A Vulnerable First Line Friday

Yes, it’s true. I’m writing about another cozy mystery today. With everything else going on in the world, stories about close communities, meddling sleuths, and a bit of murder have provided the most comfort.

Even in a comfortable genre, though, I’m always looking for surprises. One of my favorite cozies from last year was Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn, which was full of them. Perhaps most obviously, Blackburn wasn’t uncomfortable creating a main character, Summer, who, for a large chunk of the book, isn’t the most likable. Often she comes across as a downright snob. Yet Blackburn is a great writer, and she understood exactly how far she could push the likability issue, starting with the very first lines where Summer shows a hint of vulnerability, which ultimately aids in making her a likable character—even when she’s being complicated.

For this book, it’s the perfect beginning.

Summer Merriweather slipped off her flip-flops, allowing the sand’s warmth to comfort the bottom of her feet lie it had thousands of times before. She looked out over the waves, the water shimmering in the soft pink morning light. She walked toward the water and gazed over the horizon—the line between the sky and sea barely visible. A seagull cried in the distance. Another one flew in front of her and landed on the wet, shiny sand. “Sorry, I have nothing for you today.” As if understanding, the gull flew off across the water.

Behind her, down a short, sandy, rocky path cut between brown sea grasses, was her childhood home. She felt its presence although she didn’t even take a glimpse. She couldn’t look at it. Not yet.

Title: Little Bookshop of Murder
Series: Beach Reads Mystery #1
Author: Maggie Blackburn
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: September 08, 2020
Classification: Cozy Mystery

Blackburn’s Website | Publisher’s Page

Note: First Line Fridays is a feature hosted by Hoarding Books. Be sure to check out their weekly post to find other participants and some great first lines.


  1. Great review Christopher. I too am finding myself drawn to stories of close knit communities and friendship rather than my usual darker fare, but hadn’t thought about why. I think you are 100% right. ❤📚

    Liked by 1 person

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