September 28, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Death Of A Bookseller By Alice Slater Should Have Been Called Death Of A Reader: Buddy Reads Review

Death Of A Book Seller By Alice Slater- Summary

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater summary: In this “utterly unforgettable” debut (Catherine Ryan Howard), a disaffected, true crime-obsessed bookseller develops a dangerous obsession with a colleague.

Roach would rather be listening to the latest episode of her favorite true crime podcast than assisting the boring and predictable customers at her local branch of the bookstore Spines, where she’s worked her entire adult life. A serious true crime junkie, Roach looks down her nose at the pumpkin-spice-latte-drinking casual fans who only became interested in the genre once it got trendy. But when Laura, a pretty and charismatic children’s bookseller, arrives to help rejuvenate the struggling bookstore branch, Roach recognizes in her an unexpected kindred spirit.

Despite their common interest in true crime, Laura keeps her distance from Roach, resisting the other woman’s overtures of friendship. Undeterred, Roach learns everything she can about her new colleague, eventually uncovering Laura’s traumatic family history. When Roach realizes that she may have come across her very own true crime story, interest swiftly blooms into a dangerous obsession.

A darkly funny suspense novel, Death of a Bookseller, raises ethical questions about the fervor for true crime and how we handle stories that don’t belong to us.

Death Of A Book Seller By Alice Slater- Summary Debunked

You have the above to reference. Now let me tear it apart. Because hey! Summary writing people (this summary is from Goodreads):

Death of a Bookseller

I would love to say that Death of A Book Seller is unforgettable. Even if because of how the book fails. Consequently, I guess it can stand there and be wrong in its wrongness, too. Ok, now. Let’s take a look at the last sentence. It is like Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Woman #12 and #13. Neither is it about rain, a woman, or those numbers.


It is, in fact, about getting stoned and, again, looking at that last sentence. Alice Slater’s Death of a Bookseller is neither darkly funny nor suspenseful. Additionally, it absolutely does not raise ethical questions. Although, I guess it had the set-up to do so. AH! That brings me to my second point.

Death Of A Bookseller By Alice Slater: Plot

In addition to the wrongness of the summary, Alice Slater never lets Death of a Bookseller take off… or land. It was sad, really. Whenever Becky and I read a section, we would get on what’s app and say the same thing. Well, it is definitely setting something up. I can’t wait to see what happens. Except, that was the problem. Nothing ever happened. It just kept circling the runway. Hell, I don’t even think the landing strip was built so that it could take off… or land.

Sorry, Ms. Slater. I will not ever trust you with my reading time again.




Dorothy, this plane is destined to circle and circle until it runs out of gas. Once it runs out of gas, it will crash and burn in an epic fail.


Furthermore, this caused a cascade of rippling issues. First, the book became incredibly repetitive. Since it never met the promise of one hell of a book, it kept repeating the same dialogue and events. Slater just upped the ante on them each time, making you think something great is coming. I was a fool for hoping. I should have listened to Kaz. Unfortunately, I did not listen to Kaz.


Death of a Bookseller


BUT WAIT! There’s more. Actually, there is less, but that isn’t how the saying goes. How forgettable are the characters? Well. I found even the main characters forgettable. But Becky and I disagreed on that a bit. However, we completely agreed on the side characters.

They are so forgettable that Becky and I didn’t even realize we didn’t discuss them until we finished the book. YUP. You read that right. We never once brought up any of the supporting characters (in any meaningful discussion) until we finished the book. At that time, we realized how little they mattered.

They are flatter and thinner than a French Crepe. I could not tell you one character from the next (male or female). Not to mention that they change roles throughout the book. They are both utterly useless and confusing to the plot all at once. That takes effort.

Again, I also found this to be true of the main characters but check out Becky’s review for a different perspective.


Go ahead and call me an elitist because I worked at Barnes and Noble for over three years, but there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. Alice Slater portrays the atmosphere and actions of the characters while at work entirely unrealistically.

From the character’s treatment of shoppers to their treatment of each other and the temper tantrums they threw on shift? Let me not forget a bookseller’s unilateral decision to insert an entire section of books. Then, the unilateral decision of a colleague to eliminate the same section of books? No. This is not how bookstores work.

Alice Slater

Review Title: Death of a Reader

Death of a Bookseller: Final Thoughts

  1. Becky and I are on the same page with this buddy read. I will link her review as soon as it posts.
  2. Not only is the entire book awful? The ending was confounding and more suited for a duology than a stand-alone.
  3. THERE IS A FUCKING EPILOGUE. Christ on a crouton! There was absolutely no need for an epilogue.
  4. Speaking of the Epilogue? On the opposite side of the book, the prologue makes no damn sense. Ok. In the most literal and fundamental way, I guess it makes sense. BUT THAT IS IT. It does not lift the suspense or cause an OH SHIT moment in the end. END OF STORY.

End of review.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights