When in doubt, go to the library…and solve the murder mystery!
Greta Plank, library director in the small, lakeside town of Larkspur, Wisconsin, prefers her rose-tinted glasses extra rosy, thank you very much. It’s how she copes with the hard stuff in life…like her sister’s death and her ex-boyfriend’s deception. But Greta’s cheery resolve takes a hit when she stumbles upon a dead body on her way home from work. What she assumes is a terrible accident Greta soon learns is something more sinister, and to make matters worse, a new-to-town detective cites her as not only his primary source for the case, but his top suspect.
To clear her name and save her reputation, Greta decides to do some off-the-books clue cataloguing of her own. After all, asking questions is what she does best. With the help of her fellow librarians and her lawyer mom, Greta flips through the pages of the murder, uncovering details about Larkspur’s real estate market and the deceased’s rare book collection as she tries to understand why anyone would have authored his death.
With friends and neighbors stacking up as both victims and suspects, Greta must cross reference the facts and put a hold on her idyllic worldview if she wants to get the full story without paying the fine of her life.
I’ve been on such a mystery hype lately and I really hoped this would be better than it was. I’m sure listening to the audiobook had something to do with my disinterest in the story, but I got sent the second book without realising it was a series and the audiobook was the cheapest way for me to read this.
I personally believe that mystery books need a sense of danger. If you’re looking for a murderer, you’re probably going to get into some trouble. Greta does get pushed into a lake, but not even that felt dangerous nor did it feel like it had any consequence. Maybe I wasn’t paying full attention, I don’t know.
I did like the cast of characters. They were interesting and I loved that they all worked in a library together – hence the title ‘Death Checked Out’. Greta was probably my least favourite out of the three though, she was constantly complaining about what happened in her old town and saying how she couldn’t go back. I thought this meant she’d done something really bad, which would have been interesting, but no, her boyfriend cheated on her. That’s it.
I’d originally rated this book three stars but after sitting down to write this review, I don’t think I enjoyed it that much. It took me quite a while to get through as, I won’t lie, I forgot I was reading it. This happens to me a lot with audiobooks, I don’t know why.
I am going to be checking out the next instalment as I got sent an ARC of it, hopefully, I’ll enjoy it more in a written format.
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Like this post? Why not read this one too: Book Review: As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson