Cozy Mystery Week Day Seven: Review-Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin

December 7, 2012 Cozy Mystery, Cozy Mystery Week, Pocket Books, Review 3

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (November 27, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1451684649
  • Source: Publisher

Karen Nash is a small-town librarian in Minnesota. She’s preparing to embark upon a dream trip to London with the love of her mid-life, Dave. Just a few hours before their flight, Dave calls and breaks things off with Karen, their four-year relationship ending in a matter of minutes. Obviously, Karen is shattered. Taking a few minutes to collect herself, she thinks about all the time and effort she has put into this trip and decides to go…without Dave.

Arriving at the airport with less than an hour to spare, Karen is shocked to find Dave boarding the plane. To make matters worse, he isn’t alone; a skinny, young attractive woman is at his side. Fuming, Karen realizes that the best revenge would be to continue with the trip as planned.

Upon arrival in London, Karen retreats to the bed and breakfast she reserved for their stay, only after following Dave and his young honey to the hotel where they are staying. Obviously, she’s completely shattered to find out the true cause of the breakup, but she’s in London! A city she has dreamed of visiting and she intends on making the most of it. The owner of the bed and breakfast is the incredibly charming Caldwell Perkins, a book lover like herself. Her room is full of classics she can’t wait to devour. Still upset about what happened with Dave, she agrees to join Caldwell on a trip to the local pub. There, she gets slammed, not realizing the beer served in England is a bit more potent than American beer. She finds herself talking to a brooding, mysterious stranger, telling him what happened with Dave, perhaps maybe wishing he were dead…

The next morning, Karen awakes and finds another guest of the B&B sitting a chair, a copy of the classic Milne book,Winnie the Pooh,draped across his leg. Karen believes he is sleeping but unfortunately soon realizes he is dead. Was his death natural or was it murder? Karen, obsessed with mysteries, can’t help but get involved, at the same time wondering if that strange man she spoke with in the pub the other night truly intended on following through her wish to kill Dave…

Since Cozy Mystery Week is drawing to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to feature a brand new cozy series. Killer Librarian is the first in a new series. A truly stunning debut, this cozy has a whole host of characteristics I absolutely love as a reader including an absolutely gorgeous setting, a bit of mystery, characters who share my love of books and, ok, a little romance. Karen’s character is a true delight. She’s an intelligent, witty librarian who believes her live can’t get any better when in actuality it can’t get much worse. Readers can’t help but feel sympathy for her, ultimately wanting the very best for her.

The setting! I can’t help but talk endlessly about the beautiful setting Kirwin portrays. Having never visited London myself, Kirwin portrays a setting so vivid that I feel as though it’s a city I’ve known all my life. She picks up on cultural differences between the United States and England (i.e. back yard vs. back garden, book store vs. book shops, etc.). At one point on the novel, Karen visits Hay On Wye, a small village overflowing with book shops. Hello? A bit of heaven on earth.

While nothing yet has been announced about subsequent titles in this series, I cannot wait to read more about Karen, the killer librarian. Highly recommended.


3 Responses to “Cozy Mystery Week Day Seven: Review-Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin”

  1. Howard Sherman
    Twitter: howardasherman

    Sounds like a killer new series.

    Sorry couldn’t resist that one!

    Seriously, love the opening and the setting. I’m not a cozy mystery kind of a guy but I’m having a hard time fighting off that burning desire to find out what happens next.

  2. John

    I LOVED this one. I spent my day off last week devouring it. I agree with the setting. I visited London for the first time this summer, and Kirwin NAILED the feeling of awe when seeing it all for the first time.

    The romance was great, but perfectly balanced. I think this is the perfect book for people who don’t think they like cozies. It’s a great story, and doesn’t really have a quirk or a hook like most cozies do.

    I’m eagerly awaiting another installment!

  3. Stephanie
    Twitter: Ashbychick

    This book looks awesome and I am obsessed with London right now. Off to purchase! Thanks for the great review!