Monday, August 25, 2014

Death Overdue by Mary Lou Kirwin

Reviewed by Jeanne

Librarian Karen Nash has impulsively left Minnesota for London with possible love of her life Caldwell Perkins to set up a bookshop in the B & B he owns.  Things get complicated when Caldwell’s former girlfriend Sally shows up, new beau in tow, and demands her half of the B & B.  Sally doesn’t have long to make these demands, though, as she’s terminally flattened by a bookcase soon after her arrival.  Who could have unlatched the case? Karen is sure it couldn’t have been Caldwell—could it?—so that leaves limited suspect pool.  Of course, the police are including Karen in that pool as well, so she really needs to do some investigating on her own, right?  

This is a cozy mystery, the second in a series after Killer Librarian.  Karen is an appealing narrator, a youngish woman who is trying to decide whether or not to stay in England or to go back to her life in Minnesota. She loves books and Caldwell (not necessarily in that order) but this is a huge change and there are a few little niggling doubts in her head; plus she misses her friends back home, and hasn’t really made many new ones.  Brenda, Caldwell’s assistant in the B & B, certainly doesn’t like Karen and is thrilled that Sally may be back; Bruce, an avid book collector, is more interested in finding out what new collectible books Caldwell has located; and Penelope, Sally’s sister, is more intent on the long-running feud with Sally. 

This is a light, fun read with a dash of local color thrown in.  Karen tries to remember that a bookstore is a bookshop here and to how to convert meters into feet.  There are a number of book references to please bibliophiles and much tea is drunk.  In short, it’s a nice traditional mystery without car chases or serial killers.

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