|Author Jenn McKinlay on her board|
Author Jenn McKinlay may be familiar to some of you with her Cupcake Bakery series, but the Library Lover's mysteries are my introduction to her work. I discovered McKinlay thanks to Cathy's Kittling: Books blog .
First, a word about Jenn McKinlay. I learned from her website that she is the mother of boys, a skateboard enthusiast, horseback rider, hang glider pilot, wife of a musician, and has written books under her own name, as well as pseudonyms. She now has five mystery series in the works. Wow! She's clearly either crazy, on speed, or just highly energetic and efficient with an enthusiasm for living life to the fullest.
After reading the Kittling Books review and discovering that the books are set in a small town library, I thought I would enjoy this series. Loving the immediate gratification of my Kindle, I downloaded Books Can Be Deceiving and Due or Die--and began reading.
Books Can Be Deceiving, by Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Prime Crime, 2011. Kindle download
Sometimes I find McKinlay tries too hard with her metaphors. It's not that they aren't evocative or descriptive, but for me, they interrupt the flow of her story. Examples are: "Not surprisingly sleep eluded Lindsey like a cat that did not want to be found." or "The bike ride into work woke her up, as the brisk October air pinched her cheeks like an affectionate auntie."
However, McKinlay creates an interesting group of people who live in Briar Creek: the retired actress, Violet LaRue; Lindsey's landlady, Nancy, a widow; Mary who owns the local diner with her husband, Ian; Mary's brother Michael "Sully" Sullivan who begins to ignite Lindsey's interest in men again; Mrs. Cole, "the lemon" and Lindsey's nemesis at the library; Milton Duffy, the 82 year old yogi and frequent visitor to the library. These characters all are back for book 2 in the series, Due or Die.
Due or Die, by Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Prime Crime, 2012. Kindle download
Lindsey seems slow to suspect that there is more going on at the Briar Creek library than meets the eye, but after a series of mishaps, the mystery is satisfactorily solved.
As the Kittling Books blog suggests, one of the most enjoyable parts of Due or Die is experiencing, vicariously, the nor'easter that buffets Briar Creek during the course of the book, while here in my world the outside the temperatures hover around 100 degrees. Hurricane force winds are not unknown to Louisiana, by any means, but to pair the wind with a blizzard and frigid temperatures, then it begins to sound truly uncomfortable.
This strengths of this series don't lie in the tension of the plot, the keen detective work of Lindsey and her friends, or the thrill of the discovery of the murderer. It's about spending a relaxing evening in the company of people who are becoming folks you care about and want to get to know better. Add a lovable mutt into the mix and the appeal factor keeps going up. If you like a cozy mystery series that doesn't take itself too seriously, I recommend this one. Book 3 in the Library Lover's series, Book, Line and Sinker, is scheduled for release December 2012