Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Book Review: Death in the Stacks by Jenn McKinlay (Library Lover's Mysteries #8)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters, laughs, cameos
Cons: Pacing of the mystery
The Bottom Line:
Fundraising murder
Book that features cameos
Delightful for fans

Cameos and Murder

One of my local libraries has had author events that included dinner in the library after hours for the guests.  I got a thrill out of that the two times I was able to go.  I couldn’t help but think of those events while reading Death in the Stacks.

As the book opens, Lindsey Norris and the rest of the staff at the Briar Creek Public Library are preparing for the annual Dinner in the Stacks.  Unlike the events I just mentioned, this one is a fundraiser for the library and includes dancing and an auction.  However, the event this year is running into snags in the form of Olive Boyle, the new president of the library board.

Olive is used to throwing her weight around and having her demands met.  She also collects secrets and uses them to get her way with people.  Not only is she trying to make over the Dinner in the Stacks event, but she is also trying to get one of the librarians fired, taking Lindsey out as well.

As the event is winding down, Olive’s body is discovered in the middle of the fiction section.  With Lindsey and the rest of the staff on the suspect list, Lindsey finds her resolve to stop investigating crime wavering.  But with everyone Olive ever met as a suspect, can Lindsey find the truth?

The book takes a bit of time setting up the crime, and in that time, we learn to loath Olive as much as the characters do.  Even once she dies, I felt like the pacing was a bit off.  However, there is an excellent mystery here with some fantastic twists and a surprising climax.

But the characters are really the stars of this book.  Since this is book eight, that’s not necessarily a problem for the series’ fans.  After all, we wouldn’t still be reading the series if we didn’t love the characters.  Still, some of their antics took over at times.  On the other hand, we got some fantastic character development here.  Expected character development at times, but still stuff that series fans will love.

And I can’t leave out the biggest Easter egg for fans of all three of Jenn McKinlay’s series.  The characters from both her Cupcake Bakery and Hat Shop series show up in this book.  They don’t take over, but they do each have a few scenes, and those scenes are enough to make those who are fans of the series smile.  If you haven’t read those series yet, you won’t get a few jokes, but you won’t be too lost since Lindsey doesn’t know the characters either.  Also, if you want to know why we got the time jump in the newest Hat Shop book, this book will explain why it had to happen.

I’ve mentioned antics and jokes a couple of times now.  Like the others in the series, this book will make you laugh.  And the more you know the characters, the more of the humor you will get.

In the way of extras at the end, this book has discussion questions for one of the books the Crafternoon book club is discussing in the novel as well as directions for a craft project and three recipes.

While the pacing could have been better, the laughs and the cameos from Jenn’s other series make Death in the Stacks another winner for me.  This one was written for fans, and they will love every page.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Library Lover’s Mysteries.

1 comment:

  1. I love this series but somehow missed a couple in the middle and this unfortunately is one of them. I can't wait to read it!


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