Thursday, June 14, 2018

Borrowed Crime (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery #3)

Author:  Laurie Cass
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780425415486
Obsidian Mystery
352 Pages
$7.99; $7.99 Amazon
March 3, 2015

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When Minnie loses a grant that was supposed to keep the bookmobile running, she's worried that her pet project could come to its final page.  But she's determined to keep her patrons - and Eddie's fans - happy and well-read.  She just needs her boss, Stephen, to see things her way...and she needs to make sure he doesn't see Eddie.  The library director does not exactly know about the bookmobile's furry copilot.

But when a volunteer dies on the bookmobile's route, Minnie finds her traveling library in an even more precarious position.  Although the death was originally ruled a hunting accident, a growing stack of clues is pointing towards murder.  It's up to Minnie and Eddie to find the killer, and fast - before the best chapter of her life comes to a messy close...

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Minnie Hamilton and her cat Eddie run the bookmobile for the local library.  Right now she's having trouble finding volunteers to ride with her, because there has to be two people on the bus at all times.  When her volunteer Denise Slade hints that she might not be able to make it every time, of course Minnie gets frustrated.  One morning she expects Denise but instead finds her husband Roger waiting, stating that Denise had other obligations.  Since it's too late to do anything about it, Minnie decides to let it go.  What she discovers, though, is that Roger is much better company than Denise, and the day is going fine until they stop at a convenience store.  When Roger gets out for a few minutes and doesn't return, Minnie goes to look for him.  She finds Roger behind the store, apparently shot.

What at first looks like an accident soon turns into a murder investigation.  Faced with the facts that Roger's sister is threatening to sue the library for negligence and probably being fired in the process, Minnie decides her only option is to find the murderer herself since the police don't have any inclination to do so, in her opinion.

While looking into the matter, she also finds Denise may have been the target, not Roger, and that plenty of people hated her - who believes herself to be a champion of right and wrong, with no grey areas in between black and white.  While it made her plenty of enemies, did one of them hate her enough to want her dead?  And if so, are they willing to keep trying?...

I have to say that this book is much better than the last one, and has coherency.  It wasn't "all over the place" and actually had a plot you could follow, which is a good thing.  There weren't so many characters you had to keep looking back and forth throughout the book to figure out who was who.

Also on Minnie's plate is the fact her job may be in jeopardy, and she's trying to keep Eddie's being on the bus secret from him, because she thinks he'll fire her on the spot if he knows.  Not to mention there's a strange new neighbor across the street that won't talk to anyone; her new friend Deputy Wolverson is also acting slightly strange around her, and her relationship with Dr. Tucker Kleinow has seem to hit a snag.

While I enjoyed it more than the second, there were still some problems.  Like if she doesn't want Eddie shredding toilet paper, why don't they just shut the bathroom door?  My cats grew out of the shredding stage before they were full grown (some never even did it), so the only thing I can think of is Eddie is bored.  She gives him toys, but not once does she mention she played with him for awhile.  Poor little cat.  He's only there for her convenience so people will come and check out books.  (FYI, I play with my cats on a daily basis).

Minnie also confronted her neighbor about avoiding her, and really should have allowed him to open up on his own.  If a neighbor confronted me, they wouldn't do it twice.  Secondly, she acts as if she didn't have the bookmobile her life would be over.  I'm sure in college they don't tell you that the bookmobile is the best part of a library - I don't know any town that even has one although I'm sure some do.  I also wondered why a kindergarten teacher would need a bookmobile.  Unless things have changed, schools have their own libraries - with a better selection of books. 

Denise is not a likable person at all, and I think she was bipolar with all the mood swings.  Medication would have helped her a lot.  Stephen is becoming a little more human, which is a nice touch, and even Detective Inwood is unbending a little.  I really dislike hard-nosed cops that hate the protagonist, so that was nice.

In the end when the killer was discovered it made sense and was fairly satisfying, although not unexpected.  The clues were there if you looked for them, but it was still a decent read.  I will probably read the next in the series and see where it goes.

https://www.amazon.com/Borrowed-Crime-Bookmobile-Cat-Mystery/dp/0451415485/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2424000286

More on Laurie Cass's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/c/laurie-cass/

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