Read on Arrival
A Bookmobile Mystery
by Nora Page
File Size: 3314 KB
Print Length: 329 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1643850032
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 7, 2019)
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Animals, Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Death, deadly omens, and a decades-overdue book put senior librarian Cleo Watkins on a collision course with a killer in the second Bookmobile mystery.
Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins believes in gracious manners, sweet tea, and justice―library justice. For over forty years, Cleo has tried every trick in the book to get delinquent patron Dixie Huddleston to return the most overdue volume in Catalpa Springs, Georgia. When Dixie says she’ll finally relinquish the book, Cleo is shocked. She’s even more startled by the reason: superstitious Dixie says she’s seen the signs: she’s about to die and is setting her affairs in order.
Cleo dismisses Dixie’s ominous omens…until she and her gentleman friend, Henry Lafayette, arrive at Dixie’s home to find her dead. Cleo suspects murder. The police agree but promptly list Cleo among the likely culprits. To clear her good name and deliver justice, Cleo uses her librarian skills to investigate, with Henry and her trusty bookmobile cat, Rhett Butler, at her side.
However, the killer has opened a new chapter of terror. Death threats appear around town, and residents start seeing bad luck everywhere, including in Cleo and her beloved bookmobile Words on Wheels. With her bookmobile and legacy on the line, Cleo accelerates her sleuthing. Suspects and clues stack up, but so does the danger. Another death is coming due, and Cleo fears the killer may be about to turn the final page on someone she loves most.
Cleo Watkins is a woman in her 70s who has been the local librarian, spreading her passion for books for over 40 years. During those years Cleo has tried to recover a special library book, Luck and Lore, from local real estate broker, Dixie. Dixie insists the book has been her lucky token for her successful career and she has flaunted it under Cleo’s nose. But suddenly Dixie is experiencing death omens and she wants to return the book. When Cleo and her gentleman friend, Henry, goes to Dixie’s home to pick up the book. Instead of the book they find Dixie’s dead body in clearly suspicious circumstances.
Cleo has previous used her amateur skills to solve a local murder. It is natural that community members are coming to her for information and encouraging her to dig up clues. Even her neighbor, Gabby, a Deputy Sheriff, is willing to accept input from Cleo, although Gabby warns Cleo to stay safe. While Cleo continues to look for the missing library book and clues about the murder, she is also fighting attempts from a bouncy blonde who is flirting with the library board president while proposing modernization of the library, including Cleo’s beloved bookmobile.
This is a true, warm ‘cozy’ mystery. I enjoyed the elderly characters with their precious pets (cat for Cleo and dog for Henry). I also liked Cleo’s friendship with her neighbor, Deputy Sheriff, Gabby. The small community is full of lively characters and a list of possible suspects who had various motives for disliking and ultimately killing Dixie. The murder is creative and the ongoing death threats to other members of the community adds to the mystery.
The small-town setting is ‘cozy’ and the easy flowing writing is a clear fit for the cozy, who-done-it genre. I sort of wished I could have read this in the fall to fit with the cover which pulled me in. But, anytime of the year, it is a satisfactory read for the cozy mystery fan.
Source: NetGalley 2018 This is the last of my 2018 NetGalley picks. This qualifies for 2019TBR and 2019NetGalley goal.