Tuesday, January 31, 2023

ARC Review: Three Can Keep a Secret by M. E. Hilliard

Three Can Keep a Secret

M. E. Hilliard
Series: A Greer Hogan Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (February 7, 2023)

Description: The library is no safe haven in this taut, tense mystery perfect for fans of Louise Penny and Elly Griffith’s Dr. Ruth Galloway series.

Greer Hogan is a librarian turned sleuth, an avid reader of crime fiction who possesses an uncanny knack for deduction—and now, she’s drawn into another murder case as late autumn slowly turns to winter in the idyllic village of Raven Hill. When Anita Hunzeker, chair of the library board of trustees, is run off the road and killed, no one seems all that sorry. Anita was widely disliked, and the townsfolk would just as soon be rid of her. But when a local professor turns up dead as well, his connection to Anita and to other local residents leaves the suspect pool covering the entire county.

Greer starts poking around, and the more she digs, the more it seems like everyone she knows is trying to hide something. When she unearths a clue in the old manor cemetery, she finally discovers the shocking truth—a cache of dark secrets stretching back decades that could rock the town to its core. Everyone who’s come close to the truth has ended up dead—and if Greer doesn’t tread lightly, she could be the next librarian to get archived for good.

Drawing nostalgic inspiration from classic girl detective mysteries, Hilliard deftly captures notes of Agatha Christie and  Dorothy L. Sayers in this third installment of the Greer Hogan mysteries.

My Thoughts: Librarian Greer Hogan is back with another mystery to solve when the head of the Library Board is run off the road and killed. No one can be found who liked Anita Hunzeker, often referred to behind her back as "Attila the Hunzeker," but Greer wouldn't have thought that any of the dislike was strong enough for someone to murder her.

As she looks into Anita's death, she finds another mystery. This one concerns the family that set up a trust which includes the library where Greer works. Anita had been advocating for a new library building which also included the local historical society and was willing to go to lengths including blackmailing people to support her side in the on-going argument.

Greer also looks into the trust, or tries to, since there have been long-standing rumors of a lost will or codicil that would affect it. Fellow librarian Millicent, in her 80s and determined not to retire, has a role in this one. She disliked Anita and her plans for the future and she knew the family that set up the trust and was keeping some secrets about it. 

I enjoyed this story which had interesting characters and a nicely twisty plot. 

Favorite Quote:
Cynthia really was a terrible liar. So was Sloane Harris, for that matter. I marveled that they'd gotten this far in life so completely lacking in the ability to dissemble, though I was grateful that they gave away so much without knowing it. It made a girl detective's job much easier.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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