Thursday, August 5, 2021

Book Review: One for the Books by Jenn McKinlay (Library Lover's Mysteries #11)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters we love, enjoyable story
Cons: Could have used one final polish
The Bottom Line:
Wedding approaching
But murder complicates it
Rewarding for fans

Lindsey and Sully Face Complications on the Way Down the Aisle

It’s funny how this worked out, but Jenn McKinlay had weddings for the main characters in two of her cozy mystery series happen in books that came out within a few months of each other.  And, while Lindsey and Sully technically got married first in One for the Books, I’m just now attending their wedding.  Of course, being a cozy mystery, they also have to deal with a dead body in the week leading up to their wedding.

With a week to go before her wedding, Lindsey suddenly realizes her small wedding is going to be larger than she had planned.  That necessitates a trip to Bell Island, the island where Sully’s family lives and where the couple is planning to get married.  Once there, Lindsey and Sully make a horrific discovery – the body of Steve Briggs, the justice of the peace who is supposed to marry them.  Sully has been friends with Steve since they were both kids, so he takes the death hard.  For Sully’s sake, they start seeing what they can uncover.  Can they solve the crime, find a new officiant, and still get married as planned?

I know, I jumped in a bit more with my plot teaser than I normally would.  Honestly, if you aren’t already reading the series, I don’t recommend you jump in here because this is a book for the fans.  There are so many great moments that won’t mean anything to you if you aren’t already familiar with the characters.  I definitely recommend the series, so I recommend you go back to the beginning and read all of them so you can enjoy this book.

For fans, this will be a rewarding read.  There is so much to love about the character interactions here.  The growth we’ve been seeing in the characters and their relationships continues to pay off here, and I love that.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t as strong as it could have been.  It just felt like it needed one final polish to work out some rough spots.  We get some information after the fact and there’s a timeline issue in an already squishy timeline.  The climax to the mystery seems a bit rushed, too.

But, as I say, there is still much to enjoy.  I wasn’t really buying one particular sub-plot, but I forgave it when I saw how it played out.  The story kept me engrossed the entire time, and the climax was wonderfully captivating.

One thing I especially appreciate about this series was driven home for me as I was reading.  Emma is the chief of police in town, and she discourages Lindsey and Sully from getting involved in the murder – as she should.  However, she also listens to them when they come to her with information.  And she makes it clear at various points that she is doing her job and following the evidence when she takes certain actions.  It’s refreshing compared to a typical cozy series.

The book is set in December, so we not only have a wedding but the beginnings of Christmas as the story unfolds.  While not a heavy Christmas book, I enjoyed the bits of Christmas that did creep into the story.

And, of course, there’s the humor.  It takes quite a bit to get me to laugh out loud at a book, but I was doing that at a couple of scenes here.  I might have teared up at the wedding, too.

There really is much to enjoy here, and fans will be thrilled when they set down One for the Books.  If that isn’t you yet, don’t wait any longer to check out this series.

Need to back up?  Here are the rest of the Library Lover’s Mysteries in order.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this one but agree it wasn't as strong as it could be nor is it a good one for just non-reader of the series to jump in with. It definitely felt more like a character developing story then one that focused on the mystery.