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A Likely Story (A Library Lover's…

A Likely Story (A Library Lover's Mystery) (2015)

by Jenn McKinlay

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Library Lover's Mystery (6)

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A Likely Story is the sixth of Jenn McKinlay's delightful Library Lover's mystery series. As I started to read it, my excitement grew. You see, just a week or so before, I'd watched the Obsolete Oddities mini-documentary on the Collyer brothers on YouTube and realized that they were probably the inspiration for the Rosen brothers of Star Island in this book. Cool!

Peter Rosen, who has been paralyzed since their father's death, has not been known to leave Star Island for many years. His devoted brother and caretaker, Stewart, prefers to come to the mainland at night. Lindsey brings books to them as she does for other housebound library patrons. How nice for her that she needs her ex-boyfriend Captain Sully's water taxi to get there.

Yes, Lindsey and Mike 'Sully' Sullivan are taking it slowly in getting back together after he broke things off for a reason that truly vexed Lindsey (see book three, Book, Line, and Sinker). British actor Robbie Vine, who was introduced in book four, Read It and Weep, is still attracted to Lindsey. She still won't date a married man. I enjoyed Sully and Robbie's rivalry. You may decide for yourself which handsome man has the better insulting nicknames for the other.

As it turns out, one of the Rosen brothers is missing and the other in no condition to answer questions. It's not safe to give their Victorian mansion a thorough search. All the junk they've hoarded for decades isn't the only reason. I'd recommend a tetanus shot and perhaps a suit of armor, since handy personal force fields are still the stuff of science fiction.

Lindsey, Sully, and the police aren't the only ones who want the missing brother found. Mrs. Evelyn Dewhurst wants to make Star Island another of the Thumb islands she's bought. There are also two partners who own a Chicago antiques and collectibles shop, Kevin Perkins and Calvin Hodges. They claim to have been in touch with the brothers through e-mail. So far as Lindsey knows, the Rosens didn't have access to e-mail. Add a mysterious intruder in the empty (of humans) house and you've got the ingredients for another satisfying mystery.

There are some subplots regarding personal life developments among the regular supporting cast. My favorite is probably the one involving Beth Stanley, the children's librarian.


Chapter 1:

a. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack, Come Along, Daisy! by Jane Simmons, and Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Ugly Duckling' are all mentioned.

b. There's a handy hint about stuffed toys for parents of young children.

Chapter 2

a. Has a capsule history of the Thumb Islands.

b. Lindsey mentions the worst pick-up line ever used on her.

Chapter 3: Sully shares the story of how he got that scar on his neck.

Chapter 8: There's a tip for good manners regarding social media, such as Facebook.

Chapter 9.

a. Dana Stabenow, author of the Kate Shugak mystery series (and other books), is mentioned.

b. We meet Aidan Barker, the new children's librarian at Bradford's [James] Blackstone Memorial Public Library. Beth compares him to actor Ryan Gosling. The library is real, but I have no idea if their children's librarian is a hottie.

c. The children's song 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' is mentioned.

d. Mother Goose and the monkey Curious George are mentioned, as is the book Curious George and the Firefighters.

Chapter 10: Mrs. Cole compares Lindsey to her predecessor, Mr. Tupper, in a new way.

Chapter 12: Lindsey quotes Shakespeare and Robbie identifies the play.

Chapter 14: Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are mentioned.

Chapter 16:

a. The library has the entire run of their local newspaper, the 'Briar Creek Gazette,'
on microfilm, although volunteers are working on digitizing the film. (I'd rather scan the original issues, if available.)

b. Authors Stephen King, James Patterson, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Nora Roberts are mentioned.

c. If you remember Carrie Rushton and Dale Wilcox from book two, Due or Die, we get to see how they're doing.

d. Ernest Hemingway's boat, the Pilar, is mentioned.

e. We get an update on Lindsey's brother, Jack, whom we met in book five, On Borrowed Time.

Chapter 18: Lindsey's remarks about library patrons making the mistake of asking vague questions is very true. I first learned about that in my basic reference class in library school. If the librarian starts asking you questions about your request, that's a reference interview. It's designed to make sure the librarian knows just what you want so s/he can zero in on it. I got first hand experience on the importance of the reference interview early in my career when a doctor asked for information about a disease. I wasted a lot of time on a general literature search before I found out all he he wanted to know was the drugs used to treat it. Lindsey's anecdote about Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt rings true for me.

Chapter 20: This is where Officer Kirkland learns about what today's libraries are like compared to the one at his school.

Chapter 25: Romance author Lori Wilde is mentioned.

Chapter 29: Some police codes are explained.

Chapter 32: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is mentioned.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey is the subject of this book's Readers Guide. I've read my copy several times as well as listened to my library's audio edition. It's the reason why I refuse to read or watch Shakespeare's 'Richard III' play. One of the authors inspired by Ms. Tey's novel was William Messner-Loeb, who wrote issue 10 of the Comico comic book, 'Jonny Quest,' based on the original classic animated series. Richard III fans and collectors should look that one up. http://www.classicjq.com/artifacts/pubs/comics/images/Jq10.jpg

This book's craft is paper flowers, made from scrap paper.

The recipes are Beth's Irish Soda bread (I'd skip the caraway seeds unless you like them. Spoiled milk is a good substitute for buttermilk, so this bread is what my mom made whenever our milk went sour.), and Charlene's Shepherd's/Cottage Pie,

There's a bonus short story, 'An Unlikely Meeting' which about Lindsey's search for a new part-time library clerk. If you feel that Lindsey's black dog, Heathcliff, was slighted in the main part of the book (I did!), he has a big and heroic role here. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince are all mentioned.

The descriptions of the Rosen house and the complicated revelation-o- the-killer scene in the main novel are both very good. The bonus short story is definitely meant for cat and dog lovers.
. ( )
  JalenV | Jun 17, 2017 |
A Likely Story is the sixth book in the A Library Lover’s Mystery series.

For me, it is always nice to stop into the Briar Creek Public Library and its director, Lindsey Norris.

Even though Lindsey and Sullivan haven’t resolved their differences, but they are cordial with each other. Lindsey has asked Sully to take her out to Star Island to deliver books to Peter and Stewart Rosen, who live the lives of hermits on the island. Normally Stewart is own at the dock to receive the books from Lindsey. They don’t allow anyone on the island, in fact, they have booby-traps set all over the island to protect their privacy. Lindsey and Sully wait a reasonable time and calling out for Stewart, before heading to the house, cautiously avoiding several of the booby-traps. When they enter the house, they find a hoarder’s delight, but when they make their way to the kitchen they find the body of Peter in his wheelchair, dead from a gunshot wound and Stewart is nowhere to be found. As they are waiting for the police to come they notice that Stewart’s boat, which was there when they arrived, is now gone.

A couple days later, Lindsey and Milton Duffy, a member of the library board, keep the library open, hoping that Stewart might make an appearance, which he does. As Lindsey is talking to him in a conference room she hears a disturbance out front and finds that Milton has been assaulted and when she returns to the conference room, Stewart is gone. From footprints, it appears that Stewart has been kidnapped.

Lindsey and Sully now set out to not only find Stewart but also to find out who might have done it. Is it Evelyn, who is interested in buying their island or is it Calvin and Kevin, a couple of antique dealers who claim to have been in contact by email with Peter who might not have had the ability to email or could it someone else.

Another wonderful addition to this great series

Craft ideas and recipes and a short story are included in the book.

Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  FredYoder | Nov 3, 2016 |
Head librarian Lindsey Norris heads off by water taxi (captained by Sully, a former beau) to an island just off the Connecticut coast. The Briar Creek Public Library’s outreach services are reaching out to the 80-something Rosen Brothers, who are famously reclusive hoarders. When Stewart Rosen isn’t awaiting her arrival, she and Sully are both worried. The brothers do not like people in their house and they’ve apparently rigged up some very nasty surprises for trespassers. But Lindsey and Sully brave it anyway.

They find Peter Rosen, who has been confined to a wheelchair most of his life, dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. The two quickly exit and call the local police chief. Lindsey’s latest “case” eventually involves just about everyone in town, from the library board president on down.

I had not read this series by Ms. McKinlay, but have read her two others. She’s really an amazing writer, balancing well the mystery and romantic elements in her mysteries. Now I have another of her series to add to my favorites list. And there are five earlier ones awaiting … hooray! ( )
  NewsieQ | Feb 7, 2016 |
Author Jenn McKinlay's first book in hardcover is a real winner in her always-enjoyable Library Lovers series. More than once McKinlay has shown a true talent for the thriller side of crime fiction, and she does it again here. The Rosen brothers are hoarders, and this fact provides both thrills and comic relief to anyone who's seen even thirty seconds of an episode of Hoarders. (I watched fifteen minutes of one episode a few years back, and the images are still seared on my brain.)

In A Likely Story, McKinlay adds a delicious creep factor when Lindsey attempts to track an intruder through the claustrophobic Rosen house. With narrow little paths through towering, leaning piles of booby-trapped junk, I wasn't sure if Lindsey was going to be buried alive or jumped on by a killer. This is a wonderfully written scene. In turn, the state of the brothers' home provides some great one-liners for Lindsey, such as "When she got home she was going to sort her linen closet just to make herself feel better."

This is a mystery with a short suspect list, so it's the all-important Why and How that matter, and along the way readers get to experience Lindsey's friend Beth meeting a potential Mr. Right, something that-- with Beth's track record-- is perilous at best. Speaking of romance, A Likely Story ends on a romantic cliffhanger, and since I am not a fan of that particular "triangular" plot device, I really hope it's resolved in the next installment.

As a celebratory bonus at the end of the book, McKinlay has included the short story, "An Unlikely Meeting." Please don't miss it! You not only get your Heathcliff Fix by reading it, you also get to meet a new series character. This short story really has me looking forward to the next book. Write faster, Jenn! ( )
  cathyskye | Jan 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jenn McKinlayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Corless, Laura K.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frangie, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, JuliaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orf, BeckettAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the hub, Chris Hansen Orf, being married to you has been the best time I've ever had. You've given me the two greatest gifts of my life, our sons, Beckett and Wyatt, for which I am ever grateful. Our family is and always will be our greatest achievement, and I'm so glad we're in it together. And if all that isn't enough, you gave me thee opening line to this book. I simply couldn't do this without you, Hub. Love you forever.
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'I need a plunger and a mop stat!' Lindsey Norris cried from the family restroom in the Children's Area of the Briar Creek Public Library.
'Lindsey, we've started crafternoon without you,' Beth Stanley said. ('An Unlikely Meeting')
'Who's your favorite author?' Lindsey asked.

'Now that's like asking mama cat here who her favorite kitten is,' the woman said. 'I could never choose a favorite book. There are far too many who have meant too much to me over the years.'

'I feel the same way,' Lindsey said. ('An Unlikely Meeting')
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425260747, Hardcover)

A new hardcover in the Library Lover's mystery series from the New York Times bestselling author of On Borrowed Time. Small-town librarian Lindsey Norris must solve a murder and a missing person's case involving two reclusive brothers.


Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she's determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother's fate.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:27 -0400)

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