Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
From the back of the book: What is the only word in the English language that ends in -mt? Answering tricking reference questions like this one is more than enough excitement for recently single librarian Lindsey Norris. That is, until someone in her cozy new hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, commits murder, and the most pressing question is whodunit . . .
Lindsey is just getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a vacationing New York editor brings a little buzz to the small town. It’s the perfect chance for her friend Beth to sell the children’s book she’s written. Unfortunately, Beth’s boyfriend, Rick, a famous author and local celebrity, tries to stop her. When Lindsey and Beth meet the editor, they uncover the real reason for Rick’s bad attitude. . .
They go to confront Rick at his house on the storied and mysterious Thumb Islands, only to find him murdered. The local chief of police likes Beth for the murderer and isn’t interested in looking elsewhere. Now Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.
Jenn McKinlay is one of my favorite authors. When I found out she had a new series about a librarian, I couldn’t wait to get it. I even pre-ordered it, but then life conspired against me and I wasn’t able to read it until October. Then life continued to get in the way and I’m just now writing my review. I feel badly about taking so long to post my review, because this is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves mysteries and/or books about librarians. In fact I’m buying a copy for my book club’s Christmas book exchange.
What I liked about the book: I loved everything about this book, the subject matter, the setting, the plot, the characters – Ok, I didn’t love Ms. Cole. She is so NOT the librarian I want to be (and please if I am, someone shoot me now.) But she is the kind of character you love to hate and she does keep Lindsey on her toes. The story is fast paced with a touch of humor and an engaging mystery. It’s a quick and delightful read. I also liked that there are many references to other novels. That reminds me of another favorite mystery series: The Death on Demand series by Carolyn Hart.
What I didn’t like about the book: There wasn’t anything about the writing that I didn’t like. There were some characters that I didn’t care for – but I think that’s just what McKinlay wanted us to feel. This is the first in a new series, so it’s possible that Ms. Cole might become more lovable over time. I really didn’t like the victim and it didn’t bother me one bit that he died. Another reviewer commented that since he was so obnoxious they couldn’t understand how anyone could have spent five years with him. Therefore the reviewer didn’t find that part of the story believable. I disagree. I’ve had plenty of friends (both male and female) that were absolutely besotted with significant others that I found to be so obnoxious I could barely stand to be around them. It happens. Love is blind. I also don’t care too much for Chief Daniels. Yet, again, I don’t think we are supposed to like him. He is a bumbling, somewhat bigoted, perhaps incompetent policeman. And while I know in real life most policeman are not like him, the way McKinlay has written him makes it much easier to believe that Lindsey would have to come to the rescue of her friend. After all we can’t have an adorable children’s librarian who dresses up as The Hungry Caterpillar railroaded into jail, can we?
If you have book lover on your Christmas list, I highly recommend this new book as a gift. You should buy it as a gift for yourself. Be sure to check out her other books too. You can find more information on them at her website.