First Line: "Let the wild rumpus start!" Beth Stanley cried as the cart of books she had stacked to bursting abruptly regurgitated its contents all over the Briar Creek Public Library's main floor with a loud rushing noise followed by slaps and thumps as the books landed on the ground.
Lindsey Norris and her staff at the Briar Creek Public Library are swamped with returns when they hold their very first overdue book amnesty day, but one book catches Lindsey's eye: a copy of Catcher in the Rye that's twenty years past due. Due to Ms. Cole's excellent recordkeeping, she's shocked to discover that the book was checked out by a teacher named Candice Whitley on the day she was murdered. Her killer was never found.
Lindsey can't help wondering if the book can provide a clue to Candice's killer. Was the murderer the person who returned it? Lindsey is determined to find and bring this person to justice.
I've long been a fan of Jenn McKinlay's feel good writing, and she's delivered another winner with Better Late Than Never. In the midst of speculation over the state of Lindsey and Sully's relationship and the meddling of that British actor who insists on hanging around Briar Creek, we are served up a story about the power of friendship in a setting that showcases how libraries are changing with the times.
The characters are of utmost importance, as they should be in any cozy series worth its salt, and you can tell I've fallen under their spell after reading my remark about "that British actor." Fortunately there are some very interesting developments with that man in the book, and I certainly want to know where those are headed in the next installment.
But it's not just the characters in Better Late Than Never that make it a winner. The solution to the mystery came out of left field and beaned me right upside the head. I love, love, love being surprised when I learn who done it! Jenn McKinlay's Library Lovers series is one of my favorites, and if you haven't given it a try, I just have to ask-- What are you waiting for?
Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Prime Crime © 2016
Hardcover, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #7 Library Lovers mystery
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.