Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Date of publication: August 8th, 2023
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Series: Lakeside Library Mystery
Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Ellery Adams, Rain Wilmot must find a novel solution in order to catch another killer—before her book club members are picked off one by one.
Summer is in full swing as tourists flock back to the Northwoods and travel to Lofty Pines, Wisconsin. For Rain Wilmot, owner of the Lakeside Library, this is the perfect opportunity to bring back her mother’s summer book club. But the summer sun starts to really heat up when one of the club’s members, Lily Redlin, is found dead in her own home not long after the first meeting.
Alongside her sidekick and neighbor Julia Reynolds and the charming Jace Lowe, Rain discovers that the murder is seemingly inspired by the book club’s recent selection of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel, Sparkling Cyanide. But who would kill Lily, and more importantly, why?
The deeper Rain goes into the story, the more confusing and complicated the plot becomes. Was Lily murdered to cover up a tragic accident involving an old classmate years earlier? Or were the rumors true—did Lily really possess priceless original Laura Ingles Wilder manuscripts, and someone killed her for them? And who stands to gain the recently inherited piece of waterfront property that Lily received from a long-lost relative?
With a long list of suspects and motives, Rain realizes that all leads come back to people involved in the book club. Rain and her friends take a page from Agatha Christie’s book by hosting a reenactment of the club’s first meeting to flush out the killer. Will Rain’s plan succeed—or will this librarian’s book be checked out for good?
Rain Wilmot stepped from the log cabin and was immediately met with golden sunshine.Read to Death at the Lakeside Library by Holly Danvers
Rain decided that summer was the perfect time to return her mother’s book club to the library. The first book was Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie. After things got a little heated with a new member, Lily, during the meeting. Concerned, Rain and her best friend track Julia to her house and find Lily dead. With few leads, Rain and Julia start their investigation. Everything points back to who was at the book club that night. Who killed Lily? And what was the motive?
I decided to read more cozy mysteries a few months back. I love reading mysteries but tend to read psychological mysteries (usually paired with psychological thrillers) or police procedurals. So I downloaded a few from a publisher I occasionally review for. Read to Death at the Lakeside Library is the first book out of the five that I downloaded.
Read to Death at the Lakeside Library is the third book in the Lakeside Library Mysteries. When I started reading this book, I was expecting this book to confuse me. Beginning a series on book three isn’t ideal for me. Why? The storylines are usually harder to follow, and the characters from previous books appear. I am happy to say that it wasn’t true in this case. The author briefly references the previous two books but focuses on this book’s storyline. Readers can read this book as a standalone, but I recommend reading the earlier books for more of Rain’s back story.
I liked Rain. She had a rough couple of years, from what was revealed. I also liked that she was a good friend. My only quibble with her is that when she found clues (like the book or the notes), she didn’t go to the police immediately (and I will go further into that). I also loved that she owned a library and put her heart and soul into it!!
I found Julia annoying throughout the book. She wasn’t afraid to lean on her brother, a detective on the local police force, for information. She also didn’t hesitate to hide or tell Rain to hide evidence. It drove me nuts. But I did think she was a good friend. Rain was Julia’s best friend, and she wouldn’t let her investigate Lily’s death alone.
The main storyline is Rain investigating Julia’s death. I loved that the author modeled her death after Agatha Christie’s book and a recent real-life murder involving eyedrops. But I was slightly irritated by how Rain and Julia conducted their investigation (and the second investigation into Patrick’s death). They broke into houses (Lily’s), they stole evidence (the manuscript and the cassette tape), Julia leaned on Jace (her brother) for information about the case, and they withheld evidence from the police. I kept thinking that the evidence they collected would never be allowed in court because of that. I was surprised at who the killer was, though. It was not even remotely who I thought it was.
There was a secondary storyline that Rain and Julia were investigating. It involved a woman from their book club, the death of her classmate decades earlier, and the murder victim. How they were tied together made for a neat twist.
There was a romance angle to Read to Death at the Lakeside Library. I gathered that this romance started in book one, but they didn’t get together until this book. Rain was too busy investigating Lily’s murder and getting into shenanigans with Julia for it to go beyond that. This is a clean romance with a few kissing scenes.
The end of Read to Death at the Lakeside Library was action-packed. I was not expecting who the killer was. And I wasn’t expecting this person’s motives (yes, there are two). As much as Rain and Julia annoyed me, I look forward to reading book 3.
I recommend Read to Death at the Lakeside Library to anyone over 16. There is mild language and mild sexual scenes. There is also violence.
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books, NetGalley, and Holly Danvers for allowing me to read and review Read to Death at the Lakeside Library. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of Read to Death at the Lakeside Library, then you will enjoy reading these books:
Other books by Holly Danvers: