Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review: Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin

A midwest librarian vacations in London and becomes entangled in a murder mystery when one dead body turns up in the B&B where she is staying—and she fears there will be another—in this first book in an engaging new cozy librarian series.

Minnesota librarian Karen Nash decides to go on her London vacation anyway even though her boyfriend has jilted her the day they are about to leave. Then she sees him at the airport boarding the same plane as she, only with another woman. Karen’s thoughts turn murderous and later spill over in what she assumes is an idle pub conversation with a sympathetic stranger. Only later does she realize this man might have taken her at her word when she angrily said wanted her ex dead. Meanwhile as Karen gets better acquainted with Caldwell Perkins, the owner of the charming B&B where she is staying, she discovers they have a lot in common—he might well love books as much as she does.

Things are starting to look up when all of a sudden a dead body turns up in Caldwell’s B&B sitting room—and several of the guests have reason seem suspicious. Karen can’t help but play detective, and clues begin to fall into place as she visits museums, used bookstores and the Chelsea garden show. With that mystery solved, Karen realizes it’s time to put her hurt and anger behind her. But is it too late?

E-galley received for review.

I wanted to like this. I really did. Alas, my hopes were dashed after the first few chapters. I did manage to limp through the first 50 pages before abandoning this though.

The main character was just not likable. She was whiny, rude, and vindictive - truly all the things that make for the stereotypical horrible American abroad. I couldn't even feel a sliver of sympathy when her boyfriend dumped her and that's pretty sad since empathy with the characters makes for such a significantly better reading experience.

Since I never did make it to the meat of the mystery I can't comment on its quality or solution but I don't hold out high hopes for it after reading the first bit of the book.

There are so many good cozies out there that to waste your time on this is just unfortunate at best. I seriously recommend a pass on this one.

☆☆ = Didn't Like It


Lilian said...

I was so intrigued by the title and the synopsis (I had such high hopes when I saw it was about a librarian). It's such a pity that you didn't like this one. I agree that empathy with the characters is important to liking a novel.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

bonnielibrary said...

Well, I have to agree and disagree. It starts out slow and the narrative style did not agree with me. It was a gift so I pushed myself through the first half and went to bed last night thinking, "I just have to read the rest and won't bother with the rest of the series." And then, all of the sudden the story and tone fell into place. I ended up really liking the book and looking forward to reading the next one. However, the story is thin on murder and strong on Karen's life/growth. So maybe more chicklit than dectective murder solving!

Bronwen Williams said...

I got the book as a gift as well. I agree with bonnielibrary that the story is best when it is focusing on Karen's life/growth. I thought the murder outcome was weak/disappointing. But I did like Karen as a character and look forward to seeing how her relationship with caldwell develops. Also liked the view of London through the eyes of a thoughtful tourist

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