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Catalogue of Death by Jo Dereske

Catalogue of Death (2007)

by Jo Dereske

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I enjoy detective stories and love libraries, so thought this might be a good choice. I did keep reading until the end, but I didn't really enjoy the story that much. Helma Zukas just wasn't all that engaging as a main character - obsessively clean and tidy, with odd objections to certain things: pointing indoors, for example. And why give a cat house room if you won't even touch it and can't bring yourself to wear an item of clothing with a cat hair on it? ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
Library Director, Miss Moon, is - well -- over the moon because local businessman and big property owner is donating a plot in town for a new library. Helma Zucas is also looking forward to a new library but isn't too involved in the planning. That is, until said businessman is blown up, at the new library site.

Miss Moon sics Helma on the case to see if she can salvage the plans, because the other two brothers (they are triplets) want that property for new condos.

As usual there are plenty of twists and turns, sometimes aided but often hindered by Ruth, Aunt Em, and her mother. Police chief Milo is trying to keep Helma out of things, but as usual has little success.

This is a comfort series for me, I love spending time with Miss Zucas and her cast of friends, family and co-workers. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 22, 2015 |
Not even a blizzard can keep the intrepid Helma Zukas from getting to work at the Bellehaven WA Public Library. Our favorite librarian straps on her ancient cross country skis and – in the perfect form that earned her an A in college – cuts a path through the snow. Then an explosion rocks the area – apparently at the construction site for the new library building. When Miss Zukas again dons her ski gear to investigate, it’s only to discover that the explosion killed the eldest of the fabulously wealthy Harrington triplets – Franklin – and severely injured one of the town fathers.

Franklin had, over the objections of his brothers Delano and Roosevelt, designated Harrington land for the new library. The library’s dithering director May Apple Moon delegates Miss Zukas to schmooze with the Harrington heirs to ensure the library construction continues, despite their eagerness to build condos on the land instead.

One wouldn’t typically picture Miss Zukas schmoozing anyone. Helma is, instead, a woman of excruciatingly fastidious habits – and a desire for order. (She faithfully coordinates her clocks and empties her wastebaskets each Tuesday evening, and chooses white dinnerware so the plates don’t clash with the food.) But Miss Zukas soldiers on trying to save the library. In the process, she uncovers family secrets that may help her figure out just who wanted Franklin Harrington dead and why.

Anyone who loves books and libraries will love Helma Zukas. She’s eccentric to be sure, and clueless about interpersonal relationships and affairs of the heart. But Jo Dereske tells Helma’s story with such obvious affection it’s hard for readers to do anything but love Miss Zukas, too. The fluttery May Apple Moon is a perfect foil for our heroine; police chief Wayne Gallant the ideal love match -- if ill-fated romance is the goal. The author knows how to create great characters and faultless plots -- and keep a mystery moving right along. An overall fun read.

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library April 2, 2007. ( )
  NewsieQ | May 25, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060790849, Mass Market Paperback)

At last, construction begins on a new library for Bellehaven, a gift of Franklin Harrington, scion of old Bellehaven money, and one of the locally famous Harrington triplets. But when a freak snowstorm hits, Bellehaven is brought to its knees. Not so Miss Helma Zukas who is at her post, dispensing library information, overseeing wayward employees, and soothing a busload of stranded gamblers.

Suddenly, an explosion rocks the snowy day, destroying the library site, killing the benefactor and a penny–pinching city finance czar.

The snow melts but not trouble. Shockingly, Ms. Moon thrusts the new library project onto Helma. And Helma soon discovers why, uncovering secrets and shady dealings from start to finish – secrets in the library, in the City, and in the Harrington family – secrets worth killing for.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:20 -0400)

At last, construction begins on a new library for Bellehaven, a gift of Franklin Harrington, scion of old Bellehaven money, and one of the locally famous Harrington triplets. But when a freak snowstorm hjits, Bellehaven is brought to its knees.

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