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Books Can Be Deceiving

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Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered—and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast—be Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered—and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast—before they throw the book at the wrong person.


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Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered—and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast—be Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered—and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast—before they throw the book at the wrong person.

30 review for Books Can Be Deceiving

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    4 stars. This was a typical cozy, and it had a good first start; I'll give book 2 a chance. Characters are interesting. Location is cute. Curious about the town more. I love the drama at the library with the older staff and the newer staff. Plus the children's library desk games and scenes are hilarious. I wish I could do that all day. Might get a little too much, but kids would have fun with this crew. Not too scary. I like the town. Romance options are good. Worth a chance. About Me 4 stars. This was a typical cozy, and it had a good first start; I'll give book 2 a chance. Characters are interesting. Location is cute. Curious about the town more. I love the drama at the library with the older staff and the newer staff. Plus the children's library desk games and scenes are hilarious. I wish I could do that all day. Might get a little too much, but kids would have fun with this crew. Not too scary. I like the town. Romance options are good. Worth a chance. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    27. Pearl Ruled Rating: 1.5* of five (p76) The Publisher Says: Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person. My Review: Writin 27. Pearl Ruled Rating: 1.5* of five (p76) The Publisher Says: Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person. My Review: Writing serviceable. Characters stock. Narration uninspired. Why the 1.5 stars? Now really. I like cozies, but knitting and discussing Rebecca when the horrible circ-desk dragon lady comes in? Just as the town nutball stands on his head to tell the director when they need to run the library book sale? P.U. But what did it, what made me so mad I went outside and tossed the book in the bin before the garbage guys picked up, is the fact that the sleuth, the love interest (or I miss my guess), and the suspect get off a boat, find the body, and I simply couldn't bring even a small frisson of interest to the party. Not a whit. Yuck. Yikes. I can't even quote anything because it's all much of a muchness, and not one turn of phrase or description so much as made an impression. This is so ~meh~ that the Mouldering Mound of ~Meh~ has misplaced it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lighthearted

    I wanted to like this book – the main character is a librarian and the book is written by a librarian. The premise is good, the insider’s view of the library is good, and a few of the local characters are good – I’d personally love to meet Sully. Unfortunately, too many of the characters are caricatures – the bumbling police chief, the crazed ex, the petulant boyfriend. There’s a lot of irrelevant detail – what label of clothing/footwear someone’s wearing, where snacks for a roadtrip were purcha I wanted to like this book – the main character is a librarian and the book is written by a librarian. The premise is good, the insider’s view of the library is good, and a few of the local characters are good – I’d personally love to meet Sully. Unfortunately, too many of the characters are caricatures – the bumbling police chief, the crazed ex, the petulant boyfriend. There’s a lot of irrelevant detail – what label of clothing/footwear someone’s wearing, where snacks for a roadtrip were purchased etc. I could have accepted the excessive descriptiveness if the same attention had been devoted to the mystery itself but sadly it was not. I do expect a librarian to demonstrate better investigative skills – public records, anyone? The biggest fault with the book however is what’s left out – how exactly did the murderer get to the island? How did this not come up? In addition to those complaints, I have to say I was completely irritated by Ms. Cole – I can’t imagine any manager being so ambivalent about the behavior described and I’m as softhearted as you can get. I was also troubled by a couple of details related to Rick Eckman: one, he’s a Caldecott winner and yet Lindsey implies that his books have little to recommend them; two, his relationship with Beth, given the way he apparently interacts with people in general. Finally, I felt cheated by the buildup about Ruby island that went nowhere. Sigh. If it were a first novel, I would give the next book in the series a try, but it’s not.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I had been wanting to start reading this series for awhile so when another book club online chose it as their discussion for March, I was happy to start reading it. I like settings in libraries and bookstores anyway so I devoured this book (a little slower than usual since real life kept interrupting lol). Lindsey Norris was happily working as the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek CT. Her best friend Beth worked with her as the children's librarian. Despite a grumpy employee name I had been wanting to start reading this series for awhile so when another book club online chose it as their discussion for March, I was happy to start reading it. I like settings in libraries and bookstores anyway so I devoured this book (a little slower than usual since real life kept interrupting lol). Lindsey Norris was happily working as the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek CT. Her best friend Beth worked with her as the children's librarian. Despite a grumpy employee named Ms. Cole, the library ran smoothly and life was pretty good. That is until Beth's long time boyfriend Rick broke up with her very suddenly and the next thing we knew, Lindsey, Beth and their friend Sully (Capt. Mike Sullivan, a boat captain) found Rick dead in his island home. Since all fingers seemed to point to Beth as the main suspect, Lindsey took it on herself to investigate--along with a little help from Sully and Beth. Surprisingly, they found that Rick was not everything he claimed to be. There was a great plot twist towards the end and at that point, I was really not wanting any interruptions! This was a great cast of characters, well with the exception of the grumpy library worker. I loved the idea of them having a crafternoon--a book club discussion along with doing their knitting projects. It was so funny that when Lindsey was coming to a difficult part of her knitting (she only learned so she'd be able to meet with them) she would suddenly become very scholarly about the book and pretty hilarious when they all called her on it. I'd love to see an in-person cozy mystery book club do something like that. Milton, the 80 something year old yoga expert was such a nice guy! I really liked him a lot and I hope he's in the rest of these books. He was the library board president among other local volunteer things he did. He made me think of one of my favorite actors, Dick Van Dyke in his Dr. Sloane character, an all around nice friend to have. Nancy was such a sweet lady to kind of take Lindsey under her wing since her parents lived in another state, as well as be a good landlord and friend to her. The other ladies in the crafternoon group were fun too. And there was Beth. Everyone needs a best friend like her! I had sort of guessed the killer but I sure didn't guess the twist that came later and the reasoning behind it all. There were some fun and handy things at the back of the book: Tips on how to hold a crafternoon group, a book guide to a book they were reading, Sully's yummy hot cocoa and Mary's clam chowder. There was also a short preview for the next book which I already know I'm going to read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    My book was from the MERIDIAN LIBRARY and my thanks to them. This is the first book in the Library Lover's series. Lindsey has just started as the Libray Director. Beth, her BFF breaks off from her boyfriend she is even more upset when she discovers the boyfriend, Rick has stolen Beth's work. Lindsey and Beth hire Sully to take to the island and find him murdered. The sheriff feels Beth murdered Rick. Lindsey decides to clear Beth reputation by seeking answers. I highly recommend this book and ser My book was from the MERIDIAN LIBRARY and my thanks to them. This is the first book in the Library Lover's series. Lindsey has just started as the Libray Director. Beth, her BFF breaks off from her boyfriend she is even more upset when she discovers the boyfriend, Rick has stolen Beth's work. Lindsey and Beth hire Sully to take to the island and find him murdered. The sheriff feels Beth murdered Rick. Lindsey decides to clear Beth reputation by seeking answers. I highly recommend this book and series Recipe and Knitting pattern included.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I originally gave this book 2 stars years ago. I do like it better now especially since I’m a fan of two other series by this author. It’s by far the weakest of the three series so far but I hear it gets better. I’ll read the few available free copies at the library.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    What a wonderful first/opening book in a series. Enough twists and red-herrings to keep it interesting. And I found the characters absolutely delightful. I can't wait to read more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Lindsey Norris is settling into her new life as the director of the public library in Briar Creek, Connecticut. One of her many joys is working alongside her best friend Beth Stanley, the children's librarian. Unfortunately, Lindsey has never warmed to Beth's boyfriend Rick Eckman, and spending more time with him doesn't change that at all. So, Lindsey isn't upset when the two break up. However, Beth gets some surprising news about Rick the next day just before she finds his body. It's obvious t Lindsey Norris is settling into her new life as the director of the public library in Briar Creek, Connecticut. One of her many joys is working alongside her best friend Beth Stanley, the children's librarian. Unfortunately, Lindsey has never warmed to Beth's boyfriend Rick Eckman, and spending more time with him doesn't change that at all. So, Lindsey isn't upset when the two break up. However, Beth gets some surprising news about Rick the next day just before she finds his body. It's obvious that Rick has been killed. With the police certain that Beth is guilty, Lindsey springs into action to clear her best friend. Can she do it? I'm finally getting around to starting this series, but I've loved the other books from Jenn McKinlay I've read. I pretty much knew what to expect here, and I was right. We get a fantastic cast of characters that I already can't wait to spend more time with. The setting, both the library and the town, are charming as well. I'd move to this town is it weren't for the murder rate (and the fact that it's fictional). There is a bit of series set up that slows things down at the beginning, but the mystery is very strong once it gets started. I was surprised by some of the twists along the way. I also laughed several times along the way, and part of the climax made me want to cheer. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marci

    I enjoyed the story a lot after getting over the first chapter and despite a lot of awkward writing and a major dangling plot point that was never accounted for. Or else I would give it more stars. I do plan to read more of her books because the characters are great. I almost stopped reading in the first chapter because of the awkward dialog. Characters said the most obvious, stilted things by way of exposition. Why not edit the dialog and put the exposition beside it? Here's an example-- "Where' I enjoyed the story a lot after getting over the first chapter and despite a lot of awkward writing and a major dangling plot point that was never accounted for. Or else I would give it more stars. I do plan to read more of her books because the characters are great. I almost stopped reading in the first chapter because of the awkward dialog. Characters said the most obvious, stilted things by way of exposition. Why not edit the dialog and put the exposition beside it? Here's an example-- "Where's Mary?" Beth asked. "She said she was shorthanded at the cafe and would be running a little late. I hope she brings some chowder with her," Violet said. "That would be perfect on a cold, rainy day like today," Beth agreed . . . . Nobody mentions the state of the weather to other people who are also experiencing it. People just say, "Don't you love this weather?" or whatever. Beth should have said, "That would be perfect in this weather." And then the narrator should have continued with something like: "She glanced at the windows sheeted with rain." Or, "Just at that moment a flash of lightning and a roar of thunder accompanied the drumming of the rain on the walks outside." Whatever. (Can you tell I'm in a very picky mood?) I'm going to get more nitpicky. The mixed and otherwise odd metaphors began to drive me crazy. Here's the one that I wish I could forget--". . . the purple hush of twilight was spreading over the town like a thick, fluffy blanket." This disconnect between the "purple hush" and the blanket I'm sure will give me bad dreams that go round in a circle constantly morphing from a soundless dusk over a city to a terrible purple blanket threatening to smother me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (ladybug)

    What am I going to do? Another book that I started and just could not put down. Until way past when I should have been asleep. LOL Seriously who wouldn't love reading about a Librarian, who loves to read, who is solving a mystery that may land her best friend and Children's librarian in jail for murder. (Don't answer that LOL). A good read that I wholeheartedly recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I found this book while browsing at the library. The covers of Cozy Mysteries are what make me want to read them... Usually I end up being somewhat disappointed by the stereotypical characters and the mediocre writing, but this one was better than the average. There are still stereotypes: the "lemon," the old-school librarian who is not only resistant to change but to helping people in general; the fat, slovenly police officer who is a dumbass; the thin, well-dressed detective who is not; the si I found this book while browsing at the library. The covers of Cozy Mysteries are what make me want to read them... Usually I end up being somewhat disappointed by the stereotypical characters and the mediocre writing, but this one was better than the average. There are still stereotypes: the "lemon," the old-school librarian who is not only resistant to change but to helping people in general; the fat, slovenly police officer who is a dumbass; the thin, well-dressed detective who is not; the single, cute, sweet, oh did I mention he's single, police officer who flirts with the main character. The main character is Lindsey, a former academic librarian who accepts the position as public library director in a small town in Connecticut. There are tons of references to novels that the book-lover will enjoy. For example, Lindsey chats about the Hunger Games trilogy with her barista. The children's librarian who dresses up as The Hungry Caterpillar. It was all very cutesy, fluffy, mindless reading that is perfect for a rainy, cool autumn day (the book is set in October). A few things that bothered me... The victim of the story was SO obnoxious and rude to his girlfriend that I didn't see how anyone could bear to be with him for 5 years. Also, there were some things that Lindsey should have known (as a librarian) that would have made her a better detective, like the fact that sales of houses are public records and she should have been able to find the owner of a house with a simple internet search. Other than that, I think I would continue with the series when the next one comes out in 2012.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I really, really enjoyed this first book to be added to my new shelf and reading project code name "Operation I Love Libraries" which will be its code name only for as long as it takes me to come with a better, cleverer title (please message me any suggestions). I thought it might be fun to start a list of books that either take place in libraries or feature librarians as the major character and what better place to start then with a mystery solving librarian! Our heroine is the new director of t I really, really enjoyed this first book to be added to my new shelf and reading project code name "Operation I Love Libraries" which will be its code name only for as long as it takes me to come with a better, cleverer title (please message me any suggestions). I thought it might be fun to start a list of books that either take place in libraries or feature librarians as the major character and what better place to start then with a mystery solving librarian! Our heroine is the new director of the Briar Creek Public Library, Ms. Lindsey Norris. Lindsey left her life as an archivist at the prestigious Yale University library and her cheating fiancee six months ago desperate for a fresh start. With the encouragement of her best friend Beth, who also happened to be the children's librarian at Briar Creek, she applied for the director's post and won the confidence of its board with her innovative ideas and fresh enthusiasm. Lindsey is slowly settling in to Briar Creek, a beautiful coastal town in Connecticut with its quirky residents and small town charm. She's made some changes to the traditional little library that don't sit well with all the residents but most have embraced her "Crafternoon" book club and admire her determination to update things. And while she's determined to distance herself from romance she can't help but notice (and share) the sidelong glances she's been getting from Sully a local boat captain. But just when things are coming together tragedy strikes. Beth's newly dumped former boyfriend, a Caldecott winning children's book illustrator, is found horribly murdered in his solitary island home. To complicate matters further he's turned up dead just one day after Beth dumped him in a dramatic and very public scene. The local chief of police who, as far as Lindsey is concerned, couldn't detect his way out of a paper bag is ready to arrest Beth as the typical woman scorned. With nothing much to go on except the knowledge that her best friend could no more kill a housefly than a person Lindsey decides if the police aren't going to look for the real murderer she will. This really was a lot of fun and I'm absolutely looking forward to diving into this series. Lindsey is a terrific character. There's a tendency in cozies I find for the detective to be very soft and reluctant to get into confrontations which makes sense since the basic idea of a cozy is to soften the usual violence and gore that populate grittier novels. What's nice here is author Jenn McKinlay is basically like "screw that" and writes Lindsey as an assertive woman who doesn't just sit there while another character yells in her face. She gets into more than one verbal sparring match with people who piss her off and its refreshing. The irony of course is that as the library director she probably ought to be more politic but god is it satisfying to watch her lay into a particularly horrendous helicopter mom who's demanding she fire Beth "the murderess." It also gives her character a nice dose of realism. She's got a temper and sometimes its helpful (when she stands up to the giant tool of a police chief) and sometimes its a hindrance (when she stands up to the crazy murderer with a gun). The dialogue is also really excellent, smart and modern and not laden with a lot of local yokel, aren't they so quaint with their Quaker talk nonsense that also tends to be something of a hallmark of this type of mystery. Briar Creek also seems like a place I'd actually want to live. Sure its a nice seaside village away from the big city with pretty views and occasionally violent stormy nights but its not so quaint that you want to throw up. McKinlay manages to weave just enough quirky landlady's, retired actresses, and salty diner owners into a perfectly normal town in anywhere USA so that you have fun with the goofier touches and still feel like this is someplace real. The way she approaches solving the mystery and the mystery itself also follow a really logical path, which absolutely does not always happen in a book like this. Part of what's great about making your detective a librarian is it just makes sense. I'm tooting my own horn a bit here but darn it librarians are smart! And we're good at research and most of us are veritable repositories of random, esoteric knowledge that we just know because we had to look it up for some lunatic. We also don't back away from the challenge of ferreting out an answer even if it takes forever. McKinlay also very smartly gives Lindsey a personal stake in this first foray into detection, you absolutely get why she wants the answers. You also spend enough time with everyone to see that Beth is a great person, a great friend and absolutely not a murderer so you're just as anxious as Lindsey to figure out what really happened. Really my only beef is the somewhat sudden resolution to the story that was just a tad too melodramatic for me. Don't get me wrong it fits the mystery and its even pretty clever there's just something very Hollywood about the climax that didn't fit the tone of the rest of the book. I bought who the murderer was but there was a Scooby Doo sort of "lets see who you REALLY are" element that felt over the top. That being said I'm still very keen to revisit Briar Creek and see how Lindsey shakes out as a sleuth. My guess is McKinlay gets stronger in her murder plotting as this series, which I think is now up to eight books, goes on and I'm looking forward to find out!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This series has been on my TBR pile for longer than it should. I have read all the Hat Shop Mysteries and last month binge read my way through the Cupcake Bakery Series so I decided that in between my ARC reading obligations, I would start on this series. I really enjoyed this first book. Lindsey is smart and mature with a level head on her shoulders. Her friend Beth makes a great complement and they have a good friendship. The rest of the ladies in the crafting book club round out the cast nice This series has been on my TBR pile for longer than it should. I have read all the Hat Shop Mysteries and last month binge read my way through the Cupcake Bakery Series so I decided that in between my ARC reading obligations, I would start on this series. I really enjoyed this first book. Lindsey is smart and mature with a level head on her shoulders. Her friend Beth makes a great complement and they have a good friendship. The rest of the ladies in the crafting book club round out the cast nicely and I look forward to getting to know their characters better. The mystery was solid and woven nicely through the plot of the story. The only criticism I have is that the town sheriff was a stereotype of the blundering small town sheriff that I hope gets better as the series goes along. I really enjoy this author's writing style. She creates a wonderful charming world and fills it with characters that will grab readers attention allowing them to relate to someone in each story. I am looking forward to reading more in the series (I have the next four books on my TBR pile).

  14. 5 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    (AUDIOBOOK) What more to love than a smart cozy mystery set in a library with a librarian MC? Ummmm, nothing at all. Also, the coastal setting is fabulous as well. Can't wait to continue reading and/or listening to this series! The narration was excellent.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Landmark

    This was a fun, cozy mystery with mostly interesting characters and a fairly decent murder plot. But, alas, all was not rainbows and roses. The setting of the small town and library was typical of these types of mysteries, as were a lot of the characters, some of whom were a little too stereotypical. Why, oh, why, I ask myself, does nearly every local police chief in these books have to be a bumbling, stupid, narrow-minded, incompetent bozo who immediately pegs one person as a suspect in the mur This was a fun, cozy mystery with mostly interesting characters and a fairly decent murder plot. But, alas, all was not rainbows and roses. The setting of the small town and library was typical of these types of mysteries, as were a lot of the characters, some of whom were a little too stereotypical. Why, oh, why, I ask myself, does nearly every local police chief in these books have to be a bumbling, stupid, narrow-minded, incompetent bozo who immediately pegs one person as a suspect in the murder and absolutely refuses to investigate any other leads? Ugh, this is getting to be a little too formulaic and annoying. And, the murder victim had absolutely no redeeming qualities and was so obnoxious, selfish and unlikeable that it was a wonder someone had not offed him sooner! Why Beth had put up with him for five years was way beyond me. Was she that desperate for a man and marriage that she could turn a blind eye to all his faults and flaws? Lindsey was a pretty good character for the most part, although, with all of her librarian skills and research knowledge, some of her sleuthing should have been a lot more of a no-brainer. For example, she could have researched public records for ownership of the island instead of relying on an old man's memory. I really liked Sully, who was a good-looking, steady, sensible man instead of an impossibly gorgeous hunk who made every woman he looked at want to jump his bones. I enjoyed how the relationship between him and Lindsey started off slowly and seemed to be steadily blossoming into something a little more serious. Thank goodness, the plot was not overshadowed by the tiresome trope of the main character's lusty obsession with the hot, sexy man in her life! This was a nice, light read that piqued my interest enough to want to continue on with the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    Jenn McKinlay is a very good writer!! I love her Cupcake Bakery series, and this new series is starting off just as good! Like the characters, the location and the story was great. I didn't figure out "whodunit" until very close to the end!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Great start to the series. We get to meet Lindsey, the new head librarian and her best friend Beth. I liked both of them and the rest of the supporting characters. There is such a fun small town vibe in this series. The mystery was good and I was solving at the same rate Lindsey was. Looking forward to the next book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    My alter ego, Lindsey Norris, is the newish director of the Briar Creek (Connecticut) Public Library. She loves her job - most of the time - and is breathing new life into the library. Ms. Cole, a long-time librarian, however, does not approve of Lindsey and her methods or Beth, the children's librarian, who brings fun and games to the library. Lindsey learns from a library board member that a New York children's book editor is coming to Briar Creek and Lindsey encourages Beth to the show the ed My alter ego, Lindsey Norris, is the newish director of the Briar Creek (Connecticut) Public Library. She loves her job - most of the time - and is breathing new life into the library. Ms. Cole, a long-time librarian, however, does not approve of Lindsey and her methods or Beth, the children's librarian, who brings fun and games to the library. Lindsey learns from a library board member that a New York children's book editor is coming to Briar Creek and Lindsey encourages Beth to the show the editor her work. Beth is reluctant, especially after her boyfriend Rick, a Caldecott-winning author/illustrator. discourages her. Beth is finally motivated to break up with him after a big fight but that doesn't mean she wants him dead. When she meets the big city editor, the woman crumples Beth's dreams and Beth learns a secret about Rick. When she next sees her ex, he's lying in a pool of his own blood. The police chief has his sights set on Beth for the murderer and refuses to believe otherwise. Lindsey will do anything to support her friend and when she realizes the police don't have any other leads, she feels compelled to help Beth any way she can. Can she solve the mystery before Beth is charged with murder? The mystery was super obvious. It was so incredibly obvious that even Lindsey should have known and I'd be willing to bet Detective Trimble would be looking at the same leads Lindsey perused. Though I was surprised by a twist in the story, this was not Jenn McKinlay's best mystery. She's really improved as a writer over the years. What I loved about this book is Lindsey. She's me with a job: a New Englander with an undergrad degree in Literature (check), thought about going into the museum field (check), fell in love with archives (check), MLIS (check), job (unchecked). She's also close to my own age. She's so passionate about making the library a community center where people can come and enjoy themselves. I adore the Crafternoon club and all the women in it and their close relationship. Beth is a sweetheart and I don't know why the police would even think she would murder a man she was with for 5 years. I love how they're all good friends and devoted to helping each other but not afraid to tease and speak their minds. The other recurring character is Mike "Sully" Sullivan, Lindsey's potential love interest. I didn't really sense much chemistry between them though. What this book really needs is a library mascot like Dewey Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. I'm already halfway through the next book in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I think that Jenn McKinlay is one of my most favorite cozy author out there. I quite often have no idea who the murderer is and I like her characters so very much. THIS series is based around Lindsey and her move to Connecticut to take over as director of the library in the small town of Briar Creek, right on the Long Island Sound. Her college friend Beth is already ensconced there as the Children's Book Director and Lindsey is grateful to have a friend as she makes this move. There are a host o I think that Jenn McKinlay is one of my most favorite cozy author out there. I quite often have no idea who the murderer is and I like her characters so very much. THIS series is based around Lindsey and her move to Connecticut to take over as director of the library in the small town of Briar Creek, right on the Long Island Sound. Her college friend Beth is already ensconced there as the Children's Book Director and Lindsey is grateful to have a friend as she makes this move. There are a host of other interesting and quirky characters, including a woman who has been there for "a hundred years" and is referred to as "the Lemon". Let me just share how we had one of these in our local library and I HATED when I walked into that beloved building and SHE was behind the desk. ;-) Beth is dating a children's book writer and when he is murdered, she becomes suspect #1 and Lindsey is having NONE of that. And off they go, hunting down clues to clear Beth's name. It was a fun romp and the end was pretty surprising; I never really saw that kind of twist coming [though I had figured some of it out just not all the particulars]. Very good start to a new-to-me series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    BJ Rose

    This was my introduction to Jenn McKinlay, and I am already reading the 2nd book in this series. As a gal who grew up in a small town and has read tons of library books, I really fell for the small-town librarian theme.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is a series that I have wanted to read for awhile. After all the comments about how good this series is, and having read and enjoyed many other books by Jenn McKinlay, I decided I needed to give it a try. I did enjoy this story, but not as much as I had anticipated. Lindsey Norris has been hires as the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek CT. Her best friend Beth works with her as the children's librarian. There are several other employees, but I must mentions Ms. Cole, who is This is a series that I have wanted to read for awhile. After all the comments about how good this series is, and having read and enjoyed many other books by Jenn McKinlay, I decided I needed to give it a try. I did enjoy this story, but not as much as I had anticipated. Lindsey Norris has been hires as the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek CT. Her best friend Beth works with her as the children's librarian. There are several other employees, but I must mentions Ms. Cole, who is called "The Lemon" behind her back. Lindsey is settling in well, making some long overdue changes to the library and getting the Library Board's vote of confidence. All seems well, until Beth and her boyfriend of five years, Rick break up. When Beth finds out that the children's book she has been writing has been plagarized, she is ready to go and give Rick a piece of her mind. When Lindsey, Beth and Captain Sulley show up on the private island, they find Rick in no condition to listen to anything Beth has to say. With the breakup and plagarism, Beth becomes the main suspect, in fact, the only suspect as far as the sheriff is concerned. This was a great cast of characters, including several townspeople, the library workers and the ladies who participate in "Crafternoon" that made the story interesting. The small town feel with the gossip mill that I love in cozies, was in full swing. Milton, the 80 something year old yoga expert was such a nice guy! He was the chair of the library board and when things got a bit sticky, I loved how he stood up for his staff. There is a rather nosy reporter who I would have liked to kick out of town, but again, it made the book interesting. There were not a lot of clues, so it is the questioning and nosiness that eventually reveal the culprit. I had a suspicion of who the killer was, and I was correct, but there was quite a twist at the end of the story that I was not expecting. A good cozy story that is a good introduction to this series and to Briar Creek. I am definitely going to read more in this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality I discovered this series as a read-alike for the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James, and it certainly. Both feature real-seeming librarians in almost-real libraries in small towns that are just perfect. Although I did miss Diesel, the librarian’s very large cat from the Cat in the Stacks series. But where the Cat in the Stacks series is set in Athena Mississippi, the Library Lovers mysteries hail from Briar Creek Connecticut. Let’s just that the autum Originally published at Reading Reality I discovered this series as a read-alike for the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James, and it certainly. Both feature real-seeming librarians in almost-real libraries in small towns that are just perfect. Although I did miss Diesel, the librarian’s very large cat from the Cat in the Stacks series. But where the Cat in the Stacks series is set in Athena Mississippi, the Library Lovers mysteries hail from Briar Creek Connecticut. Let’s just that the autumns are obviously a lot blustrier in coastal Connecticut than in the landlocked parts of Mississippi. Unlike Charlie Harris at the beginning of the Cat in the Stacks series, Library Director Lindsey Norris is the relatively new director of the small town Briar Creek Public Library. She is also female, single, unencumbered and in her mid-30s – very different from widowed, 50-something Charlie with his grown children – and Diesel. Lindsey on the other hand, is still feeling her way professionally and personally. Briar Creek is her first posting as the library director, and it’s not a career turn she had planned on. She had been an archivist at one of the Yale University libraries when budget cuts forced her to look in other directions. She found the position in Briar Creek because her best friend from grad school is the children’s librarian there. Being a new, first-time director has its challenges. But no one plans on having one of their staff, particularly a friend, accused of murder. It’s difficult to tell which is worse, that Beth had both the motive and the opportunity for murdering her ex, or that the local sheriff is so determined to take the easy way out and place the blame on the “woman scorned” that he isn’t even looking for any other suspects. He’s not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, either, and his bull-headedness is clearly driving the detective from the state Bureau of Investigation bonkers. But with the local sheriff doing his level best to make sure Beth is found guilty, and the local press more than willing to stir up trouble just for the ratings, it’s up to Lindsey to focus her research skills on the late and not very lamented, to see if there’s someone else who might have a motive to end his existence. The problem is that Lindsey’s research skills, as formidable as they are, barely keep her one step ahead of the killer – a step that closes faster than she expected. Escape Rating B: I came down with the flu, and was looking for comfort reading again. As this will be posted just before I run off to the American Library Association Midwinter Conference, yet another library mystery seemed like a good fit. Lindsey Norris does seem like “one of us”, much as Charlie Harris does. And for the same reason – her creator is also a library worker. But where I’d love to sit down and have coffee with Charlie, Lindsey reminds me much more of the “road not taken”. I often thought about becoming a library director but when I was interested I wasn’t able to make the leap, and eventually I realized that it just wasn’t my calling in the profession. Seeing what Lindsey deals with, even in a fictional and perfectly imperfect library reminds me that I was right. This story is the introduction to the series, the characters and the town of Briar Creek, and it does put the reader firmly into the middle of the action. Lindsey, as a transplant from somewhere else, is still warming up to the little town, and vice-versa, which makes her a good point of view character for the reader. As is often the case, the case itself, the murder at the heart of the mystery, is just a bit over the top, but the scenes of small town life and Lindsey fitting herself into it are well done. The reader can certainly see why she’s fallen in love with the place. A lot of what happens in the Briar Creek Public Library is very true to library life, both the good and the bad. Every library, big and small, has patrons just like those in Briar Creek, the good, the bad, the loud, the demanding, the weird and the obstreperous. The staff, while occasionally a bit too good to be true and sometimes a bit too bad or weird to be true, is also quite true-to-life. And unfortunately that includes the nasty character of Ms. Cole, the head of the circulation department and the disapprover of everything that Lindsey, Beth and anyone not the previous (and deceased) library director. That Ms. Cole can’t let go of her resentment of change and the advent of the 21st century is unfortunately all too plausible. I’ve worked both with and for people like her in my career (and supervised a few), and saying that it is never fun is a serious understatement. But Lindsey is the new director of the library. That makes her Ms. Cole’s boss, whether either or them likes it or not. That Lindsey, with just about six months tenure under her belt, has not figured out what to do about Ms. Cole yet is not surprising. The woman is a fixture in the library and the community – even if a frequently resented one. The problem isn’t just that Ms. Cole challenges Lindsey’s authority at every turn, although that is a problem. What I found questionable, to the point where it threw me out of the story, is that Lindsey isn’t even thinking about what she should do about Ms. Cole. While the reality is that the answer may be very little, she’s at the point in her job where she should be at least thinking about some changes. This disturbed me because Lindsey makes it clear at one point that she is aware that part of the joy of the job from Ms. Cole’s perspective is to torment and browbeat the library shelvers, who are usually teenagers in their very first job. While life isn’t fair, and bad things happen to good people, etc., etc., etc., for Lindsey to be aware of this and not even be thinking about what to do about this aspect of Ms. Cole’s performance of her duties is problematic. And now I’ll get down off my soapbox. But if you like cozy mystery series like Cat in the Stacks, or other small town mystery series that feature the mainstays of the town, Books Can Be Deceiving is a lot of fun. I have the other books in the series and I’m looking forward to returning to Briar Creek the next time I need a comfort read. Reviewer’s Note: One of the reviews listed in Goodreads for this book was written by a dear and departed friend. I knew that if she liked it, I would too. I wish I could talk about it with her, because I’d love to hear the snark that she left out of her review!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    3.5 Stars Books Can Be Deceiving was a great start to the Library Lover's Mystery series with a wonderful set of characters and an enjoyable mystery. Lindsey Norris is still trying to get a handle on being the new director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a NY children's book editor visits town. Beth, the children's librarian, wants to show the woman the book she's been working on and when she does, she gets devastating news about her book in connection with her boyfriend, a famous children' 3.5 Stars Books Can Be Deceiving was a great start to the Library Lover's Mystery series with a wonderful set of characters and an enjoyable mystery. Lindsey Norris is still trying to get a handle on being the new director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a NY children's book editor visits town. Beth, the children's librarian, wants to show the woman the book she's been working on and when she does, she gets devastating news about her book in connection with her boyfriend, a famous children's book author. When Beth and Lindsey go to confront him, they find him murdered and the police chief is sure Beth did it. Determined to save her friend, Lindsey begins digging into the man's past in hopes of finding the real killer. I quite enjoyed the mystery in this book and felt it was very well done. It's clear from the start that Rick, Beth's boyfriend, was an unlikable man who obviously had secrets. In the short time we see the character alive he definitely doesn't endear himself to the reader and I wasn't surprised someone killed him. As Lindsey digs into his past we learn some interesting information about him and I found myself curious how Lindsey would manage to uncover the killer. The one aspect of the book I was a bit disappointed in was the killer's reveal, not so much the identity of the killer but how they were caught. Overall though the mystery was solid and I was definitely rooting for Lindsey to clear Beth's name. The group of characters in this book is definitely the best aspect of the book in my opinion. I love Lindsey's group of friends and colleagues at the library. Lindsey is a great lead and I find myself eager to learn more about her as we don't learn a ton about her background in this book. Her friendship with Beth is amazing and I loved how supportive they are of one another. One character I'm interested to see more of is Mike "Sully" Sullivan, the potential love interest for Lindsey. He's an interesting man and I enjoyed his and Lindsey's playful banter. Overall, Books Can Be Deceiving was a great start to this series and I'm excited to get to the rest of the series. I definitely recommend this series if you're newer to cozies as it's a light, easy read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Daniel

    Great book! For some reason by the end I was ready for it to be over but the first 90% or so of the book, I loved it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kellene

    Great start to a new series for me. Characters developed nicely throughout the book, and the twists and turns in the story kept me guessing. Good read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Copp

    I really enjoy Jenn McKinlay's other series, but for some reason I hadn't picked up this series. I am so glad I finally did! I love it! Lindsey has been working as the head librarian in Briar Creek, CT. She works with her best friend, Beth who is the best children librarian in the state. Beth has been working on a children's novel for years, so when a well known editor comes to town, her friends jump on the opportunity to get Beth a meeting. Sydney, the editor happens to be Beth's boyfriend (Ric I really enjoy Jenn McKinlay's other series, but for some reason I hadn't picked up this series. I am so glad I finally did! I love it! Lindsey has been working as the head librarian in Briar Creek, CT. She works with her best friend, Beth who is the best children librarian in the state. Beth has been working on a children's novel for years, so when a well known editor comes to town, her friends jump on the opportunity to get Beth a meeting. Sydney, the editor happens to be Beth's boyfriend (Rick), recently ex-boyfriend's editor. Her ex, a selfish jerk of a man is a famous author. They have a rather loud break up in a local restaurant and shortly thereafter Beth learned that Rick is set to publish a new book later this year...and it's her book! He has ripped it off, stolen her work, the work he told her was juvenile and no good. Beth and Lindsey hop a boat and take a ride out to his home on Bell Island to confront him. When Beth walks in to give him a piece of her mind, she finds him dead with the word "liar" across his forehead. The local police chief, who is a lazy bumbling dope immediately points the finger at Beth. he refuses to look any further or to consider anyone else. This is a great series and I am looking forward to reading more!

  27. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Lindsey Norris is the new director of the Briar Creek Library. She has some fresh new ideas like a crafternoon, which combines a book club with a craft and some yummy food. The previous director Mr. Tupper, would have "never allowed such goings-on" as she was told by Ms. Cole, a long time employee of the library. Any time Lindsay tries anything new Ms. Cole takes the opportunity to throw Mr. Tupper's view into the conversation. Lindsey does have a wonderful staff including her best friend Beth wh Lindsey Norris is the new director of the Briar Creek Library. She has some fresh new ideas like a crafternoon, which combines a book club with a craft and some yummy food. The previous director Mr. Tupper, would have "never allowed such goings-on" as she was told by Ms. Cole, a long time employee of the library. Any time Lindsay tries anything new Ms. Cole takes the opportunity to throw Mr. Tupper's view into the conversation. Lindsey does have a wonderful staff including her best friend Beth who is the Children's Librarian. Beth has been working on her own children's book for years. She has also been dating Rick, a well-known, award winning, children's author for about 5 years, with no talk of marriage and Beth has never even been to his house. He has also berated her talent as an illustrator and author several times. The last straw occurs when a New York editor is learned to be vacationing in Briar Creek. One of Beth's friends goes so far as to make an appointment to meet with the editor and Rick does everything he can to stop that meeting. But Beth and Lindsey attend the meeting together and uncover the real reason Rick didn't want them to meet. Furious, Beth and Lindsay, hire a water taxi to take them to Rick's home on one of the mysterious Thumb Islands. They are going to confront him with what they have learned. They are too late, when they arrive at his home, they find him murdered. The local chief of police decides immediately that Beth is the killer without even an initial investigation. Lindsey needs to get the rest of the story before her friend ends up behind bars booked for a crime she didn't commit. I love everything about this book, the subject matter, the setting, the plot, the characters, even Ms. Cole, she reminds me of a few librarians in my past. The story is fast moving, enjoyable with a splash of humor, great friendships, a little crafting, and a captivating mystery. This book contains all my favorite things in one of my favorite places. Growing up I spent so many hours at the local library. I didn't actually work there but I loved shelving books just for fun. It was definitely my haven as my parents worked long hours and my siblings were so much older than me. I wish some of those librarians were still around. They would not be surprised that I spend my days and nights reading and telling others about the books I have read. I did that without the help of the internet as a child/teenager. I was always one to share my opinions. It seems I have found the perfect outlet for my obsession. Thank you to Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Powers, Mrs. Hein and all the other librarians the fed my need to read!! So, one more time. I loved this book and you should all get right out and buy it today because I said so. That would make Mrs. Lee very proud!!! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Talia Colley

    I have been wanting to try out this series for years because I love the cover art! That's so cool how the picture is actually on a book on the cover. And it's a pretty picture of a library since this is a Library Lover's Mystery. The story follows Lindsey who is the new director of the library in a small town, and she and a friend find the friend's ex-boyfriend stabbed in his home with the word LIAR written across his forehead. Since her friend is the main suspect, Lindsey does her own investiga I have been wanting to try out this series for years because I love the cover art! That's so cool how the picture is actually on a book on the cover. And it's a pretty picture of a library since this is a Library Lover's Mystery. The story follows Lindsey who is the new director of the library in a small town, and she and a friend find the friend's ex-boyfriend stabbed in his home with the word LIAR written across his forehead. Since her friend is the main suspect, Lindsey does her own investigation into the victim's past and who else might want him dead. It was a good first entry, and I will be continuing on with this series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Despite having the first 6 or 7 books in Jenn McKinlay's Library Lover's Mystery series in my ever expanding TBR pile(s), I have only just gotten around to reading this first book in the series. This is kind of shame for me because when it comes to cozy mystery series, I seem to be a little partial to the ones set around the love of books. In Books Can Be Deceiving, Lindsey Norris is the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek, Connecticut. She's been on the job for about 6 months aft Despite having the first 6 or 7 books in Jenn McKinlay's Library Lover's Mystery series in my ever expanding TBR pile(s), I have only just gotten around to reading this first book in the series. This is kind of shame for me because when it comes to cozy mystery series, I seem to be a little partial to the ones set around the love of books. In Books Can Be Deceiving, Lindsey Norris is the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek, Connecticut. She's been on the job for about 6 months after a breakup with a boyfriend and leaving her job at a more academically-inclined library job. Life is a lot simpler and yet filled with its own trials and tribulations at a small town library. She's got to handle a staff that includes a sourpuss holdover employee, Ms. Cole, who seems to live life for reminding everyone that they aren't her. Or in Lindsey's case, that she's not the previous library director. There's budgets and small town politicking to worry about. But none of that compares to the the challenge she finds herself facing as the story unfolds. Lindsey's best friend Beth is the children's librarian. By all accounts, she's passionate about her job and is considered one of the best in the state. She's also harbored dreams of publishing her own children's book. But when a New York editor comes to stay in town, Beth's dreams take an unexpected turn. She soon learns that her story has been stolen and she's being seen as the one plagiarizing the book. The person who stole her book? Beth's boyfriend Rick, a well known children's book author! Beth and Lindsey travel to Rick's island to confront him about his theft of her life's work but find him dead! Beth is immediately seen as the prime suspect because of the highly public breakup the night before and now the discovery of the book theft. But Lindsey knows Beth wouldn't have killed Rick (even if he did deserved it). Faced with an incompetent police chief determined to pin the crime on her friend, Lindsey finds herself mixed up in the investigation. She has to fend off the press, small-minded townsfolk and eventually the actual killer in order to clear Beth. The more she digs, the more she discovers that Rick was far from the person he said he was and the race to keep Beth out of prison becomes more intense. I was about halfway through the book when I was surprised to find myself thinking, "I really like this story and Lindsey is kind of awesome!" I hadn't finished the book yet and I already knew that this was going to be a series I would love. Jenn McKinlay lays a solid foundation for this series right from the start. She's got a great main cast. Lindsey and Beth are the obvious anchor points but the characters that populate the town are pretty interesting as well. There's an obvious love interest for Lindsey but that part of the subplot doesn't come off as too sappy which is always a good thing for me. I know that cozy series always have to have recurring antagonists for the main characters. There are two here but I did like how Ms. Cole was at least humanized a little as the story progressed. She may be a "pill" but at least she's not a cartoon-like annoyance that would make you dread the continued inclusion of the character. I wish I could say the same about the police chief. I know there are varying degrees of competence when it comes to law enforcement officers but this guy is just so damn ridiculous, he makes this son of a cop's teeth grate with fury at his stupidity. There's a scene where his ignorance is on display so vividly that Lindsey is forced to verbally confront him. I was glad to read that scene because I never would've waited that long if I'd been in her situation. There was one plot point that wasn't given resolution by the end of the story. I'm hoping that I can learn more about that particular storyline as the series progresses. It may have taken me entirely too long to get around to starting this series but I can say that I really enjoyed this first installment in the series and I can't wait to see what's coming up next.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Christina's Book Corner)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dec 14-16 Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered—and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast—before they throw the book at the wrong person. Review : A mystery set in my state I loved it this book is about a libr Dec 14-16 Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered—and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast—before they throw the book at the wrong person. Review : A mystery set in my state I loved it this book is about a librarian named Lindsey who is settling into her new life at Brior creek there are a bunch of crazy characters and not as warm ones Mrs coal . Lindsey best friend Beth is dating this dickwad who is mad she got an interview with his editor so he breaks up with her what a prick .Mary's older brother takes Lindsey and Beth home cause there is a bit storm out Lindsey and sully have chemistry but Lindsey has sworn off men after her fiancee cheated on her . Beth's meeting with the editor didn't go that well she said it was similar to Rick's book but he stole her book what an ass and Beth wants to talk to him so sully Lindsey and Beth go on a boat to see him and he is dead the chief policeman is not very bright and Beth is is top suspect he doesn't think there is anyone else but Lindsey does her research and Rick isnt actually Rick his name is Ernie Beth and Lindsey go to his previous apartment and they get his old stuff filled photographs . Lindsey apartment got broken into and the intruder took the box but she still has the photographs which is an old photo of Rick and Sydney who is his editor. Her and her and Beth go to his old school where they meet Tim who tells them that isnt Sydney its Astrid and she shoots Tim and takes Beth and Lindsey hostage to go to the library . Astrid killed him cause he stole all her work and made it his own like he did with beth she tries to kill Lindsey and beth at the library but ms. Coal hits Astrid with a oxford English dictionary perfect weapon. Loved this book cant wait to read the rest of the series. Quotes : As always , Lindsey felt all her trouble ease once she was back among the familiar. Just seeing the names on the spines of the books was like calling hello to old friends. Road trips required a couple of things: a well-balanced diet of caffeine, salt and sugar and an excellent selection of tunes—oh, and directions.” “It was funny how none of her classes in library science has prepared her for this sort of thing, dead bodies, staff under suspicion, crazed reporters. Really, they needed to consider expanding the curriculum.

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