Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.
At the moment I am finishing up Sarah Morgan's A Wedding in December and will soon be starting my November TBR Poll Winner, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor. I need a little something different from all the holiday romances I have been reading as of late, and so am looking forward to it.
In an effort to catch up with review posts, I thought I would share two of my recent reads, which seem very fitting for the upcoming winter season. If you have not already, I recommend you give the Haunted Library series a try!
Read and Gone (The Haunted Library Mysteries #2) by Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books, 2018
Crime Fiction/Cozy; 320 pgs
I glanced around my cottage at the thirty or so guests laughing and chatting, and grinned.Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
Dina cackled. "Here we sit in a pizza parlor, the daughters of two thieves."
"I grew ashamed and embarrassed, knowing my father was a thief," I said. "Jim was away most of the time, and I missed him a lot. Now I'm glad he wasn't around."My thoughts:
Head of Programs and Events at the public library, Carrie Singleton, is settling nicely into her new cottage and life in Clover Ridge. On the night of her birthday and house warming party, she is awakened in the wee hours of the morning by her father who has a favor to ask. Carrie hasn’t seen him in years, and his visit now is less than welcome. He was in and out of her life when she was growing up, stealing and serving time in prison. Now he wants her to talk to his former partner in crime about getting his share of gems they had stolen together. Carrie, of course, says no immediately. Then the body of the jeweler her dad had asked her to speak to is discovered—with her dad caught at the scene of the murder. Carrie believes her dad is innocent of the murder.
Despite everything he’s done in the past, Carrie feels protective towards her dad. When it comes to him, her decisions are not always the brightest. His presence in her life threatens the perfect life she’s created, including getting in the way of her fairly new romantic relationship. I felt like I got to see a different side to Carrie in Read and Gone. Family can bring out the best and worst of us. And with a personal stake in this particular case, Carrie isn’t always at her best. Still, with the help of Evelyn, the librarian ghost, and her cat Smokey Joe, Carrie is able to keep her head enough to ask the right questions to get closer to the truth.
I raced through Read and Gone just as I had the first book in the series. There is just something about the way Allison Brook writes that has me wanting to read her books every chance I get—and even when I’m not supposed to. The reader gets to know more of the Clover Ridge residents, as well as more about Carrie’s past. The mystery was strong—at times intense—and I enjoyed seeing more of Carrie’s love interest in this second book of the series. I am really enjoying this series so far.
Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries #3) by Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books, 2019
Crime Fiction/Cozy; 316 pgs
"The blue-cheese burger and fries are calling to me, but I'm going with a small salad, no bread," Angela said, looking up from the lunch menu with a sigh.
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
My hand shook as I opened the door. I stood outside the staff room, too dazed to move.My thoughts:
With winter coming and temperatures dropping, the homeless residents of Clover Ridge are taking shelter in the library, much the consternation of some of the town’s more fortunate residents. Carrie wants to do what she can to help the homeless and joins the committee of volunteers seeking to renovate an old house the homeless residents can use during the day when the shelter is closed. Only, the more Carrie learns about the plans for Haven House, the more she questions the motives behind those involved with getting it off the ground. Could it be a cover for an illegal operation? And what about the alleged accident and later death of a not-so-well-liked librarian? Could the two be tied together or was it just a freak accident? Librarian Carrie, with the help of the library’s ghost Evelyn, and the library cat Smoky Joe are ready to take on another case—or will Carrie be in way over her head this time?
Carrie continues in her role as Head of Programs and Events at the public library, and is proving she is more than well suited for the job. I wish my library had half the programs the Clover Ridge library has. This is the third book in the Haunted Library series, and I continue to enjoy the series. Carrie puts herself in danger’s way more than once during her investigation, despite the warnings from both her boyfriend and the police chief, making me want to shake a little more sense in her. She should know better, but she’s a bit impatient when it comes to waiting for the police to do their job. Besides, there isn’t much they can do without evidence.
On a personal note, Carrie and her boyfriend are still feeling out their relationship. Carrie seems to have difficulty with trust, which is understandable given her past. I found it ironic that some of her concerns about her boyfriend’s occupation are the same concerns he voices about her amateur sleuthing—at least he has the excuse of being trained and doing his job professionally.
While the outcome and twists in this particular installment were not always surprising, Buried in the Stacks was still an entertaining read, and I enjoyed seeing how everything played out. The author gives us a glimpse of what is to come in the series at the end of this novel, and I am looking forward to seeing what trouble Carrie finds herself in next!
Does this sound like a series you would be interested in trying? (You can find my review of the first book in the series Death Overdue here.)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!
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