In Read It and Weep, the fourth book in Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lover’s Mystery series, the town of Briar Creek stages its own production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play is produced and directed by their very own Violet LaRue, a famous retired Broadway actress, who Invites her close friend Robbie Vine, a fellow highly famous Broadway actor, to star as Puck. In bringing Robbie to Briar Creek, Violet inadvertently brings drama to the community, with people either loving or hating him but not having feelings in between. Despite having a wife and a girlfriend in tow, Robbie tries very hard to get the attention of Lindsey, the librarian who serves as the protagonist of the book. This meets the thorough disapproval of Sully, the local captain who dated and then broke up with Lindsey in the previous book. Then, at practice a few days before the first performance, Robbie takes a drink of the coconut water he is so fond of and promptly dies of poisoning.
This leads to an investigation into all the people who have held a grudge against Robbie. Lindsey uses her library skills to trace Robbie’s history, learning things about his past that the police have been unaware of and that they need in order to solve the case.
The book also explores issues of romantic relationships as seen in Lindsey’s life. She has grieved the loss of Sully all summer from when he decides he knows that she needs a break from him, though both clearly are still intensely drawn to each other. But when Robbie arrives, he instantly falls for Lindsey, leaving her stuck in a quandary over which man she is attracted to more strongly.
I appreciated the conclusion of the book. Parts of the solution seemed obvious to me, and I jumped to the conclusion that the ending was unsatisfactory. However, while I got the obvious details correct, I missed all the fun ones that the author was saving for a big surprise that came as a fun shock. I felt the whole conclusion was draw very creatively.
Allyson Ryan reads the audio edition of this book. She does a good job of portraying the dilemmas that Lindsey faces throughout the course of the book. I like the sound of her voice and how it makes me picture Lindsey to hear her speak.
I appreciated how Read It and Weep uses library skills to help solve the mystery and shows life in this delightful library and small town. As someone who has always reveled in libraries and even once wanted to become a librarian, I love the setting of this series and the lives of those who work in the library. To this highly creative book I give five stars!
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