Monday, May 9, 2011

Books Can Be Deceiving-Jenn McKinlay

Books Can Be Deceiving
Jenn McKinlay
Berkley, Jul 5 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425242186

After catching her fiancé with his graduate student, Lindsey Norris ends the engagement and moves to Briar Creek to become the director of the town library. The relocation also has the benefit of her being closer to her graduate school roommate Beth Stanley who heads the children’s section of the library. Beth has been dating famous children book writer and illustrator Rick Eckman for five years. When she has a chance to show her book she authored to a visiting editor, Rick says she is not good enough so should avoid embarrassing herself.

His painful comments cause Beth to break up with Rick. She shows her work to the editor who says she has talent but also says her idea has been used before. After Beth leaves, the editor informs Lindsey that her friend plagiarized the book from Rick. Knowing that is not true, Lindsey and Beth travel to Gull Island to confront Rick. Beth enters his home alone to make it clear to Rick he will pay. Instead she screams. Rick is dead from a knife wound to his chest. Chief Daniels believes Beth killed him in a fit of rage. Lindsey knows otherwise and plans to prove her friend’s innocence; starting with learning why Rick pretended to be a recluse with a different name.

This charming cozy shows that a good mystery does not need blood and gore (Rick’s is off page) to keep reader’s attention. In many ways this is a cerebral whodunit as the fabulous lead librarian thinks before she acts. Fans will want to know who the perpetrator is and whether the homicide’s motive involves writing. As Jenn McKinlay has done with her Cupcake Bakery mysteries, her first Library Lover’s Mystery is a tasty read.

Harriet Klausner

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