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Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinley

Books Can Be Deceiving (2011)

by Jenn McKinley

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4895331,182 (3.66)67



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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
This is a series that I have wanted to read for awhile. After all the comments about how good this series is, and having read and enjoyed many other books by Jenn McKinlay, I decided I needed to give it a try. I did enjoy this story, but not as much as I had anticipated.

Lindsey Norris has been hires as the director of the Briar Creek Library in Briar Creek CT. Her best friend Beth works with her as the children's librarian. There are several other employees, but I must mentions Ms. Cole, who is called "The Lemon" behind her back. Lindsey is settling in well, making some long overdue changes to the library and getting the Library Board's vote of confidence. All seems well, until Beth and her boyfriend of five years, Rick break up. When Beth finds out that the children's book she has been writing has been plagarized, she is ready to go and give Rick a piece of her mind. When Lindsey, Beth and Captain Sulley show up on the private island, they find Rick in no condition to listen to anything Beth has to say. With the breakup and plagarism, Beth becomes the main suspect, in fact, the only suspect as far as the sheriff is concerned.

This was a great cast of characters, including several townspeople, the library workers and the ladies who participate in "Crafternoon" that made the story interesting. The small town feel with the gossip mill that I love in cozies, was in full swing. Milton, the 80 something year old yoga expert was such a nice guy! He was the chair of the library board and when things got a bit sticky, I loved how he stood up for his staff. There is a rather nosy reporter who I would have liked to kick out of town, but again, it made the book interesting. There were not a lot of clues, so it is the questioning and nosiness that eventually reveal the culprit. I had a suspicion of who the killer was, and I was correct, but there was quite a twist at the end of the story that I was not expecting. A good cozy story that is a good introduction to this series and to Briar Creek. I am definitely going to read more in this series.

( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
Lindsay, director of the library, helps her friend and co-worker Beth who is suspected of murdering her “douche” ex-boyfriend, Rick. A cozy mystery combining books and sleuthing. Fast read. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Dec 12, 2018 |
Lindsey Norris is starting to settle in to her new position as the director of the small public library in Briar Creek. It definitely helps that her best friend from grad school, Beth, also works at the same library. But when Beth's suddenly ex-boyfriend is found murdered, Lindsey is determined to prove that Beth had nothing to do with it.

This library cozy mystery is everything I could possibly hope for. Charming and quirky characters and a mystery that while not difficult to figure out has enough twists to keep things interesting. As the ultimate bonus, as the author is a librarian, the details of daily life in a public library are accurate. Huzzah! Highly recommended for those who like cozy mysteries, particularly those with a bookish setting. ( )
  MickyFine | Jun 6, 2018 |
I love the premise of having this book be centered around books and a library. I enjoyed the characters. I must say I don't think that she gave the characters enough physical description so I had to be creative in my brain. The reason I gave it 3 stars is because I don't think the mystery part of it was pulled off very well. It kind of seemed rushed as she was trying to throw in several other pieces. The concept of the mystery in the book was good. I just do not think it was strong enough to be a cozy mystery. I will try another of her books, as I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the references to books. ( )
  1forthebooks | May 22, 2018 |
Lindsey used to be an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale until about six months ago, when she was laid off. She's now the director of the Briar Creek Library. She's just starting to feel more comfortable with small town life and her new position. It helps that one of her employees, Beth, is also her friend from back when they were both getting their library science degrees.

Beth is a children's librarian who's been working on a children's book of her own for several years. Lindsey thinks Beth should show her work to a New York editor who's vacationing in Briar Creek, but Beth is hesitant - her horrible boyfriend, Rick, keeps telling her it isn't good enough and needs a lot more work. Since he's a famous author whose first book won the Caldecott Medal, he'd know, right? When Beth tells Rick about her plans to meet with the editor, things rapidly sour between them. They break up, but the situation only gets worse after Beth hears what the editor has to say. She attempts to go to Rick's island and give him a piece of her mind, only to discover that he's been murdered. Unfortunately, Chief Daniels seems to consider Beth his top suspect.

A coworker of mine highly recommend this series to me. She basically inhaled what's been published in the series so far. She enjoyed the library aspects, the romance with Sully (she mentioned the love triangle that pops up in a later book, so I already know to expect that), and the fact that Lindsey is fairly similar in age to her (and me, too!).

My feelings about this book are more measured, but I enjoyed it too. The library aspects were great, even though there were a few things that made me raise an eyebrow. The odds of Lindsey getting an archivist job at Yale right out of library school seemed incredibly slim, based on what my job hunt 9 or 10 years ago was like. Then again, this was published in 2011, so maybe such a thing would have been more likely in the early 2000s. I also raised an eyebrow at the way Lindsey handled Beth's situation. I couldn't help but wonder if she'd have been as quick to promise Ms. Cole, aka "the lemon," she wouldn't suspend her if she had been the one accused of murder. Having your best friend as one of your employees can mess with your judgment.

That said, most of the details were great, like the random phone call from a vendor selling a database the library neither needed nor could afford, the couple arguing over which movie to check out right before closing time, and Lindsey's "crafternoons" idea. I can add this to my short list of books that star librarians who actually do occasional on-page library work.

The mystery itself was good, with a few twists I absolutely did not expect. I did wonder about the bit where Lindsey and Beth left town to do some investigating on their own. Would Beth have been allowed to leave like that?  Detective Trimble seemed more open to other possibilities, but Chief Daniels certainly considered her a suspect.

I'm looking forward to more developments in the romance between Lindsey and Sully, although I'm already dreading the love triangle. Sully seems like a great guy, and I could think of a lot of things that could complicate his and Lindsey's relationship without a love triangle being added to the mix. For example, Lindsey is still dealing with the hurt and betrayal of discovering that her fiance was cheating on her, which unfortunately happened at around the same time she was laid off.

All in all, this was an enjoyable and quick read. I definitely plan on reading the next book. In fact, I already have a copy in via interlibrary loan.


At the end of the book there are several extras, including "The Briar Creek Library Guide to Crafternoons," a reader's guide for The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene, a knitting pattern for the rolled hat Lindsey made (which was originally supposed to be a sock), a recipe for Sully's hot chocolate, and a recipe for Mary's clam chowder. The crafternoons guide could come in handy for public librarians looking for adult programming ideas.

For my part, the only extra I've used is the recipe for Sully's hot chocolate, which I've now made several times (with powdered cinnamon instead of sticks, and no nutmeg). I disagree with Lindsey's assessment that it isn't too sweet - after my first time making it, I cut the sugar back by half. I suggest halving the recipe if you just want to make enough hot chocolate for yourself. It's a very rich drink, and halving it makes enough for one good-sized mug.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Apr 14, 2018 |
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Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.
For my brilliant agent, Jessica Faust
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I have been very fortunate to spend my formative years and my adult years working in a variety of positions in many different libraries. [from the Acknowledgments section]

'Oh, I just love that Maxim de Winter,' Violet LaRue said, her knitting needles clicking together as if to emphasize her words. [from the novel itself]
As always, Lindsey felt all of her troubles ease once she was back among the familiar. Just seeing the names on the spines of the books was like calling hello to old friends. They had always given her solace in their steadfastness, and she valued each and every one more than she could ever say. (chapter 12)
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Book description
Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.
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"Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person."--Amazon.com… (more)

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