Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, #1)
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Buried in a Book (Novel Idea #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,013 ratings  ·  185 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
276th out of 940 books — 1,015 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukePleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonFatal Fixer-Upper by Jennie Bentley
First books of some good cozy series
164th out of 302 books — 360 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...more
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...more
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.

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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
"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...more
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
fast paced, very well written, keeps you engrossed till the very end..loved it
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...more
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
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.
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
This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca).

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...more
Excellent! Love this new series and cannot wait for the next one. Well developed characters, delightful locations with excellent plot and prose.
One of the best cozy mysteries I've read in a while.
February Four
Promising book! I honestly can't wait fit the next one.
I'm just on the fence about this book. The story line was okay, but nothing that really had me flipping through pages feverishly. The setting of the story was interesting and I mostly liked all the characters. I really disliked the romantic elements because they seemed so bumpy and forced. (view spoiler)...more
After 45 year old newspaper journalist Lila Wilkins is laid off she needs to find a job - fast. Luckily she finds one right away as an intern for the Novel Idea Literary Agency. Not so luckily, she stumbles across a dead body soon after she starts working there. The police investigate Marlette Robbins’ death but they have more pressing concerns than the death of a penniless aspiring author who hadn't bathed in years. Marlette’s death bothers Lila and she begins her own investigation. She needs t...more
I had to read this cozy, which is set in a small publishing company in North Carolina. The premise is rather far-fetched... The main character, 45-year-old Lila Wilkins, has just lost her job at a newspaper. She sees an ad for an intern (which is a paid position) at a publishing company. So she calls about the job, talks to the president for 5 minutes, and gets the job in the same conversation. Despite her experience in journalism, I find it highly unlikely that someone who is middle-aged with n...more
Text Addict
Another new series, in which heroine Lila Wilkins (45 and newly laid off from a North Carolina newspaper) takes a job as an intern at a successful literary agency located in a touristy little NC town called Inspiration Valley. Yes, really.

I have to admit straight up that suspending my disbelief about that firm was an effort. Its owner, Bentley Burlington-Duke (!), is reported to have relocated from New York to South Carolina in order to get back to her roots. But she also continues to dress and...more
Candace Wegner
I liked the main character and plot points. I really wanted to like this book but realized it just didn't work for me.

The biggest problem: the writing style. Too often, I wanted to take a pencil and edit three long sentences down to one. A good, solid description can stand on its own. But this book often followed a great sentence with two unnecessary explanatory sentences. This created a cadence that was irritating.

Also, there are several promising supporting characters, characters I really wan...more
Cheryl Landmark
This was a fun, entertaining whodunit mystery. I'm always in the market for new series and this one has struck a good chord with me.

Inspiration Valley was a charming, picture-perfect setting with its quirky characters and cute, unique names for its shops--Catcher in the Rye, Espresso Yourself, and even the literary agency called A Novel Idea where Lila found herself a job after being fired from her journalist position with a newspaper. Once I got past the rather implausible and unlikely notion t...more
Lila Wilkins has lost her job at the newspaper and is desperately searching for something new when she hears of a job as an intern for a literary agency. Dreams of becoming a literary agent for “A Novel Idea” blossom in Lila’s head as she accepts the job to review query letters from aspiring writers. On her very first day, Lila meets Marlette, an impoverished writer, who ends up dead in the middle of her office. No one seems to care that Marlette has died under suspicious circumstances, but Lila...more
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