Monday, February 12, 2024

Fatal First Edition by Jenn McKinlay

First Line: How's the windy city?" Nancy Peyton asked.
Librarian Lindsey Norris and her husband, Sully, are in Chicago attending an archivists' conference. After a lecture, Lindsey gets up to go to the front to meet book restoration specialist Brooklyn Wainwright and finds a tote bag containing a first edition of Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train inscribed to Alfred Hitchcock. Wainwright determines the novel is quite valuable, so Lindsey returns the book to the conference director.

Mere hours after boarding the train back to Connecticut, Lindsey and Sully find the conference director murdered in his private compartment. Even worse, the pair are prime suspects because the murderer planted the book in their room next door. Finding a killer just became even more important than usual.


If you're in the mood for a book that's just plain fun to read, pick up Jenn McKinlay's Fatal First Edition. Although this is one of my favorite series and I would love you to read all fourteen books in it, I think you could pick this one up and not feel confused about the characters and their lives if you don't have the time to invest in the entire series. (But don't blame me if you read it and find yourself looking up all the others.)

There are so many elements that make Fatal First Edition a winner. There's the cameo appearance by book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright, the main character in Kate Carlisle's excellent Bibliophile series. There are ties to master mystery writer Patricia Highsmith and master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock through Highsmith's Strangers on a Train. There's train travel for those of you who haven't had the pleasure (and those of us who have). Even the weather cooperates by providing a blizzard during the hunt for the killer.

With all these elements comes a first-rate cast that I consider part of my fictional family. When a character's life is in danger, I was reminded of how I think McKinlay could be an extremely talented thriller writer. She definitely had me turning the pages as fast as I could.

After this thrill ride of a mystery, I can't wait to see what is next in store for intrepid librarian Lindsey Norris. Hurry up with the next book, Jenn!

Fatal First Edition by Jenn McKinlay
eISBN: 9780593639351
Berkley Prime Crime © 2024
eBook, 280 pages
Cozy Mystery ,#14 Library Lovers mystery
Rating: A+
Source: Net Galley


  1. How can you go wrong, Cathy, with a book-related murder, a librarian as a protagonist, and that great premise? It does sound like a lot of fun, but also with solid characters and a well-structured plot.

  2. Always interested in seeing which book makes your first best reads of the new year.

    1. I thought of you when I posted this, Lynn. :-)

  3. I keep intending to get started on this series. Maybe after I finish my current read...


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