Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Death Checked Out by Leah Dobrinska

Posted December 20, 2022 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Leah Dobrinska / 7 Comments

DEATH CHECKED OUT by Leah Dobrinska
A Larkspur Library Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Level Best Books
RELEASE DATE: December 6, 2022
PAGES: 315

When in doubt, go to the library…and solve the murder mystery!

Greta Plank, library director in the small, lakeside town of Larkspur, Wisconsin, prefers her rose-tinted glasses extra rosy, thank you very much. It’s how she copes with the hard stuff in life…like her sister’s death and her ex-boyfriend’s deception. But Greta’s cheery resolve takes a hit when she stumbles upon a dead body on her way home from work. What she assumes is a terrible accident Greta soon learns is something more sinister, and to make matters worse, a new-to-town detective cites her as not only his primary source for the case, but his top suspect.

To clear her name and save her reputation, Greta decides to do some off-the-books clue cataloging of her own. After all, asking questions is what she does best. With the help of her fellow librarians and her lawyer mom, Greta flips through the pages of the murder, uncovering details about Larkspur’s real estate market and the deceased’s rare book collection as she tries to understand why anyone would have authored his death.

With friends and neighbors stacking up as both victims and suspects, Greta must cross reference the facts and put a hold on her idyllic worldview if she wants to get the full story without paying the fine of her life.


“Larkspur Lane cut through the center of town like the spine of a storybook.”

A librarian amateur sleuth? check.

A small town in Wisconsin? check.

A gaggle of quirky but endearing supporting characters? check.

A rare book collection? check.

A romance potential ahead? check.

In short, Death Checked Out has all the ingredients for a cozy mystery that I simply had to read. The cherry on top was that opening line that I quoted above … the delightful word picture it created, of course, but also the way it instantly put one of my favorite Nancy Drew books to mind – The Password to Larkspur Lane. Nostalgia is always fun in a cozy mystery (or any read, for that matter).

Bottom Line: Death Checked Out by Leah Dobrinska combines several of my favorite things into a cozy mystery with a lot of heart. Greta is a likable protagonist and her two best friends are the best sidekicks since Nancy Drew’s Bess and George. The mystery was nicely crafted, and I only had bits & pieces of it figured out before Greta and the swoony detective too. I’m looking forward to more of this series!

(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 / enjoyed it!

affiliate links used

Leah Dobrinska is the author of the Larkspur Library Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the Wisconsin Northwoods, and the Mapleton novels, a series of standalone small town romances. She earned her degree in English Literature from UW-Madison and has since worked as a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer. As a kid, she hoped to grow up to be either Nancy Drew or Elizabeth Bennet. Now, she fulfills that dream by writing mysteries and love stories. Death Checked Out is her debut cozy mystery.

A sucker for a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books—both old and new—Leah lives out her very own happily ever after in a small Wisconsin town with her husband and their gaggle of kids. When she’s not writing, handing out snacks, or visiting local parks, Leah enjoys reading and running. Find out more about Leah, join her newsletter community, and connect with her through her website,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour by clicking the banner below

What about you? What makes you want to read Death Checked Out by Leah Dobrinska?

Tags: , , ,

7 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Death Checked Out by Leah Dobrinska

Leave a Reply