Release Date: Nov 14, 2017
Series: A Library Lover’s Mystery
Publisher: Penguin Group
Librarian Lindsey Norris and the rest of the staff of the Briar Creek Library are getting ready for their annual Death in the Stacks fundraiser. However, a new library board member, Olive Boyle, is about to ruin everything with her unpleasant demeanor and threats against one of the library employees, Paula Turner. The whole town knows Olive is out to get Paula, so when Olive’s dead body is found in the library with Paula kneeling beside her, it’s no surprise when Paula becomes the prime suspect. Lindsey had sworn off sleuthing, but with Paula’s freedom at stake, she puts that resolution aside and is resolved to do whatever it takes to catch the real killer.
This is an ongoing series and I’ve read some but not all of the prior books. The series got better as it went along with more depth in the plots and the characters. This book is somewhere in between with an interesting plot, but not much depth to the story or the characters’ interactions with each other. In a cozy mystery, when someone as hateful as Olive Boyle starts trouble the way she does, it’s not a shock when they end up the victim of murder. With Olive making enemies everywhere she went, I was right there with Lindsey, confused over who the murderer was until the very end. This part of the book is done well and kept me in suspense until the very end.
However, even though the characters of Lindsey, her friend and co-sleuth Robbie Vine, and her boyfriend Sully have matured as this series has continued, their conversations seem superficial in this installment. I also have mixed feelings about the characters from the author’s Hat Shop mysteries and Cupcake Bakery series making an appearance in the book. It’s a stretch that they all arrive in Briar Creek for the fundraiser, but it is fun to see all the various characters together. I was surprised to see something important happening to one of the visiting characters, and hopefully that event will be revisited in more depth in the next book of that series so those readers aren’t cheated of seeing this special moment unfold.
As a whole, I enjoyed the book and the story, but was left feeling a little disappointed at the end. With some added depth, the book could have been so much more. In spite of what seems like lost potential, fans of the series will like seeing Lindsey and Robbie team up to solve the murder, as well as seeing the Briar Creek Library team stick together to help one of their own.