Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she's offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie's determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it's the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura's case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al. Now it's due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue, the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Crooked Lane Books
Two and a half stars: A cozy with lots of great cozy elements, but the romance is a flop and the pace drags.
Carrie is convinced it is time to take flight and leave Clover Ridge. She has enjoyed living with her aunt and uncle and working in the library but she has worn out her welcome. She is floored when Sally, the head librarian, offers her a job promotion. Carrie decides to give the job as head of programs a try. Unfortunately, Carrie’s first program featuring a retired detective discussing a cold case goes horribly wrong. The detective dies right there in front of everyone by poison. Carrie starts digging trying to figure out who wanted to silence Al and why. Surprisingly, Carrie has a new ally, Evelyn, a ghostly librarian. Can the two crack the case?
What I Liked:
- A cozy mystery is always fun. I usually enjoy the settings and the light mystery. I did like the cozy setting in this one, what isn’t to like about a library in a small town? Plus, I liked that this one was set during Fall around Halloween. Add in a friendly librarian ghost and you have the makings for a good cozy.
- I enjoyed the mystery. Sometimes the murders are trivial, but this one centered around a cold case murder that occurred fifteen years ago, and then the murder of the detective who had taken up the cold case. The mystery itself was solid. There were plenty of suspects and red herrings to throw the reader off the real culprit.
- Evelyn, the ghost, was an interesting addition. I liked that she popped in and out with her motherly advice. I thought it was funny that she was able to change clothes.
- I appreciated that Carrie ended up forming new friendships. I especially enjoyed watching her win over the demanding and prickly head librarian. It seemed that by the end, she had even won over her enemy.
- The ending reveals all the secrets and ties up the mystery. No unanswered questions.
And The Not So Much:
- I am not sure where this one went wrong, but I found the second half dragging. The pace was so slow, and I quickly grew bored.
- Even though I enjoyed Evelyn the ghost, I didn’t like the lack of detail on her character. She just shows up, with no explanations. She hides a lot of things, not sure why. It was also strange that she could change her clothes and come and go. Where did she go? How did she change clothes?
- I found the whole murder of the detective implausible. Who would poison someone in front of a crowd?
- There were several characters who were negative and nasty. They took away from the cozy atmosphere and charm.
- The romance was a big miss for me. It appears that she is going to strike up a relationship with the man she is working with the to solve the case, and then she suddenly goes cold toward him after spending a lot of time with him. She quickly develops feelings for her mysterious landlord who behaves strangely. The romantic feelings come out of nowhere. I just didn’t feel the romance at all.
Death Overdue was a book I wanted to love, but it feel flat for me. The pace dragged toward the end, and I was bored. The romance comes out of nowhere and it lacked chemistry and development. The characters, especially the ghost, needed more details. In the end, it was not a good fit for me.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.