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review 2018-04-20 22:31
Hospitality and Homicide (Tourist Trap #8) by Lynn Cahoon
Hospitality and Homicide (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

Going to be honest, I was very generous with this rating. This is a real fluff of a book, with the mystery barely getting any page time. This was a book about Jill's staffing issues at Coffee, Books and More, her first semester back in college, and her relationship with Gregg. The B plot line involving a missing boy and Esmeralda's attempts to find him were more interesting than what was going on in the rest of the book. It was a fast read and I was happy to be back in South Cove with the gang, but I needed less fluff and more mystery. 

 

Honestly, only read this installment of the series if you are a completionist like me.

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review 2018-04-20 21:18
Once Upon a Spine (Bibliophile #11) by Kate Carlisle
Once Upon a Spine - Kate Carlisle

FYI: This is the only book I have read in the series. So take what I have to say about this book with a huge grain of salt.

 

 

Well I got through this book just because I wanted to know the who did the murders. I waddle through a ton of fluff and absurdities to get the reveal just to have that reveal be a series of dumbass antics from the obnoxious characters that populated the setting. Also quite disappointing was the lack of authentic San Francisco culture/atmosphere. SF is one of my favorite cities and the author gave me the tourist trap version of SF but nothing that residents would talk about or go to. 

 

I never connected to Brooklyn, Derek or their parents and yet that part of the book made up at least 70% of the book, with shoddy police work taking up the rest. Seriously, the police detective should have to turn in her badge for letting Brooklyn and Derek go on with their interference in the investigation. Overall, I found this book to be a waste of time and I won't read anymore from the series.

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review 2018-04-15 04:43
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
Books Can Be Deceiving - Jenn McKinlay

Lindsey used to be an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale until about six months ago, when she was laid off. She's now the director of the Briar Creek Library. She's just starting to feel more comfortable with small town life and her new position. It helps that one of her employees, Beth, is also her friend from back when they were both getting their library science degrees.

Beth is a children's librarian who's been working on a children's book of her own for several years. Lindsey thinks Beth should show her work to a New York editor who's vacationing in Briar Creek, but Beth is hesitant - her horrible boyfriend, Rick, keeps telling her it isn't good enough and needs a lot more work. Since he's a famous author whose first book won the Caldecott Medal, he'd know, right? When Beth tells Rick about her plans to meet with the editor, things rapidly sour between them. They break up, but the situation only gets worse after Beth hears what the editor has to say. She attempts to go to Rick's island and give him a piece of her mind, only to discover that he's been murdered. Unfortunately, Chief Daniels seems to consider Beth his top suspect.

A coworker of mine highly recommend this series to me. She basically inhaled what's been published in the series so far. She enjoyed the library aspects, the romance with Sully (she mentioned the love triangle that pops up in a later book, so I already know to expect that), and the fact that Lindsey is fairly similar in age to her (and me, too!).

My feelings about this book are more measured, but I enjoyed it too. The library aspects were great, even though there were a few things that made me raise an eyebrow. The odds of Lindsey getting an archivist job at Yale right out of library school seemed incredibly slim, based on what my job hunt 9 or 10 years ago was like. Then again, this was published in 2011, so maybe such a thing would have been more likely in the early 2000s. I also raised an eyebrow at the way Lindsey handled Beth's situation. I couldn't help but wonder if she'd have been as quick to promise Ms. Cole, aka "the lemon," she wouldn't suspend her if she had been the one accused of murder. Having your best friend as one of your employees can mess with your judgment.

That said, most of the details were great, like the random phone call from a vendor selling a database the library neither needed nor could afford, the couple arguing over which movie to check out right before closing time, and Lindsey's "crafternoons" idea. I can add this to my short list of books that star librarians who actually do occasional on-page library work.

The mystery itself was good, with a few twists I absolutely did not expect. I did wonder about the bit where Lindsey and Beth left town to do some investigating on their own. Would Beth have been allowed to leave like that?  Detective Trimble seemed more open to other possibilities, but Chief Daniels certainly considered her a suspect.

I'm looking forward to more developments in the romance between Lindsey and Sully, although I'm already dreading the love triangle. Sully seems like a great guy, and I could think of a lot of things that could complicate his and Lindsey's relationship without a love triangle being added to the mix. For example, Lindsey is still dealing with the hurt and betrayal of discovering that her fiance was cheating on her, which unfortunately happened at around the same time she was laid off.

All in all, this was an enjoyable and quick read. I definitely plan on reading the next book. In fact, I already have a copy in via interlibrary loan.

Extras:

At the end of the book there are several extras, including "The Briar Creek Library Guide to Crafternoons," a reader's guide for The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene, a knitting pattern for the rolled hat Lindsey made (which was originally supposed to be a sock), a recipe for Sully's hot chocolate, and a recipe for Mary's clam chowder. The crafternoons guide could come in handy for public librarians looking for adult programming ideas.

For my part, the only extra I've used is the recipe for Sully's hot chocolate, which I've now made several times (with powdered cinnamon instead of sticks, and no nutmeg). I disagree with Lindsey's assessment that it isn't too sweet - after my first time making it, I cut the sugar back by half. I suggest halving the recipe if you just want to make enough hot chocolate for yourself. It's a very rich drink, and halving it makes enough for one good-sized mug.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-04-15 02:07
The Valise in the Attic
The Valise In The Attic - Jan Fields

This story was certainly more action-packed than the others. It just was a little too far-fetched for me. 

Everyone is excited when the Mayor tells the people of Stony Point that a movie crew is coming and is looking for some extras. Alice begs Annie to go even though Annie would rather stay toasty warm inside. The set director said they needed some small older suitcases for some scenes and asked people to check their attics. Annie found a few that passed muster with the director. After the first day was abruptly cut short and Annie was heading to her car a strange man attacked her and tried to take it from her. He ended up falling on the ice and losing the case just before taking off. Annie was confused because the suitcase was empty. Why would someone try to steal an empty valise? She thought it was just a mix-up but crazy things kept happening to both her and her best friend Alice.

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review 2018-04-13 22:25
Witch Cozy Mystery Eight Book Set
Witch Cozy Mystery Eight Book Set - Amelia Morgan

Witch Cozy Mysteries is an 8 book set. The books are each pretty short, book 1 was about 2 1/2 hours long, the total length is about 17 1/2 hours. This is a true cozy mystery set. There is some romance and some mystery. The books are clean reads no harsh language or sex. If you are not into cozy mysteries you may not care for this set at all.

 

The set features Meg Walton who runs a donut shop and is a witch but does not want anyone to know. She is also an amateur sleuth. Her boyfriend is a police detective, which after book 1 makes it a lot easier for her to get into the thick of the investigations.

 

 I did not care a lot for Meg's character. She seems a bit spoiled. She also impersonates a police Officer, which I did not like at all. When she is interrogating her list of suspects she uses no tact at all. She goes after them like everyone is guilty and has to prove their innocence. She does need a lesson in innocent until proven guilty. Plus if she is such a good witch why doesn't she casts a spell on the suspects to make them not lie about being guilty, instead of casting a spell making them think they see her badge and answer her questions?

 

The set is narrated by Lainie Pahos. She does a good job, unless Amelia Morgan didn't mean for Meg to sound so gruff when questioning her suspects. 

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