Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
Published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin
This is the first book in the new Library Lover’s Mysteries series.
Lindsay always imagined that she would use her Library Science degree in a large and prestigious academic library, but things don’t always go as you plan, and she now finds herself as the new library director in the small town of Briar Creek. At least her best friend Beth is in Briar Creek as well, and even works at Lindsay’s library as the phenomenal children’s librarian. Lindsay may not have Beth around for long, however, because she has been accused first of plagiarizing the work of her boyfriend, a famous children’s author, but also of his murder after their public – and loud – breakup. Now Lindsay must fight to save her friend and find the real murderer, before it is too late.
A cozy mystery set anywhere around books is always something I am going to want to check out, and Books Can Be Deceiving sounded just perfect. What reader, after all, can resist crimes set in a library?
Books Can Be Deceiving, though, did not get off to the best start. Something about the opening couple of chapters was slightly awkward and not particularly engaging. I am used to Julie Hyzy’s cozies that suck the reader in from page one, and Books Can Be Deceiving did not accomplish that. One thing that kept pulling me out of the book was the fact that the Briar Creek Public Library book club was reading The Last Time I Saw Paris, a book also out from Berkley released only two months earlier. This would be unlikely to bother most readers, but I kept wondering about Jenn McKinlay and Lynne Sheene, wondering if they are friends, do they have the same agent, same editor, etc? It just distracted me and certainly did not help me with my already rocky immersion into the story.
Still, by the time the dead body was found, McKinlay had me. The writing gained confidence and became increasingly interesting as the story progressed, and by the end I was completely enthralled. Despite the less than stellar start, I can honestly say I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
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