Tuesday, November 2, 2021

ARC Review: Death on the Shelf by Allison Brook

Death on the Shelf

Allison Brook
Series: A Haunted Library Mystery (Book 5)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (November 9, 2021)

Description: Librarian Carrie Singleton sleuths a murder at her best friend's wedding in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook's fifth Haunted Library mystery.

Clover Ridge librarian Carrie Singleton is thrilled to attend her best friend Angela's wedding, but Angela's family can be a bit...much. Angela’s wealthy cousin Donna hosts an extravagant bridal shower at her resplendent home, but the celebrations turn to gossip as the guests notice Donna's surgeon husband, Aiden, spending a bit too much time with Donna’s cousin Roxy. At the wedding reception, the sweet occasion turns darkly bitter when Aiden topples into the chocolate fountain--dead.

The suspect list is as long as the guest list, and as difficult to sort out as the seating chart. A few of the top contenders on Carrie’s suspect list are the flirtatious Roxy, emotionally unstable since her recent divorce; Angela's grouchy brother, who feels Aiden betrayed him; and Roxy's scorned ex-husband. Even Donna may have had reason to want her husband dead. And Aiden's gossipy office manager has plenty to say about them all.

Then another member of Angela's family is murdered, making Carrie more determined than ever to find the killer. Can library ghost Evelyn and library cat Smoky Joe help Carrie solve the murders before she becomes the next of Angela’s wedding guests to head to the grave?

My Thoughts: This is the fifth book in the Haunted Library cozy mystery series. It stars Carrie Singleton who is a librarian at the Clover Ridge Public Library in charge of event planning. She also solves murders.

In this episode, Carrie is busy helping her best friend get ready for her up-coming wedding and things aren't going well. The venue for the wedding shower has a fire making it necessary to find a new venue ASAP. When one of the bride's cousins offers to host, it look like things are better. Than Carrie learns that the cousin is not a favorite of the bride's because she wasn't kind to her when she was a child. But things go well and Carrie gets a chance to see the dynamics in the family.

But then the cousin's husband dies a suspicious death at the wedding reception and Carrie is on the case to find out who killed him. There are lots of suspects. The bride's brother was seen arguing with the victim and is a known hot-head who bullied the bride as a child. There also might have been troubles in the victim's marriage leaving the wife as a possible suspect. Or maybe there was trouble at the victim's work. Carrie does discover some possible financial chicanery there.

Meanwhile, the library ghost wants Carrie to find her missing brother because his daughter is in financial difficulties and possibly suffering from depression after her husband wiped her out financially and deserted her. And the town mayor is pressing Carrie to take a seat on the town council. And, after her father announces his engagement, Carrie's friends are putting pressure on her to marry her boyfriend Dylan which is frightening the commitment-shy Carrie.

Lots of things are going on in this episode. There are tons of characters to keep track of. The story is told in the first person and I found the writing style to be a little flat. Exciting things happen but the writing doesn't reflect that for me. 

Fans of the series will want to read this one to know what happens next at the Haunted Library. 

Favorite Quote:
I wondered if my reaction earlier was due to jealousy -- that Jim and Dylan shared certain things like work that didn't include me -- and realized I had to get past it. And truly accept I had an important place in both their hearts. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. There are so many very good reads in this genre that I never know when to start and when to stop. I seem to be picking up more and more and neglecting the other genres I also like! Thanks for this review. The book is new to me.


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