Monday, September 12, 2022

Book Review: Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay


Books Can Be Deceiving (Library Lover's Mystery #1). Jenn McKinlay. Berkley Books (2011). 282 pages. Genre: Cozy Mystery.

First Line: "'Oh, I just love that Maxim de Winter,' Violet La Rue said, her knitting needles clicking together as if to emphasize her words."

Summary:  Lindsey Norris is settling in to her new job as library director.  It helps that her best friend, Beth, is also a library employee.  Beth has been working on a children's book for years, so when a New York editor visits town, Lindsey encourages Beth to approach her.  When Beth and Lindsey meet with the editor, they find her to be rather cold and off-putting.  They discover that Beth's boyfriend is the reason for the editor's lack of interest.  When they go to his home to confront him, Beth finds him murdered.  Because of the circumstances, Beth is the prime suspect.  Lindsey is convinced her friend didn't murder her boyfriend, but will she be able to discover the real culprit before its too late?

My thoughts:  This series has been on my TBR for quite some time.  I am so glad I finally got around to reading it.  

Lindsey is a likeable character that I could relate to.  She never intended to work as a library director.  She was working as an archivist at Yale, but the university had to make budget cuts and Lindsey was let go.  Beth encouraged her to apply for the director position at Briar Creek Library.  Lindsey is so glad she did.  She has found that she thrives in the small town and with a work schedule that is very predictable.  She is embracing the fact that she likes her slower paced life surrounded by familiar people. Lindsey has a way with people as well.  She is able to manage the cantankerous Ms. Cole with ease, while diffusing arguments before they start amongst the library employees. 

As children's librarian, Beth is not afraid to put on a silly costume and crawl around on the floor with the kids.  She and Lindsey are the best of friends and look out for one another.  There is a great cast of supporting characters as well that I hope to see more of in future books. 

Briar Creek, Connecticut sounds like a lovely town.  The book takes place in the fall and I got a real sense of the weather changing as well as the beauty of the surrounding countryside.  

The mystery wasn't overly complicated, but there was a lot to sort through before getting to the killer.  
And there were plenty of twists and turns along the way. 

This was my first Jenn McKinlay book, but it won't be my last.  I look forward to reading book two in the Library Lover's Mystery series. 


"With its thick stone walls and welcoming glass front doors, she always felt as if she were going home when she walked into the Briar Creek Library.  Instead of the smell of her mother's rosemary chicken, however, the library greeted her with the perfumed scent of old paper pressed between the hard covers of books on wooden shelves dusted faintly with lemon furniture polish."

"But then, having worked at the university most of her life and now with the public at large, she had discovered common sense wasn't as common as you'd think."

"Lydia was pushing seventy, had silver hair and reading glasses and dressed in what Lindsey thought of as Connecticut genteel; in other words, she looked like Kate Hepburn in her later years in tailored slacks and turtlenecks with a sweater tied over her shoulders."


  1. I'm really glad that you enjoyed Jenn's book, Gretchen. Some of the tales she tells about life as a librarian are hilarious, and you know that she uses those experiences in this series.

    1. That is something I really enjoyed about this, her obvious first hand knowledge of the inner workings of the library.

  2. I love the description of the library. I could imagine myself there. I could easily picture Lydia as well. I have not read this series, but I'm adding it to my list. It sounds like a good one. (lghiggins)

    1. Her descriptions are great. I think the fact that she is a librarian makes this series extra good. She also has a great sense of humor.