One of my favorite things to do when traveling is visit local (preferably independent) bookstores. I do this for a few reasons: I love books, I love bookstores, and bookstores are often situated away from the usual tourist spots, which means I have an opportunity to see more of the area I’m visiting.
Last summer, I spent a week in London, during which I took a day trip to Windsor Castle, Oxford, and the nearby market town of Woodstock. While taking in Oxford’s countless sites, I came across Blackwell’s Bookshop (which, interestingly, is located next to the University of Oxford’s Weston Library), so of course I had to stop in and have a look.
After spending a fair amount of time exploring the shop, I asked a staff member if she could recommend a mystery novel set in Oxford and she said she knew just the book. She recommended A Fatal Flaw, by Faith Martin, a mystery set in 1960s Oxford; it met all of my criteria, so I happily purchased it, along with a nice Oxford bookmark.
Although it’s been nearly a year since that vacation, I finally got around to reading the book this week. (In my defense, my to-read list currently has 78 books on it, so I always have quite a backlog.) I very much enjoyed this novel, as the whodunit kept me guessing until near the very end of the book.
My only complaint (and it’s a very minor quibble), is that A Fatal Flaw is the third book in a series featuring the characters Ryder and Loveday. Thankfully, the book stood on its own, but I wish I’d thought to ask the Blackwell’s staff if it was part of a series, as I’d have preferred to read the first book in the series, A Fatal Obsession.
If you’re looking for something new and different, I recommend giving A Fatal Flaw (or, perhaps, A Fatal Obsession) a read.