Hitting the Books

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

Another good cozy mystery by Jenn McKinlay!  A light read to take oneself away when the weather is crummy or the news is not cheery.  True, a hit and run isn't the best way to move into a story, but with Library Director LIndsey Norris on the case you know she will solve any and all murders that happen after that!
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As a librarian, I find these books a fun addition to the librarian mystery fiction genre. I read all of Jenn McKinlay's books and always enjoy how well she describes the settings and the interactions between the characters. I can actually imagine some of this happening in my library (well, not the murder part). I also enjoy how her characters grow in each book. The stuffy librarian is starting to come out of her shell and that's a good thing.
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I enjoyed this one as usual, although the culprit(s) were easy to spot from the get-go, as was the motivation, so the ending was a bit less exciting for me this time around.  But, as a librarian, I have to say I loved her handling of the librarian issues :-)  However, the point of the whole plot point surrounding the library was never adequately explained?  After the last installment I complained that it needed more Heathcliff so add a bonus star for the constant presence of everyone's favorite pooch in this one!
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I love this series!  Jenn Mckinlay is my go to author when someone asks for a new cozy mystery author!
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Just as in the other books in the series, Jenn McKinlay again draws readers into the small-town life and the adventures of Lindsey the library director.  Another cute, cozy mystery that allows readers to learn more about the characters but also could be read as a stand-alone novel.
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Jenn McKinlay has been Hitting the Books in her Library Lover's mystery series.  Library Director Lindsey Norris watches  hit and run victim Theresa knocked down just outside the library.  The driver is found murdered in the stolen car along with CD's borrowed from the library.  The library card for these items is reported stolen. Why is the fiancee of a very wealthy man targeted and by whom?  How did the library get involved in mayhem again?Lindsey is in the thick of things again; read this entertaining library cozy.
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Hitting the Books is the ninth book in A Library Lover’s Mystery Series. Even though it is the ninth book, I have not read the others and felt informed enough to read it as a stand alone. But I will be going back to read the others, as it was an enjoyable read. What could be more exciting than a librarian, a stack of borrowed books and solving a murder! Although this is a mystery, it was a fun read and made you want to find out more about the quirky characters. Lindsey, the main character, is kind, energetic, and is always digging deeper to find answers. She and her boyfriend Sully are at an awkward place in their relationship, so they are working out a few challenges. One of the challenges that I think many women will appreciate is Lindsey’s hesitation in telling Sully about not wanting to have children. While trying to solve the mysteries of her heart, she and her circle of friends from the library are swept right into the middle of a crime. Everyone in the town of Bear Creek is on high alert, and the strange events continue to occur. There small town made up of quirky people seem to have secrets hidden beneath the surface and Lindsey is determined to find out who is behind the attack on her friend and her town. Theresa, a pro tennis player who is dating the wealthy, widowed town furniture dealer, seems to be the one taking the brunt of misfortune. She was hit by a car, her home was broken into and then she is kidnapped. But the list of who could be behind these terrible events is growing with every new crime committed. Lindsey soon discovers she will be a part of the investigation due to library materials found in the hit-and-run vehicle. Piece by piece Lindsey and the police chief begin to tie the crimes all together to solve the mystery. I don’t want to give any spoilers, as the story takes a few twists and turns in all of the right places. As we head into fall, this would be a great book to read on a chilly evening. Or if you are like me and live by the ocean, it’s a perfect beach read!
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Well, this series certainly hasn't slipped much.

Lindsey Norris has moved in with her boat captain boyfriend, and they're trying to navigate co-habitation.  She is a night person, he is a day person.  He likes it tidy, she throws her shoes around the room.  The one thing they both agree on is that they love each other.  

At work one day, Lindsey witnesses someone trying to run down a local resident.  Several other attempts on the woman's life puts Lindsey back in investigative mode.  About half way through the book, there is a very intriguing "Jane Eyre" moment, and it kind of put the whole mystery in perspective.  Plus, I think I might have solved it at the point.  Not the whole thing, but most of it.

It was an entertaining book, a quick read, and a delightful cozy mystery.  Although one wonders how a small town in Connecticut can have a shoot out in broad daylight and no news people are there to cover it.  

Also, I appreciate a main character who is adamant about not wanting kids.  The beginning of the book really sells the idea.  My only disappointment at the end is she kind of leaves the door open for kids.  As a happily child-free woman, it was nice to see myself reflected in a character.  When the end happens, it was kind of a let down.  But the book was still enjoyable and I'm still a fan.
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Life is full of adjustments, but they tend to get more complicated when you move in with your boyfriend, a whistling morning person, and all you want is some peace before your first cup of coffee.  Add in the fact that everyone knows everyone else’s business and you have a typical day in the life of Lindsay Norris, the Briar Creek Library director.

Glancing out her office window, Lindsay is stuck dumb when she sees a car careening towards, and hits, her friend Theresa Huston. Before the loved tennis coach can be transported to the hospital, there is a second reported incident, involving the same car, and her friend Charlie Peyton.  What is going on in this quiet town?  It turns out that furniture magnate, and fiancé of Theresa, has a secret and his college-aged daughter Liza seems to be in the middle of it.  

Relationships get a bit twisty here, but Jenn McKinley does an impressive job in keeping each person and their intertwined stories straight even though there are a couple rabbit trails and incidental characters that tend to lead you astray.
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Hitting the Books: A Library Lovers’ Mystery
By Jenn McKinlay
Berkley
September 2018

Review by Cynthia Chow

Briar Creek Public Library Director Lindsey Norris had thought that her biggest challenge of the day would be staying awake after a late night of One More Chapter compulsive reading.  The death of a beloved fictional character can’t compare to real-life tragedy though, which almost occurs when Lindsey witnesses the hit-and-run of tennis coach Theresa Huston outside of the library.  Chief of Police Emma Plewicki quickly locates the vehicle as having been stolen from Kayla Manning, who rather suspiciously is the ex-girlfriend of Theresa’s fiancé. 

The solution may not be that simple though, as a burglary hides yet another attempt at murder, necessitating the need for some rather attractive bodyguards.  Less appealing is the discovery that Theresa’s fiancé may have already lost a spouse to nefarious means, and life insurance policies could make another death exceedingly lucrative.  Lindsey’s inherent curiosity as a librarian wars with her professional ethics though, as a clue left at the scene of the crime has the police chief demanding information that Lindsey is sworn to protect.  Never underestimate a librarian’s adherence to the American Library Association code of ethics, or her bravery in the face of opposing law enforcement officers.  That doesn’t mean that Lindsey still won’t do everything she can to help those involved of course, although this case of possible murderous spouses may be hitting a little close to home as she and her boyfriend Sully move closer to making a commitment. 

The author of four outstanding mystery series, McKinlay absolutely shines with this one showcasing her librarian and library-loving background.  It’s a nerdy inside detail, but anyone who has worked in a library will revel in the budget-stretching acts of whacking toner cartridges, turning computers on and off again to trouble-shoot, and the compulsive need to promote library services to everyone they meet.  Less known will be how librarians enforce confidentiality rules, demanding subpoenas to protect the privacy of all patrons, no matter their age.  Perhaps more relatable to all readers will be Lindsey’s absolute terror when contemplating a future with Sully, having never previously discussed the topic of marriage, much less children.  It’s becoming critical now that after moving in together, Lindsey discovered just how much she can’t stand happy whistlers in the morning and that she herself doesn’t care about putting away her shoes.  Their relationships, as well as their friendships with other couples and patrons of Briar Creek Public Library, continue to make this a welcoming and heart-warming series to return to again and again.  This 9th installment contains more than its share of witty banter, clever plot twists, and abundance of affection of libraries and library users.  This is a series that rewards readers who have grown to love all of its delightful characters and leaves them anticipating even more adventures for the vividly-drawn residents of Briar Creek.
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Another great read by Ms. McKinlay. I loved how she brought tied in the Library Privacy Act while Lindsey works to help the police solve the crime. I enjoy how Sully and Lindsey's relationship is evolving. The characters and the setting are interesting. This is the ninth book in the series and this is a series interesting enough to start at the beginning if you haven't read the others.

I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review.
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I really enjoyed this installment of the series!  
The characters' personal storylines are as entertaining as the mysteries!
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Hitting the Books by Jenn McKinlay is the ninth book A Library Lover’s Mystery series.  Lindsey Norris is the library director for Briar Creek Public Library in Briar Creek, Connecticut.  Linsey is tired from a late night of reading so during crafternoon she finds herself staring out the window (and avoiding holding a baby).  She sees Theresa Huston, a local tennis coach, get hit by a car that then speeds away.  The same car almost hits Charlie Peyton outside the Blue Anchor.  Theresa ends up with a broken leg three weeks before her wedding to Larry Milstein.  The car belonged to Kayla Manning who had reported it stolen. The pilfered car is later found with borrowed library materials inside.  Before Lindsey can discover who checked out the items, Theresa is attacked in her home.  Someone is determined to do away with the bride-to-be.  Lindsey delves into the library records in hopes of discovering the identity of the guilty party.  The killer makes another attempt which sends Lindsey into overdrive to unravel the clues and expose the predator.  Will Theresa make it to her wedding?

Jenn McKinlay never fails to deliver an entertaining cozy mystery.  I have read every book in this series and look forward to the latest release each year.  It is like visiting old friends when I pick up A Library Lover’s Mystery.  Hitting the Books could be read as a standalone, but I believe it would be beneficial to read Books Can Be Deceiving first.  It is the first novel in A Library Lover’s Mystery series and it will give you the background on the characters.  I thought Hitting the Books was well-written with a nice, steady pace. Briar Creek is a welcoming small town with pleasant townspeople.   Lindsey Norris is a smart, friendly and caring woman who is the head librarian for Briar Creek.  Her best friend and children’s librarian, Beth is a woman who really loves her job.  I like the various costumes she wears to entertain the children’s during story time (she is clever).  Lindsey and Captain Mike Sullivan are now living together, and it is an adjustment.  I can understand Lindsey not enjoying Mike’s cheery whistling so early in the morning (that would be annoying).  I felt there was too much time devoted to the romance, but I like seeing this pair together.  Lindsey is worried about the future (marriage, kids) and needs to work through a few concerns.   The mystery was intriguing.  There are good clues that will aid readers in solving the crime before the solution is revealed.  My rating for Hitting the Books is 4 out of 5 stars.  The ending will have fans of the series smiling.  Hitting the Books has friendly characters, a charming town, a cozy library, a perplexing mystery, a sweet romance and a cute dog.
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I adore this series and this is probably the best in this fabulous series. You cannot beat author Jenn McKinlay for a fabulous read!  Grab a cup of tea, a warm blanket and just enjoy!
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Hitting the Books is the ninth book in the Library Lover’s mystery series.  If you have not read the previous books, it will take a few chapters before you are able to sort out the various characters that populate Briar Creek, Connecticut.  However, once you have done so, you can sit back and enjoy spending time with them – in particular the local librarian, Lindsey, her boyfriend, Sully, and the locals who add to the colorful variety of people that inhabit Lindsey’s world.

The story starts out relatively slow.  A hit-and-run involving the local tennis teacher and a subsequent attack on her in her home makes it obvious that she has been targeted.  From there the pace picks up and it’s a non-stop rollercoaster until the final chapter.

This is a cozy mystery that provides a nice break from the more intense mysteries that are often part of our reading list.  Although I found the actions of some of the characters fairly unbelievable, many fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this book as well as the series as a whole.  

Many thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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HITTING THE BOOKS is the ninth book in Jenn McKinlay's Library Lover's cozy mystery series. HITTING THE BOOKS is loads of fun for cozy mystery fans as well as readers, like me, who enjoy a delectable gothic mystery. There are elements in HITTING THE BOOKS reminiscent of some of my favorite Dorothy Daniels' stories full of ghostly figures, mysterious deaths, and bumps in the night. Library director Lindsey Norris tries to stay sensible and focused as she attempts to find out who is behind the violent attacks on her friend Theresa Huston.

There are murder and mystery in HITTING THE BOOKS, but this story starts out a little differently than most. Rather than a death right out of the gate, it's attempted murder that lures Lindsey into a tangled tale of shadowy assassins, tales of tragedy, and mysterious disappearances. Lindsey has a lot of back-ups as she hunts down clues and suspects. Theresa's fiancé Larry Milstein provides her with two superb bodyguards -- Stefan and Steig Norrgard. The Norrgard brothers are friends of Lindsey's and, in my opinion, a sexier and more competent version of the classic detective pair Thomson and Thompson from "The Adventure of Tintin" comic albums by Herge. Robbie Vine, actor and main squeeze of chief of police Emma Plewicki, is also on hand to charm information out of locals. Captain Mike Sullivan aka Sully, Lindsey's roommate, and love interest gets my vote for most valuable sidekick. Sully is very hands-on in this mystery and is a cool head and fierce protector when things get a little too hot to handle. Lindsey's adorable dog Heathcliff even makes an assist in nabbing the bad guy.

Overnight it seems as though the little town of Briar Creek becomes a hotbed of dark secrets and devious plotting. Well-known, and some very well-liked, locals take on a slightly sinister cast as strange facts become known. I love the mystery-within-a mystery involving one suspect's wife who disappeared years earlier. Several straightforward scenarios are plausible motivations for the recent attempts on Theresa's life, but some terrifying and outlandish motives start to make sense to Lindsey and her crew as well. This is a hoot to read and one of my favorite books in this Library Lover's series so far.

HITTING THE BOOKS is a superlative mash-up of gothic staples and cozy mystery goodness. There are suspects aplenty and shady activities for this amateur sleuth and her friends to investigate. Jenn McKinlay does a fabulous job of balancing the fun, mystery, and spooky good times. I look forward to Jenn McKinlay's next mystery.
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I always get excited when I get my hands on a new cozy mystery by Jenn McKinlay, and her Library Lover's Mysteries are my favorites! I always enjoy revisiting the characters, but you would still enjoy this book if it was your first entry into the series. Potential foreshadowing at the beginning of the book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole story!
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eview: HITTING THE BOOKS by Jenn McKinlay 
(A Library Lover's Mystery #9)

What a great cozy mystery, with some surprising and truly unexpected plot twists! The endearing (and in several instances ongoing) cast of characters readily elicited my attention and empathy. What reader doesn't love reading, books, and libraries? Lindsey is the Librarian of the delectable Briar Creek, Connecticut, library, and a dedicated amateur sleuth. Not much crime ever occurs in this tiny seaside community on Long Island Sound, but when it does Police Chief Emma Plewicki and Librarian Lindsey will track it down
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Another home run for Jenn McKinlay. The mystery is great with some nice, unexpected turns. The emphasis is on the current case rather than on the series regulars (although there are some nice developments for the main character). The mystery itself was refreshing because they are trying to prevent a murder. I love when authors change up the formula. I thoroughly enjoy this series - I'll read anything Jenn McKinlay writes!
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Hitting the Books was a filled with quirky hometown characters with a fun and easy entertainment vibe that included a good mystery. I enjoyed the hometown, where everyone knows everyone, feel. 

I'm going to be vague but I did have an issue with specific character's immaturity and naivete, I can't see anyone being a young adult and that clueless and controllable. 

In the end, I really enjoyed getting to know the Library Lover's clan. The characters are written to be familiar, your neighbor next door, type characters that invest the reader into the character's plight.

I received this ARC copy of Hitting the Books from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review. b>Hitting the Books is set for publication 11 Sep 2018.

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Jenn McKinlay
Series: A Library Lover's Mystery 
Sequence in Series: Book 9
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley 
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
ISBN-10: 0451492676
ISBN-13: 978-0451492678
Genre: Mystery | Woman's Lit

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