A Likely Story
A Library Lover’s Mystery, Book #6
By Jenn McKinlay
Author’s Website: http://www.jennmckinlay.com
Small-town librarian Lindsey Norris must solve a murder and a missing person’s case involving two reclusive brothers.
NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER
Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate. (Goodreads)
I liked A Likely Story and found it to be an absorbing sixth installment in the well crafted Library Lover’s Mystery series.
Lindsey Norris is the library director in the fictional small coastal Connecticut town of Briar Creek. Just out from the coast is a series of islands, called the Thumb Islands, and Lindsey regularly travels by water taxi, piloted by her ex-boyfriend Sully, to deliver books to the reclusive Rosen brothers. When Stewart Rosen is not at his dock to meet her, Lindsey’s instinct tells her that things are not right. The brothers are not only hermits but also hoarders and have booby trapped their property to deter visitors and thieves. Lindsey and Sully literally risk life and limb to investigate. To their horror, they find Peter Rosen, who is wheelchair bound, deceased in the kitchen, murdered by what looks to be a gunshot wound, and Stewart is nowhere to be found. What on earth happened here, and is Stewart in danger or the culprit?
All of the regular cast of characters appear in this installment, and there are several subplots to round out the book. Beth, the children’s librarian, is worried about her dwindling story time audience and the competition a new children’s librarian in a neighboring town brings. Robbie, one of Lindsey’s suitors, is up to something. Sully and Lindsey are still tip toeing around each other, but you can tell they both want to rekindle their relationship (as long as Robbie does not thwart Sully’s plans). Even Ms. Cole, the cranky assistant librarian known as “the lemon” seems to be softening a bit. If anything, the members of the Crafternoon group play a smaller role this time around, but they all still have definite opinions regarding Lindsey’s personal life. There is also an appearance of some collectibles pickers and a plan by a wealthy resident who looks like she wants to buy as many of the Thumb Islands as she can.
A Likely Story gets off to an exciting start with a flooding emergency at the library followed by a booby trapped house and an explosion that leaves Chief Emma injured. It moves along at a brisk pace and is full of suspense, but there is a very limited number of suspects. Because of this, I was able to pick out the perpetrator(s) pretty much from the moment they were introduced. Usually, this would quite deter my enjoyment, but the story was entertaining enough to overlook the predictability.
I enjoy the Library Lover’s series because of the characters. They are likable and realistic, diverse in personality and actions. Beth is a favorite. Every library should be lucky enough to have such a talented children’s librarian. I also really like Sully. He is a deep, complex character, and I love that he is such a steadfast personality and that he is opening up more to Lindsey. I do wish that the love triangle would end. It has gone on far too long and is becoming tiresome.
I read for many reasons, but a main one is the prospect of being an “armchair traveler”. Briar Creek is such a cozy, beautiful place. It provides a stark contrast to my everyday land-locked Texas life, and it is a pleasure to visit a different place for a while. Ms. McKinlay does a fine job immersing the reader in an enchanting environment while keeping the atmosphere and situations for the most part realistic.
A Likely Story is an entertaining read. I recommend it to fans of a library setting and inquisitive heroines.