Jun 102016

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am taking part in the Alphabet Soup Challenge and I needed a book that had a word in the title that started with “Z”. “Z” “Q” and “X” are treated differently that the other letters where the first word of the title has to start with the letter. During my search I found the mysteries by Jo Dereske that feature Miss Zukas. The first book in the series, Miss Zukas and the Library Murders was first published by Avon/Harper Collins back in 1994. So we are going way back for this Flashback Friday. I found my copy on PaperbackSwap but it was also released as an e-book in 2009. There are used paperback copies also available on Amazon.

miss zukas library murders
Miss Zukas and the Library Murders
(Miss Zukas Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington
Avon; First Paperback Original edition (March 1, 1994)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0380770304
E-Book Avon/HarperCollins (November 4, 2009)



When a dead body turns up right in the middle of the fiction stacks, the police are baffled. But Helma Zukas, who never fails to make note of the slightest deviation from the norm of everyday life, is tracking some baffling questions of her own. With the help of her not-so-proper best friend, Ruth, a six-foot-tall bohemian artist with a nose for gossip and a penchant for getting into trouble, the two are soon in hot pursuit of the truth… and getting lose enough to find they’re about to become the killer’s next victims.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Helma Zukas is a no nonsense woman, some would call her uptight, or obsessive compulsive, I call her entrenched in her ways. She does remind me of a few librarians back in the day. Hair in a bun, glasses set perfectly on her nose, clothes that cover and do not enhance her figure. She is only 36 but she is who she is and there is no changing her. She also has a keen attention to detail and that makes her a great amateur sleuth. Her best-friend, Ruth, is the total opposite of Helma in every way. She is the perfect Watson to Helma’s Sherlock.

I really enjoyed this mystery. A dead body in the library gives us a fantastic start. Helma is drawn to investigate because the murder has brought disorder to her very orderly life. The police don’t seem to have any suspects. When Helma finds a clue in the city directory she decides to figure things out for herself before sharing anything with the police. This probably wasn’t her brightest idea. There were several suspects and I missed some important clues because I put it together just before the killer was revealed.

Helma may not be the kind of main character we are used to reading about in cozy mysteries today. Maybe that is why I liked her, she is different. I even found her quite funny at times in a dry humorous kind of way.

This was a fast read, not overly complex, with interesting characters.  The “Z” book for my challenge is complete. I plan to read the next one, Miss Zukas and the Island Murders, for the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge next year. 

enjoyable 2016


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My paperback copy is not in a condition where I would share it with you for a giveaway.

So I have decided to give 1 E-Copy away.
If the price rises to over $5.25 on Amazon the prize will be an Amazon Gift Card for $5.25

The book will be sent to the winner directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 24, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Find out more about Jo Dereske on her webpage here>.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

  6 Responses to “Flashback Friday – #Review / #Giveaway – Miss Zukas and the Library Murders by Jo Dereske”

  1. I love the Miss Zukas series and I was sorry to see it end. I just thought of a nice touch the books had and that was the paper cutting Helma did while she thought the mystery through. I was always kind of sad when she threw her little masterpiece out.

  2. I loved the Miss Zukas books and read ever one. Was sorry when the series ended. Thanks for calling attention to her excellent books!

  3. I like the setting of this cozy. I worked in a library as a custodian for 20 years, and the stories I could tell. I’m looking forward to reading this. Thanks for this opportunity.

  4. What a wonderful cover, so spooky and enticing at the same time. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

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