Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay

First Line: "I need a plunger and a mop stat!"

In the course of delivering books out to their home on one of the Thumb Islands off the coast of Connecticut, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended the elderly Stewart and Peter Rosen. But on her latest trip out to Star Island, Lindsey and Sully discover Peter's dead body in the old Victorian house... and they can't find Stewart anywhere. Positive that whoever killed Peter is out to kill his brother as well, Lindsey is determined to find a killer and save Stewart.

Author Jenn McKinlay's first book in hardcover is a real winner in her always-enjoyable Library Lovers series. More than once McKinlay has shown a true talent for the thriller side of crime fiction, and she does it again here. The Rosen brothers are hoarders, and this fact provides both thrills and comic relief to anyone who's seen even thirty seconds of an episode of Hoarders. (I watched fifteen minutes of one episode a few years back, and the images are still seared on my brain.) 

In A Likely Story, McKinlay adds a delicious creep factor when Lindsey attempts to track an intruder through the claustrophobic Rosen house. With narrow little paths through towering, leaning piles of booby-trapped junk, I wasn't sure if Lindsey was going to be buried alive or jumped on by a killer. This is a wonderfully written scene. In turn, the state of the brothers' home provides some great one-liners for Lindsey, such as "When she got home she was going to sort her linen closet just to make herself feel better."

This is a mystery with a short suspect list, so it's the all-important Why and How that matter, and along the way readers get to experience Lindsey's friend Beth meeting a potential Mr. Right, something that-- with Beth's track record-- is perilous at best. Speaking of romance, A Likely Story ends on a romantic cliffhanger, and since I am not a fan of that particular "triangular" plot device, I really hope it's resolved in the next installment.

As a celebratory bonus at the end of the book, McKinlay has included the short story, "An Unlikely Meeting." Please don't miss it! You not only get your Heathcliff Fix by reading it, you also get to meet a new series character. This short story really has me looking forward to the next book. Write faster, Jenn!

A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay
ISBN: 9780425260746
Berkley Prime Crime © 2015
Hardcover, 304 pages

Cozy Mystery, #1 Library Lovers mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.



  1. Oh, this does sound like a good read, Cathy. And what's not to like about a Library Lovers series of books! I respect authors who can write good creepy scenes, too, that don't go 'over the top.'

    1. Yes, that's a very fine line, and McKinlay didn't have a bit of trouble with it.

  2. Regarding hoarding, well, I watched a bit of one of those shows and it made me break out in a cold sweat. I am so NOT A HOARDER. OK, calmer now. This is a series that I've meant to read. Lovely that she's got a hardcover. I look forward to reading it - sometime. Famous last words.

    1. I didn't exactly break out in a cold sweat, but I did feel very ill. I have a friend who is a hoarder, and when she complains about not being able to use rooms in her house for what they were intended for or not being able to find things, I've learned to just keep my mouth shut. She doesn't live close by or I think I would've gone over and....


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