Death in the Stacks by Jenn McKinlay

Death in the Stacks

Jenn McKinlay

"A sparkling setting, lovely characters, books, knitting, and chowder! What more could any reader ask?"--Lorna Barrett, New York Times bestselling author

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In the latest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Better Late Than Never, the library’s big fund-raiser leaves director Lindsey Norris booked for trouble . . . 

Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover’s dream—it’s the library’s biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable.

Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library’s newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library.

The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive—but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive’s dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she’s not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula’s future . . .


Advance Galley Reviews

This book was such a treat for Jenn McKinlay's fans! Characters from her other two cozy series make cameo appearances in this book. The cameos are written into the story in a very believable fashion and were a fun way to incorporate her other series...especially since one has now ended. It was a great way to see what those characters were up to. The Library Lover's series is my favorite of all the series...how can you not love a series with a librarian as the sleuth? The characters are well written and the mystery usually has me puzzling alongside Lindsey until the end. Reading this book was like catching up with old friends. Hope to see the Cupcake Bakers and the London Hat Shop girls visit Briar Creek again!

Last year, I got the chance to read the previous book in the Library Lover’s Mystery series, Better Late Than Never. I adored that book and was excited to read the latest release in the series, Death in the Stacks. It was a quick read and fairly typical for a cozy mystery—amateur sleuth, small town setting. That being said, I honestly enjoyed Death in the Stacks because, at the end of the day, it was still an interesting mystery. And, it gets a couple of bonus points for being set in a library with librarians as main characters. The gist of the story is that Lindsey Norris is entangled in another mystery, this time involving Olive Boyle—the troublemaking and manipulative new president of the library board. Olive had a lot of enemies, and that’s what made the mystery so good—I never knew who the culprit was because so many characters did have a clear motive. Also, another thing worth mentioning is the balance between the mystery and the personal lives of the main characters—such as the continued development of relationships established in previous—which added an extra layer of depth to the story. It also led to some interesting scenes between the mystery and subsequent investigation. All in all, Death in the Stacks was a good book and I look forward to Jenn McKinlay’s next book. This copy of the book was provided by First to Read (Publisher) for this review.

So excited to get an e-arc of this book! This is one of my favorite series and I love Jenn McKinlay and all of her writings! Great to re-visit the Briar Creek Library and all of the characters! Those familiar with her other series, will be really excited and surprised!! Really fun, whodunit in the classic sense with some great LOL moments!

4 Stars! Death in the Stacks was a fantastic cozy mystery that proves to be a good jumping off point for those new to the Library Lover's Mystery series like me and I really enjoyed it. Lindsey Norris as director of the Briar Creek Library is busy preparing for the annual Dinner in the Stacks, the library's biggest fundraiser of the year. Her only issue is the new library board president Olive Boyle who is determined to see Lindsey fail and be fired. Despite the issues she has with Olive, Lindsey intends to work with her to make the dinner a success. That is until Olive publicly threatens Lindsey's employee Paula and she finally loses her temper. After the dinner is a huge success in spite of Olive, Lindsey finds Olive dead in the library with Paula crouched over the body. Regardless of the evidence stacked against Paula, Lindsey knows she's innocent and sets out to find the real killer before they strike again. Lindsey is very dedicated to her job at the library and truly loves working there. A large number of her friends are her fellow staff at the library and she's very loyal to those she's close to. After she was nearly killed a few months prior to this book, she vowed she was done with investigating murders. However despite that vow, she knows she can't leave Paula to be blamed for Olive's murder and decides to pick up her investigator cap to help out her friend. The mystery of who killed Olive was incredibly interesting and the author kept me guessing throughout the book. There were a ton of twists and turns and the further along in the case, the more interesting things became. At one point I had decided who I thought was the killer and I ended up being completely wrong! The author does a good job showing how Lindsey and Robbie get their information despite not being police. Lindsey and Robbie work very well together and I enjoyed watching them work through the case. The side characters in this book are incredibly well fleshed out and I enjoyed learning how everyone was connected to Lindsey and each other. My favorite character by far was Ms. Cole aka "The Lemon" who was such a curmudgeon and I just loved her. Another great character is Sully, Lindsey's boyfriend. I loved how supportive he was of her and how he encouraged her to do what she loved. Overall, Death in the Stacks was a really fun and engaging read. I hope to go back and read the other books in the series at some point as well as check out the author's two other cozy mystery series whose characters made appearances in this book. **I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.**

Overall I enjoyed reading Death In The Stacks. The author wrote a clear concise storyline which keeps one focused regardless of which character is prominent at one time or another, In terms of character development, there was one, Olive, who was a tad over the top. There were enough twists and turns and humor to keep a reader interested. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars

A spectacular whodunnit that kept me hooked from the very first page! I highly recommend this fine addition to a long-standing and addictive cozy mystery series! If you like libraries and a librarian as a heroine who has an uncanny knack for stumbling upon crime scenes and solving them with her unparalleled amateur sleuthing abilities, then this one’s for you! An Absolute Must-Read! 5 stars!

A quick, cutesy read. Lindsey, the lead, is sometimes irritatingly written. She's not the "perfect" character, but rather perfectly imperfect - a little too relateable, a little too vague in personality, her life a little too idyllic, so the reader can comfortably insert themselves into the role as they read (the only comparison I can think to make is Bella Swan in Twilight). Olive is a "storybook villain" while around. Personally, I was looking for a little more out of a murder mystery, but I have not read any of McKinlay's other books. If you want light and cutesy, this is a quick and easy and pleasant read, but if you're looking for something more than a "beach read" I would search elsewhere.

It's a nice small town mystery and it was a fast, but fun read. It looks like other characters from the other mystery series are featured here which is interesting, but cute. It was a good read overall.

Mystery plus library? I knew I would like this book. And I did enjoy reading it. It is a light, easy read. I did not realize before reading that it is actually part of a series. I think that I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the previous books in the series. I probably would have cared more about the main characters. As it was, I could not figure out who had dunnit, but I also didn't care that much. I liked the library scenes & the main characters, so I may check out some of this author's other mysteries. Not the best cozy I have ever read, but far from the worst. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Penguin books and the First to Read program for the opportunity to read and review this book in return for an honest review.

Cozy mystery in a library?  Sign me up!  This is the second Jenn McKinlay book I've read, and she definitely excels at cozy reads with humorous characters, strong friendships, and gentle romance.  Though this is the eighth entry in the Library Lover's mystery series, it's my first introduction to it.  I think it can definitely be read as a standalone, though I'm guessing I'm missing a lot of background and in-jokes.  There's definitely a feeling of a much larger story going on, with a full village of characters.  As someone just jumping in, it took a bit to separate out which characters were actually important to this book versus those there to give long-term fans updates.  If anything, I would've preferred to have less of the "old character pops in to say hi" (and then with attendant backstory) and more attention to the current book's plot and characters. The humorous characters are what really makes this book, including a couple of pun-offs courtesy of some visiting Brits (who appear to be characters from one of the author's other mystery series).  My personal favorite was the curmudgeonly old Ms. Cole, referred to as "the Lemon": "Lindsey blinked.  Good ol' Ms. Cole.  Only she would be more outraged that they had raised their voices [in the library] than that they had accused someone of murder." Seriously, though, what library doesn't have a "lemon" on its staff?  The murder victim, Olive, was sufficiently nasty enough to make me initially wonder if there was some "Murder on the Orient Express"-style plot going on.  While (minor spoiler) that's not what happens, the mystery itself was satisfying.  There were enough clues and red herrings given to keep the plot moving at a brisk pace.  I wouldn't say that it was un-put-down-able - these types of mysteries aren't really meant to be that - but it definitely held my interest. But, at heart, I felt like the mystery plot was secondary to the wonderful characters and its humor.  Besides puns and quirky characters, the book also gently pokes fun at murder mystery stereotypes, like the Agatha Christie books the crafternooners discuss at one of their meetings: “Oliver Boyle’s funeral was a packed house with a restless crowd, as if they were expecting some sort of spectacle like the murderer confessing or the police arresting someone in the middle of the eulogy. They were woefully disappointed.” Recommended for anyone who loves cozy mysteries, libraries, and a cast of humorous characters!

Olive is truly a despicable character, and one cannot help but dislike her. Although no one would wish the way she died on anyone, even her, it's likely not many will miss her. I could really relate to Lindsey on the other hand, and enjoyed getting to know her. I'm quite fond of her boyfriend too, but even more so her cat, who definitely deserves more than the cameo she got. And I like the sheriff, although she probably gives Lindsey more latitude than she should. Stacked in Death was such a fun read. It is one of those books that walked into my life at just the right time. It was funny and even down right silly at times, but I was hooked from the start. I look forward to reading more in the series.

Death in the Stacks by Jenn McKinlay is a well-plotted and entertaining cozy mystery. This eighth installment in the Library Lovers Mystery series easily stands on its own. Briar Creek Librarian Lindsey Norris and the rest of her staff including Paula Turner are about to host their annual fundraiser when newly elected library board president Olive Boyle begins issuing a plethora of unreasonable commands. She is planning on instituting a dress code, demands numerous staff changes and announces her decision to fire Lindsey. Needless to say, Lindsey is upset by the disagreeable woman’s high-handed decrees but with the fundraiser to set up, she tries to ignore the unpleasant woman. The night of the gala, Lindsey, her staff and the other attendees are stunned when Olive takes to the stage and proceeds to defame the library staff. At the end of the night, Olive is murdered and it appears Paula might be her killer. Lindsey is certain Paula is innocent and despite her earlier promise not to become involved in any more murder cases, Lindsey and her friend Robbie Vine begin their investigation in an effort to clear Paula’s name. Lindsey really tries to keep her word to her boyfriend, Sully, not to endanger herself by investigatng Olive’s murder. However, when police chief Emma Plewicki has no choice but to consider Paula a suspect, Lindsey cannot sit on the sidelines waiting to see whether or not her co-worker will be arrested. Unfortunately, since Olive was a particularly mean and vindictive woman, the list of suspects is vast. With Robbie at her side, they begin their quest for Olive’s killer with her posse of mean girl friends, Amy, LeAnn and Kim. When it appears the trio have rock solid alibis, Lindsey and Robbie then turn their sights to Olive’s ex-husband Kyle and his current wife, Molly. Once again they hit a dead end, so they then question Olive’s sister, Margaret, where they discover the reason for the sisters’ estrangement. Quickly clearing Margaret, Robbie and Lindsey find themselves at somewhat of dead end. However, in a sudden turn of events, they are certain they know murderer’s identity, but are they on the right track? With an endearing lead protagonist, a cast of quirky yet likable characters and an intriguing murder to solve, Death in the Stacks is a fast-paced mystery. The plot is interesting and easy to follow despite a bit of confusion due to the sheer number of characters introduced early in the story. The mystery element is well executed and Jenn McKinlay does an outstanding job keeping the murderer’s identity and motive for the crime under wraps until the novel’s exciting conclusion. This rather light-hearted addition to the Library Lovers Mystery series is sure to appeal to fans of cozy mysteries.

Since this is the 8th book in the Library Lover's Mystery series, there are certain things I can't disclose because of spoilers. However, let me say I devoured this book and this series keeps going strong. In this installment, there is a new library Board member, Olive Boyle, and she's out to make Lindsey's life hell. One night, after a fundraiser, Olive is found dead in the stacks and one of Lindsey's favorite employees is the prime suspect. Even though Lindsey has sworn off investigating, she feels it's up to her to clear Paula's name and figure out who really killed Olive. McKinlay has once again set up a great cozy mystery and all the town favorites are back - Beth, Sully, his sister and brother-in-law, Robbie and even the Lemon - who I love more and more with each book (doesn't every library have an employee who can be referred to as "The Lemon"). Lindsey once again gets in some sticky situations, which are always fun and entertaining, and it was fun to catch up with everyone's lives. The only problem I have with this series is that I look forward to the new books being released and then I devour them so quickly so I get discouraged that I have to wait so long for the next one. If you are a cozy mystery lover and adore the small town settings, please pick up the first book and give this series a try!

Jenn Mckinlay has done it again! I Love visiting Lindsay and her friends at the Briar Creek Library this installment was just as exciting as ever. I really enjoyed this read and was super excited for the opportunity to receive an ARC from Penguin's First to Read in exchange for my review. 5 stars for sure! I can't wait for the next installment of The Library Lovers Mystery!

"Death in the Stacks" by Jenn McKinlay is the newest in the Library Lover's Mystery series. In this novel, Lindsey's enemy Olive, a ruthless, conniving, piece of work is out to get Lindsey, the library, and anyone standing around. While on her rampage of black mail and torture, Olive is found stabbed in the fiction section at the library. Lindsey and her sidekick Robbie are out to prove that lead suspect and library aide, Paula, is not the killer. The only way to do that is to find out who is. I really liked this book. It's not a real deep book, so it can easily be enjoyed anywhere. The characters are well written and the twist and turns keep the reader guessing. I had no idea who the killer was until the book was wrapping up. I recommend this delightful who done it. I received this book form www.firsttoread.com.

JENN MCKINLAY “Death In The Stacks” I loved this book. JENN MCKINLAY is a new author for me. This story is complicated, complex and intense. I thought it was well written and flowed well. There are many characters in this story. The main characters are well developed. I enjoyed all but one. I have never experienced such a high level of anger for a character before. When I started this book I thought it was going to be a story about a library in a small town, the people that worked in the library and the patrons that used the library. This story is that and a whole lot more. Lindsey Norris is the Director of the Briar Creek public library and Thursday is her favorite day of the week. The “Crafternoon” group meets at the library every Thursday. They share lunch, and discuss the book they are reading. Today it’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith. They also work on the craft they are learning. Currently it’s knitting “slouchy beanies. “ According to Lindsey, her striped endeavor looks like it would fit a giant’s head.” These women are good friends and enjoy being together. They also gossip a bit about some of the things going on in their small town. In general, they are great support for one another. The Friends of the Library have a fundraiser every year to raise money for the library. There is a dinner and silent auction. There are around 200 people in the library for this event when a person is found in the library stacks murdered. No one seems to have seen or heard anything. Everyone is a suspect. The investigation is thorough and takes a good bit of time considering how may suspects there are. I was not able to determine who the killer was until the end when it was revealed I loved how the author ended the book. It begins at another Thursday Crafternoon group meeting. This week they are discussing Poirot’s last case in “Curtain” as well as other literary information. The remainder of the pages are a guide on setting up Crafternoon groups, a readers Guide containing questions for the discussion of “TheTalented Mr. Ripley,” detailed instructions for the Knitted Beanie, and recipes to serve at the meal.

Others have written detailed plot information, so I won't repeat. I enjoyed this book. It was exciting and kept me interested to the end. I enjoyed it so much, I purchased another of her books. Exciting ending.

I read a lot of cozy mysteries and have read the previous books in this series so I knew what to expect and this did not disappoint. This is a good breezy read. I really do like the main characters in this series and while the conclusion of the mystery seemed a bit rushed, I enjoyed being back in this world again. It was also nice to see the characters from the Hat Shop series make an appearance as I enjoyed that cozy series as well. I do think this can be read as a standalone, but if you have some time I would check out some of the previous books. For cozy book readers or those just look for a nice, quick, read I recommend this book.

Check your brain and suspension of disbelief at the door. I get what cozy is supposed to be; typically a friendly tone, warm humor, comfort food references, and a lead character we would like as a friend are on the list. The plot should be in a neighborly setting, and the murder should not be someone in whom we were deeply invested, thereby sidestepping real feelings of distress and loss. Death in the Stacks has all of this going for it, and yet there is something too facile, something lacking. I have been reading other novels in this genre by way of comparison, and something is off here. The plot depends upon a host of characters and motivation that has little to do with the town’s regulars—it is by a great stretch and a lot of happenstance that the town hosts the murder, and that Lindsey becomes connected to the events. Everything hinges on Olive, a newcomer to the town who chose it for its proximity to other characters not related to the series. As I said, it’s a stretch. The book has further challenges including faulty logic and self-contradicting characters. But there are some good points. Albeit number eight in the Library Lover’s mystery series, it was not difficult to suss character relationships and histories. From the first paragraph about fall in New England, with ripening pumpkins and the colorful leaves decorating trees as if “getting ready for a party,” the season of warm beverages and sweaters is invoked. In some ways, this is a pleasant seasonal page turner. Moments of self-recognition occur: what true reader can’t relate to Lindsey, our protagonist and a librarian, hauling a bag of books so hefty it practically counts as luggage? Sure, toting books is as much a security blanket as having on-hand reading choices. We are with Lindsey so far. Feeling the heft of the book, fanning the pages, admiring the cover—just not the e-same. Having not read the other installments, I can’t speak fully to the Lindsey character, but in this installment, she rapidly loses her warmth becoming in turns sanctimonious and disingenuous. Supporting characters are sacrificed, their earlier character traits muted, so that Lindsey can take center stage. Other characters have called her a “buttinsky.” Lindsey is a one woman show, breaking promises and acting in ways that actually create more harm. Perhaps the author thought that pitting the thoroughly unlikable Olive as a strong villain would balance the situation. So unpleasant is Olive that an antagonistic reading experience develops. This bad woman seems to have no redeeming qualities, and no situation creates compassion for her. That said, Olive’s death and the subsequent investigation are not compelling reading. This narrative would have benefitted from something to give Olive greater dimension or to have at least given us an understanding of her rage. Even Lindsey realizes this half way through the book. The police chief, Emma, starts as strong, capable, and intelligent, but is reduced to being clueless, and inept, and even simple. She is compromised while in uniform and on-duty, by allowing herself a jealous outburst that turns into public personal sparring with her boyfriend. The argument resolves, and everyone gets to watch the police chief in some PDA with the boyfriend who has publicly embarrassed her. The reader is embarrassed on behalf of the character and the author. Unnecessary repetition is rife, such as being reminded multiple times of Lindsey’s personal motivation to get involved in the investigation. She feels protective of her staff, and that those who go after staff are over the line. There’s a lot that is over the line here in both style and content. Previous reviews for novels earlier in the series note that characterization often is limited and judgy—that is true here as well. Happily for some, knitting skills and recipes are included, and it would be useful to read The Talented Mr. Ripley, thus qualifying you to become one of the novel’s “crafternooners”—folks who like to knit/keep their hands busy while they discuss a book. Perhaps I would have fared better concomitantly doing a hobby rather than focusing my attention on the novel. I received an advanced review and can say that it was a pleasant enough diversion, but I can only give it a lukewarm recommendation.

Fun characters and the expected pacing of a classic cozy mystery, but unfortunately lacking. The best cozies are ones that use the setting as a character itself and that have an interesting plot to pull the reader along. The only plot the reader has here is trying to figure out who murdered Lindsey's nemesis. McKinlay is a talented writer and certainly capable of weaving a more intricate plot so I'd like to see her take that to the next level.

I enjoyed this cozy mystery, and didn't feel I was missing out because I hadn't read the first book. I'll go back and read it now!

I read “Death in the Stacks” through First to Read. Even though it was a part of a series, it works as a stand-alone. In fact, I want to go back and read the other books. It was a quick read and thoroughly enjoyable. I loved all of the characters except for the ones we were supposed to hate. The book moved at a good pace. It’s the first book in a long time that I hadn’t figured out who did it. I can’t wait to read the other books.

I was a chapter into the book and found myself thinking "I don't care who the killer is, as long as this bitch is the first to die." Olive Boyle really was a horrid character, which made the lengthy list of suspects entirely plausible. The increasing changes in the library dynamics also continue to add to this series. Readers see more of Paula, and some changes in "The Lemon" (I think Milton has done her some real good). Heck, this book offers changes in every single relationship we readers have seen before in Briar Creek, all of which move in a positive direction. And for those who worry about the inclusion of the characters from Mim's Whims and Fairytale Cupcakes, they were definitely all slid in smoothly. It didn't read like they were all being thrown in together. (Further in my review, though, there is feedback for steady followers of McKinlay regarding this.) As is the case with most cozy mystery series, this book is not a real stand alone. Yes, one can pick it up and read it, but then going back and reading the other seven books in the series, a reader would find the knew all the subplot endings. So be prepared to read from here on out if this is your first one. The other thing I've found with the library lover's mystery series is that McKinlay tends to use it to touch on topics that some may consider a bit harsh for a "cozy" mystery. In past books, we've seen Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and this book touched on narcissistic personality disorder, as well as an assault survivor who had been failed by the system before. On that note, to ANYONE READING THE OTHER TWO COZY MYSTERY SERIES: this book contains both characters from Mim's Whims and Fairytale cupcakes. I learned this the day before I intended to start reading this and had to push through the last 3 books in the hat shop series in a week (not really a complaint, just a warning) as to not have this book give spoilers. And, more in relationship to that series than to the cupcake series, if you are still getting through those, I recommend you wait on this book.

I read "Death in the Stacks" through First to Read. Although it is part of a series, it also stands alone so don't worry about missing anything. It was a light, enjoyable read. The lead character, Lindsey, can't seem to stop herself from solving mysteries no matter how hard she tries. Most of the characters are very likeable except the murder victim. It is kind of nice to see someone get what they deserve!. If you're looking for a light mystery this is it.

I was given the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was an entertaining cozy mystery with likeable good guys and a hated victim. Enjoyed it very much/

This was the first book I read in this series, but you don't need to have read any of them to enjoy the series. It would help of course with some of the characters and background, but again not necessary. It was a fun and easy read. I loved how Lindsey took no nonsense from anybody and she backed up her employees. The other characters, were well rounded out even for being a short book in a series, which is awesome. I changed my mind about the murderer several times, but in the end I did guess who it was before the end, but that didn't take away any of the fun and excitement of the ending. Well written, good plot development, fun and likable characters. I received a digital copy from the first to read program, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I received this book from Penguin's 'first to read' program in exchange for an honest review. This was the first book by Jenn McKinlay that I have read. I enjoyed this quick, light read. The main character is likable and interesting. I didn't figure out the murderer before the end and it was an unusual plot. My only negative was that I did not know the main cast, so there were a lot of characters introduced to keep track of. But for having started at book #8 I think you can catch up pretty quick with what's going on. I would definitely recommend as a cozy read.

I really enjoyed this novel even though this is the first novel I have read in this series. I love the library and Lindsey. She really doesn't take anyone's crap! I was so entertained by the crafternoon ladies along with all the rest of the cast of oddball characters. The storyline kept my interest and made me laugh out loud in quite a few places. Definitely will pick up more books by Jenn McKinlay.

This is the first book in this series that I have read. I enjoyed this book and didn't feel that I was missing too much of the back story of the characters. I really enjoyed this book. The setting is primarily in a library and seemed perfect. I'm already making my list of books to buy.

To be perfectly honest, I have not read many cozy mysteries. It’s not because I don’t like them, it’s more a matter of the number of books released in my favorite genres. But every once in a while, I will delve into the cozy realm. What’s so fun about cozies are the characters—there seem to be not shortage of odd characters in cozies—and the puns—no shortage of those either! Death in the Stacks is no exception. Librarian Lindsey Norris has had her share of adventures and has promised her sleuthing days are over. but when the library board president is found dead after a charity dinner at the library and one of her employees is the main suspect, Lindsey can’t ignore it. Since there is a plethora of possible suspects who disliked the victim, Lindsey has her work cut out for her. Not only were the townspeople at the dinner, several guests attended as well. Author Jenn McKinlay does an excellent job of making readers feel a part of the small town she’s created. While this was the eight book in the Library Lover’s series, it was a complete story in and of itself. Although, I did sometimes feel like I wasn’t getting the complete picture since I haven’t read any of the others. If you enjoy a mystery with an amateur sleuth who sometimes bumbles her way through solving the crime, rich character development, and evolving relationships, Death in the Stack is one to check out. ***I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

I absolutely adore Jenn McKinlay's cupcake bakery series; I did not realize she has other series, so I was delighted to read this book. Cozy mysteries used to be my favorite genre, but I think I read to many of them and only read two now (McKinlay's cupcake bakery series being one), but I will likely add this one too. Having come into the series without having read the previous books was a bit awkward, there are lots of hints to previous stories that honestly was a little confusing. Also, there are quite a few peripheral characters that were mentioned that probably should feel like old friends if I had the series in order, but were just as confusing.The book itself has charming and well-developed main characters, has love interests without being ridiculous, and has an interesting plot line without being overly meticulous. I would definitely recommend reading this novel for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries or wants a light quick read. I would, however, start the series at the beginning, like I plan to do!

The title, Death in the Stacks, struck me at once. I could not help but wonder what sort of a murder would happen in a library - perhaps crushed under a shelf full of books or death from mold in a stack of very old books. Neither of these possibilities was the cause of the actual death in this book, but the murder and who did it was compelling and kept me turning pages to the very end. Death in the stacks is the latest in a series of mysteries by Jenn McKinlay. You need not have read the other books in the series to enjoy this book. The chief detective is the head Liberian, Lindsay Norris, and she has her hands full when the head of the library board begins to throw her weight around. What evolves is a cozy mystery to spend some time away from the problems and worries of the everyday world we live it. I have added Jenn McLinlay to the growing list of authors I enjoy reading.

Jenn McKinlay has become one of two cosy mystery writers I'll read without a second thought, and while I've only read the first book in this particular series (several years ago, at that), it was easy to pick back up with Lindsay Norris and the enjoyable characters of Briar Creek and their enviable library programs. This book is not high literature, but it does have a breezy, fast-paced plot, fun dialogue and a truly horrific murder victim, and that's about all you can really ask for in a cosy mystery. As a fan of McKinlay's other mysteries, it was also amusing to realize that nearly the entire cast of regulars from both the Cupcake Bakery and the Hat Shop series managed to neatly insert themselves into this particular story - it was virtually a character convention via library fundraising gala. If this is your first foray into Briar Creek, I'm pretty sure you'll want to come back.

Death in the Stacks was a book I enjoyed. It had good characters, a victim it takes very little time to hate, and good guys you want to cheer on. This is a true cozy mystery and worth the read.

DEATH IN THE STACKS is the eighth book in a series and while I hadn’t read any of the other novels, I didn’t feel at a disadvantage since the characters and back stories were explained well for a first time reader. What I particularly enjoyed were the twists and turns in the plot and the characters themselves. The novel was definitely an easy, enjoyable read and exceeded my original expectations.

In Death in the Stacks is part of the Library Lover's Mystery series, but this book works as a stand alone. Olive Boyle, the new Library Board member, is horrid towards Lindsey Norris (the protagonist) and her staff. Olive is found dead at the big fundraiser at the library and the main suspects are Paula, one of the staff that Olive particularly didn't like, and Lindsey. I would consider this book a cozy mystery (I've recently discovered this), which is not my favorite genre, but this book was better than several of the cozy mysteries I have read. I wanted to read this book because I love mysteries and books (obviously) and I thought it would be fun to read a "Library Lover's Mystery." While the murder takes place in a library and the characters work in a library, there isn't much else relating to libraries. The library wasn't important to the story - the murder could have been anywhere. The fundraiser could have been for any non-profit organization. I guess I was hoping that the library would be more pivotal to the story. The plot is okay and the story progresses reasonably quickly. The characters are a bit flat. Olive is the stereotypical villain from children's cartoons. Even though Lindsey was the protagonist, I didn't much care for her. It was hard to develop any sort of rapport with the characters. Paula, whom the reader was supposed to feel sorry for, was an odd character. Her appearances were outlandish, which is why Olive didn't like her, but her personality was extremely shy and submissive. The ending of the book was a bit of a wild free-for-all. This is an easy, light read. If you like cozy mysteries, this would be up your alley. I received an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I have not read prior books in this series, but the book worked as a stand alone. A quick, entertaining read that fell flat at points as a cozy mystery. The setting (both in terms of location and set characters) could have been fleshed out more so that the entire book felt more cozy and less flat. The mystery itself did not keep me hooked -- lots of confusion caused by tourists, but not many clues or solid suspects. The story came together in a flurry at the end without enough bread crumbs sprinkled throughout to keep you guessing.

I would love to read this book but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to get it on my Nook. The Adobe instructions are just impossible to follow.

Death in the Stacks is part of a series but serves well as a stand alone. Jenn McKinlay creates believable characters and a very likeable small town setting. The mystery of discovering who killed the nasty president of the library board is intriguing enough to keep one guessing. There are a few awkward phrases here and there but nothing terribly off-putting. I read cozy mysteries for a light entertainment and was not disappointed. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I enjoyed this book. I love murder mysteries set in same towns or communities where you can see how various characters relate to people you may actually know. This seems like it may have been a second book in a series but that did not detract from the story, These characters could easily form the backdrop for other murder tales to come. I would put this author on my list to read in the future.

This was my first time reading a book by this author. I enjoyed the book. It was a fun and quick read. As a person a bit obsessed with books I liked the library setting. I look forward to reading more from this author.

This was my first Jenn McKinlay book, and it definitely won't be the last! Even though this was part of her Library Lovers Mystery series and I hadn't read the others yet, it did fine as a stand-alone read. The mystery was a good one, the characters were endearing, there were lots of good twists and turns to keep you guessing. A nice quick read. I look forward to reading more of her great stories. 4.5/5

Jenn McKinlay is one of my favorite cozy mystery writers and she definitely did not disappoint with this latest installment of her "Library Lover's Mystery" series. Olive Boyle seemed to not be able to get along with anyone and after blackmailing herself into the job as President of the Library Board, she decides Lindsey and most everyone working in the library should be replaced. At the annual library fund raiser, she manages to get herself killed in the fiction section. Even though Lindsey has promised police chief she would stay out of the investigation, when all eyes turn to Lindsey and her staff as the main suspects, she just can't seem to avoid getting caught up in it all.

A fun and lively book. The characters are funny and have wonderful personalities. The plot is is great and you think you know who was the killer, but then there is a twist. I can't wait to read more.

I'm unable to read review this book, as attempting to download it has proven to be EXTREMELY hard.

Loved it! Great mystery. Such a quick read; I just had to finish it once I started it. Now I have to find the other books!

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. What a lovely mystery to spend a day on! It is fun with a quirky heroine to boot! There are definitly enough twists to keep a person guessing and the surprise ending is well worth it! Thoroughly enjoyable reading!

Death in the Stacks, the 8th book in the Library Lover’s Mystery series by Jenna McKinlay, was well worth the wait. Lindsay and her staff are busy preparing for the Briar Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks, the library’s biggest fundraiser while Olive Boyle, the new library board president, is causing problems for Lindsay and co-worker Paula. Stumbling upon Paula standing over Olive Boyle’s body, Lindsay becomes involved in another murder investigation. Cameo appearances by characters introduced in McKinlay’s Cupcake Bakery and Hat Shop Mysteries make this a must-read for all her fans.

This was an enjoyable and quick read. Love this Library series, I've only read two others, but want to go back no fill in the ones I haven't read. I look forward to the next installment! And what a great trio, books, knitting and a great recipe!

I love this series! This new installment does not disappoint. I loved the "bonus" characters and can't wait to see if they pop up in more of Jenn McKinlay's books. It was a quick read and the mystery moved along at a good pace. Can't wait for the next ones!

It was a pleasure to read this book. It moved fast, and you root for Lindsey the whole time. Olive is such a venomous character that you could create a motive for almost everyone to want to see her out of the picture. I was shocked at how angry she seemed to be, but even though she's vicious, it doesn't cloud the rest of the book; it just sets up lots of motives. This book is quite pleasant and cozy, and I loved seeing how members of this community seem to work together and want the best for each other. This is a town I'd want to live in, and I loved curling up with this book and feeling like I was there. You don't need to have read any other books in the series to enjoy it. I can attest to that.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick and easy read. And it was great that she included characters from a different series in this book! Loved it! Can't wait for the next one!

I loved this book. It was a great continuation of the library series. I also enjoyed that the author brought in some characters from her other series (The Hat Shop Mystery and Cupcake Bakery Mystery). They played a small role but fun to have them all in one place. This was a fast read and I did not figure out who the culprit was until I was supposed like all the readers. She had me several times where I thought I had figured it out and boom comes another surprise. I enjoy the relationships of all these characters and I like that the "lemon" is now Ginny and is becoming more part of the group. Also will be interesting to see how Emma and Robbie's relationship continues to grow. Everyone is all paired up now. So can't wait for the next one in this series as it is like coming home to a town and set of friends each time I read the next book in the series. Can't come soon enough.

A cute cozy mystery. The characters are cute, except for the ones that are manifestly evil, and so those stand out and make the plot rather predictable. There's not much mystery, and a lot of telling rather than showing, but this book doesn't pretend to be great literature. It's a just a light-hearted, fun book in which there happens to be a murder to lend a little plot, but mostly it's about people who love their community, about upcoming marriages and babies, a punny game, and the occasional literary reference. I must say that the literary references were a little disappointing -- they mostly reference children's books and other cozy mysteries and romances, which seems odd for a main character that's supposed to be an academic librarian, but eh, it's cute. I got a free copy to review from First to Read.

I love fun and quirky mystery novels and this was a perfect example of one! I didn’t realize until after I read the book that it was the 8th book in a series. There were a lot of references to things that happened in previous books that I didn’t understand. That didn’t really stand in the way of the story and after reading “Death In The Stacks”, I want to go back and read the 7 previous books!

I volunteer at our local library and I think everyone has one of these characters in their community. I loved that it was a quick little mystery and the ending had a twist I wasn't expecting. I hope to see more from this author and will highly recommend it.

A great, quick read. The characters really resonate. A lot of thought and characterization is put into each person. I think everyone knows an Olive. A great mystery up until the end. An interesting twist. I was rooting for Lindsay and wish I could get a personalized book recommendation from this awesome librarian! I would recommend this Book and Author to anyone I know!

I read a fair number of cozy mysteries and I think part of what makes them so cozy is that they deal in types and stock characters. McKinlay writes within the familiar cozy framework but I found her characters to actually have dimension and make me feel something. The library board member who came in trying to change everything was a completely real person to me, and one that made me angry; the conflict there was very real. Another thing I appreciated was the way that the librarian was shown at work. The library setting wasn't just a backdrop; we see Lindsay recommending actual books to patrons and managing staff which gave this a degree of realism, possibly because it's a setting I am so familiar with. I do have one nagging question--it wasn't a hole exactly, just something I felt like the investigator would have noticed, but that isn't even necessarily true. I just felt like a detail was left out that would have made the solution more evident, I guess. Anyway, this was my first "Library Lover's Mystery" and I hope it's not my last. This series really does everything right. And, in the tradition of cozies, there is a bit of an extra at the end--plans for a book club meeting based on The Talented Mr. Ripley, complete with discussion questions and themed foods. Thanks to Penguin First to Read for the free review copy of this book!

I received an ARC of 'Death in the Stacks' by Jenn McKinlay from First to Read for an honest review. I have not read any other books in this series but found that it did not matter. This book easily stands alone. I found the characters to be enjoyable and liked the staff of the Briar Creek Library. The protagonist, Olive, was meant to be unlivable which could have been 'over the top' but as the author developed the character even after her death making her actions come in line with who she was. Lindsey Norris gets pulled into investigating as a means of protecting her young employee, Paula. Overall this was a light but fun and enjoyable read, the epitome of a 'cozy mystery.'

As a mystery-lloving former New England Library Director I was looking forward to reading this book. I had not read any previous books in the series, but found that it was easy to slip into the world of the Briar Creek Public Library. The main characters were likable, and the mystery interesting. I also thought that the author did a good job capturing the environment of the small town library. My major complaint was that there were too many characters, and the author spent too much time giving their backstory, wardrobe choices, and personal quirks, and that it got in the way of the plot. Otherwise, it was a breezy, quick, and mostly enjoyable book.

I really enjoyed this one! My first exposure to Jenn McKinlay's books was through First to Read, so I was excited to read another of her books in the same program. I enjoyed the mystery, but what entertained me the most was seeing McKinlay's Hat Shop and Cupcake crews show up. I literally bounced in my chair with joy when they appeared. Reading previous books in the Library Lovers series or McKinlay's other cozy series is not required to follow the plot of this book, but I think I enjoyed it more because I have the background of all the regular characters. I do think new readers may feel lost or even a bit annoyed at the words used on the characters from other series. They weren't really necessary to the plot and were there mainly as a nod to McKinlay fans. I'm quite happy to have read this in an exchange for an honest review.

This is the very definition of a cozy mystery. Small town in Connecticut. Sleuthing librarian. Murder of the town bully at a library fundraiser. I quite enjoyed this book. It was definitely a good curl up on the couch with a cup of tea type of book. Good little murder mystery. Teensy bit of romance. Quirky characters. I will definitely be looking into the rest of this series.

A good addition to the series. Of course I enjoy a cozy set in a small-town library, and it was fun to see characters from McKinlay's other cozy series (The Hat Shop Mysteries and the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries) pop in. The murderer surprised me, too. Thanks to Penguin's First to Read program for providing the e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I have read by this author, but, it will not be the last. I enjoyed all the characters which gave the book a real homey feel. You really feel like you are right in the thick of things. I like the idea of having a librarian being the sleuth, a la Aurora Teagardenesque. I was really engaged when all the clues came together and during all the twists and turns to getting there. I highly recommend this book and will be looking for the earlier titles in this series, and, of course, those yet to come.

Death in the Stacks is a novel part of A Library Lover's Mystery series, but read nicely as a stand alone novel. I really enjoyed this murder mystery, and was reminiscent of a dinner murder mystery. It seems everyone has a motive to kill Olive, and as Lindsay and her friends play detective, we get to know the cast of characters that make up her small town. This was a quick and fun read. Was also something easy to curl up with, and was a perfect addition to my fall reading. Would love to read more by this author.

I hadn't read any of the previous books in this series but the book weaves enough backstory in to stand alone while not being dreary about it. It's a very light read, I finished it in two evening's readings, which isn't really what I personally look for but might be appealing for a long, rainy afternoon. The cast was diverse and surprisingly distinct, but at the same time somewhat flat. However, it is a short book with a largish cast and part of a series which makes me think reading through all the books provides a more rounded view of the people. I did find some of the dialogue to be a little forced and sometimes off putting. (I haven't heard a real person say 'duh' in a long time for instance.) I felt as though very little actually happened in the course of the story but it does get points for not being overly convoluted (an issue that happens too often in mystery tales). The twists and turns of the investigation were enjoyable enough and as a whole the book remained charming. I don't think I'll pick up other books in the series but if you enjoy a light mystery this would probably be an enjoyable fit.

I loved this book! 5 stars! The library, the little community by the shore, Lindsey, her pals and coworkers are always so much fun to visit with in this series. The mystery was a good one but best of all were the attendees to the fundraising event. Jenn McKinlay is a wonderful author.

I received this ARC from Penguin Books and First to read for my honest review. This book was so much fun! I finished this book in 3 days. I loved the character development, descriptions, and plot. I definitely didn't see the twist coming. The perfect rain day whodunnit. I look forward to reading more from Jenn McKinlay, especially the library lover's mysteries. I could picture myself in the story and I felt like I was there. 5??

This was exactly what I wanted in a quick, light and cozy murder mystery. Lindsey, the main character, is a librarian who also happens to solve the towns murders-and she's quite good at it. This book is part of a series, and while I haven't read the others, I didn't feel lost. Enough backstory was woven in for newbies or to refresh your memory. The town and characters were quick to grasp and I loved them all. The murder itself proved to have many twists and turns and I didn't expect the end to play out exactly as it did. Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I will be picking up the rest of the series.

Thank you to the First to Read program for an Advanced Reading Copy of this book. Even though this is a book from the Library Lover's Mystery Series by Jenn McKinlay, I had no trouble reading it as a stand alone story. It is cozy mystery that takes place in a small town where the librarian ,Lindsay, and her friends are quite the amateur sleuths. I enjoyed the small town library atmosphere and the cast of characters. Although I did have my theories, the mystery kept me guessing and wrapped up nicely. I found it to be a quick and relaxing read and just what I needed. Even though, it is not necessary for the enjoyment of this book to read the previous tales, I will probably pick up a few of the earlier stories since I enjoyed both the style and the characters. Included with my copy was an excerpt of Ms. McKinlay's next release "About a Dog" and even thought it is not part of the Library Lover's Mystery series, it intrigued me enough to add to my TBR list.

Cute story. Characters are great. Nice light read. Never heard of this author before. Can’t wait to read another from her. Could read as a stand alone although it would have been nice to learn more about the regular characters. Well done Ms McKinlay!

I really, really liked this book. I'm glad I requested this one, and I think cozy mysteries are a genre that I'll read more of from now on. Although this is apparently the eighth book in a series, I didnt feel at all lost or confused while reading this. It can definitely be read as a standalone, but it made me want to go back and read the previous books to see how all the character relationships developed. The mystery Lindsey & friends were investigating - the death of library board president Olive Boyle - was actually really well done and not at all predictable. I actually didn't guess the murderer before the big reveal. All in all, this was a really sweet cozy mystery story with a great central mystery and realistic character relationships. Also, I had no idea until I saw the excerpt at the end that this was the same author of "About a Dog", a previous First to Read book that I read and really loved. Both are highly recommended!

Thanks bunches to Penguin First to Read for the ARC. I wasn't familiar with Jenn McKinlay before reading Death in the Stacks. I adore books about books and quite enjoy cozies, so naturally, Death in the Stacks had me at library mystery. Sadly, I don't think this book was a good fit for me. The writing is awkward with some rather oddly constructed sentences. There is very little character development and dialog doesn't flow naturally. Everyone sounds like they’re reading from a script. It’s all tell and no show, leaving me with little emotional connection to the characters. So little in fact, that the solving murder didn’t really interest me. My favorite part was the Brit’s pun-off. What can I say, I enjoy wordplay, no matter how silly. If you liked this book, you might also enjoy: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny, Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James, Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett, The Darling Dahlias series by Susan Wittig Albert, Haunted Home Renovation Mystery by Juliet Blackwell --- Obviously no fault to the author, but the PDF was difficult to read on my 6.8" eReader, hopefully future First to Read titles will be offered in ePub format so the type can be adjusted to a comfortable size.

First time reading a "cozy mystery" - thanks Penguin for the ARC! I did quite enjoy it - the mystery (prominent library board member is found murdered in the library, nearly everyone has a motive) was pretty engaging and the story line moved quickly. However, one thing that put me off was one of the (incorrect) solutions proposed by Lindsey, the main character, where she thought a mother wanted to kill her own daughter. This seemed so out of the blue especially as there was not much background provided on the characters to that point.

I've been a fan of this series for some time now. I loved this one as much as I loved the previous seven. Even though this is the eighth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Jenn McKinlay writes a great story and I highly recommend this book and the whole series for all cozy mystery fans.

Given that this is the eighth book in the series, it has a remarkably fresh feel to it. Death in the Stacks is an enjoyable cosy mystery which leaves you guessing until the very end. Too often you know who the murderer is partway through the book but this one had a surprise twist ending which actually made sense. I hate it when the ending or characters feel contrived but this book avoids that with a very deft handling of the multiple character. The heroine Lindsey is well fleshed out and endearing and the cast of characters surrounding her do a great job of supporting the story without overwhelming it. I particularly liked the brief appearances of characters from McKinlay's other two cosy mystery series - the Cupcake Mysteries and the London Hat Mysteries, A good read if you like a well thought out cosy mystery. The book can easily stand alone but is best taken in as part of the series.

Death in the Stacks is the eighth book in the Library Lover's series, but my introduction to the world of Lindsey Norris, crime-solving librarian. And can I just say how much I adore this idea of libraries+cozy mysteries??? The new president of the library board, Olive Boyles, hates everyone. She threatens to fire Lindsey, have a librarian's assistant fired, and soon after is found dead during a library fund-raising event. Lindsey has sworn off crime-solving, but because both she and Paula (the assistant) are now prime suspects, she has to figure out who murdered Olive. I liked this book. There were a lot of characters, some with similar names, but I assume everything (and everyone) would be a lot clearer if I'd been reading from #1. The actual mystery was okay; what I loved were the descriptions of the library and the crafternoons (book club/crafting sessions) that happened there. I did fully believe that Lindsey was a librarian - there were discussions about Agatha Christie, and all the bookshelves she kept in her apartment. *Thanks to First to Read for an ARC*

 


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