Cover Image: A Perfect Bind

A Perfect Bind

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Member Reviews

A Perfect Bind is the second book in the Beloved Bookroom Mystery series and my first read in this series. This author's books are fabulous, once you start you just can't stop. You have to keep reading til the end to see how it's all going to play out.
Southern librarian Tru Beckett though young, is the old fashioned type and is appalled at the library she works at in Cypress, South Carolina going bookless. (Say what?) To attract more technological businesses to the town the library goes bookless using digital books and technological resources which ultimately annoys many of it's patrons especially the older folks.
Librarian Tru "rescues" some of the books destined for the dump and sets up a secret basement book area where patrons can still check out physical books.
The main librarian is strict and by the book but she "doesn't" know about this secret book area.
Tru's library cat Dewey is such a big help in her library area but of course she has to sneak him in. Though she works upstairs in the technological area Tru prefers her time with the "real" books, now just not to get caught.
When her special book room is vandalized more than once with her books being tossed about and destroyed it's more than this poor librarian's heart can understand.
Add to that when a body is discovered outside the library the creepy going-on's in the library start piling up. Could it possibly be that poltergeist some of the old timers are talking about.
Sleuthing librarian Tru and her smart tabby Dewey are on the case of uncovering who could have caused the trouble and why. Very engaging book. Fast paced cozy, I really enjoyed it.

Pub Date 28 Sep 2021
I was given a complimentary copy of this book.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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I fell in love with this new series during book one so I was more then ready to start this one. Tru is still running the secret room of books in the library basement though a patron tries to convince  her that a poltergeist lives down there. Not convinced she tries to forget about it but then a body shows up out back. Now she is determined to find out what actually happened so het library is not at risk. Set in an adorable town and filled with a wide range of characters we get a mystery yo enjoy that will keep you guessing while turning the pages. Every bit as good as book one. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
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Though many book lovers can appreciate the convenience of digital books, there's still just something about a real, paper book: the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper. And in A Perfect Bind, the second Beloved Bookroom Mystery by author Dorothy St. James, a book-loving librarian risks her job - and maybe even her life - to save the library's books...

Full review published on - and aired on Shelf Discovery
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A perfect cozy mystery! I loved the characters and had a hard time putting this down!! I’m looking forward to more in the series.

I received an advanced copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Dorothy St. James brings us back to the secret basement library in the public library that has gone all e records and e books.  Someone is vandalizing the secret library and a murder happens out back of the library. Whodunit? Clever and gentle cozy with a little romance.
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I love a good book about books, bookstores, or libraries. Make it a clever, cozy mystery and include and adorable cat, and I'm all in. A Perfect Bind is a wonderfully satisfying combination of these elements. The second in a charming series about a small-town southern librarian taking a big risk to preserve the physical books in her tech-driven library, this books also works as a great stand-alone story while intriguing me enough to pick up the debut and keep an eye out for future installments. 

I received a digital pre-publication copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the second book in this cozy mystery series featuring Tru, a librarian who has a secret.  When the local library was being modernized, all of the books were being sent to a landfill.  In the first book, Tru sets up a secret library in the basement storage room.  When a man is murdered behind the library, Tru and her mystery book group hope that the secret library was not involved.  There are twists and turns, and the relationship between Jace and Tru evolves.  I like it and recommend to lovers of libraries an cozy mysteries.  Thanks to NetGalley.
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I know I'm in the minority but I kinda agree with the decision for Cypress Springs Library to go totally digital - way more conveinent, efficient and cost reduction is at an all-time high. Or maybe it's just me since the San Diego library is literally the worst and filled only with homeless people so it's scary and smelly to go there and the selection once you're there is abysmal. But back to this book....  I do love a good cat + librarian combo and it was a decent mystery but I won't be reading any more books in the series since I didn't really love any of the characters. They were all kind of generic.
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This was a fun second installment of the series, which I think illuminates an unfortunate trend of libraries going "bookless." Digital resources are important but should never overtake books, and I think this series does a good job at showing just how important print books are—with clever mysteries at the heart of the story, too.
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Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.

I feel like I'm constantly on a binge where every single cozy mystery I pick up has a bookstore setting. Am I complaining? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Give me all the bookstore cozies! 

Once I found this series available on Scribd, I knew there was no looking back. To make things short and sweet, Dorthey St. James can do no wrong. She really knows how to hone in on the true essence of a cozy mystery. Between her character development of Tru Beckett, and the way she paints the town of Cypress, South Carolina - I knew I would be auto buying any new books that came out of this series. 

I am really looking forward to checking out the audiobook version of this series. Fingers crossed the narrator paints the same picture I imagined while reading this advanced readers copy. 

Once again, Berkley nails it on the head!
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The new Beloved Bookroom cozy mystery series continues with this second book, A Perfect Bind. 

Tru Beckett is still maintaining her secret bookroom filled with much loved physical books after her library went digital only. But now on top of trying to hide the fact she has a hidden bookroom in the library, Tru is trying to discover who is breaking into the bookroom and vandalizing the books. Then a dead body is found behind the library. Tru is once again on the trail of a killer, hoping to keep her secret safe and discover if the vandal has something to do with the death. 

I enjoy this new series! It's always hard to protect a secret....even harder when dead bodies keep materializing to complicate things. This story was just as fun as the first book. The story moved at a nice pace, plus there was plenty of investigating and interesting character building. I like Tru as a main character. She loves books, freaks out at emergencies just enough to be amusing, and gets to serious work sleuthing when it comes down to ferreting out a killer. I'm definitely on board to read more books in this series! Always a fun read! 

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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Another excellent edition to a wonderful series! Full of twists and turns that leaves you wanting more and enjoying each moment until the end when the killer is caught!
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I love everything about the Beloved Bookworm series by Dorothy St. James, and A Perfect Bind made me smile just as much as its predecessor. Tru and her band of secret library patrons & friends are loads of fun with lots of heart, and speaking of heart – swoony detective Jace has mine. There’s a little speech he gives that had me grinning like a fool & melting inside. I loved the added dash of romance with this one, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go with he & Tru from here. The case is clever and full of twists and turns, books & bits of history too. Even Mrs. Farnsworth & Anne grew on me this time around. Another fun mystery with Tru, Dewey & the secret bookroom!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
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With her hidden secret library, Tru Beckett is an fun amateur sleuth in A Perfect Bind. This one is definitely an interesting read and fun concept. Some areas were slow, but I would recommend this to any cozy mystery lover.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

The shock of a bookless library that held me captive in the first book, The Broken Spine is gone, but the disappointment of it still runs through my veins. All this new technology can co-exist with print versions of the books. I am happy Librarian Tru Becket was able to hide away several boxes of books meant for the dumpster and that she could set up the secret book room in the basement. Sadly that book room is in peril. The peril of being found out by Mrs. Farnsworth, the head librarian, and in peril of a vandal who is destroying the books and generally trashing the room.  It has Tru and other patrons up in arms. One patron even believes it is a poltergeist that has been haunting the library for years. Tru believes it is someone looking for something and is getting angrier and angrier that they can’t find it.

To make matters worse someone has killed local car mechanic Owen Maynard. The drunkard has been a thorn in Mrs. Farnsworth’s side for years. He would drink to excess and then park his truck in the alleyway behind the library to sleep it off. No one would ever think she would kill him. And he did upset a lot of people by fixing their cars and trucks with rebuilt parts and selling them as new only to have them break down again. But is that a reason to kill the man? Maybe his death is related to the person trashing the secret book room.  Tru needs to get to the bottom of both mysteries fast or her secret will get out or worse the killer could come for her next.

I really have been looking forward to returning to Cypress and the bookless library and Ms. St. James sure didn’t disappoint.

We get to know the core group of characters even better in this installment. There are some really strong women living within these pages. Starting with Mama Eddy and Aunt Sal, they have had to fight for a lot over their lifetimes. Then you have Tru, Tory, Flossie, Mrs. Farnsworth, and Anne. They are all ready to fight for their principles and the right thing for the library even when some things need to be kept under wraps. They strive to do the right thing.

Tru has a way about her that just allows people to open up and answer her questions. She does have a lot of layers and I do enjoy peeling those back a little more in each story. I love the romantic relationship blooming between Tru and Jace. It just feels really right. Her cat Dewey Decimal is quite a cat and I love that Tru brings him to work every day and he is allowed to roam the secret room or nap as he desires.

The mystery was very well written with two mysteries to solve. The author does an excellent job of placing the clues throughout the story. I had an inkling of part of what the vandal was looking for but was unsure of how that would be revealed. Well, let me tell you it was revealed in a fun, entertaining, and yes, a scary way until the culprit was in cuffs and taken away. I really enjoyed learning more about the history and of Cypress in general. It is things like that that really draw me into a story. It is also impressive that the room had a variety of secrets.

A Perfect Bind was a Perfect Escape. I enjoyed everything about this story. The Beloved Bookroom is still a secret from most of the residents of Cypress but I am concerned about how long it can be hidden from the powers that be. It seems that in every installment more people know about the special place in the basement. I am excited to see what Ms. St. James has planned for these wonderful characters next.
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“Inspiring young children’s love of books—even if those books were now being read on computer tablets—was far more important than investigating Owen’s murder. That was the police’s responsibility.”

Librarian Tru Beckett, ardent defender of the printed word, has found herself trying to solve a murder yet again in the second installment of the “Beloved Bookroom Mystery” series. When a dead body shows up behind the library, Tru is certain that there is a cold blooded killer on the loose. Can she and her tabby Dewey Decimal solve the crime before her secret bookroom is discovered or another body is found? 

This book was really cute, but it fell a little flat for me. In the first installment of this cozy murder series a lot of the plot took place in or around the library, complete with falling book shelves and secret book rooms! This book, though, not so much. It was cute, and Tru and her friends are such a hoot. But I just didn’t feel myself drawn to this story as much. It was a little too long with not a whole lot happening. I would have liked to learn more about how the bookless library was received by the community and if any changes had been made to the original vision. The concept alone of a bookless library deserves some follow up! 

Thank you to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing, and the author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Librarian Tru Beckett loves her books.  She, also, loves her library, but recently management decided to make it a bookless library using only technology.  Being an advocate for book lovers, Tru decided to open a secret book room in the library’s basement.  Keeping it a secret in a small town like Cypress, South Carolina is no easy feat.

Suddenly Tru’s book room becomes the victim of vandals.  She can’t understand how someone could want to destroy her nice book sanctuary.  One town member suggests poltergeists, but Tru’s not buying that one.  When a dead body shows up behind the library, she’s sure this isn’t the work of poltergeists but something much more sinister.

Tru Beckett is a wonderful amateur sleuth and heroine in this cozy mystery series.  I probably like her so much because she loves books, as I do, and she has a cat, as I do.  A cat named Dewey Decimal is the perfect tabby to prowl the library for killers and other bad guys.

Tru is quite busy trying to maintain her book room’s secrecy, find the vandals, and find a killer.  At the same time she keeps running into the local detective who wants her to stay out of his investigations.  She can’t do that, especially if it turns out to be connected to her secret room.

This cozy is filled with quirky and unique characters.  The friendship between Tru, Flossie and Tori is fun and sweet.  They truly care about each other.  The characters come to life with each page.

The story moves at a fast-pace with many possible suspects.  I did suspect the real culprit but I wasn’t sure of the hows and whys behind it.  It was most enjoyable to figure it out along with Tru.  Although, it’s the second book in a series, the murder mystery is contained in this book.  However, I strongly suggest starting with the first book so you can read how the secret room came about.

I’m really looking forward to the next book in this delightful series.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Everyone's favorite assistant librarian and ardent book lover is back in the second installment of the beloved bookroom mystery series.  After saving boxes of books headed straight for the landfill after the town's manager decided to turn the library into a bookless, tech wonderland, Tru is now running a clandestine bookroom in the basement of the library.  She now divides her time between her duties in the bookless portion of the main library and her other secret responsibilities centered around the bookroom in the basement.  Things become even more complicated for Tru when vandals enter the space, targeting the mystery section, destroying shelves and books alike.  When another murder occurs close to Tru's secret bookroom, it quickly becomes apparent that the murder might be linked to the vandalism that recently took place.  Since she can't go to the police with her suspicions, Tru decides to once again play detective in an effort to solve the murder and keep her beloved sanctuary safe.  
A Perfect Bind Plot is Great follow up to the first book in the series, following the same unique and clever premise of a clandestine bookroom in the basement of a bookless library.  Tru is a passionate and ardent defender of the printed word and her dedication to maintaining the bookroom is a balm for libraries that are fighting for funding across the nation. Gradually Tru's bookroom is becoming less of a secret and more of a resource for members of the community and I am intrigued to see how the author handles this in future books in the series.  The mystery was well plotted and intriguing, moving in surprising directions at times.  Town history is uncovered slowly over the course of the novel ties in nicely with the current happenings including the murder and the vandalism of the secret bookroom.  There was a great cast of secondary characters to round things out including my personal favorite, Dewey Decimal, the cat mascot.  Interspersed in the mystery were some romantic subplots including the developing relationship between Tru and detective Jace, adding a nice slice of light to the overall story.  I highly recommend the beloved book series to lovers of the printed word and cozy mystery readers alike.
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This book was an absolute delight! I am 100% a sucker for a great book about books, and this one added in those cozy fall vibes I just NEEDED to read and I was here for it. I had not read anything by Dorothy St. James before that I could recall, and I immediately needed to read more from this series especially. 

I mean, what could be better than a librarian no only fighting crime, but fighting for her library reader's right to reading physical copies. A woman after my own heart for sure, Tru was such a wonderful main character - how could you not adore a librarian who creates a secret book room, and hosts a book club that lives by WWAD? What would Agatha Christie Do?! With her keen sense of her community and the determination to figure it out, Tru easily became one of my cozy character favorites with this book! 

The writing style had the perfect balance of introducing characters and plot line to keep you engaged and guessing who done it, while adding in some romance, drama and small town fun that I really enjoyed! This one had so many small details that added to the charm of the book -- the historical element of the WHY of the murder, the town people's obsession with the apple pie contest, and each of the supporting characters personalities I know I'll be buying the first book to catch up, and recommending this one to anyone I can. 

Thank you to NetGalley + Berkley Books for the advance reader's copy & for having me on this book tour! 4.5 stars from me.
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The public library in Cypress, South Carolina is a hotbed of activity, between its new bookless technology center on the first floor and the secret basement book room, where patrons in the know gravitate to affirm their love of books in physical format. On any given day, librarian Trudell (Tru) Beckett has her hands full ensuring that the secret sanctuary stays off the radar screen of her boss, the formidable head librarian Lida Farnsworth. To complicate matters even further, the book room has recently been the scene of several break-ins and acts of vandalism, and its very existence is threatened to be exposed when a dead body is found in a pick up truck in the library's back alley. Are the break-ins, vandalism, and murder related? Tru and the book room insiders are compelled to find out in order to preserve their secret oasis.

Meanwhile, the town gossips are aflutter over the murder, fueling an out-of-control rumor mill of outlandish accusations and motives, including the possibility that the killer may be one of the participants in the annual apple pie baking contest who is in search of the winning recipe at any cost. Given the history of the town and its residents, there are numerous suspects and theories for Tru and her friends to weed through. Are they up to the task? Can they do so without endangering their own safety and continue to keep the beloved book room a secret?

A Perfect Bind is a satisfying blend of mystery, humor, and budding romance. The novel has a generous amount of red herrings, small-town folklore, and suspects to keep the plot moving forward, while also advancing personal relationships. St. James's cast of characters are high-spirited and create the perfect stage for madcap moments, outrageous behavior, and laugh-out loud situations--the very elements that draw cozy mystery fans into a series and leave them anticipating the next installment.
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