Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay

Jenn McKinlay, author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, whipped up a new recipe for success with Books Can Be Deceiving. This time, she takes readers to the charming town of Briar Creek, Connecticut in the first Library Lover's Mystery.

Lindsey Norris has only been the library director in Briar Creek for six months. Her best friend, Beth Stanley, is the children's librarian there. Lindsey has made a number of friends in town, from her motherly landlord to the eighty-year-old library board president, who regularly practices yoga in the library. But, she can't warm up to Beth's boyfriend, Rick, a successful children's book illustrator. Rick and Beth argue in public when he tries to stop her from showing her artwork to a visiting children's book editor. And, both women are furious when they find out why Rick has been so secretive. Their plan to confront Rick ends in disaster when they find him dead, and the police chief zeroes in on Beth as his number one suspect. It might take some research, but Lindsey is up to the task of proving Beth didn't kill her boyfriend.

Knowing Jenn McKinlay's other books, I was surprised to find Lindsey Norris to be so naive. She failed in so many ways common to mystery heroines, from leaving a door unlocked to failing to contact the police while going off on her own. Those are qualities I dislike in an amateur sleuth. Saying that, I loved Lindsey as a librarian and library director. The stories of library life, staff and patrons were believable. And, Briar Creek is everything you could want in a small mystery town, a "Decidedly quirky but incredibly kind community." I like Lindsey, Beth, the possibility of a love interest for Lindsey, and so many of the people of Briar Creek. And, the book discussion group is fun, combining knitting and books. In the long run, one of the charms of cozy mysteries is community.And, Jenn McKinlay has created a wonderful community in Briar Creek. So, I'll give Lindsey Norris a chance to grow into her role as amateur sleuth. After all, she's just learning that Books Can Be Deceiving.

Jenn McKinlay's website is www.JennMcKinlay.com

Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay. Berkley Prime Crime.©2011. ISBN 9780425242186 (paperback), 291p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher and the author sent me copies of the book, hoping I would review it.

13 comments:

Karen said...

My daughter loves cozy mysteries - I'll pass this author along to her.

Lesa said...

Karen,

If she loves cozy mysteries, she'd probably enjoy this book, and Jenn's Cupcake series. That series has terrific characters, too.

Liz V. said...

Enjoyed Elizabeth Lynn Casey's librarian. Sounds as if Jenn McKinlay's book might be fun.

Lesa said...

Jenn is spot on with the librarian in this book, Liz, and all of the activities in the library.

Kay said...

OK, you've sold me on this one. Well, I'm such a fan of the cupcake books, I would have tried this one anyway. I love the sentence about library life, staff and patrons. Hope some are "unbelieveable" as that's how I find library life much of the time, especially in summer! LOL

Lesa said...

You're going to love the board president, Kay. I know it didn't take much to sell you on this book, either.

Karen Russell said...

Oh, Lesa, your comments about mystery heroines were spot on. Please do a post where we can all contribute to a list of the cliches we all hate, too! Like: getting a mysterious phone call and going to meet a person alone, at night, in a deserted location.

Lesa said...

Oh, Karen! That sounds like fun. OK. Watch for it. This week is pretty full with reviews, a guest blog, and then Treasures in My Closet and Hot Titles. Maybe I'll do it after the 4th. Great idea! Thanks.

Karen Russell said...

Perfect, I'll be thinking of more ideas. :D

Lesa said...

Thanks, Karen. This should be fun!

London Escort Service said...

An excellent book! Great first book for this series! It left me wanting more. The characters are well thought out, the setting is interesting and pleasant, all in all a place I would like to visit more. This is a nice cozy, with a little bit of a twist at the end. She has set up a possible romantic conflict with new and old love interests. It really did leave me wishing I could take a vacation in her town....

Lesa said...

Oh, I agree! And, the cover of the book did nothing to discourage a visit to the town either.

Larraine said...

It's her first murder. Maybe she "grows" in the series. A lot of people make stupid mistakes when something unexpected happens. I think it makes her human. Now if she keeps on making the same mistake, that's a different story.