Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinlay

First Lines: "Of course you're all going to audition for the play," Violet La Rue said. "It's the kickoff to our community theater season."

Everyone in Briar Creek wants a part in their Community Theater's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Well, everyone except library director Lindsey Norris. She's more than content to work behind the scenes with costumes and scenery. It gives her time to try to figure out why Sully is jealous of gorgeous professional actor Robbie Vine's flirting with her when Sully's the one who ended their relationship. When someone in the cast is poisoned, all thoughts of possible romantic entanglements are cast aside. This librarian has a murder to solve before someone else has a final curtain call.

Of the four first-rate mystery series that Jenn McKinlay writes, this is my favorite. Perhaps it's the library setting that feels like home to me. Perhaps it's a varied cast of characters that grow and change with each book. There's a new police chief in town who's been warned of Lindsey's nosy ways. We finally learn a little more about Violet La Rue and her daughter Charlene. Lindsey's relationship with Sully may be at an end, but someone new in town is obviously attracted to her. Even grumpy by-the-book librarian Ms. Cole is seen in a different light. It's a wise writer who realizes that-- regardless how much fans may whine and complain-- the best characters to come back to time and again are the ones who experience ups and downs just like we readers do.

The plot is a good one with shades of the Bard throughout. Not everyone is as they appear to be. Romance is in the air for more people than just Lindsey, and there's a heart-stopping brush with death. But there's more to this Library Lovers series than well-told tales and interesting characters.

In Read It and Weep, we learn a bit about putting on a play, especially behind the scenes. Scenery, costume fittings, assigning understudies, run-throughs of the script-- all these things and more fit snugly into the story. What's more, anyone who's ever checked out a book will certainly enjoy this one (and the series) for the glimpses into life in the stacks that real-life librarian McKinlay shares. From using library skills to research information into a murder, to the "there's always one in the bunch" rulemeister, to the knockout scene where Lindsay helps a little girl find her book with the pumpkin on the cover, the author shows what magical places libraries are. 

This is a series that started well and just keeps getting better. If you love books, laughter, romance, and trying to figure out whodunit, may I suggest that you read all about Briar Creek's nosy library director, Lindsey Norris?

Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinlay
ISBN: 9780425260722 
Berkley Prime Crime © 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Cozy Mystery, #4 Library Lovers mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen 


  1. Cathy - What's not to love about a library setting? And the whole theatre context is great, too. No wonder you enjoyed this so much.

    1. With the exception of the rulebook librarian's name, it's as though McKinlay writes these books for me. :-)


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