Monday, March 31, 2014

Killer Librarian

Author:  Mary Lou Kirwin
Genre:  Mystery

Five Stars

Champion of the mystery section at a small-town Minnesota library, Karen Nash is about to embark on a dream trip to London-a literary tour inspired by every murderous intrigue, wily suspect, and ingenious crime found in the pages of the British mysteries that she devours.  But she's clueless why the love of her mid-life, Dave, would dump her hours before takeoff-until she spies him at the airport with a young honey on his arm!  She decides the best revenge (for now) is to get on that plane anyway...and entertain schemes for Dave's untimely demise while crossing the pond.
After touching ground in the hallowed homeland of Christie, Sayers, and Peters, she checks into a cozy B & B run by charming bibliophile Caldwell Perkins.  Soon she's spilling tears in her pint at the corner pub, sharing her heartbreak saga with a stranger.  That night, a B & B guest drops out of circulation-permanently.  And when Dave and his cutie turn up in London, Karen realizes they are an assassin's target.  With the meticulous attention to detail that makes her a killer librarian, Karen sleuths her way through her own real-life mystery-in which library science meets the art of murder.  (From the back cover).
When I began reading this book, I thought it would be pretty much like many other "cozy" mysteries: dead body, amateur sleuth, sleuth becomes the hunted.  Well, it's yes and no.  And I'm not going to tell you which part is which.  But I found the book quite different and completely entrancing, in the fact that I read the entire thing in one night (I usually take a break and read in two days, not one).  But this book was different.  As the back cover reads, Karen is a librarian, her boyfriend breaks up with her, and she decides to take her trip anyway since she has the two weeks' vacation already planned.  But when she arrives in London, things really become interesting. 
The owner of the B & B is, as stated, a bibliophile like herself.  So much so, that he has books spilling out from every corner and crevice of the place (a man after my own heart!)  While the other guests - Americans Betty and Barb (referred to as the Tweedles), Howard and Annette Worth, and Frenchwoman Francine - aren't even interested in books, Karen is in heaven.  When she discovers the dead body of one of the guests, she's shaken - and realizes she is most likely staying in a home with a killer, which obviously unnerves her, but stoic Minnesotan that she is, decides to enjoy her vacation while she can. 
I really won't say more than that, because to do so would be giving away much of the plot.  And a delightful plot it was.  I felt as if I were with Karen, meandering through the streets of London, discovering things she was discovering; and finding out things about herself that she never knew existed.  Her sheer pleasure at being in London shines through the pages, and honestly, for myself I found that watching Karen find herself was more interesting than watching her find a killer.
Highly enjoyable, highly recommended and I can't wait to read more from this author.

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