Title: Checked Out for Murder
Author: Allison Brook
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Page Count: 329
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook’s fourth Haunted Library mystery.
Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she’s a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there’s more to Daphne than she lets on.
The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne’s brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie’s overbearing mother hits town. Mom’s much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that’s lensing locally, and she’s there to keep an eye on him: Tom’s costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fiancée, and there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.
Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne’s mean ex-husband? Carrie’s sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?
Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook is the fourth installment in the paranormal cozy The Haunted Library Mysteries series. As with most cozy mysteries each book of The Haunted Library Mysteries will contain their own mystery to be solved within the book so they all could be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so. However, for those following along from the beginning there will be character development carried over from book to book.
Carrie Singleton had returned to Clover Ridge, Connecticut to stay with her aunt and uncle for a while but when she was just about to move on she was given the opportunity to become the head of programs and events at the local library. When she was offered the job Carrie was almost ready to turn it down when she heard a strange voice telling her to think on it. Thinking it was her own mind telling her not to pass up the offer quite so quickly she did just that. Carrie found the job was more than she could have wanted so she stayed and then found out the voice that convinced her to stay was not her conscience but a friendly ghost of a former employee that helps Carrie in her new position.
Carrie never expected that her new job would come with tracking down so many murderers in the small town of Clover Ridge but with Evelyn, the ghost’s, help she has been doing just that. With Carrie’s mother now in town with her new husband filming a movie she had hoped to not have to use her sleuthing skills yet again. Unfortunately for Carrie though a new woman in town, Daphne, is found murdered. Carrie had already crossed paths with her abusive ex and had suspected he was involved until yet another murder occurs which brings Carrie’s mother under suspicion and her wanting to track the murderer down more than ever.
The Haunted Library Mysteries series is another that I have been following from the beginning being drawn in with sharing the same name with the main character. Of course her name is not the only draw with this one being a mix of a cozy with a paranormal touch with a resident ghost with my love for crossing genres in reading. The characters are quirky and fun and there’s that resident kitty, Smokey Joe, to fill my cute critter quota. All of this means I will definitely return to this series in the future.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Allison Brook is an Agatha Award nominated author who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for young readers. A former Spanish teacher, she loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her grandchildren on FaceTime. She lives with Sammy, her feisty red cat, on Long Island.
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