23 June 2011

Just finished reading...

Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay.*

In the Acknowledgments at the beginning of this book, author Jenn McKinley mentions that she's worked in a variety of positions in a number of libraries. Her knowledge of the "inner-workings" of the public library is obvious in the first of the Library Lover's mysteries.

Lindsey Norris has been the director of the public library in the tiny town of Briar Creek, Connecticut for only a few months. After being laid off from her job at Yale, Lindsey is persuaded to take the job by her her best friend Beth, a Briar Creek native who returned there as the children's librarian after graduating from library school.

Beth is also writing a picture book, but has always been insecure about her talents as an illustrator, mostly because of the disparagement by her Caldecott-winning boyfriend Rick. When she finds out a New York editor is staying at a local inn, Lindsey arranges for Beth to meet with her, which causes some friction between the couple.

When, the day after the meeting, Rick is found dead in his cottage, Beth is immediately suspect number one in the eyes of the local police.

There are some stereotypes here: a narrow-minded small-town cop, a flaky ex-hippie, and a sailor who's handsome, strong and quiet. Despite this, the story is interesting, funny and engrossing. Lindsey is an appealing protagonist, and her efforts to prove the innocence of her closest friend are understandable and plausible.

Every librarian who reads this will be envious of Lindsey's library board and a community room with a fireplace.

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.

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