Thursday, May 30, 2019

Buried in the Stacks (A Haunted Library Mystery #3)

Author:  Allison Brook
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover: Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781643851389
Crooked Lane
[Page # TBA)
[$ TBA] $12.99 Amazon
September 10, 2019

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In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople.  When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket.  She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her -- and that he murdered her aunt Evelyn, the library's resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered - run off the road as soon as she returns to work.  Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece's killer, but that's no easy task.  Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues.  Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?

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Carrie Singleton works as a librarian in the town of Clover Ridge, Connecticut.  She's been asked to be the new Sunshine Delegate - who sends cards and gifts to employees - and unfortunately her first assignment is Dorothy Hawkins, who dislikes Carrie because she believes Carrie's job should have gone to her.

When Carrie visits Dorothy in the hospital, she tells her that her husband tried to kill her.  Carrie doesn't know what to think, but allows it to pass.  Then, when Dorothy is murdered, she wonders if she could have prevented it and if Dorothy was really afraid of her seemingly gentle husband, Fred.

There's also a homeless problem in the library - they come there to keep warm this February, but several of them are disruptive and the patrons want them removed.  When a solution is offered, Carrie jumps at the chance to help.  But she soon finds that all is not what it seems, and the solution might be hiding something illegal.

Her ghost-in-residence Evelyn, Dorothy's aunt, asks her to find out who killed Dorothy.  But when she starts investigating - against the wishes of the police - she discovers that it might be her who's next on the killer's list...

This is the third book in the series and I will say that it is better than the first two, but I have to wonder if anyone in this library ever comes to read books.  People come in looking for solutions to household problems that they can figure out themselves on their own computers (unless they're dumber than a box of rocks you don't need books to figure out any of these problems), hold meetings, watch programs, etc.; but no one is ever reading (except the homeless people).

I'm also amazed at how much money this library has for extra things - a charge card for gifts for employees?  At most businesses, they take up a collection among employees for flowers when someone takes ill or dies, but I've never heard of a specific job for this.  If this library has all this extra money - for programs, cafes, gardens, etc.; why doesn't the town have any money to help the homeless?  As a note, you can't kick homeless people out of a library because patrons don't like them there.  It's a public institution paid for with taxpayer dollars and is open to the public.  The ACLU would make quick work of them.

I was irritated at Doris and Henry's son for not finding a way to keep his parents with him.  They lose their business, and in order to live with him at all, he makes them get rid of their beloved pet, then gets a one-bedroom apartment and throws them out on the streets.  What kind of jerk is he?  I'd sleep on the floor and give my parents my bed before I'd allow this. 

Also, Angela states how Carrie is her maid-of-honor, then later mentions how her cousin is, then even later it's back to Carrie; and more than once Carrie tells us that she wanted to live with her mother but she wouldn't let her.  These are details that should have been picked up on but weren't.  Honestly, we really don't care about Angela's wedding.  We all know what brides are doing to prepare, and it's not interesting at all.  (Although I did figure out that Carrie's favorite style of dress is sweetheart neckline).

As to the murder, I found it odd why Carrie would stand up at the funeral and basically tell people she was going to find the murderer.  Nice way to make yourself a target, and then she's surprised when someone notices her investigating.  Why would she do that?  Announce it to all and sundry?  It didn't make any sense.

I guess the truth of the matter is the book was disappointing.  There was so much back-and-forth in the book so you really couldn't get into the murder at all: the murder, the homeless, the wedding, Dylan's business, Carrie's baggage, the library programs (which are mostly not plausible), Carrie's meals, Evelyn's withholding of information, looking for Smokey Joe, etc., and not enough on the straightforward murder investigation, which should have been the crux of the book.  You couldn't really get drawn in when everything else was taking you back out.

I never felt that we really got to know the suspects, because there just wasn't any time given to any of them, so while the murderer was a surprise, it would have been no matter who the murderer was because we never got to investigate anything.  We weren't given any clues at all because of the aforementioned back-and-forth. 

I would have liked to have enjoyed the book more, but I basically finished it in order to find out the killer, and if I had realized the plot device addition, I would have known who the killer was (I'm not saying it here, but it pretty much explained it all).  Anyway, I think I'm done with this series as it just doesn't seem believable to me.  Sorry.

https://www.amazon.com/Buried-Stacks-Haunted-Library-Mystery/dp/1643851381/ref=sr_1_1?

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2840279274

More on Allison Brook's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/b/allison-brook/

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