As A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay opens, head librarian Lindsey and her friend Sully, the captain of the water taxi service in Briar Creek, are taking books to a pair of reclusive senior citizen brothers on one of the many small islands in their Connecticut coastal area when they find the body of Peter Rosen in his wheelchair with a gunshot through his head. The brothers are notorious for having booby trapped their island, so Chief Emma gets caught in an explosion, breaking her leg and keeping her out of action. In the meantime, Stewart, the other brother, has disappeared, and no one knows whether he is a victim, the murderer, or a fugitive in hiding from the killer. Trying to find some answers to this crime, Lindsey and Sully find some curious inconsistencies in the stories they hear from others around.
Meanwhile, Lindsey still has to run the library and live her life. The scenes that take place with the members of the Crafternoon Club and library staff are a lot of fun. I especially loved the scene where Beth, the children’s librarian, goes undercover to check out the sexy new male librarian at another library in the area. Since he started his new job, the number of children attending Beth’s story hour has decreased, especially those being brought by their mothers, whom Beth suspects of selecting the other library’s story hour to get their fill of eye candy. So Beth takes her Curious George doll as a pretend baby and Lindsey wears a wig and dresses as an old lady.
This book has some great parts, but the story is a bit light, with less substance than the prior books in this series. The other books have Lindsey use her librarian skills to help solve the mysteries, but other than looking up old newspaper articles, she does not demonstrate her librarian skills here, whether by doing research for the case or by serving as the library director, other than her undercover visit to the other library.
The two main things that have endeared this series to me are the creative ways Lindsey has used her librarian skills to help solve the mystery and the delightful characters we see throughout the book. I already discussed the disappointing lack of research, but I did enjoy the characters. We see the library employees together in the library more often, and their interaction was fun. Further, the ladies of the Crafternoon Club give extra fun to the book.
In addition to the novel, we get a cute short story, “An Unlikely Meeting,” featuring Lindsey’s dog, Heathcliff.
I really enjoyed the performance of Allyson Ryan in narrating the audio edition of this book. She brings the book to life and has a voice that just seems to be that of Lindsey in her reading, yet she also uses great voices for the other characters as well. For example, she voices the characters of senior citizen women to whom she gives really unique voices. I was thoroughly impressed by the contribution that Ryan gives to the book.
Despite my previously stated concerns, A Likely Story gave me nine hours of delightful entertainment. I found myself carrying my phone around everywhere just so that I could keep listening to this book. I give it four stars.
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