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Booked for Murder

(Vigilante Magical Librarians #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,214 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Life as a bodyguard and driver for the rich, famous, and powerful is dangerous on a good day, and after sustaining a crippling injury while on duty, Janette's left with few options. Having signed a ‘for life’ contract but unable to work, she uses her skills to disappear.

Her new life as a librarian suits her. Nobody cares she limps and sometimes requires a cane to walk. S
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published August 18th 2020 by Pen & Page Publishing
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,214 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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Jessica (Read book. Repeat)
You can find this review and all of my others over at

I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Tours as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 2.5

Janette was a body guard of the rich and fabulous. When a car accident took that life away from her and she was given barely any hope of waking up, letalone surviving, she beat the odds. She woke up and when she did, she hightailed it out of there to hide in plain sight and live the r
Lauren Allen
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
A setup book that goes nowhere

I like this author and when I read the premise of this book it seemed great. However, I am a bit disappointed. While the main character is fleshed out and her best frenemy is as well. Many of the others are weak and two dimensional. The male interest appears strong upon first glance, but then becomes a weak, whiney, mommy's boy who does nothing to romance the lead. We go from library, to we need to set up a investigative group, to you need months of surgery all in t
2020 The Year of the brief Review and ...."Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”
I was really looking forward to this book, it has all the elements I enjoy in a book, great characters, a cat, interesting story line, a cat, really new take on magical powers with a bit of a mystery, a cat, humor, a cat.

So all in all the perfect book..not, so why did it go wrong? For me, I think it was the sheer repetition of
Janette's life story, it was
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Decent premise.
Minimal effort made towards world building.
Peculiar character interactions.
Next book is scheduled to come out 2021. I’m not sure this series will continue to keep my interest that long.
2.5 stars
☘ Lily ☘
“You’re a strange woman, Janette.”
“You know what happens when women get a hold of books. We get ideas, and you know there’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with ideas.”

So, I'm straddling the middle line here.

1. I love the magic system. The heroine is a exsanguinator (she can control blood, which is actually an awesome power).
2. I actually like the heroine and her messy sense of humour.
3. I love their posse. I wish the author would do something more with them rather having them as
Jan Gable
Aug 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Could not finish

I own all of RJ Blain’s books & her Susan Copperfield series. One or two of her recently published books have been harder to read than others. Interestingly enough it was because the dialogue got off track too often.
The start of this book was SO promising, action plus dialogue. Then it crumbles into just conversations. I skipped entire sections and could pick up the story and not feel I had missed anything. I kept pushing thinking this has got to get better. (Tear drops) it did
5 star read.

Highly recommend.

The cover with cat, books, funky glasses and the hint of magic pulled me in first. Then the series title, "Vigilante Magical Librarians." Finally the blurb as I suspected that the heroine and hero had different definitions and expectations of a "for life" contract.

Knowing it was a new series by Blain I rushed home after work and started reading, expecting suspense, magic, some humor, some puns, maybe a romance. And the book delivered more than I hoped for.

If you'v
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
I’ve got mixed feelings on this one. I really like the cover it’s eye-catching. As for the story not a whole lot happens and I’m a bit confused on the world and the society and its structure as for the mystery that isn’t even solved it’s going to continue into the next book and maybe a book after that I’m not sure how the authors going to do it. I read the whole thing and I enjoyed the banter and the long running commentary but I was quite confused on the Society structure and the relationship s ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lelia Taylor
3.5 stars

A mashup of mystery and urban fantasy is one of my favorite reads so I looked forward to this one with great glee but, while I enjoyed many aspects of it, the overall result was not quite as good as I hoped.

The concept of a woman who’s a bodyguard in the top echelons of society, exposed to all kinds of dangers and *stuff* that we can’t quite identify with because this is an alternate universe of sorts, is really appealing. It gets even better, in my opinion, when she decides to take adv
Lyndi W.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I have never read a book like this, so I'm not really sure how to review it. I'm not even sure I liked it. I'm just really confused, okay?

The book takes place over just a few days and it's happening in real time. Oh, that scene took you an hour to read? That's because the characters were talking for an hour. Every word. Every look. Every thought of the MC. It's all on the page. Interesting conversations, to be sure, but dear god make something happen already. I'd swear at least 75% of this book
Hailee (haibooklovers)
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: pnr-uf-scifi
This one was ...odd but enjoyable?

The best analogy that I can think of is one of those rides at the county fair.

Assembled under questionable supervision.
When you ride it you’re not sure quite where you’re going.
End up with a little bit of whiplash.

Through the whole thing you’re laughing and having a grand ole time. You get off the ride and wonder why you put yourself through it, but know you’d do it again.
I.... couldn't actually finish this book. It started out really interesting and then the characters just stop making sense.
The main character, Janette is initially this secret badass, who's become pretty independent after leaving behind her job body guarding this rich guy after getting seriously injured and potentially disabled for life. Except, y'know as soon as the rich guy is introduced he's actually kinda nice, albeit a little controlling and entitled. In the synopsis, her ex-boss, Bradley
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this new series.

She's a scary, dangerous magic user, who loves being a Librarian! What's not to love.

Janette signed a "for life" contract, but being a teenager (19 or so) didn't realise just what that entailed. Oh sure, she's prepared to give her life as a bodyguard, but practically no time off, no pets, no 'me time' is very tiring. So, when she's injured on the job, protecting "her body" and he says don't come back till you're in prime condition, she takes the smart way out, and disappea
Some entertaining interaction, but the "investigating" goes round in talky circles w/NO RESOLUTION!

This isn't a cliffhanger per se, but the multiple-political-assassinations investigation goes practically nowhere. When the book ends (over yet another group gathering, with food) they're still debating all the same angles and permutations of which factions have which motives (either directly or as a framing misdirection) for killing the sponsors of a bad-news-except-for-a-privileged-few bill, as w
Heather Gilbert
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I really enjoy narratives penned by R.J. Blain - they are inventive, complex and often hysterical. This is the introduction of a new series, and while it has the same flavor as the more popular 'Romantic Comedy with a Body Count' collection, it does not appear to be set in the same world. The rules are far different, with a class system that seems an odd blend of Democracy, Aristocracy and Feudalism.... though I'm still unsure of the Democracy part.

Here, in this world, Adepts of a certain magica
Rukaiya Mustafa
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to understand the story. The initial chapters has a lot of background which is needed as the new magical world is difficult to understand. I couldn’t understand between adepts, mundanes and the magical rating at first but once you start reading the book, it sucks you right in.

What intrigued me the most is the dual personality that the protagonist lives in, Janette from the present and the Janette from the past. In the past, we see Janette as a strong bodyguard who drives the f
Aug 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-read, reviewed
R.J. Blain is an auto purchase for me and I have read her pseudonyms as well. I enjoy her stories and her characters....
That said I have some issues. Not only with this book, but with all of them. Please don't take this to mean I hate her books or anything like that. It has just been bugging me for awhile now and I decided to articulate how I feel.

My main issue is that the characters are so similar in personality and how they speak that they blend together in my mind. The only real differences a
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars While I really liked the family and friends dynamics, and I liked the magic system I really didn't need to have so much build up for what was a very minor amount of action. I get that this is going to be a multiple book series(5), but it should be more than we've got research to do. We've got to practice shooting. If you (main heroine) don't qualify we'll have to use one of the side characters for the shooting. Yeah, I get it. Why did you feel you needed to state that in the book 10 ti ...more
Miranda F.
Dec 17, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
The beginning of this book is one of the coolest things I've read in a long time.

Our protag is a total badass -- she's an ex-bodyguard with amazing exsanguination magic, one of a kind, who is now in hiding as a librarian from the ex-body she used to guard (and was in love with).

It takes place mostly in NYC, and everything about the beginning enthralled me, hook, line, and sinker.

But after the amazing beginning, it's a lot of dialogue and a lot of planning for something that I'm not sure is ever
Sarah Leenart
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! This is my first read by RJ Blain and it most certainly won't be my last. Janette was a great character, I loved how complex she was, different and broken compared to so many leading ladies that I read about in urban fantasy. But so strong and so very funny. Warm and entertaining, the whole supporting cast made me want to dive in and be with them. With a good pace, a well built world and story that is going to keep me guessing, I will definitely be back for more. I' ...more
Michelle Johnson
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great Book!

Absolutely love this story. I can’t wait to find out who did the murder. I learned new things while reading and was able to escape into the magical world for awhile. Totally worth it
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, rich
It is a great start to a new series. Unfortunately I have to wait to late next year or even into 2022 for the next book. Is it worth the wait? I hope so as I loved this first book.💕💕
Deanie Nelder
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honestly, at first I didn't really like this book. It took a lot for me to get into it. But once I kept going, it just kept getting better. I like the characters, I like their system of magic, and the story about the oppression of certain peoples is very timely (in a good way, not a preachy political way). I'm actually really looking forward to find out what happens next. ...more
Rebecca Dew
Oct 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Not worth the time or money

The book ends on a cliffhanger and makes no progress whatsoever on the central mystery that starts the book. A sitting U.S. Senator is murdered as the inciting incident for the story and the remainder of the book is expository filler to justify a multi-part series. The author might maybe get around to the mystery at some later date or not at all, stay tuned for the next 5 years to see what the author decides. The author takes great pains to draw parallels to the curren
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok, the premise was ok. But that is also where it leaves me. If you have no patience for books that are in need of an editor don't start this. The premise has potential and the prose isn't truly terrible hence the two stars. But i won't pick up a sequel.

So librarians solving murders? Seems nice. A tough heroine that due to an injury had to reclaim a new life? could be interesting, especially as she constantly states that she actually likes this life. Her old life crashing back into her new one?
Mar 12, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: waste-of-time
How was I supposed to resist a premise like 'vigilante magical librarians'?

I really wish that I had in fact resisted. I admit that this was partly my own fault for being stubborn. The book was clearly going nowhere and had absolutely nothing to say, but I kept desperately hoping that maybe, just maybe, it might give me something worthy of that series title.

It did not.

There really are an absurd amount of problems with this book. The bullet point list is as follows:

○ The grammar, punctuation, and
Brandy {The Review Booth}
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: magic, political intrigue, strong female protagonists, punny banter, cat lovers
This cover is so pretty! I love the purples, blues, and pinks not to mention the cat. Janette visually reminds me of a more alluring and magical version of Velma from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (just from the cover). The author's love of cats definitely doesn't hurt 😽 - I usually assume (in this case incorrectly) that they're merely a "decoration" of sorts. The appearance of pistols in this book as well as cars and Janette's love of them was surprising but made me like her even more. I wish that ...more
books are love
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was great. Janette had the right amount of sass and sarcasm to make the book entertaining and awesome. I love her old boss who really I think is actually still her boss in a way but also takes on a role that I think he secretly always wanted.

Janette is building her new life and enjoying her freedoms. She is high on the magical scale and considered dangerous. Although she has some serious magic I think you are in more danger from the bite of her wit than you are from her physically usi
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RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband, and obeys the commands of Tsu Dhi, the great warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan

Other books in the series

Vigilante Magical Librarians (2 books)
  • Booked for Kidnapping (Vigilante Magical Librarians #2)

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