cozy_banner.5 star rating
On Borrowed Time
A Library Lover’s Mystery #5
By Jenn McKinlay
ISBN# 9780425260739
Author’s Website:  www.jennmckinlay.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie


Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…(Goodreads)


Lindsey Norris encourages groups to meet at or start-up at the library in Briar Creek since she became director.  This library has heart, and Lindsey is at the heart of its heart.  On Borrowed Time opens before the start of a crafternooners meeting, where reading and crafting are brought together.  The regular meeting room holds a surprise, however; she finds her world-traveling brother as she turns the lights on.  When she returns a short time later, instead of finding her brother napping on the sofa, Lindsey finds the dead body of a stranger.  And the last glimpse she does get of her brother shortly afterwards is when he is kidnapped and spirited away on a speedboat that even her boat-tour friend Sully can’t keep up with.  But to be kidnapped over…coffee beans?  Could almost make a gal pass on the java!

Lindsey’s brother Jack is an economist and works for companies around the world to help strategize business plan improvements and increasing profits.  He is top-notch in his field, makes good money and enjoys some of the benefits.  His good looks and easy charm don’t hurt his chances, either!  Lindsey may not hear from him for weeks at a time, but with the upcoming holidays, she hopes to have her family together to celebrate.

Her own life takes a back seat while she tries to find Jack.  That includes managing the holiday programs planned for the library and deciding which of two eager suitors, if either! – to spend time with:  Robbie, the famous British stage and screen actor, and Sully, the local boat captain.  Both are solid and dependable but Robbie has the little problem of … you’ll see when you read it!  Sully and Lindsey had been an item for a while, but he broke her heart and desperately wants another chance.  Lindsey is a professional, however, and few at the library that were not close to her were aware of how desperate her life was becoming.

On Borrowed Time is the fifth book in the series, the Library Lover’s Mysteries.  Each novel can be read as a stand-alone, as the characters and background are defined sufficiently so one doesn’t struggle to get up to speed with Lindsey and the little coastal New England town she lives in.

The characters are energetic, creative, and intelligent, very well-defined and very likable.  Each person has their own role that complements the others.  I really like Lindsey and envy the close relationship she and Jack have.  Lindsey knows Jack better than she thinks as she tries to put together the clues to rescue him.  She also has friends that are supportive, as is seen throughout the ongoing crisis.  Sully is also a character that I like.  While Robbie has the artistic talent, Sully has the skills inherent in a hero, including courage and the ability to respond quickly in a crisis.

It is so hard to put this novel down; it is an enticing read that tempts one to stay up way too late (just tell your boss that it’s Jenn’s fault you overslept!).  The plot has interesting turns and twists, including the roller-coaster ride that propels one into the ultimate chase scene where Lindsey’s friends all get into the act – do not miss it!!  This is an overall satisfactory read, one that is sooo good … in spite of there being a dog instead of a cat in the series.  Seriously, it is too good to miss, from the dedication to the craft instructions and recipes for items mentioned in the novel.

I highly recommend this to everyone who has enjoyed one of the earlier Library Lover’s Mysteries, or enjoys cozy mysteries with libraries or readers and crafters, or who is looking for a new series to become attached to.  It is a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery at its best!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*