Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater 🐌#DeathOfABookseller @alicemjslater @HodderBooks @kimberleynyam #BookReview

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater

Published: 27 April 2023

Author: Alice Slater

Narrated by : Emma Noakes and Victoria Blunt

Published by: Hodder & Stoughton

Genre: Crime Thriller

Length: 384 pages / 12 hrs 58 mins

Reading dates: 9-20 April 2023


Roach – bookseller, loner and true crime obsessive – is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer books, murder podcasts and her pet snail, Bleep.

That is, until Laura joins the bookshop.

Smelling of roses, with her cute literary tote bags and beautiful poetry, she’s everyone’s new favourite bookseller. But beneath the shiny veneer, Roach senses a darkness within Laura, the same darkness Roach possesses.

As Roach’s curiosity blooms into morbid obsession, it becomes clear that she is prepared to infiltrate Laura’s life at any cost.

As soon as I heard about Death of a Bookseller I knew I had to read it – it absolutely sounded like my sort of thing and I was right!

True crime loving Roach (real name Brogan) works in the Walthamstow branch of the fictional Spines bookshop chain. She lives above the pub that her mum owns, with only her African land snail Bleep for company. She hasn’t any friends but is fascinated by true crime, enjoying podcasts by The Murder Girls and any books on the subject. When a small group of booksellers are brought to the shop to try and turn its fortunes around, among them is Laura Bunting. Laura is a pretty blond who wears tea dresses and is liked by everyone. Initially Roach thinks they have nothing in common but after attending an evening where Laura reads out her poetry which happens to be about the victims of serial killers, Roach thinks they have a bond and tries everything to become her friend.

Told in alternating chapters from the point of view of each character, we hear Roach’s desperate and cringey attempts to befriend Laura, believing their mutual love of serial killers is their bond. But Laura’s interest in serial killers is very different from Roach’s and she finds Roach creepy and desperate.

I listened to this on audio and the narrators did an amazing job of bringing the characters to life. I found Roach a disturbing character but I also had sympathy towards her. Laura came across as a little stuck up at times and is fond of a drink but as we find out more about her, you find out why she is the way she is and also understand why she finds Roach’s obsession with serial killers so disturbing.

I loved the book shop setting – I’m sure any book shop workers will be nodding along with the running’s of the book shop, the things customers say and will sympathise with the hell of the Christmas period. I also found Roach’s obsession with serial killers fascinating. I must admit, I love a bit of true crime myself and it is interesting what Roach has to say on the matter – I especially liked her musings on why it is harder to be a serial killer nowadays with cameras everywhere and forensic improvements.

Deliciously dark with characters which make you cringe at times with the way they behave, I absolutely loved this. I’d highly recommend the audio but having received a finished copy of the book, it is fabulous so would recommend that too!

With thanks to Kimberley at Hodder Books for my finished copy (it’s a beauty!) and for approving me for the audio on Netgalley.

About the author

Alice Slater

Alice Slater spent six years working as a bookseller with Waterstones. She started as a Christmas temp in Manchester Deansgate and worked her way up to bookshop manager of Romford, then Gower Street’s fiction section, and eventually Notting Hill Gate, lending a hand in 20 different branches across the UK on the way. Now a London-based writer, she is a co-host of literary podcast “What Page Are You On?” and writes about short stories for Mslexia.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s