READ IT AND WEEP
Library Lovers #4
By Jenn McKinlay
Narrated by Allyson Ryan
Published by Penguin Random House/Penguin Audio
Genre: Fiction – Mystery & Detective – Women Sleuths
Release Date: October 06, 2015
7 Hours and 28 Minutes
Also availble in paperback and e-book formats:
Print Length: 305 pages | Penguin/Berkley (November 5, 2013)
Audiofiles provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Answering Shakespeare trivia comes with the job description for library director Lindsey Norris. But when the Briar Creek Community Theater mounts their newest production of the Bard, she has no intention of leaving the stacks for the stage. Unfortunately a villain is waiting in the wings…
Former Broadway actress Violet La Rue is holding auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream—and everyone from the sour spinster librarian Ms. Cole to Lindsey’s youthful library pages are trying out for parts. Brought in to play the mischievous Puck is the flirtatious professional actor Robbie Vine, who seems to have eyes for Lindsey. Before her blush has faded, the Bard’s dream turns into a nightmare—when one of the cast is poisoned. Now Lindsey and her crafternooners must take center stage to unmask the culprit before the final curtain call…
From the convoluted events and the bad luck the characters in this book endure, you might think this is Macbeth, but the town’s community theatre is putting on A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.
What is fun in this story is the giddy attraction between the handsome actor, Robbie Vine and Lindsey (the series sleuth and town librarian) as she and her beau, Mike Sullivan, try to recover from a break-up. But, I didn’t quite believe the instant, “well, hello there,” attraction Robbie proclaims for Lindsey.
I like how Lindsey looks pragmatically at the relationship with Mike; how his inability to articulate feelings or to discuss issues is putting the relationship into more jeopardy. She’s got good self-esteem and refuses to be a doormat or scapegoat.
At times the story resembles the theatrical production as these scenes are staged like a drawing room mystery itself, with one set of characters entering a room as the other leaves and it.
Once again it is her relationships with the other characters that make the story work. It has that small town feel but it isn’t full of country bumpkins — most characters seem thoughtful and sophisticated. Even though there are romantic elements, it’s not a romance novel, and it is pretty clean. And, Lindsey’s cheerful optimism makes her a very likable and enjoyable character.
Along with pleasant and interesting twists, there are lots of good red herrings in the story, and until the bad guy slips up I was uncertain who the killer was.
The book is a little fluffy on the reality factor, but Briar Creek is a sleepy little Connecticut town and perhaps reality works differently in such places. I didn’t understand who owned the theatre and why it would even matter. I couldn’t figure out if the handsome, professional actor was a father-figure or like a brother to Violet’s daughter, and why he came with a complete retinue of ex-wife and sort of ex-girlfriend. They weren’t too troubling though, so all in all I can happily recommend this one to you!