I am delighted today to present a review at my blog stop for Read and Gone, A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down the page to find and enter the Giveaway!
Title: Read and Gone (A Haunted Library Mystery) by Allison Brooke
Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B078M7MXGR
Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.
A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.
Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.
Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?
Carrie Singleton just celebrated her 30th birthday and is feeling pretty good about herself being back in a small town near her favorite great-aunt Harriet and uncle, a boyfriend, Dylan, who also functions as her landlord for her comfortable little cottage, and a peach of a new job with the local Clover Ridge CT Library where she is now head of Programs and Events. She has a kitty, Smoky Joe, who adopted her and a ghost named Evelyn Havers, who haunts the library and is only visible to herself and her young cousin. It’s that time before Christmas when the grey skies turn to snow and the streets and storefronts are decorated with lights and themes, and joyous Christmas jingles emanate from public speaker systems.
However, as she is often heard to think–it can’t last forever–and doesn’t with the return of her erstwhile, long-absent father, Jim, last in line to ever receive a father-of-the-year award. The man, a thief who has spent a stint in the slammer, would like his daughter to help him retrieve the jewels he and an accomplice stole some time back. Who wouldn’t welcome him back? Almost immediately, he is found beaten and ends up in the hospital, creating a conundrum for Carrie, aka Carolinda, aka Caro. She agrees to let him stay at her cottage until he is on his feet again (while looking for the jewels of course).
There were a number of things I enjoyed about this book. The library, the small town feel with the happy Christmas spirit, her loving relationship with her aunt and uncle and boyfriend. Smoky Joe, the kitty, who became a self-proclaimed library cat that functioned much the same as a therapy dog, especially with the older patrons. The paranormal inclusion of Evelyn, the ghost with the never-ending wardrobe and personal hair stylist was fun and bounced in and out of the story adding interest. The search is on (sorta) for the gems and meanwhile the first victim shows up. At least it shouldn’t be too difficult to prove it wasn’t her daddy–he was likewise occupied.
However, there were some rubs. First, I didn’t see a well-developed protagonist. Assumed she was fleshed in book 1–this one wasn’t, nor the boyfriend, who was one hour being a sleaze being noisily denounced, the next loverboy. There were times when the 30-year-old reverted to 15. The library sounds more like a city library with lots of employees and all kinds of events and programs (that had me wondering what kind of budget they had) then small town stacks. The cat? Smoky Joe scratches on her office door to be allowed in to eat–and that is where his litter box is also located. Then she grabs her lunch meal break of the day. (Did she open some windows? Why is the litter box in her office(?)–gag.) And the library coffee shop has mice? Where is the local health department?
The plot moves along at a typical cozy pace and does keep engagement. I liked most of the characters but couldn’t get into Carrie’s shoes and the mystery, the antagonist, was pretty obvious early on. Still, it is entertaining for those who appreciate the cozy mystery genre, felines with their felonies, and amateur women sleuths and I appreciated the opportunity to read and review.
Click on the link to sign up for your chance to win one (1) Print Copy of Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook Rafflecopter giveaway
Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.
My Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O
Amazon B&N BookBub
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!
September 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 13 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW
September 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Reading Authors – REVIEW
September 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 18 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
September 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 19 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 20 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
Thanks to the publisher, NetGalley, and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!
©2018 V Williams