Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Book Review: On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay (Library Lover's Mysteries #5)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong story and characters, fun
Cons: A couple of very minor issues
The Bottom Line:
Hunt for her brother
Puts Lindsey in more danger
Can’t put the book down




Can Lindsey Find Her Brother Before Time Runs Out?

When I realized months ago On Borrowed Time was set in December, I made a point of timing my reading for the Library Lover’s Mysteries so I was ready to read book five this month.  While the December setting wasn’t as pivotal to the book as I thought it might be, I completely enjoyed it.

Before I go any further, I should issue a spoiler warning.  Because of the nature of some ongoing storylines, this book spoils events from previous books.  It can’t be helped.  So, if you want to read the series unspoiled, be sure to read them in order.

Lindsey Norris is getting ready for the weekly Crafternoon meeting, but she finds a surprise guest hiding out in their usual meeting room – her brother Jack.  She wasn’t expecting to see him for a few more weeks when her entire family arrived for Christmas.  He begs her to keep his presence a secret and promises to explain everything after a nap.  Lindsey returns after the meeting, but instead of her brother, she finds a dead body on the floor.  Who is the dead man?  Where is her brother?  And how much danger is he in?

I always like to tease as little as possible when I write my reviews.  In this case, I am getting away with only the first 15 pages.  Yes, the action starts that quickly.  Things do slow down a little after that, but there is plenty of suspense to keep us engaged until everything falls into place in a great action-packed climax.

The romantic triangle is still in full force here.  This book provides a great opportunity for some character development in one of the guys involved.  It seems obvious to me which way Lindsey is leaning.  Honestly, I find this particular storyline is just fodder for some humor.  Some of these scenes were pretty funny, but some felt a bit repetitive.  Still, it kept its rightful place as a sub-plot here, which I appreciated.

Speaking of humor, the last scene is a classic for sure.

I already mentioned that one of the guys got some pretty significant development.  The rest of the cast is just as strong.  They are all real as we read, and I’ve finally spent enough time with the gang that I can remember who all the Crafternoon members are, which was nice.  We don’t spend much time with the suspects, but they are still developed enough to make us care about the outcome.

The book has plenty of extras at the end.  As usual, we’ve got a couple recipes, a craft project idea, and discussion questions for The Woman in White, the book that the Crafternooners were planning to discuss when everything starts.

I’ve already hinted that this wasn’t a book with a heavy Christmas theme.  I was momentarily disappointed when I realized this, but it was long before I didn’t care.  Honestly, discussions of decorations or parties would have slowed down the story, and I didn’t want any distractions from finding out what was going to happen next.

So don’t pick up this book expecting a warm holiday cozy.  But pick up this book.  You’ll quickly be captured by the story of On Borrowed Time and be racing the clock to find out what happens next.

Need to check out more great mysteries?  Here are the rest of the Library Lover's Mysteries in order.

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