By the Book @ Rogers Memorial Library

Killer Librarian, by Mary Lou Kirwin

In Killer Librarian, the first in a new series of cozy mysteries, a librarian finds love and used books in England, while perhaps (accidentally) killing her ex-boyfriend.

Karen Nash, a Midwestern librarian and Anglophile, has finally planned her first trip to London. “England, a place I had come to know intimately thus far only through books, starting with the Hundred Acre Wood of Winnie-the-Pooh continuing to present-day London streets of Ian McEwan’s Atonement.”  She’s packed her bags, set her itinerary, and now she’s just waiting for her plumber boyfriend, Dave, to pick her up.  Hours before the flight, Dave phones to tell her he can’t drive her to the airport.  Or go to London with her.  In fact, he’s breaking up with her.

After a good cry, Karen decides to go on the trip anyway.  At the airport, she spots Dave — with a thin, blond woman.  The philandering plumber has replaced Karen with a younger model.  Angry but determined, Karen flies to London and checks into the bed and breakfast she’d booked for their romantic getaway.

The B&B is filled with books, cozy chairs and soft lighting — basically, every librarian’s fantasy.  The owner, Caldwell, cuts a dapper figure and has an adorable accent.  Karen begins to relax in this new setting.  Her first night in town, she goes to a pub, drinks a little too much British beer, and relates her tale of woe to a stranger.  Dave is such a jerk!  She wishes he was dead!  The kind pub-goer listens sympathetically, then promises to help her out.  When she returns to the B&B, Karen finds a dead man in the parlor, with a copy of Winnie the Pooh in his hands.

Was the man murdered?  Who was the stranger in the pub, who’s now following Dave around London?  Is Karen only attracted to Caldwell because he reads books and has a British accent?  This mild mystery is as much about finding love and a good bookstore as it is a whodunnit.  Light, airy, and an ode to bibliophiles, this is a fun new series for readers who enjoy the Booktown mysteries by Lorna Barrett, Dido Hoare mysteries by Marianne Macdonald, or authors like M.C. Beaton and Joanne Fluke.

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