Monday, October 16, 2017

Mystery review: Death Overdue


Title:  Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery  (Cozy Mystery; 1st in Series)
Author: Allison Brook
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017). Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313861
Source: Electronic ARC through Great Escapes Free Book Tours

Publisher's Blurb: 
Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook. 

My Review: 
I really have to stop reading books set in libraries, because they all seem to be so much better funded than my library! Okay, seriously, I knew I had to read this when I saw it, because how could I not read a book with a librarian for a detective heroine, even if I did have some reservations about the ghost aspect. Despite an enjoyment of the Aunt Dimity mysteries, I'm not a big fan of the ghost mysteries that have become popular lately, but to my surprise, I found I didn't mind the ghost in this one at all. Mostly, my mind just accepted her as another character and allowed the willing suspension of disbelief so I could get on with the story.

The mystery in this case was decently constructed, and the writing solid, so that it was a quick, enjoyable read (due to a mix-up, I didn't get my copy until Friday, but I had no trouble sitting myself down and reading right through the book). It caught my interest from the first chapters, and if I at times got impatient with Carrie for doing stupid things (WHY did she keep telling people what she was finding out, even after that led to trouble and she was warned to keep it to herself?), I never stopped wanting to find out what she'd do next. I had a pretty good idea who the murderer was before she did, but the author managed to make me doubt myself with a couple of last-minute reveals about various characters, so there was never any doubt I had to read to the end.

There is a lot in this book that hints at an interesting backstory for Carrie, making her a character who seems worth the time to get to know. I hope I can check her out again in the future, as she makes many returns (I'd apologize for the library puns but...I won't).

 My Recommendation:
 This would fall under the heading of "beach reads" for me, I think. It was fun and had a good mystery, but had too much romance for my taste (so might be perfect for most cozy fans!). The writing could be a little tighter, but was never a significant distraction from the enjoyment of the story. Oh, and people working for under-funded libraries should beware of library-envy when reading this! The Author
Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.
Author Links
My Amazon page:

Purchase Links
Amazon   B&N

And this book has another great give-away! Enter to win a print copy of the book.
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FTC Disclosure: I received an electronic ARC of Death Overdue from Great Escapes Free Book Tours, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."   


  1. Thank you for the review and the chance to win a copy of Death Overdue. Cozy mysteries are one of the type books I love to read.

    1. Always glad to share, and good luck in the giveaway!

  2. Thank you for your review of DEATH OVERDUE

    1. Glad to read it! (even if it did make me drool over those library budgets).

    2. In a cozy, great library budgets are allowed.

  3. Sounds ike a good read - and I won't suffer from Library Envy!

    1. I have to remind me that it's easy to imagine a perfect budget! And I'm just as glad we don't have a library cat, with my allergies :) (I don't work when we have the dogs in for kids to read to them, though dogs don't set me off like cats do).

    2. Smoky Joe, the Clover Ridge library cat, has the uncanny ability to know when a patron is allergic and keeps his distance.

    3. He is, indeed, a special cat! Most of them know I'm allergic and come to rub themselves all over me :) (Doesn't help that I actually love cats and can't help petting them!)

    4. They're trying to rub away your allergies.:)

  4. Very interesting. I'm not sure about the romance part, but I've added this to my to read list.

    1. It wasn't so much romance that it interfered with the mystery, though occasionally it did with the sleuth's judgment.

    2. Of course, hormones and emotions interfering with good judgment is pretty true-to-life :D


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