pay much attention to what's being said. If you engage your mind at all in reading this, you will find that Arlington has created a weak-assed, drama queen of a primary character in Lila Wilkins.

She whines an
I am moving to Inspiration Valley! This place has it all...a community Secret Garden, Espresso Yourself coffeshop, Catcher in the Rye sandwich shop, and of course the Novel Idea Literary Agency that is staffed with some serious characters itself! This new "novel" series is a hit and I am fan. I was hooked on page one, charmed the whole way through, and pleased with the wrap up of who-dun-it.

I was sent an ARC, but completely charmed by the story, that I will buy the book so I can also enjoy the c
At 45 years of age, Lila Wilkins gets her first pink slip. As a former newspaper journalist, she accepts a position as an internship at a literary agency called A Novel Idea. When a homeless aspiring author dies on her watch, she wonders exactly what she got herself into.

No one seems too concerned about a homeless person dying, but Lila is very concerned. She’s sure there is more to this story than meets the eye. Lila intends to find out exactly what’s going on.

In the meantime, her teenage son h
Meet Lila Wilkens, former newspaper journalist and the newest employee of A Novel Idea. She is a 45 year old intern, but she not only accepts the position because she really needs the job, but also because it is a thriving business in the Utopian town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. Lily is an avid reader and can imagine no job better than getting paid to read.

Her first day is quite eventful as she meets her eccentric coworkers, receives a huge stack of query letters to review, and is ass
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
If you follow my reviews, you know that almost never is there a five-star review of a debut book. The reason is that I usually feel I don't 'know' the characters yet or the book hasn't left me feeling satisfied. 'Buried in a Book' is a five star novel.

I had just expected to pick out a book to read, begin the acknowledgements, and dedications, and perhaps read Chapter one, as it was late at night and time for my cancer medications. I hadn't counted on being drawn into the book from page one.

Sheila Beaumont
This was a very enjoyable cozy mystery, one of the best I've read this year. Lila Wilkins, a newspaper journalist who's been laid off after 20 years on the job, finds a new position as an intern at a literary agency, A Novel Idea, in Inspiration Valley, N.C. She's really looking forward to being paid to read book proposals and perhaps discover the next big best-selling author. But her first day turns out to be more eventful and interesting than she'd bargained for, when the dead body of an aspir ...more
This is the first book in the A Novel Idea Mystery series by Lucy Arlington. Lila Wlkins is a newspaper reporter and the paper is undergoing a downsizing and she is suddenly unemployed. Looking through the classifieds, she finds an opportunity that appeals to her. An internship at A Novel Idea. She knows she has what it takes to turn that into a literary agent.

The co-workers in this agency range quiet to very outgoing. As the intern, her job is to read out inquiries sent to the agency from hopef
I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Buried in a Book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Former journalist Lila Wilkins is looking for work, when she applies to a job as intern at the A Novel Idea literary agency. Little does she know that she will land the job have an interesting first day of work, when she witnesses a murder! It's up to Lila to solve the crime, before the killer strikes again.

When I first heard about Buried in a Book I loved the idea of a mystery series s
I have to say that I was fairly impressed with this book. I was pretty interested in the idea that Lila was in her forties, yet wasn't a "mom" character staying home and baking cookies, nor was she a "grandmother" character that does nothing but meddle. It's refreshing to see someone write about a woman and make her older without actually making her old.

The mystery here is fairly good, but what I loved were the little in-jokes and snarks towards the publishing and literary world. Anyone who has
FTC Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington


Forty-five year old newspaper journalist Lila Wilkins suddenly finds herself out of a job. Fortunately for her, a read through the classifieds results in a position as an intern at A Novel Idea literary agency. Unfortunately, her first day on the job is one she will never forget. Lila has only just begun her job when Marlette, a homeless man
"Name dropping" can be fun, when the names are book titles that become store names, and when author's names are the way people are identified in a sandwich shop. Lila Wilkins has gone from journalism to literary agency, where she gets to read book queries from authors hoping to write the next bestseller. As an intern at the Novel Idea Agency, her first task was not supposed to be finding a dead body, but that's exactly what happened.

There are many different additions that make this cozy very in
Nancy H
I liked this book. It seems like a very promising series with a good main character who is very literate and interesting. I like how she frequently quotes famous literary works. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
I'm really sorry I cannot join the many readers who have enjoyed this book. I read a promising Kindle sample and then saw the author on a fun panel at the Virginia Book Festival & had high hopes for an entertaining read. The writing is a little better than I often find in run-of-the-mill cosies, but the whole thing was to me incredibly predictable, the characters cliched, and the setting a nice fantasyland but not too credible. I even guessed the murderer and motive right after the murder as ...more
Jillian Getting
I enjoy cozy mysteries with a literary bent generally. Some of them don't grab me - not so with Buried in a Book. I finished it in a single afternoon. The premise is established quickly - Lila has been laid off from her newspaper job of 20 years and finds an internship at a literary agency that will hopefully lead to a job after three months. She begins her internship and a dead body appears in the lobby on the first day. Lila feels like no one cares about the man who died because he was homeles ...more
Nancy Wolfe
Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington is so captivating that I read in a couple of hours. From the beginning I was intrigued by the storyline of a literary agency in the town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. This is the first in A Novel Idea Mystery series featuring Lila Wilkins.
I have always loved books and with the literary agency "A Novel Ideal" with the behind the scenes lives of literary agents reading books written by new to be authors and having the tough job of sending rejection form
Angie Young
I picked this book up at the used bookstore in Nashville about a week ago. Just seeing the title intrigued me. And after reading it, I can seriously say that I'm very glad I found this book.

I really got into it from the beginning. So many cozies have young characters. It was nice that this one was based on a forty-five year old with a teenage son. I could relate to that part of the story well.

I love Lila's job, minus the murder! I think it would be so cool to be the one who helps look for promis
Lila Wilkins finds she's been laid off from her job at the local newspaper, a job she's held for years. Fortunately she immediately, and I mean immediately, finds a new job as an intern at a literary agency just one town over, actually in the town where her mother, a psychic, happens to live. Unfortunately, during the course of her first day she not only uncovers the drudgery of being a literary agent, but also meets a homeless many who regularly visits the agency, a homeless man who she will fi ...more
Janice Liedl
A cute cozy with, admittedly, a lot of wildly unbelievable coincidences that land our heroine, Lila, into a literary agency right on the heels of being fired from her journalism job. If you can put your mind past the boring realities of living day to day, you can enjoy Lila's crazy introduction to a new community in North Carolina where she's starting out, all over, as an intern in a literary agency. Burdened by worries about her aimless teenaged son and her fortune-telling mother, Lila's life i ...more
Shauna Closen
I fell kind of bad giving this such a low rating, but I honestly could not connect with the main character, Lila. I felt that she acted too young to be forty five or whatever. Blushing and stumbling whenever a cute guy walked in the room, I felt like I was dealing with a teenager instead of a single mom.
I kept connecting this book to some random teen fiction. We often hear about insta-love, but here it was insta-job1 Insta-freinds! Blah, blah, blah. I couldn't get over how fake some a lot of th
I can appreciate a good cozy title that doesn't take itself seriously, but I was so turned off in the first few pages with the narrator's flimsy observations and sickly-sweet demeanor. I wanted to slap her into reality, but then I realized it would be easier to call it quits before getting more irritated with a piece of garbage writing.
Light and frothy like the caramel lattes Lila is always drinking in the book, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It wasn't difficult to figure out who the murderer was fairly early in the book and a couple of the other twists were predictable, but I don't expect a deep mystery in a cozy type novel. Lila is a likable enough main character and I loved her mother, Althea. Having two boys ages 17 and 22 myself, I did get a little annoyed at the way Lila handled her teenaged son's transgressions. Talk a ...more
Lindsay Boitnott
Lila Wilkins is a quirky, driven woman who is adjusting to a life that has been turned upside down. Her story progressed at a nice speed and I was pulled in by her tenacity and kindness. Lila is a middle age woman who puts all her energy in finding the murderer of a homeless man, an endeavor that becomes an interesting way to avoid focusing on her son's typical teenage stupidity and lack of a future, losing her job, working as an intern, and moving back in with her mother. But it is obvious that ...more
Really enjoyed this book, a nice weekend read. The plot had a lot of twists and turns and the characters were likeable. The only issue I had was with the location. Dunston and Inspiration Valley are far enough apart to have a train running between the 2, but at times it seemed like they were one and the same. If Sean is a Dunston police officer, why was he investigating a crime in Inspiration Valley? And if he was an officer in Inspiration Valley, why was he investigating the arson in Dunston? A ...more
The Baking Bookworm
This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (

My Review: This is the epitome of a 'cozy mystery'. It's set in a small town, it has a cast of quirky (if underused) secondary characters and a nosy, yet likeable protagonist. "Buried in a Book" is also a solid start to a new series by Lucy Arlington (who also writes under the names Ellery Adams and Sylvia May).

As an avid reader, I'm a little hesitant to pick up mysteries
Excellent! Love this new series and cannot wait for the next one. Well developed characters, delightful locations with excellent plot and prose.
I had a hard time with this book. The plot was very clever and i read quickly racing to the end. BUT the amateur detective, Lila Wilkins, is the most stupid character I ever met in a mystery. Two examples: 1. she starts drooling every time a good looking man appears, panting, whatever. It's lucky all they wanted was a kiss. If they were after more she would have been on hr back on the floor in a minute. 2. She face to face confronts her suspects and tells them why she thinks they're guilty. I wo ...more
fast paced, very well written, keeps you engrossed till the very end..loved it
One of the best cozy mysteries I've read in a while.
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Other Books in the Series

Novel Idea (4 books)
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