Book Review: Death of a Bookseller

A bookshop. A true crime case. A deadly friendship.

Alice Slater ~ Death of a Bookseller


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 a book lover, reading about bookshops and booksellers is always intriguing, especially when a book is described as dark and horrible.

Two very different booksellers are thrown together in one store where they immediately clash. Despite being almost polar opposites, it turns out that they do have a few things in common. For Laura, this is just another reason to stay away; for Roach, this brings them closer together.

What starts as indifference leads to obsession as Roach starts to follow Laura, break into her flat, change her appearance and play tricks on her to freak her out.

I loved the concept of this book and it really is a page turner. The references to true crime, literature and London make it very relatable and the insight into book selling is also fascinating. The description of the London accommodation is extremely provocative and may bring back strong memories of your own flat sharing – pet snail aside!

Characters are believable and realistic, whilst the changes they and their colleagues go through over time are awkward and disturbing, with an added creep factor reminisce of You. Slater writes with experience and humour, mocking everything from tote bags to true crime lovers and her tongue in cheek style is excellent.

Considering the marketing of this book, I would’ve liked more from the ending, which isn’t as dark and horrible as expected. I still really enjoyed the story, but feel it could’ve been a lot darker and even more horrible.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for my proof copy. Opinions my own.

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