Better Late Than Never (Library Lovers Mystery #7) by Jenn McKinlay (Amazon Link)
Rating: Very Good
Description: When the Briar Creek Public Library holds its first overdue book amnesty day—no fines for late returns—the volume of incoming materials is more than Lindsey and her staff can handle. In a bind, Lindsey drafts the crafternoon ladies to help check in and sort the stacks of books.
But one tardy tome catches her attention—a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, twenty years past due. When Lindsey looks up the borrower, she’s shocked to discover it was a murdered school teacher named Candice Whitley, whose killer was never found.
Candice checked out the novel on the day she was murdered. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old cold case. No one noticed who brought the book back in, but could it be Candice’s killer? Lindsey is determined to catch the culprit one way or another, because justice for Candice Whitley is long overdue...
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: This was always one of my favorite cozy series though I've sadly neglected it over the past few years. So when I was offered this one I couldn't say no - plus there's a 20 year old over due library book that leads to an unsolved murder. How could I pass that up?
My Impression: Honestly this book just made me want to go hang out at my local library all day. Granted, there's WAY less murder solving (that I know of anyway) around there but I love all the bookish talk and just the day to day business of running a library. I love the dynamic between Lindsey and the other librarians and the patrons and I adore the book mentions.
I was predisposed to like this mystery - I mean a 20 year overdue library book kick starts a cold case? What's not to like! And for the most part it didn't disappoint. I loved how the mystery played out and was really not sure just how it was going to unravel until the very end. There were a couple of minor points that were rushed just a little but they weren't directly related to the conclusion so it wasn't really a problem.
With most cozy mysteries it's the characters that really make a series shine and this series is no exception. I love Lindsey. She's competent and funny and genuinely kind. As well she is incredibly nosy but owns it. I enjoyed that this book had both current Police Chief Emma Plewicki as well as former Police Chief Daniels. The retired and the current law enforcement added an interesting angle and sounding board to Lindsey's investigation. As usual children's librarian Beth was a complete delight and I just wish she was in charge of story time at my local library. Ms. Cole is the perfect balance of nemesis - enough for entertainment but not so much where it gets annoying. There is a decent amount Lindsey's personal life but it never overtakes the mystery and the only way I think it would be an issue is if you were new to the series and weren't already invested in the lives of Lindsey and her friends.
This is a fun cozy mystery series that takes place in a library! It's hard to be better than that. The cast of characters never fails to delight and the mystery never fails to entertain and I'm already excited for my next visit.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! I have the next book in the series on my shelf already and am so excited to read it!
Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy cozy mysteries I think you'd enjoy this series.