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The Best Cellar by Charles A. Goodrum
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For Crighton Jones, PR officer at the (fictional) Werner-Bok library in Washington, D.C., a good deed turns into a nightmare. When a visiting researcher is unable to find lodging, Crighton offers her a place to stay for a few days until something opens up. Crighton becomes concerned when the woman doesn't show up one evening. After she receives a threatening phone call meant for the woman, she becomes even more concerned. The woman had hinted that she was close to an explosive discovery. Could her research have put her in danger? The woman's life might depend on Crighton's ability to figure out the details of her research to locate and warn the woman of impending danger. Who better to help her solve the puzzle than her archaeologist friend Steve Carson and her mentor, retired librarian Edward George?

I loved many elements of the mystery, particularly the historical puzzle involving the Library of Congress, the War of 1812, and the Virginia aristocracy. However, the plot has some problems. There were well over 24 hours in one of the days described in the book. The chronology of events just doesn't fit within the time frame specified in the book. The periodic discourses on the state of librarianship in the mid-1980s will be an unnecessary distraction to readers without a strong interest in the library profession. Librarians whose professional experience goes back to the 1980s may enjoy the nostalgic experience. I'll pick up the other books in this series if I run across them, but I won't go to a lot of effort to locate them. ( )
  cbl_tn | Nov 23, 2012 |
Set in Washington and Tidewater Virginia, this is the third in the Werner-Bok series. The story is wrapped around an intriguing historical mystery surrounding the original Library of Congress volumes. The conception is better than the execution, but this is a pleasant read with engaging characters. ( )
  Bjace | Oct 29, 2012 |
Interesting, but more a mystery written to illustrate a historical event than a meditation on crime and the unmasking of evil doers. A beautiful and angry UVA co-ed shows up at the fictional Werner-Bok Library in DC and announces that she is about to reveal something of Great Historical Import, then mysteriously disappears. Three scholar/sleuths fear for her safety and begin a search for her and what she had discovered- and get more than they bargained for! Sorry, the story isn’t as interesting as the facts it discusses, but it’s still a good, quick read and will especially appeal to librarians and people in the DC metro area.
2 vote SomeGuyInVirginia | Feb 17, 2010 |
Thousands of books disappeared from the Library of Congress during the evacuation of Washington, DC in 1812. In pristine condition then, these books would be priceless to replace today. Where are they now? This mystery weaves around the facts as we know them. It is written by a former LC Asst Chief. Best library mystery ever !
  WTHarvey | Sep 9, 2008 |
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