Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay

First Line: Lindsey Norris, director of the Briar Creek Public Library, strode across the library with her keys in hand.

Christmas time is fast approaching in Briar Creek, and library director Lindsey Norris has her hands full getting the library ready for the holidays and juggling the two men fighting for her affections. When her beloved world-traveling brother goes missing, all the preparations and juggling get cast aside. There's no question that Jack comes first.

Since police involvement could spell trouble for her brother, Lindsey begins to investigate this very strange case concerning the South American coffee business, but she's going to need the help of her book club buddies and her two eager suitors to save Jack.

On Borrowed Time has more of what we've come to expect from author Jenn McKinlay: a fast pace, endearing characters, a book lover's dream setting, and plenty of humor. She's even pushing the envelope a bit-- and with some success, too.

Lindsey's brother Jack has been alluded to in previous books in this series, but readers haven't had the chance to meet him until now. I liked Jack, although I have to admit that I had misgivings about the plot revolving around him. Bringing international intrigue into a cozy traditional mystery is definitely pushing the envelope, and I would imagine that it's not going to set well with some of McKinlay's fans. I can go along with it because there's no law saying that characters in traditional mysteries all have to have small town jobs. It's more likely that someone like Jack-- who's an economist and travels the world-- would encounter murder and mayhem than a small town library director in Connecticut. Moreover, Jack's piece of the story brought me smack into the middle of the scene I liked the best: Lindsey and friends' plot to foil the villains, which takes place at sea. In fact, there's more than one scene taking place on open water, and I thought both of them were excellent. There's a bit of a thriller writer in McKinlay, methinks!

It may be wishful reading, but I also detected signs pointing to the end of Lindsey's romantic triangle. Ever since Janet Evanovich's neverending  Stephanie/Ranger/Morelli tease (that I got sick of and stopped reading many books ago), I find I have extremely little patience for that particular narrative device. In On Borrowed Time, Sully's and Vine's behavior was childish, and I just wanted to smack both of them and make them go stand in the corner.

I'm looking forward to the next Library Lover's mystery with a great deal of anticipation, but I also feel that McKinlay's wanting to try something new. Whatever she decides to do, I'll be one of the first in line to find out what it is!

On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay
ISBN: 9780425260739
Berkley Prime Crime © 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Cozy Mystery, #5 Library Lovers mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.  


  1. Cathy - I have to admit that there aren't many settings that appeal more than a library. Glad this entry into this series worked for you.

  2. A book set in a library has to be wonderful.

    Very nice post....sounds like a book I would enjoy. Libraries and a murder mystery. Perfect combination.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Your best reads for 2014 are definitely attracting my attention. So many good titles and covers even though I don't know any of the books. Going to check a few out. I am reading the Louise Penny book....I always enjoy her books and love the characters.


    1. I L-O-V-E Louise Penny's books!

    2. Me too...this one is a bit different, but still good.

    3. I've read reviews of this book. It seems several people didn't like it because it was different.


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