LIBRARY LOVER’S MYSTERIES
BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING
Lindsey Norris is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way.
When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person. http://www.jennmckinlay.com/works.htm
DUE OR DIE
LIBRARY LOVERS MYSTERY #2
By Jennifer McKinlay
Read by Allyson Ryan
Penguin Random House\Penguin Audio: Sept. 01, 2015 | 7 hours, 23 minutes
Penguin Random House/Berkley: Print and E-Book March 6, 2012 | 304 Pages
What is the original meaning of the word clue?*
Answering tricky reference questions like this one is more than enough excitement
for library director Lindsey Norris. Until another murder is committed in her cozy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and the question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out—for good.
Carrie Rushton, the president of the Friends of the Library, has been accused of murdering her husband. The evidence is stacking up against Carrie, but neither Lindsey nor the Briar Creek crafternoon club is buying it.
Both audiobooks were provided by the publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
New England is known for fall leaves, clam chowder, stately small-town libraries and well-educated women who, quite by chance, end up solving mysteries, particularly murders.
The old-chestnut is, does anyone notice the woman who is the main character in a mystery series has a sort of “Typhoid-Mary” thing happening? I mean, I am a woman with spare time and the only mystery I have had to solve has been who left us a shipment of paint out of the blue? And, that was 30 years ago! These days, nothing exciting happens like, say one friend’s boyfriend and then another’s husband being found murdered, or someone on a committee tries to run me over in a snowstorm.
I doubt the police would be looking at anyone other than me the second time in a year that murder happened so close to me and mine. So when this librarian has two mysteries in her short tenure at the library, well I just thought she deserves a break — who knew being a librarian could be so tumultuous!
But, such is the cozy mystery; constant death and deception are an accepted convention. And, while they might be mentioned, they only end up being a book in themselves once in a while.
These two are part of a long standing series just now being released on audio book. These both came out in September, BOOK, LINE AND SINKER is out October 6, and READ IT AND WEEP and ON BORROWED TIME ate out November 5.
Cozies are of a type, so the challenge in reading and writing them is to create at least one sympathetic character, a nefarious interloper, usually posing as a great guy and sometimes someone from out of town. There’s also usually a twist of some kind. The laying out of clues can make it somewhat expository.
This series strength lies in the lack of “telling” and the very sympathetic library director Lindsey and her friend, landlady and potential beau. The plot set ups are a little contrived, but not completely unbelievable. It’s a cozy mystery so we open the book with our eyes open. Most murders don’t occur the way murders in this sub genre are written, small villages are not generally the way they are portrayed in the genre, and amateur or happenstance detectives don’t have much access to the evidence in a crime. The entire genre is contrived in such a way that we accept and even like these conventions (for a great article on cozy mysteries see http://www.cozy-mystery.com/definition-of-a-cozy-mystery.html ).
Lindsey is entirely likable, good-hearted, customer service oriented and snarky. Her friends and potential beau complement her well. In these two books the villains ooze across the page in either unctuous syrupy sweetness or grating nonchalance. The village is small and her position as library director gives her access pretty much everyone in town; a common feature in cozies is a profession that does have a lot of exposure to the public.
One thing I found unique to this story was the Crafternoon book-club that meets in a special room at the library. I enjoyed the brief glimpses into the book being read, and how it combines a craft time with that.
No one is going to much miss the people that are killed in these first two books (except one); both are asshats. In the end their ass-hattery is ameliorated by a softening element.
As cozies go, this fits in with the way we like to see life in a small, coastal New England town, complete with chowder. I enjoyed both of them, because they are well done and I knew what I was reading. If you go into these expecting a light, murder mystery you will probably enjoy them, but if you expect literary fiction you will be disappointed. As for me, I would like to visit with Lindsey again, hang out in her library and share a cup of chowder with her Crafternoon book club buddies.
An added bonus is the recipe section at the end. Enjoy!
PUBLISHER’S SERIES PAGE: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/BFH/a-library-lovers-mystery