Saturday, April 15, 2017

Aloha to Jenn McKinlay, Library Lover's Mystery series, and BETTER LATE THAN NEVER - Book Review

In the latest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Likely Story, a decades overdue book puts library director Lindsey Norris hot on the trail of a cold case...

When the Briar Creek Public Library holds its first overdue book amnesty day—no fines for late returns—the volume of incoming materials is more than Lindsey and her staff can handle. In a bind, Lindsey drafts the crafternoon ladies to help check in and sort the stacks of books.

But one tardy tome catches her attention—a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, twenty years past due. When Lindsey looks up the borrower, she’s shocked to discover it was a murdered school teacher named Candice Whitley, whose killer was never found.

Candice checked out the novel on the day she was murdered. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old cold case. No one noticed who brought the book back in, but could it be Candice’s killer? Lindsey is determined to catch the culprit one way or another, because justice for Candice Whitley is long overdue ... 

Image result for aloha on my mind library
Patience outside the NYC Library

Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world. 
- Tommy Douglas

Lindsay Norris is building a better world as library director in Briar Creek, a New England coastal town. She transitioned as an academic librarian to public servant, bringing fresh ideas to a traditional institution. Lindsay implemented "Amnesty Day" to encourage patrons to return late and/or damaged books, thus welcoming back the "prodigal" readers.  As her staff struggle with the overwhelming number of returned books, one title stands out - a twenty year old copy of CATCHER IN THE RYE.  After digging up old library records, the staff discover the reader was a beloved high school teacher who was murdered the day she checked out the book. And her murder remains unsolved.

Lindsay can't help but initiate her own investigation to satisfy her curious nature. In fact, her friends have already taken friendly bets on how long it takes Lindsay to solve the mystery. Yet Lindsay's inquiries open old wounds for those who loved the teacher and became suspects in her murder. The plot follows the predictable pattern of cozy mysteries - an amateur detective, multiple suspects with personal secrets, a few red herrings, and the climatic unveiling of the murderer.  Still BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is an enjoyable escape into a small coastal town. 

The subplots offers depth to this novel and the series - Lindsay has an on/off/on relationship with Navy Vet-turned-Sea Captain Sully. The children's librarian, Beth, adds comic relief with her literary antics. Lindsay's friends in the book club/craft group cook up tasty treats (and gossip) to counterbalance the underlying concern of a murder still prowling the town. McKinlay makes it easy to assimilate with the quirky characters who populate Briar Creek.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER is Book 7 in McKinlay's Library Lover's Mystery Series.  While this title can be read as a stand alone novel, I recommend reading the series in order. McKinlay is also the author of Cupcake Bakery Mysteries (set in Scottsdale, Arizona) and Hat Shop Mysteries (set in London, England) - I am a fan of all three series.

Natually, I checked out BETTER LATE THAN NEVER from my local library.

Learn more about Jenn and her books at

Fortitude outside the NYC library

For the month of April, I am giving away a box of books from authors attending RT. To enter the giveaway,

1. What's your favorite library?

2. Comments are open through Sunday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I will be offline from Monday, May 1 - Sunday, May 7.

4. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 8.


Kim in Baltimore

Aloha Spirit in Charm City



  1. Remembering the one from my childhood. Hundred year old building with high ceilings!

  2. The NYPL Main Library is beautiful, but my favorite is my local library.

  3. My local library. I've seen some incredible
    library pictures on Pinterest from around the world though.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. My local library in Commack. The librarians know me by name! LOL!

  5. I don't have a single favorite, but I love the huge ones in old buildings where I can get lost for hours like I did when I was doing research during my college years. I had friends who attended different schools including Emory University and Georgia Tech. I'd visit them - and their school libraries for access to new material. In Emory's Theological Library I found a book printed before WWI that had never been read -- the folio pages had not been cut!

  6. Why, my library right down the street from me, Connetquot Library - they are friendly and order books for me or interloan them for me.

  7. I have a wonderful local library - besides all the books they have great programs for all ages and interests - I enjoy the genealogy group very much

  8. It sounds like I need to visit some libraries when I travel! I've only been to my local ones but I do love them.

    Glad you showcased this author! I haven't heard of this series, it sounds so fun!

  9. My library in my town. They also have great book sales.
    Natalie's Mama (Karen T.)

  10. My favorite library was the one where I worked. A small county library located in an old train station. We had a wonderful crew of people working and volunteering there. Sometimes we had too good a time, the patrons would ask us to be quiet. I was the children's librarian and took care of the romances and Christian Fiction as well as sorted all the donations. Quite a mix. I really miss it. We stop at libraries all over when we travel. We have found some interesting ones.

  11. My local library is pretty awesome. It loves to get the books I request and has an awesome book sale a couple times a year.

  12. :( I do not have a favorite library.

  13. The library where I LIVE.
    PATTY B43

  14. Since I get many of my audiobooks via Overdrive, I really like my own library because the audiobook list is extensive. It's the Columbus Metropolitan Library and is membership is free.