CHECKED OUT FOR MURDER
SERIES: Haunted Library Mysteries #4
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: September 8, 2020
Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook’s fourth Haunted Library mystery.
Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she’s a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there’s more to Daphne than she lets on.
The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne’s brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie’s overbearing mother hits town. Mom’s much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that’s lensing locally, and she’s there to keep an eye on him: Tom’s costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fiancée, and there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.
Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne’s mean ex-husband? Carrie’s sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?
Other Books In This Series
I always enjoy spending time with librarian Carrie & librarian ghost Evelyn! Carrie is a layered, well-developed character who is instantly likable & engaging. Readers will be invested in the various events that unfold in her family relationships, friendships, and love life throughout the series, and each new book adds to the dimension that the author gives her protagonist.
In Checked Out For Murder, there’s a lot going on and poor Carrie is, of course, right in the middle of it. Carrie’s mom is in town (oh joy) and so is a movie crew with all the drama you might expect to be along for the ride. Adding to the tension is a young woman’s murder … and then another woman’s murder… and a whole host of suspects including Carrie’s mom & Carrie’s mom’s actor husband Tom. I really liked the twists and turns that the author wove throughout this story, including several that I didn’t see coming – not an easy thing to achieve as much as I read mysteries. It kept me guessing & easily held my attention from start to finish. I also appreciated how much more careful Carrie is in this book, heeding the pleas of her boyfriend Dylan as well as her close friend, the police chief, to not put herself in danger. Of course, danger finds her anyway (this is a cozy mystery after all lol) but she really is trying to be careful this time around haha.
Bottom Line: The Haunted Library Mystery series is a personal fave of mine and so is its heroine Carrie & her ghostly assistant Evelyn. I even like Smoky Joe the cat, which you know is saying something 😉 Checked Out for Murder is every bit as delightful as its predecessors and I think it’s actually the most layered of the books so far. I enjoyed the relationship growth between Carrie & her mother, and the bevy of suspects had me stumped until the very end. A great plot, a great protagonist, and a great read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / Loved it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some scattered, mild cursing throughout this novel.
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series.
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plus a bonus giveaway for my readers!
The author is offering a digital copy of Checked Out For Murder to one of my readers! (Open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter by commenting on this post. (That’s all, easy peasy!)
What about you? What makes you want to read Checked Out For Murder by Allison Brook?