Lindsey Norris is back again for another adventure with this undaunted librarian in Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay. Carrie Rushton has taken over as president of the Friends of the Library board, and Bill Sint, the outgoing president, holds his ouster against Lindsey. Marjorie “Batty Bilson,” who is young enough to Bill’s granddaughter, has determined to champion him as she leaves threatening phone calls and tries to run Lindsey off the road.
Captain Sullivan (a.k.a. Sully), who clearly is interested in Lindsey, uses this as an excuse to give her and Beth, the children’s librarian and Lindsey’s best friend, a ride home from the library, since they have made the decision to go eco-friendly and use bicycles. When Carrie has car trouble, he takes her home from the library too, causing him and Lindsey once again to be present at the discovery of a murder, as they hear a scream and find Carrie covered in the blood of her lazy husband, Marcus. As a nurse, she had tried to revive him, but he is past all hope.
The police consider Carrie to be their main suspect, but all gets put on the back burner when a nor’easterner suddenly comes in, leaving them all snowed in without power. This leaves them all work to dig out from the storm. In the midst of all this, there is still a must to solve and a murderer at large.
The characters in this book come to life remarkably, with each having unique natures. Even the negative characters of Bill and “Batty Bilson” are fun to read. Even “The Lemon,” the old cranky librarian who had been there the longest and has sour puckered lips, is creatively drawn. Probably my favorite character is the puppy that someone shoved through the book drop at the library early in the book. Lindsey returns from a meeting to see Ms. Cole (The Lemon) running around the library with a broom and Beth screaming and chasing her while trying to take away the broom. But it is Lindsey who rescues the poor, scared puppy and “temporarily” takes him in to find him a new home. We all know right away that those are “famous last words”! The women of a book club Lindsey leads, The Crafternoon Club, where they do crafts, enjoy food, and talk books, give Lindsey a “puppy shower,” and the retired Broadway actress, Violet, gives him the name Heathcliff because he fits the description of the character in Wuthering Heights. This puppy endears himself to both Lindsey and the reader at the same time, and by the time she accepts him as being his forever person, the reader is eager to see him remain too!
I also liked the details of life running a library. A lot of people do not realize that it takes a Master’s degree (Master of Library Science) to become a librarian, requiring a lot of work and study in much more than just how to use the Dewey Decimal System. This book helps us get more of a sense of the real work involved in this important career. And the Briar Creek Library is an ideal example of the perfect library. We get a good view of the delightful children’s section, and Beth dresses up in costumes for each story told during her regular story times. And Beth’s numerous children’s activities actually help her keep up the spirits of Lindsey, Carrie, and herself when they get locked into a storage shed, where they could have been killed.
Allyson Ryan reads the audio edition of this book. She made the book really enjoyable and kept me interested.
Due or Die is an improvement upon the already-well-done previous book Books Can Be Deceiving. Audible contains seven books in this series, so I’m eagerly looking forward to listening to the next five. I give this book five stars!
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