The Broken Spine is the start of a new cozy mystery series about a librarian.
Whoever has heard of a bookless library? Not me. But apparently the first one opened in real life in 2014. Trudell is the assistant librarian at a small rural southern library. A new town manager decides to remodel Trudell’s library into a soulless bookless library. Worse, he is throwing away all the library’s books to make room for all the computers and tablets. When the man is found dead in the library crushed by a shelf of DVDs, Trudell is the number one suspect. She admits to being in the library seemingly alone with the victim at the time of the crime. She certainly has a clear motive. But she didn’t do it! Now she must find the real killer.
At the start of a new series, there is always a lot of background to go over. In many cases, that makes the characters feel somewhat one dimensional. That is the case with this book. In addition, the clues were a bit too obvious. However, I liked the setting, the humorous situations, and especially the cat. I will be looking for the next book in the series. 3 stars.
Thanks to Berkley, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
About The Broken Spine
The Broken Spine (A Beloved Bookroom Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (January 19, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B086SCQ639
The first in an exciting new series featuring Trudell Becket, a spunky librarian who will stop at nothing to save her beloved books and catch a killer!
Trudell Becket, book-loving librarian, finds herself in a bind when the library where she works is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless library. In a rare move of rebellion, Trudell rescues hundreds of her library’s beloved books slated for the recycle center. She sets up a secret book room in the library’s basement and opens it to anyone who shares her love of the printed book.
When the town councilman, who was the vocal proponent of the library’s transformation into a “futuristic technological center,” is crushed under an overturned shelf of DVDs, Trudell becomes the police’s prime suspect for his murder. She was the only person in the library at the time of his death, or so the police believe. But that’s not true. For the past month, Trudell had been letting a few dozen residents into the building through the basement entrance so they could read and check out the printed books.
But if she tells the police about the backdoor patrons who were in the library at the time of the murder, she’d have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books. In order to protect herself from being arrested for a murder she didn’t commit, Trudell–with the help of a group of dedicated readers–decides to investigate. She quickly discovers you can’t always judge a book by its cover.
About Dorothy St. James
Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.
Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.
* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”
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