Every Trick In The Book by Liz Hedgecock (The Magical Bookshop 1)
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB
Turning over a new leaf doesn’t always go according to plan…
When Jemma James takes a job at Burns Books, the second-worst secondhand bookshop in London, she finds her ambition to turn it around thwarted at every step. Raphael, the owner, is more interested in his newspaper than sales. Folio the bookshop cat has it in for Jemma, and the shop itself appears to have a mind of its own. Or is it more than that?
Gradually Jemma starts to make a difference … and then the anonymous letters start arriving. Who is behind them, and why?
As the threats escalate, and the shop becomes increasingly turbulent, Jemma and Raphael must work together to find the culprit. And what else will Jemma find in her investigations?
Jemma felt unaccountably nervous as she walked down Charing Cross Road on Monday morning. It’s only a bookshop, she told herself. I could work anywhere I like.
She had spent the weekend trying to decide what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. She had made lists. She had read articles about how self-made millionaires under thirty got their start. She had updated her CV. But still, when she closed her eyes, the scruffy bookshop with so much potential kept reappearing. I could make something of that, she thought. I really could.
She hadn’t said anything to Em when she rang on Saturday afternoon. ‘How are you, Jemma,’ Em had enquired, with a wheelbarrow-full of concern in her voice. ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t be there yesterday. I’d have rung earlier, but I’ve just got up. Damon had tickets for the races, you see, as a leaving present from the agency, and then there was a boat trip, and it got a bit messy—’
‘You knew, then,’ said Jemma, feeling like a flat glass of lemonade.
‘I didn’t exactly know,’ said Em. ‘I mean, I’d heard talk. But you know I don’t spread rumours.’
Em had been in the same intake of the graduate scheme as Jemma. Despite cheerfully admitting that she didn’t know one end of a spreadsheet from the other, she had risen in the company through what she called a series of happy accidents. If Jemma hadn’t been her friend, she would have envied Em tremendously. She had shiny dark hair that never seemed to need washing or cutting, and looked good in whatever she wore.
‘I’m going to regard it as an opportunity,’ said Jemma. ‘A chance to do something different. The company wasn’t right for me; that was the problem. Our values weren’t aligned.’
‘That’s exactly what I think,’ said Em. ‘Do you fancy going for a quick drink?’
Jemma wrinkled her nose at her pyjama bottoms and T-shirt, and examined the split ends in her reddish-brown hair. ‘Maybe not today,’ she said. ‘I’m taking some downtime to consider my new direction.’ Plus she didn’t feel ready to face Damon, whom she found hard going at the best of times. With a new job, he’d be insufferable.
‘Oh, OK,’ said Em. ‘Well, Damon and I will be in the Grapes if you change your mind. I expect we’ll be there for some time.’
And so, after considerable research, Jemma found herself striding down Charing Cross Road wearing ballerina flats, wide-legged black trousers, a smart-casual top, and her second-best work jacket, ready to make an impression.
The shop was closed.