Hi reading friends! My apologies for being absent most of this week so far. Long story short – i had some dental work that turned into minor surgery, made all the more complicated by nerve damage from a botched wisdom tooth operation several years ago – and the bone plate that has been in my jaw ever since. Needless to say, I am sore all over and on some good meds – which make me not as coherent as normal and a dangerous entity at the computer LOL. Finally feeling a little more like myself & now playing catch up!
SERIES: Haunted Library Mysteries #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane
RELEASE DATE: September 11, 2018
Seven-million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.
A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a seven-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.
Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.
Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?
Other Books In This Series
Christmas. A library. And a main character named Carrie. Sign me up!!
When you add in the cute ghost of the former head librarian, plus a library cat with personality and a supporting cast of friends, family, and not-so-friends, you’ve got a great recipe for a cozy mystery.
In Read and Gone, the author takes us back to the Clover Ridge Public Library and this time we get even more insight into Carrie Singleton’s personal life. Particularly her relationship with her father Jim, a thief who shows up unexpectedly after years on the lam. There were a lot of dynamics going on with this part of the storyline – not the least of which was Carrie’s conflicting emotions around seeing her dad again (and being asked to help him recover his share of the gems he stole). I thought the author portrayed all of these dynamics really well – and authentically – while still in keeping with the tone of a cozy mystery. I didn’t care so much, however, for the up and down dramatics around Carrie’s relationship with Dylan. I understood her concerns the first time but after a bit I was just done with her fluctuating pity party about it lol.
The mystery itself kept me guessing, and while I had my suspicions I wasn’t completely right – and it didn’t play out like I thought it would (which is a good thing!). There were a lot of different facets to this mystery as well – from the original gem heist (and where are they now?) to the murders that keep piling up to what exactly is Carrie’s dad up to now? I wish Evelyn Havers (the friendly resident library ghost) had played more of a role in this book, as far as the mystery goes, but I enjoyed the glimpses of her nonetheless.
Bottom Line: A charming small town with a copious cast of characters, a small-town library with a surprisingly robust staff list, a feisty library cat with his own plans and plots, and the former head librarian who is haunting her old digs (whom only Carrie and her young cousin can see). Throw in a jewel heist, the missing gems, and a handful of murders and you’ve got yourself an entertaining cozy mystery! Brook’s library setting is every bibliophile’s dream, and Carrie is a very likable heroine. The mystery is well-plotted, and the characters are layered and intriguing. I’m already looking forward to book #3!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some scattered cursing throughout this novel.
Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.
This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes, not RimSP
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What about you? Does your library do anything special for Christmas?