Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Book Review: A Perfect Bind by Dorothy St. James (Beloved Bookroom Mysteries #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Delightful characters, engaging plot, unique premise
Cons: A couple characters that annoyed me
The Bottom Line:
Secret library
Complicates an inquire
Creative and fun

The Body Behind the Library

The Beloved Bookroom Mystery series has such a unique premise – a librarian has a secret room filled with the books that her library was planning to discard as they changed to a completely digital and electronic space.  Of course, the key word there is secret, so as murder happens near the library, Tru Beckett has to jump into the investigation to keep her hidden library a secret.  A Perfect Bind is the second book in the series, and it’s another winner.

It’s been a few weeks since Tru had to open the secret bookroom in the basement of the library, and just when she thought things were going well, someone has started breaking into the basement after hours and knocking the books off the shelves, destroying some in the process.  One patron is certain that there is a poltergeist in the library, something Tru doesn’t want to believe.  But how else can she explain what is happening?

However, the situation goes from bad to worse when the town drunk, Owen Maynard, is found dead behind the library.  He could often be found sleeping one off back there, but someone took his bottle and killed him with it.  Tru can’t help but wonder if the break ins to her secret library are related to Owen’s murder.  But to tell the police that means revealing her secret.  Can she figure out what happened to Owen to keep her secret safe?

I always love it when a series offers a unique twist on a familiar cozy set up, and that’s what the secret bookroom offers this series.  Likewise, this story has a few unique twists on other cozy mystery staples.  I’m not going to say any more than that, but I was pleasantly surprised a few times as the events of the book unfolded.  There are plenty of clues and red herrings to keep the reader engaged.  I had the killer figured out before we were told, but I figured it out about the same time Tru did, so I was very proud of myself.

The characters are mostly enjoyable.  I say mostly because Tru’s mother still annoys me, and I found one more of an annoying caricature than a true character, but those are both minor complaints.  Over the course of the book, we get to see a bit more to the majority of the cast of characters which adds depth to them.  I really love how Tru and her relationships are growing from the first book to this book.

I remembered enjoying the first book in the series, but I somehow didn’t remember the humor of the first book in the series, so it was a pleasant surprise to find myself grinning and laughing as I read this.  The romantic sub-plots in this book were the source of much of it, but some of the character interactions were just as funny.  That also speaks to the characters I mentioned I found annoying.  I’m sure they were supposed to be funny as well, but they fell flat for me.  Other will probably love them.

A Perfect Bind is perfectly delightful.  Pick this book up for a unique and fun mystery.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


  1. I do love cozy mysteries, and I need to read more. This sounds like an enjoyable one. I love that it has some twists on the typical cozies and I'm all about humor!


  2. I passed on the first one but this series is sounding really good so I'm starting to regret that! I need to pick up the first book and this one too.

  3. I am intrigued. What is she going to do with those hidden books?


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