BURIED IN THE STACKS
SERIES: A Haunted Library Mystery #3
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane
RELEASE DATE: September 10, 2019
Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?
In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.
As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her—and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.
And then Dorothy is murdered—run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?
Other Books In This Series
I really enjoy this Haunted Library Mystery series by Allison Brook! The protagonist (with the best name ever) Carrie is very likable in her role as director of programs and events at the local library. A setting which gives her the prime spot for gathering the ‘word on the street’ when investigating the most recent murder – especially when the most recent victim is her former nemesis & coworker at said library. And, let’s face it, what self-respecting bookworm wouldn’t want to spend their days at a library and get paid for it? Not to mention the delightful cat (did I just use those words together??) Smoky Joe who has a personality all his own and adds to the story in his own way. And Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost who aids Carrie in crime-solving.
Dorothy’s murder presents a wealth of suspects since Dorothy was probably one of the least likable people in town, blackmailing her neighbors and coworkers with barely concealed glee. This allows the author to craft a very layered plot, with plenty of suspects and motives to keep you guessing. What makes her story even more interesting is the possible connection to the murder of Evelyn – Dorothy’s aunt, former librarian, and resident library ghost. As mentioned, Evelyn also happens to be Carrie’s partner in investigating the crimes Carrie stumbles across, which raises the stakes in Carrie’s ongoing quest to figure out who murdered Evelyn too.
Another thing I really liked about Buried in the Stacks was the subplot involving the local homeless population who spend their days in the haven of the library. This is a reality in my own public library system, and I so appreciated the author’s compassionate and insightful portrayal of the people involved, giving them dimension and dignity while not sugarcoating the situation. Carrie’s heart for one of the couples who make the library their day shelter is very touching – as is the equal compassion shown by her friends as they also step in to help out in little ways.
Dylan. Sigh. I used to think Dylan was a swoony match for Carrie, but since we share the same name I feel compelled to watch out for her. And to be honest, Dylan was kind-of a jerk in Buried in the Stacks. I don’t sense a lot of chemistry between them anymore either, but that can be overlooked if he actually took Carrie’s feelings and opinions into consideration. As it is, I think she deserves better so he’d better get his act together in the next book!
Bottom Line: Buried in the Stacks is well-written with a multi-layered mystery plot and delightful characters. Carrie is a strong protagonist with her own set of vulnerabilities (that make her even more likable) and a fun network of family and friends (including Smoky Joe & Evelyn). The plethora of suspects will keep you on your reading toes, and the reveal is nicely done. I’m curious to see how the various storylines involving Dylan, Evelyn, and Carrie’s mom (all separately lol) play out in the next book, too. A fun cozy with some depth too, in a lovely bookish setting.
(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 book as well as the implication (but not more than that) of intimacy between people who are not married.
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.
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