Jenn McKinlay, author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, whipped up a new recipe for success with Books Can Be Deceiving. This time, she takes readers to the charming town of Briar Creek, Connecticut in the first Library Lover's Mystery.
Lindsey Norris has only been the library director in Briar Creek for six months. Her best friend, Beth Stanley, is the children's librarian there. Lindsey has made a number of friends in town, from her motherly landlord to the eighty-year-old library board president, who regularly practices yoga in the library. But, she can't warm up to Beth's boyfriend, Rick, a successful children's book illustrator. Rick and Beth argue in public when he tries to stop her from showing her artwork to a visiting children's book editor. And, both women are furious when they find out why Rick has been so secretive. Their plan to confront Rick ends in disaster when they find him dead, and the police chief zeroes in on Beth as his number one suspect. It might take some research, but Lindsey is up to the task of proving Beth didn't kill her boyfriend.
Knowing Jenn McKinlay's other books, I was surprised to find Lindsey Norris to be so naive. She failed in so many ways common to mystery heroines, from leaving a door unlocked to failing to contact the police while going off on her own. Those are qualities I dislike in an amateur sleuth. Saying that, I loved Lindsey as a librarian and library director. The stories of library life, staff and patrons were believable. And, Briar Creek is everything you could want in a small mystery town, a "Decidedly quirky but incredibly kind community." I like Lindsey, Beth, the possibility of a love interest for Lindsey, and so many of the people of Briar Creek. And, the book discussion group is fun, combining knitting and books. In the long run, one of the charms of cozy mysteries is community.And, Jenn McKinlay has created a wonderful community in Briar Creek. So, I'll give Lindsey Norris a chance to grow into her role as amateur sleuth. After all, she's just learning that Books Can Be Deceiving.
Jenn McKinlay's website is www.JennMcKinlay.com
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay. Berkley Prime Crime.©2011. ISBN 9780425242186 (paperback), 291p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher and the author sent me copies of the book, hoping I would review it.