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Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder

(Main Street Book Club Mysteries #1)

by
3.66  ·  Rating details ·  585 ratings  ·  208 reviews
Not every murder is by the book…

As Sugar Springs gears up for its all-class high school reunion, Mississippi bookstore owner Arlo Stanley prepares to launch her largest event: a book-signing with the town’s legendary alum and bestselling author, Wally Harrison. That’s when Wally is discovered dead outside of Arlo’s front door and her best friend is questioned for the crime
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Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  585 ratings  ·  208 reviews


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Natalia  R
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bookstore owner Arlo Stanley is preparing for a book signing event with local bestselling author, Wally Harrison when she receives a shocking phone call from the police. Wally has been found dead outside her store. To make matters worse, the police suspect her best friend Chloe is the one responsible for his death. Arlo knows her friend is innocent and with the help of her elderly book club members, she is determined to catch the real killer. Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder is a wonderful intro ...more
Brenda
Sugar Springs in Mississippi was a small town where everyone knew everyone else. The bookshop – Books and More – was owned and run by Arlo Stanley and her best friend Chloe, with Chloe in charge of “and More” and Arlo running the book side of it all. When Wally Harrison, author and one-time resident of Sugar Springs announced he was heading for a book signing in Books and More, the preparation made Arlo nervous. But when she was called down to the bookshop early one morning by the police, the sh ...more
Gail C.
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an entertaining book that is just as much about introducing the inhabitants of Sugar Springs, Mississippi. It’s time for the annual high school reunion which encompasses all class years since the school and town are so small. This year is particularly exciting since one of the graduates who has achieved fame and fortune as a writer is coming back to town for a book signing at Arlo and Chloe’s shop, Books and More. Arlo owns the books portion and Chloe provides specialty teas and coffees ...more
Deanne Patterson
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Deanne by: cnnamongirl@aol.com
The story kept me on my toes wondering, who did it!
Is it the obvious choice or is it the unexpected?
Strong story plot, the author does a wonderful job of keeping your attention the whole way through you'll want to read this cozy mystery more than once.
Expected publication: October 29th 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press
I was given a complimentary copy if this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.


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Jeri
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, e-books
This was a good starter book for a new series. I always enjoy books based in the south and centered around books and friends. Some of my favorite things.

Anyway, the story was very interesting with our dead guy being a local boy come home for a class reunion and to sign books is found dead in front of the local bookstore. Not only that but his high school flame works in part of the bookstore and had his child which he wanted nothing to do with, until recently. Lots of red herrings and possible m
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Christopher
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Arlo Stanley has been juggling preparations for her high school reunion with a book-signing event for a famous local writer. However, her plans are derailed when the bestselling author, Wally Harrison, is found dead in front of her bookstore. The police suspect foul play and all evidence points to one person: Arlo’s best friend and coworker, Chloe. But Arlo knows better and soon she and the other members of the Friday Night Book Club are off on their own investigation to unmask the real killer.

A
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JoAn
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery, arc
Can't Judge A Book By It's Murder by Amy Lillard was a interesting cozy mystery set in Sugar Springs, MS.

The suspicious death was front and center in the first chapter but the plot moved slowly as Ms. Lillard was introducing the central characters. Arlo and Chloe are friends and business partners in Sugar Springs. Chloe has a history with the murder victim and subsequently is arrested for the murder. Arlo's book club members, Camille, Fern and Helen, decide they need to investigate the murder so
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Gloria
This story starts off with a shock when a body is found outside Arlo Stanley's bookstore in Sugar Springs, Mississippi, the scene of an apparent suicide or was it murder? Arlo has a scheduled book signing with local guy, Wally Harrison, who has returned home with a bestseller but that won't happen now. Wally either jumped, fell or was shoved out of the third floor window over Arlo's bookstore. Arlo's best friend and business co-owner is arrested for Wally's death when the clues are stacked again ...more
Ell
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder is the first in the Main Street Book Club Mysteries. Sugar Springs, Mississippi bookstore owner Arlo Stanley is busily preparing for a book signing event with a famous local author when she is contacted by the police. A body, dead as a doornail, is lying on the sidewalk directly in front of her bookstore. To make matters worse, the dead body just so happens to be her special guest of honor, author Wally Harrison. Instead of a popular shopper’s destination, her ne ...more
LORI CASWELL
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Arlo and Chloe’s Books & More is set for a book signing for bestselling author Wally Harrison as part of the Tenth Annual All Class Reunion. Then Arlo receives a phone call that will bring that event to a screeching halt. Arlo has been summoned to the store because a dead body has been found on the sidewalk directly in front of the bookstore. The man has been identified as Wally Harrison and the death is classified as suspicious. Suicide? Murder? It looks like Arlo’s best frie
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Tari
This was a really enjoyable bunch of new characters, and I got such a kick out of the book club ladies wanting to do their sleuthing in such a way that Arlo must have felt like she was herding cats trying to keep them under control and out of danger. I liked Arlo and her bestie Chloe. They worked well together at their business, and Arlo was a fierce and faithful friend when Chloe was charged with murder. She was relentless at trying to prove her best friend's innocence, and I know Chloe and her ...more
Nancy Baker
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable start to a new series. Book store owner Arlo Stanley and the book club ladies (meddling grannies") want to figure out who killed their famous hometown author after Chloe, friend and co-owner of the store, is arrested for his murder.

The plot was predictable yet still intriguing enough that I was totally invested in finishing the book. The protagonist is a likable character but the fun characters are the book club ladies.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for an ARC.
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Hannah
I requested this book thinking it would be a cozy mystery written by a Christian author. I did not expect the topics to be better aligned to being a hard-boiled mystery and to encounter profanity, heavy drinking, drunkenness, a book club that’s fascinated by books with sex, a heroine who parties, infidelities, and so on. I dislike feeling dirty while reading a novel and thus I did not enjoy this novel.

While there is no sex on screen the situations and the subject matter were depressing and the o
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Melissa
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an okay debut. The mystery was good and I liked the characters, but for whatever reason the story didn't "grab" me. It took me four days to read because I could set it down and not feel like I had to devour it. There is nothing horrid in the story, it just didn't fully hook me for whatever reason. I will try another in the set down the road, maybe this was just a slow start for me.

I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my ow
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Dawn Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsti
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

This is the first in a new cozy series, and it was definitely a good start. I liked the friendships in this book especially; the sleuth is not only friends with a diverse group of people, but it really has that small town feel throughout. Being centred around a book store is always a plus, but it has a mini cafe going on too. Add in the reunion going on in the background and you have many situations to investigate in terms
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Kim
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
The biggest reason I return to read more books in a cozy mystery series is because of the characters, and Amy Lillard does a wonderful job with writing them in Can’t Judge a Book by Its Murder, the first book in the Main Street Book Club Mysteries.

Lillard really shines with Fern, Camille, and Helen, the elderly ladies in the book club that help Arlo investigate. Each one has a distinct personality with fun quirks. I love how Fern seems a bit mean, Camille is very resourceful and I could see he
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Lori
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A man falls from atop the bookstore to the sidewalk below. The investigating officer initially believes the man committed suicide, but the autopsy reveals poison in his system, confirming the suspicions of those who knew he was unlikely to commit suicide. When Chloe ends up in jail, Arlo begins her own investigation to get her friend freed. Some of the action stretches the imagination. The solution was fairly obvious. Still I enjoyed this mystery set in extreme northern Mississippi. Farmington i ...more
Debbie
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun cozy mystery!
Christine
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies
This is the first book in the Main Street Book Club series.
Arlo Stanley owns a bookstore café in Sugar Springs, Mississippi. The book starts with Arlo getting called to her store because the author who she was having for a book signing was found dead in front of her store. Initially, it looks like Wally Harrison jumped out of the third story window above Arlo's shop. But how did he gain access to the building and did he really jump or was he pushed. As it begins to look like Wally was pushed, A
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Betty
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The first book of the Main Street Book Club is an amusing story that brought smiles and chuckles as I read it. I had difficulty reading the story as it was disjointed at times. I did not connect with any of the characters.
The small town of Sugar Springs Mississippi is preparing to celebrate home coming with it's high school graduates Arlo Stanley receives a phone call that there is a body laying dead in front of her store. It turns to be Wally Harrison, a well known author with a best saleing bo
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Amy
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Chloe and Arlo own a small coffee and bookshop in Sugar Springs, Mississippi. They are preparing to hold a book signing for best-selling home town author Wally Harrison. Everything comes to a halt when his body is found dead on the ground in front of their storefront of an apparent suicide. Even more complicated is that he is the father of Chloe's son. When Chloe is arrested for his murder, Arlo is determined to exonerate her and find the killer.

The book is the first in the series and the title
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Karen Hollins-Stallman
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder" the first book in the "Main Street Book Club" mystery series by Amy Lillard.

Not every murder is by the book…

As Sugar Springs gears up for its all-class high school reunion, Mississippi bookstore owner Arlo Stanley prepares to launch her largest event: a book-signing with the town’s legendary alum and bestselling author, Wally Harrison. That’s when Wally is discovered dead outside of Arlo’s front door and her best friend is questioned for the crime.

When the elde
...more
AngryGreyCat
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

Can’t Judge a Book by its Murder is the first in A Main Street Book Club Mystery Series by Amy Lillard set in small town Mississippi. Arlo Stanley owns a book store with a coffee shop attached along with her friend Chloe. The entire town is getting revved up for a big reunion, which is seeing the return of a local boy who has “done good” as a nationally known crime writer. Arlo and Chloe both knew him in hi
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Maureen Timerman
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The author has us on a quest to solve the murder of one of her high school class members, and with an all class reunion in town, it could be anyone.
With chuckles and sleuthing we go about looking who killed Wally, and then trying to get her friend and employee out of jail. We have a bookstore owner, the one who has a body fall out of her building, and her worker and friend accused of the dastardly deed.
We get to see the Book Club go about trying to prove the innocence of their friend.
Surprises
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Brandi Moriarty
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book, I loved the characters and can't wait to learn more about them in the next book. The true friendship you see between Arlo and Chloe is amazing. The book club ladies make me so happy!!! I laughed out loud so many times because these ladies are amazing. Arlo's determination to prove Chloe was not a murderer and all the help she received is why cozies are amazing. ...more
Ann
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This is book 1 in a new cozy series, Main Street Book Club. Set in Sugar Springs, Mississippi, Arlo is getting her book store ready for a book signing by big time author, Wally Harrison. Wally is back in town for their high school reunion. When he is found dead in front of her bookstore, Arlo and her book club members investigate to exonerate their good friend Chloe. Chloe just happens to be the mother of Wally's son and is fighting his attempt for custody. Good characters, especially the elderl ...more
Nancy H
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book in a new mystery series set in a small town in Mississippi. It has great characters, a good setting and a really intriguing plot. I am hoping this author writes a lot more in this series.
K.B. Wilson
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Arlo Stanley is getting ready for the biggest event to happen at her & her best friend Chloe’s bookstore. Sugar Springs biggest hometown celebrity, author Wally Henderson, will be doing a book signing at the store. When Wally turns up dead right outside their business, Arlo will have to contend with finding out the truth, dealing with not one but two exes in town & her high school reunion. With the help of the elderly ladies in her Friday night book club, Arlo sets out to find who killed Wally a ...more
Maria Elena
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book so much! The characters are so quirky and funny and I absolutely LOVE Fern, Helen and Camille! I can’t wait to see what adventures they get into next!
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I'm a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I've retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I'm from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over tw
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Other books in the series

Main Street Book Club Mysteries (3 books)
  • A Murder Between the Pages (Main Street Book Club Mysteries #2)
  • A Murder Like No Author

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