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Off the Books

(Novel Idea #5)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  727 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Literary agent and amateur sleuth Lila Wilkins is back to seal the deal in the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mystery series.
Lila is showcasing some of her biggest authors at a bridal expo. But when the joyous event turns deadly, she’ll have to figure out who penned the perfect crime...
The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding-themed week for Inspirati
Mass Market Paperback, 273 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  727 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The delightful Novel Idea mysteries get better and better with every installment!

Author Lucy Arlington aka Susan Furlong has such a fluid way of writing. Her words let you glide through a book at a pleasant pace.

OFF THE BOOKS takes readers back to Inspiration Valley, NC where our favorite literary agent, Lila Wilkins is busy showcasing her authors at a bridal expo. Nothing could go wrong with that, right? Oh so wrong. Lila comes across a body who was killed in a way not often (if ever) mention
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the fifth book in The Novel Idea Mystery Series.
Wedding fever has hit Inspiration Valley as Novel Idea Literary Agency is hosting a bridal expo with their authors for book signings and loads of trimmings. Cakes, dresses, decorating ideas and murder!?
The local handyman is found dead on a wedding cake and several authors become the prime suspects.
This is a fun read that kept me guessing till the very end.
I an looking forward to the next book.
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-book
Lila and her fellow agents are arranging a Wedding expo, teaming up with a team of people who set up bridal fairs, Makayla is happy as she can get some ideas for her wedding to Ray and Lila can also get some ideas (now that Sean has popped the question - although still no ring!).  Lila is somewhat stressed mind out, the wedding fair organiser gets on people's nerves, Lila has found another body!, her Mama is being secretive (oh and is also at the Wedding Expo in her Amazing Althea mode) and Trey ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Off The Books is the fifth book in the A Novel Idea Mystery series.

Lila Wilkins is looking forward to the upcoming event that The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned, as it couldn't have come at a better time. Novel Idea is having a wedding themed week. The event will have many vendors covering all facets the bride-to-be will need for her wedding. Also in attendance, will be the agencies author's wedding related books.

As the event is about to begin, a repairman, Chuck Richards, to repair a r
Richard Mann
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This fifth entry in the popular Novel Ideas Mystery series, the second since author Susan Furlong took over the series from its initial co-authors writing as Lucy Arlington, is another winner. I promise to stop hearkening back to the original co-authors in the future; Ms. Furlong has proven her mettle and is now the secure owner and proprietor of the Lucy Arlington franchise. In my experience, 99 percent of the time a new author takes over another author’s mystery series, the result is an unsati ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Wedding bells are in the air in Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. The Novel Idea Literary Agency has sponsored a bridal expo, highlighting various vendors, but also some of their best authors. Lila hopes that she will have the opportunity to pick up a few ideas for own upcoming nuptials along with promoting her clients, but things go awry when she finds local handyman Chuck face down in a wedding cake. It looks like her reputation as a “murder magnet” is well deserved. She is horrified to lear ...more
Penny Marks
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the fifth book in The Novel Idea Mystery series by Lucy Arlington and it is amazing! I love this series and didn't want to put it down. We are back in Inspiration Valley where wedding fever is all around. Novel Idea Literary Agency is hosting a bridal expo full of their authors and all the trimmings including cakes, dresses, and murder??? Yep, the "murder magnet" Lila finds a body face down in a wedding cake. Then to make it even worse she finds out that one of her author friends is the ...more
Justin Lambe
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you have been following this series, you are going to love this book too. If you have never read this series I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. I promise you will not be disappointed. Here you have a murder, but it is none like you have ever thought about. It is a very clever idea by the author for the setting of this murder. This is what you will thoroughly enjoy. I like the part where it takes Lila and the staff at Novel Idea to solve this murder. Now that is teamwork even thou ...more
Dawn Frazier
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was thrilled to be back in Inspiration Valley with Lila and the gang! Her literary agency is hosting a bridal event, complete with cakes, authors, and books. When Lila discovers the body of the local handyman, killed in a very unusual way ( I giggled, but that's ok, right, Its a cozy mystery, and they are supposed to be fun!), she jumps right into the investigation when one of the agency's authors becomes a suspect. Poor Lila, she already has a reputation around town as being a "murder magnet" ...more
Diana | Book of Secrets
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Inspiration Valley is one of my favorite fictional places to visit, and I was thrilled to get back there in OFF THE BOOKS, #5 in the Novel Idea series. Lila Wilkins is a down-to-earth, relatable protagonist/amateur sleuth, and she’s lucky to have a book nerd’s dream job — literary agent.

Poor Lila, unfortunately, is known around town as the “murder magnet” for her uncanny ability to stumble across murder victims. Lila finds the latest victim during the craziness of a bridal expo, hosted by the li
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Another "novel" plot, but this one was too transparent as to who the murderer was. I hope the next one in the series provides a more complicated plot. ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lila Wilkins has the unfortunate nickname of 'murder magnet' in the picturesque town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina. Having stumbled upon several murder scenarios, Lila would much prefer to focus on her job as literary agent at the Novel Idea agency and plan her upcoming wedding to her handsome police Detective Sean. But there would not be much of a story if Lila, her co-workers, and family were not thrust into another mystery while the agency hosts a week-long festival. This year's theme ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have
I have been waiting (not so patiently, I might add) for the newest adventures of Lila and the Novel Idea Literary Agency to come out and Lucy Arlington didn't disappoint. I loved this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I loved the way she portrays Lila as very human...she's not perfect, but we wouldn't want her to be. I love the development of the secondary characters in the series and the way you realize that even though Lila has only been there for a short time, her frien ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Off The Books is another hit in this enjoyable series. Fans of intelligent and well written mysteries will love this one. The characters are wonderful and fully developed, even the minor ones. Going back to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina is like visiting with good friends. Lila Wilkins is an intelligent protagonist. Her friends and coworkers are a diverse group - from her fortune telling mother to her type-A boss. A wedding expo is the site of most of the action in this one. Enjoy this incre ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The 5th in her Novel Idea books. The book agency is throwing a big bridal expo, and Lila and Makayla figure they will find a lot of ideas for their own weddings. Big downer...Lila once again stumbles across a body in the kitchen, a man dead of a nail (from a nail gun) in his head. One of their own authors is suspected, and everyone tries to help clear her. A new animal character in the way of a dog named Olive is introduced as a temporary pet of Bentley's. Will the ensuing commotion have Ms. Cru ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love visiting Inspiration Valley and catching up with Lila and her coworkers, friends and family. Off The Books was another great cozy read! Lucy Arlington creates characters that I'd enjoy having as friends. ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading Off the Books by Lucy Arlington was like returning home to visit friends. As always it was full of activity from page one. I felt like we were apart of the Novel Idea team through out the book as if I were apart of the story actively not just along for the ride!
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Love this series. Can't wait for the next one. ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
An enjoyable read while on the bus. A predictable plot, so there is no need to pay close attention and miss your stop.
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-mysteries
Lots of subplots a gruesome murder, and a misunderstood pooch made this a fun and exciting read. The murder was done just the way it was in some of the books by authors of the Novel Idea Agency. The underlying theme of domestic violence was thought-provoking. I thought the "Booked for a Wedding" them was unique, especially since some of the "wedding" books mentioned in the event were murder mysteries. I could definitely understand the reason for the murder! What a surprise about Mama and Trey! C ...more
Darla Taylor
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Novel Idea Literary Agency has planned a wedding themed week featuring their authors' best bridal books as well as North Carolina's greatest vendors. Lila is thrilled because she can also use the event to plan her own upcoming wedding. However, Lila discovers a murdered man and must use her sleuthing skills to find the culprit who did the deed. In addition to trying to solve a murder, Lila watches as her boss, Bentley, decides to foster a dog named Olivia who provides her own brand of intrig ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-mystery
The crew at Novel Literary Agency is setting up for a Wedding Expo. Amateur sleuth and dubbed "murder magnet", Lila Wilkins, gets into the thick of it when a towns member is murdered and agency authors are accused of the murder.

Will the crew help solve the mystery in time? Will Lila's police officer boyfriend and she get wedding bell ideas from the Expo? Does the Amazing Althea find love at long last? So much more.

This final installment in the Novel Idea series concludes this cozy mystery / Hall
Jennifer Brown
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another good installment in this series! I enjoyed the wedding theme of this one. Lila is back with her "family" and this time they all decide to solve the crime together all while putting on a wedding expo/author signing. It was nice how it all came together. I did figure out the killer early on (although I didn't guess the right reason). There was a little twist at the end that I didn't see coming. Good book and I hope there is more! I like the dog idea at the end ☺ ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Lila is getting ready with some other authors and friends for the Bridal Show that will be going on. She represents some of the authors and get them ready for their preview and help sale their books. In the meantime a person is found dead in a cake. So while they are looking for the person who killed the person and getting the Bridal Show Running in the meantime. Lucy does a good job of throwing a mystery along with a Bridal Show.
Peggy Clayton
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This series has been so enjoyable it never seems to fail. I am really glad that I have been able to read a few of the books and they are just wonderful mysteries. This one had not only one story but then there was a few other underlying stories going on at the same time and that was fun. This was a home run for Lucy!
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I wasn't so sure about the writing at first, but I ended up enjoying the story. It's a cozy mystery and has the typical characters and setting. I liked the main character, even though she is a little older than I am used to. I'll have to go back and read the beginning of the series. ...more
Joan Waite
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice cozy mystery. I haven't read the first four in the series, so in the beginning it was on onslaught of characters for me, but they are likable and I'm going to have to read the start of the series. The book has a nice flow. ...more
Linda Smatzny
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
In this book, Lila Wilkins is helping with the bridal expo which features authors and bridal goods. Lila is also worried about her son and her mother and she has yet to get a ring from Sean.Multiple story lines that at the end all come together. The book was a very quick easy read.
Kathy Fong
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and it was easy to remember the characters from previous books with just a bit of prompting from the author. I can honestly say that I did not figure it out or even come close! :-)
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Novel Idea Literary Agency's latest event has a wedding theme. Several authors are doing book events and signings at the event. Several authors have possible motives for the murder victim. Between pets, fellow agents, authors, and relatives, this book keeps one involved to the end. ...more
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