Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, #1)” as Want to Read:
Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Buried in a Book (Novel Idea #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,338 Ratings  ·  354 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Buried in a Book, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Buried in a Book

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, i-own-read
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
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: homey, mystery
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
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Really 3.5 stars, but I rounded up.

In Buried in a Book Lila is fired from her job as a small-town journalist and finds herself needing a job. That job comes in the form of an internship at the Novel Idea Literary Agency in the nearby town of Inspiration Valley. With a eccentric cast of characters, a great setting, and a good mystery Buried in a Book was a strong start to a series.

I really liked Lila, she was funny, and slightly older than the average cozy sleuth, which I really liked. It seems l
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This book seems to have taken forever to read. Each character that was introduced by Lucy Arlington came across as flat. There was no depth or interest in seeing what would happen and the death of Marlette was so inconsequential that if it were not for the fact that his name was mentioned repeatedly I would have forgotten what it was.

Lila Wilkins is a mid-forties woman who has recently been let go from her journalist job. She wants to remain in the publishing industry and the only thing that is
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.

Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
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
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
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bingo
3.5 stars. I enjoyed my trip to Inspiration Valley. Lila was a likeable character caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Some of it probably bordered a bit on the unbelievable side but that's why it's a book and not real life. I'll be interested to see what happens next.
Dawn Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I randomly started reading this one despite having two other books on my currently reading shelf. I really did want to read them, but with recent struggles at work weighing on my mind, I preferred to go with something soothing and familiar. Why not a new cozy mystery?

Of course I love books, and this cozy mystery features them by the truck load. There are plenty of quotes and book appreciation, and I just get the feeling that the rest of the series will be the same. It was enjoyable to love on th
Apr 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Even before finishing the first chapter I thought: "whoa, slow down woman!" Unfortunately Lila Wilkins did not. Within the first few chapters she is fired, hired, has to pick up her son at the police station, moves in with her mother, falls in love and finds a murdered man in the reception area of her new workplace.
In the pages that follow things get only worse; there is so much going on that the story becomes two dimensional. A pity really for it did have potential, it just needed a little les
Tracy Weber
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this start to a new series, actually better than I liked the second. As an author, I liked learning the perspective of an intern working at a literary agency. I kind of wish the sleuth hadn't so easily been promoted to agent. Would have been more interesting to see her struggle in the intern role.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Buried in a Book is the first in a book series about a former newspaper journalist turned intern/agent at the Novel Idea Literary Agency. Lila Wilkens is a forty five year old newspaperwoman fired form her job in journalism that she's held for 20 years. She takes a job as an Intern at the Novel Idea Literary Agency in the small town of Inspiration Valley. She moves in with her eccentric, psychic, "hippie" mother house along with evening in toe, including troublesome teenage son, Trey,. on her fi ...more
Linda Smatzny
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the first book in a series. The main character is Lila Wilkins who at 45 has to make a career change. She takes a position as an intern at A Novel Idea which is a literary agency in Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. She and her son move back in with Lila's mother who is known as the Amazing Althea. On her first day at her new job, a man is killed and no one seems upset but Lila wants to know everything and is determined to find answers to her questions. The book was an easy read.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
What a good start to a new series for me. The MC was well written and the mystery was really interesting. I had most of it figured out before the MC, but it certainly didn't distract from the story. :) I can't wait to read the next one in this series. :)
Nancy Wolfe
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Shirley Worley
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I pick this book up simply because it was the first in a series and within reach as I checked out at the library. After reading about forty-five year old Lila, I am happy to say I have found a promising new author to add to my list.

Lila's new job at Novel Idea Literary Agency involves reading hundreds of query letters in hopes of finding the next bestseller. Instead, she finds the local homeless pest dead in her lobby. Determined not to let his death go unnoticed, she decides to discover why so
Book of Secrets
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
BURIED IN A BOOK was a fantastic cozy mystery! When we first meet Lila Wilkins, she’s just been “let go” from her job as a journalist at the Dunston Herald. She’s spent the past 20 years there, so Lila is none too thrilled about starting over at age 45. She packs up her things and her 17-year old son and moves to the picturesque town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. She moves in with her eccentric mother, a fortune teller, until she can get back on her feet.

Lila takes a job as an intern at
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
After losing her job as a journalist on The Dunston Herald at the age of forty-five, Lila Watkins accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a literary agency based in Inspiration Valley in North Carolina. She’s quickly thrown into the deep end, confronted by piles of query letters and when a penniless aspiring author dies in the waiting room, Lila is determined to find out who killed him. This is only the second cosy mystery I’ve read - following last year’s “Peaches And Scream” - and I really enjo ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Susan Pola Staples
Lila Wilkins is forced to get a new job when she's let go from her twenty five years reporter job at the Dunstan Herald due to economic reasons. Being over forty years old, this might be hard, but she licks into an intern position with the literary agency, Novel ideas run by North Carolina native and former New Yorker, Bentley Burlington-Duke.

On her first day, Lila meets her coworkers. Jude is a drop dead gorgeous man who is aware of his sexuality, but friendly. Flora who is elderly and the YA a
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
This is one of the best cozy mysteries I have read. It has all the things you want in a cozy, and none of the things you don't.

I really liked the main character Lila in this book. She is a sensible, intelligent, normal person who ends up in a decidedly non-normal situation. What I especially liked about this story is that it was highly plausible, unlike many cozies. What happens to Lila could actually happen, and that shows really clever, thoughtful writing on the part of the author. Anyone can
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 discovers a series of threatening letters-she's determined to find out who wrote him off.

This was a good cozy mystery and f
Janice Liedl
Jul 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Cozy Mystery Corner : Novel Idea (Buried in a Book) - Lucy Arlington 14 42 Jul 23, 2015 05:57PM  
A lovely and lovable female character 1 7 Jun 11, 2013 06:16PM  
A lovely and lovable female character 1 2 Jun 11, 2013 06:16PM  
  • A Killer Read (Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery #1)
  • Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, #1)
  • Mind Over Murder (Raven's Nest, #1)
  • Due or Die (Library Lover's Mystery, #2)
  • Button Holed (Button Box Mystery, #1)
  • Liver Let Die (A Clueless Cook Mystery, #1)
  • A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #1)
  • The Square Root of Murder (Sophie Knowles, #1)
  • Hearse and Buggy (An Amish Mystery, #1)
  • One Book in the Grave (A Bibliophile Mystery, #5)
  • The Christie Curse (Book Collector Mystery #1)
  • The Walled Flower (Victoria Square, #2)
  • Die Buying (A Mall Cop Mystery, #1)
  • Murder at the PTA (Beth Kennedy #1)
  • If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Gram’s Country Cooking School Mystery, #1)
  • Fundraising the Dead (Museum, #1)
  • 50% Off Murder (Good Buy Girls, #1)

Other books in the series

Novel Idea (5 books)
  • Every Trick in the Book (Novel Idea, #2)
  • Books, Cooks, and Crooks (Novel Idea, #3)
  • Played by the Book (Novel Idea, #4)
  • Off the Books (Novel Idea, #5)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Shaken (Jack Daniels Mystery, #7)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Split Second
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Killing Lessons (Valerie Hart, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scat
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Blood Money (Joe Dillard #6)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bluebird, Bluebird
    $13.99 $2.99
  • The Falcon at the Portal (Amelia Peabody, #11)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • In Good Faith (Joe Dillard #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Forbidden Stone (The Copernicus Legacy, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Monogram Murders
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Hanging Judge (The Judge Norcross Novels)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Die Like an Eagle (Meg Langslow #20)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Damaged
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Virgin in the Ice (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Little Monsters
    $10.99 $1.99
  • A Reason to Live (A Marty Singer Mystery Book 1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Infinity Born
    $6.99 $2.49
  • True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers #1)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Long and Faraway Gone
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Deadly Recall (Jessie Cole, #2)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs
    $9.99 $2.99
  • When You Disappeared
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Queenpin
    $10.99 $1.99
  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Song of Kali
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Counterfeit Heiress (Lady Emily, #9)
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Ugly Young Thing (Strangers #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Rhodenbarr, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Trespassing
    $5.99 $2.99
  • In Cold Blood (A Beatrix Rose Thriller Book 1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey, #4)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Stranger Inside (Strangers #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Remains
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Doubt (Caroline Auden, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Marriage Pact
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Signature Wounds (A Grale Thriller Book 1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Naturalist (The Naturalist #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Girl from the Sea
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Hammerhead Ranch Motel (Serge Storms Mystery, #2)
    $2.99 $1.99
  • The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Lady Cop Makes Trouble  (Kopp Sisters #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Death in the Devil's Acre (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #7)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, #1)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Furious (Faith McMann Trilogy, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Forgotten Ones
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Moving Day
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Jade Dragon Mountain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Hangman's Daughter (The Hangman's Daughter, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The 19th Wife
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Dead Over Heels (Aurora Teagarden, #5)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Whole Enchilada (A Goldy Schulz Culinary Mystery #17)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Curse (Blur Trilogy #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Poisonous (Max Revere, #3)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • An Expert in Murder (Josephine Tey, #1)
    $4.74 $1.99
  • Mission Flats
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Pigeon English
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Grave Tender
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Roseanna (Martin Beck, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • I Am Watching You
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Persons Unknown (DS Manon, #2)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Given Day
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Outrage (Faith McMann Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lion (John Corey, #5)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Injustice For All (Joe Dillard #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Wrath (Faith McMann Trilogy, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Stockholm Octavo
    $9.74 $1.99
  • The Buried Book
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Cutting Season
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Party
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Birthday Girl
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Friend
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Fractured
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Winter Over
    $4.99 $1.99
  • American by Day
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Shifting Tide (William Monk, #14)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Necklace
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Good Behavior
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Big Fear (Hollow City Series, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Birdman
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Clockers
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Never Smile at Strangers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Moonlit Garden
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Holy Island (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Barkeep
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Good Liar
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Cold (A Joe Tiplady Thriller #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Criminal Defense (Philadelphia Legal #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Poppy Done to Death (Aurora Teagarden, #8)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Twisted
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Series, #1)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #18)
    $10.99 $1.99