Cover Image: Murder at the Lakeside Library

Murder at the Lakeside Library

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I enjoyed this first book in the series though I did figure out who done it before the heroine did. The summer lake house setting reminded me of summers as a kid at the  family lake house without the murder part.
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**** Murder at the lakeside library 
This is the first book in a promising series. As with a lot of first in series the story isn’t complex as you are getting to know the characters and town. The mystery moves at a smooth steady pace with a few twists and turns. The characters are likable and some a lot of development throughout the book. I look forward to reading the next book. 

All thoughts and opinions are my own, and in no way have I been influenced by anyone.
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A cozy mystery set on the quiet shores of Pine Lake, WI, where Rain Wilmot plans to spend the summer in her family’s heritage cabin, licking her emotional wounds after her husband’s untimely death. No sooner has she arrived, though, than she realizes her mother has basically dropped her in it, leaving Rain with the responsibility of the library attached to the cabin, which the entire community relies on when all the summer residents arrive. Rain’s just getting to grips with that - and reconnecting with old friend and neighbour Julia - when the body turns up, a man Rain’s never seen before in her life, dead behind her outhouse with one of Rain’s grandfather’s books on him.

The mystery part of this is really cool and intriguing. I was fascinated with the story of Rain’s grandfather writing a semi-autobiographical story about his lost love, and the far-reaching effects of it in as small a community as the ‘Lakers’. As this is the first of a series, I suspect Julia’s brother, police officer Jace, is eventually supposed to be a love interest for Rain, but at the present time she’s emotionally in no fit state for it anyway.

I did have some issues, however, with Rain herself, particularly her friendship with Julia. For two women in their thirties, they acted like a pair of teenage ditzes with absolutely no regard for their own safety. Who goes out on a lake at any time without even one mobile phone between them to call for help if they need it, never mind when they are literally going to spy on a suspect? There was also no real explanation of what Rain’s future plans were… had she left her job, taken a sabbatical or compassionate leave, or what? It’s never explained. She’d sold her condo in Milwaukee but didn’t seem to have any future job lined up or anywhere to live beyond the summer cabin, and for an accountant seemed to be extremely impractical.

I read an ARC of this which had a LOT of typographical and grammatical errors. If you have a lake called ‘Pine Lake’ then it should always be ‘Pine Lake’ and not sometimes ‘Pine lake’, for example… I’ll give the publisher the benefit of the doubt and assume these will be corrected before publication, but it was noticeably badly proofed, even for an ARC. The book should be in a lot better shape than that before it goes out to reviewers. I couldn’t judge if the writing was really any good because the grammar and typos was such a mess.

Overall, I’ll give this three stars.
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Rain escapes to her family’s lakeside cabin to regroup after the death of her husband. Unfortunately it is not turning out to be the quiet retreat she hopes for as she finds out her mother expects her to open the library attached to the cabin for the summer. Then a dead body is discovered on the property shortly after her arrival.  The dead man turns out to be a close friend of Rain’s mother and suspicion falls on her and on Rain’s father, both of whom are strangely absent from the lake for the summer. Rain and her childhood friend Julia do some snooping in order to clear Rain’s parents and find the murderer.

While this was a quick read, I initially had a hard time getting in to it as I found Rain somewhat off-putting.  There was a lot of angst from Rain, more than I would have expected for a cozy mystery. Rain keeps obsessing over her dead husband’s infidelity - that she had already presumably forgiven him for -  and getting way too upset over the state of her parent’s marriage and, as a grown woman, showing an almost juvenile squeamishness at any hint of her parents’ sexual activities, whether with each other or other people.  The harping on these issues eased as the book went along and the mystery was wrapped up quickly with some bits predicable for the “happy ending”.  I’ll try the next one in the series as Rain became more likeable and relatable as the story progressed
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I enjoyed this first in a new series, which is an intriguing cozy mystery and family drama wrapped into one charming novel. The setting is a gorgeous summer retreat with engaging and very likeable folks. The author makes great use of picturesque language that brings the characters and setting to life. At times I felt the mystery took a back seat to the family situations, yet I did enjoy watching the friendship between Rain and Julia blossom to be better than ever. Some of the family saga is critical to the mystery, bringing continual surprises to the story.

Rain arrived at the family cabin on Pine Lake in the Wisconsin’s Northwoods, and within a short time 
was greeted by her old friend and next-door neighbor, Julia. Rain anticipated spending time recovering from the losses of her life, culminating with her husband’s recent death. As she and Julia reconnect, she learns a couple disturbing things that her mother Willow, who is on a humanitarian trip in Africa, neglected to tell Rain that would affect her stay. One is that Willow opened the family library by Memorial Day each year for use by their community. Julia was ready, along with Marge, the older woman who helps with it, to prepare the library for imminent opening. Rain would prefer to spend her summer in peace and privacy, yet finally agreed to set up and open the library.

The library is in the original cabin built by her great-grandfather Lorenzo and is attached to the current, newer cabin. Literacy had been important to Lorenzo, so Willow had made the library accessible to the community and allowed it to be used as a gathering place. Later that afternoon, when Julia, Rain, and Marge got together, Marge’s dog Rex ran off to where the original outhouse sat. The older woman went to collect her pup while Rain and Julia went to unload the new books she brought, when they heard her scream. Rex led Marge and the girls to the outhouse, where they found a murdered man. The book on the ground next to him was one that Rain’s grandfather Luis had written that he could only have gotten from the library that had been closed for several months – and Willow never let Luis’s books leave the library. Julia later revealed more troubling news. Willow had been seen with the dead man several times, and it was thought they were a little closer than they should have been. Was he a cause, or a result, of the troubles between Rain’s parents?

There is a ribbon of humor throughout that brightens this novel of mystery, grief, and healing. One of the things I enjoyed is what Julia, a high school teacher, used as cusswords! There were fun made-ups throughout, giving me a new appreciation for acceptable self-expression! We also see how lifeblood flows through the veins of renewing Rain and Julia’s friendship, and how healing begins when letting other people into one’s life.

The novel held my attention throughout, but I would prefer a little more mystery and a little less relationship. The mystery kept me guessing, especially as Rain’s parents rise to the top of the suspect list. The solution is more complex than I anticipated, and all loose ends are tied up. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy a combination of cozy mystery and women’s fiction in a gorgeous summer setting!

From a thankful heart: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
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I had high hopes for this series debut. Unfortunately it just could not hold my attention. There was too much minute detailing of every little thing, lots of descriptions of the main character sweating, stretching and she is a total whiner. I also don't like where there is clearly an issue to be discussed, in this case the protagonist's deceased husband, and then they dance around the issue of what happened. Either tell me or quit bringing it up. I just felt like there was too much poor me poor me going on in this story to want to continue with the series. Hard pass.
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Murder at the Lakeside Library by Holly Danvers has Rain Wilmot, a recent widow, arriving at her family’s lakeside cabin in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin looking for time alone to relax and read.  She discovers that her mother forgot to mention that she has been operating a library during the summer for the residents and Rain is expected to fill her place.  Before Rain can absorb the news, a body is found by the outhouse.  It belongs to Thornton Hughes who was rumored to have been having an affair with Rain’s mother, Willow the previous summer.  When Rain learns her father may be in town, she is worried that he will be a suspect.  Rain with help from her childhood friend, Julia begins digging into Thornton’s life looking for suspects.  Murder at the Lakeside Library is the debut of A Lakeside Library Mystery series.  There are beautiful descriptions of the Wisconsin’s Northwoods.  I especially enjoy reading about Rain’s family cabin and library (what booklover would not love a library attached to their home).  I would have liked to learn more about Rain Wilmot.  We are given a brief history along with what has her returning the Lofty Pines after a long absence.  The “Lakers” are a friendly bunch.  They are quick to lend a helping hand such as cutting a neighbor’s lawn, bringing over treats, picking up tab for meal, and holding impromptu barbecues.  I liked Julie, Rain’s childhood friend and neighbor.  She is a friendly woman and something of a free spirit.  The mystery plays out slowly over the course of the book.  I wish it had been little peppier with less repetition.  The investigation is a little scattered like Rain’s thoughts.  I did feel the ending was rushed as we are finally given all the details.  I was not a fan of all the internal dialogue and the numerous descriptions of what people’s hands were doing (I wonder if the author talks with her hands).  The repetition was too much.  I found myself skimming past these rehashed details.   I am curious to see what happen next in Lofty Pines. I have a feeling that Rain is not going to get the quiet time she desired. Murder at the Lakeside Library is a blithe cozy mystery with a lakeside library, a curious corpse, a firm friend, uncertain rumors, and a boatload of books.
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This is the first in a brand-new series.  Rain Wilmont returns to Lofty Pines Wisconsin which is her family’s summer home and she is there to get over the death of her husband Max.  The minute she arrives she is met by her childhood friend Julia who sees her arrive.  They begin to catch up and Rain learns that her Mother Willow has planned to open up the Lakeside Library which is adjacent to the family cabin and that Rain will need to run it during the summer.  Julia tells her there is even a meeting that night to discuss the opening which is traditionally done right at the Memorial Day weekend.  Rain is furious with her mother but cannot get a hold of her as she is on a humanitarian trip to Africa and when she goes into the library, she finds a letter addressed to her from her mother.  Rain agrees to host the meeting that night and after a quick shower while her friend Julia sets up Marge the next library volunteer arrives but they are halted when Marge’s dog Rex takes off and Julia and Rain hear Marge scream.  They rush to the old school outhouse only to discover a dead body of a local real estate developer Thornton Hughes.  The police arrive including Jace who is Julia’s brother and back in Lofty Pines as a police officer.  Rain is shocked to learn that the local gossip linked Thornton with her Mother Willow.  Rain is also surprised when someone says that they saw her father who she thinks is in Japan.  She is unable to get a hold of either of her parents, so Rain is trying to learn more about the victim and who would want him dead.  I really enjoyed this mystery and the setting on the lake and lakeside community.  Anyone in the Midwest will understand the summer on the Lakes!  The dynamic of Rain with her longtime childhood friends and how they just fit back into the friendship and how they looked after her and lots of good dynamics in the family for lots of future entertainment as well.  Can’t wait to meet the parents in a future installment, I hope.  Looking forward to the next in this series.
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Really fun first-in-a-series book. Lots of twists and turns in this story. Hoping to meet Rain's family in the next installment, but this was a great start. Very interesting twists towards the end.
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Rain Wilmont has just arrived in Lofty Pines for a much-needed rest after the death of her husband. All she wants is some peace and quiet and to rest and recuperate. All that goes out the window when she finds out she must open the towns library and have people trapsing through her home and finds a dead body in her yard. In order to have some peace of mind and some rest, Rain and her best friend Julia vow to solve the mystery of the murder. That should not be too hard right?

This was such a great start to a new series by Holly Danvers. A small town, a beautiful lakeside cottage, two best friends and a mystery are the perfect ingredients for a great book. Oh, let us not forget the handsome police officer who happens to be Julia’s brother! I hope to read more about that storyline in upcoming books and I am excited to see what trouble Rain gets into next. What I really loved was the relationship between Rain and Julia. They were humorous, got into a little trouble but were loyal just as best friends should be. An awesome summer read and a solid five stars. Thank you to Holly Danvers, Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for a advanced readers copy.
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What a great story! It definitely held my interest. I loved Rain and Julia together. Don’t you just love when you reconnect with a friend and it’s like you saw each other yesterday instead of several years ago? The characters in this story are great. The setting is wonderful. Nothing like growing up on a lake. I can’t wait to see what happens next with some of these good folks. I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.
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Murder at the Lakeside Library by Holly Danvers is the first book in A Lakeside Library Mystery.

I really liked the premise, lake and the library what more could you wish for. Unfortunately, it didn't reach my expectations. 
The plot was ok, I generally liked the idea. I also appreciated that the murder happened very quickly.
Later on some of the police procedure was too much for me to believe it, but maybe that's how it is done in small places. And it is a cozy mystery after all.
I enjoyed main protagonist's friendship with the next door neighbor and their lovely banter.
There was a lot of descriptive writing and a lot of hand gestures, which for me were completely unnecessary and off putting.
Even though I liked the premise the whole story made me lose my interest soon after murder happened. It somehow seemed too polished and perfect even for a cozy. I skimmed a lot of it as I wanted to finish the book but didn't feel compelled to read everything and it wasn't absorbing enough for me.
All in all, not a bad start. Will see what happens in the next installment.
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Murder At The Lakeside Library is the first book in the A Lakeside Library Mystery series by Holly Danvers.

Rain Wilmot has recently lost her husband in a motorcycle accident, sold their condo, and is going to the family’s lake-front property on Pine Lake in Lofty Pines, WI.for the summer.  Rain has fond memories as a child staying at the cabin, where her mother ran a library out of the original log cabin her grandfather constructed. 

When Rain arrives and keeping to family tradition, she heads for the dock to look over the lake.  At the pier, she meets Julia, who lives in the cabin next door, with who she had been friends since childhood.  They hadn’t seen each other in years as Rain’s husband didn’t like going to the lake.

The first thing that Julia poses to Rain: is she going to open the library.  The library hadn’t come to mind.  With her mother and father working outside of the country this summer, Rain was looking forward to relaxing and dealing with her husband’s loss and infidelity.  Rain remembers the good times she experienced with the library and, after finding a note from her mother urging her to open the library, she agrees to continue its operation.  Retired school teacher, Marjorie, comes to help open the library.  First, Marjorie has some books to donate.  As Rain goes to carry the books, Marjorie’s dog Rex goes off exploring, and Margorie goes to find Rex, but instead, she finds a dead body.  The body is that of Thornton Hughes.  When Rain learns the town gossip is that her mother knew him really well, she feels compelled to clear her mother’s name.  To make matters worse for Rain, the hardware store owner in town claims to have seen her father in the city.  In addition, she will learn about some family secrets. 

This book is an exciting start to a new series.  The book is well-written and contained plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end as to who the killer was.  The characters are interesting and believable.  I would like to learn more about the community of Lofty Pines and the residents of Pine Lake.

The book also includes a delicious-sounding recipe.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Long Overdue At The Lakeside Library, due out February 8, 2022.
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This was just awful and really not for me. You know it is bad when you are taking notes on what bugs you and you are on point 12 by chapter 5 [and I was going to add them here, but they just got to be too many and it just wasn't worth it]!! I did not enjoy this at all [the one star is simply because I was enchanted by the aspect of a little lake library] and am dreading the second one [though I have been surprised before by second books so here's hoping]. I really cannot recommend this to anyone. It is disjointed and upsetting, the writing and character development is really poor and the reveal was extremely anticlimactic; overall, it just was not a good book for me. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Holly Danvers, and Crooked Lane Books for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Murder at the Lakeside Library is the first book in the Lakeside Library Mystery series by Holly Danvers.

Rain is recently widowed and heads to her family’s home on the lake to get away when she finds she will need to open the little library they have on their property for the community.   

I couldn’t put this book down.   The location reminded me of summer vacations to northern Wisconsin.  I like Rain and Julia and their friendship as well as Marge and her dog.  There were times were there was more talk than action, but I expect that in the first book of a series.  The mystery was interesting and there were some surprising twists at the end.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the free copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
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Following the death of her husband, Rain Wilmot gives up her big city life to return to her family's vacation cabin in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin. It has been a long time since Rain has stayed at the family vacation cabin. She didn't know that her mother has been running a small library out of the original part of the cabin. She also didn't know about the man her mother is rumored to be having and affair with. The man whose body is found near the cabin a short time after she arrives. Her parents are suspects in the killing but they are out of the country for the summer. So who was the killer? 

This is the first book in Holly Danvers a lakeside Library mystery. I'm glad that I already got the next book in the series courtesy of Netgalley. This book would make a great mystery movie.

I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher and/or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Rain is at a crossroads in her life after the loss of her husband. Should she stay in her corporate job or return home to Lofty Pine, Wisconsin? The choice made, she goes home to the shelter of a cabin by the lake. It includes a library managed by her mother, Willow. Rain's childhood friend Julia encourages her to get it reopened. What she finds is a dead man on the property. If that isn't bad enough, the police focus on her mother as the prime suspect because it has been rumored that she was in a relationship with him. Well Rain has no choice but to track down the killer in true cozy fashion.
There are some weak spots in this debut mystery but nothing that were a big deal. A first in series has to set up the foundation for future books and by the end of this book I was looking forward to reading the next in the series. It's a nice addition to the cozy genre.
My thanks to the publisher Crooked Lane and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I found Murder at the Lakeside Library an entertaining cozy read. It is the first book in a new series called A Lakeside Library Mystery and it shows great promise. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my ARC.
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Murder at the Lakeside Library has Rain and company finding a dead body the day Rain arrives at her family’s lakeside cabin. Rain decides she must investigate. 
This is the first Lakeside Library Mystery. It has all the elements of a cozy mystery. And I would say it’s well enough written. I simply never really connected with Rain. It never felt like the actions she took were a natural extension of who she was. 
The setting in the north woods of Wisconsin on a lake was good. Bring in a summer library for the people on the lake. Have a heroine who has experienced personal tragedy - check. Have cool transportation like a pontoon boat - check. Add in several motives - money, family secrets, unwanted real estate development- all to obscure the reason someone is deceased - check. Give the heroine a sidekick or two, in this case an old friend who is a teacher and is sporting pink hair and uses colorful phrases instead of cursing - check. The reveal at the end felt like it was meant to tie things with a tidy bow. 
It has the elements, they just didn’t flow for me into a story I can be enthusiastic enough to give more than 3 stars. It’s a good start but not a great one.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book prior to publication.
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This is the first in a brand-new series.  Rain Wilmont returns to Lofty Pines Wisconsin which is her family’s summer home and she is there to get over the death of her husband Max.  The minute she arrives she is met by her childhood friend Julia who sees her arrive.  They begin to catch up and Rain learns that her Mother Willow has planned to open up the Lakeside Library which is adjacent to the family cabin and that Rain will need to run it during the summer.  Julia tells her there is even a meeting that night to discuss the opening which is traditionally done right at the Memorial Day weekend.  Rain is furious with her mother but cannot get a hold of her as she is on a humanitarian trip to Africa and when she goes into the library, she finds a letter addressed to her from her mother.  Rain agrees to host the meeting that night and after a quick shower while her friend Julia sets up Marge the next library volunteer arrives but they are halted when Marge’s dog Rex takes off and Julia and Rain hear Marge scream.  They rush to the old school outhouse only to discover a dead body of a local real estate developer Thornton Hughes.  The police arrive including Jace who is Julia’s brother and back in Lofty Pines as a police officer.  Rain is shocked to learn that the local gossip linked Thornton with her Mother Willow.  Rain is also surprised when someone says that they saw her father who she thinks is in Japan.  She is unable to get a hold of either of her parents, so Rain is trying to learn more about the victim and who would want him dead.  I really enjoyed this mystery and the setting on the lake and lakeside community.  Anyone in the Midwest will understand the summer on the Lakes!  The dynamic of Rain with her longtime childhood friends and how they just fit back into the friendship and how they looked after her and lots of good dynamics in the family for lots of future entertainment as well.  Can’t wait to meet the parents in a future installment, I hope.  Looking forward to the next in this series.
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