Thursday, September 6, 2018

ARC Review: Read and Gone by Allison Brook

Read and Gone
Author: Allison Brook
Series: A Haunted Library Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)

Description: Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier? The second charming Haunted Library mystery by Allison Brook, Read and Gone will be a delight for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Leslie Meier.

My Thoughts: Carrie is settling in as the Programs and Events Coordinator for the public library in the town where her father's family lives. Her current program features Benton Parr - a local jeweler - who is talking about all sorts of precious gems. But Benton has a hidden not-so-legal past. Carrie's long estranged father has come to town to get the jewels that he and Benton stole. Jim has been in and out of Carrie's life since she was a child. His crimes had him spending a lot of time in prison and otherwise away from the family.

Jim has asked Carrie to help him recover his half of the jewels that were stolen. Before that happens though, Benton is killed and Jim is found running from the scene of the crime. Now Carrie has to prove her father innocent and find the jewels too. She intends to return them to her boyfriend Dylan who is an insurance investigator on the track of the missing gems.

Benton Parr's death is only the first. Tom Quincy who had come to town to try to find the jewels for himself is the second victim. The final victim is Mariel Parr who is Benton's wife. Carrie has all sorts of suspects apart from her father. Before his death, Quincy was a great suspect. Paul Darby whose wife was having an affair with Benton is also a good suspect given that he was near where Quincy and Mariel's bodies were found. His wife, who works in the coffee shop in the library, is also behaving in a very suspicious manner. Then there are the Parr's children Richard and Dina and Dina's wannabe boyfriend Chris Crowley.

Along with her investigation, Carrie is very busy at the library since it is almost Christmas and there are all sorts of programs and parties including their Secret Santa celebration where she drew the name of Dorothy who is an very unpleasant person who made things difficult for Carrie when she first got her job at the library. Her aunt Evelyn is a ghost who frequently appears to Carrie and often gives her clues about her investigations.

This was an engaging mystery with a nicely twisty plot.

Favorite Quote:
I drove home, my irritation with Dina simmering like a tomato sauce over a low flame. Had she deliberately sent me off on a wild goose chase while she had other fish to fry? Despite my bad mood, I giggled at my visit to the Land of Mixed Metaphors and Trite Expressions.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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