Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook
Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.
A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.
Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.
Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?
The story starts out with a nice housewarming party with friends and lots of food, then everything goes crazy 🙂 Carrie wakes up to find an intruder in her house that turns out to be Jim, her father. He is only there for one thing, Carrie’s help to get back his share of gems from a heist from several years ago. His partner in crime, Benton Parr, a local jeweler, agreed to hide the loot until Jim came for it. Well, Jim wants it and hopes Carrie smooth the way. Carrie agrees to contact the man to get her dad out of her house.
But, the next time she hears from her dad it is to get him out of jail. Benton Parr was murdered and good ole’ dad was found standing over the body. If that isn’t enough, Carrie learns that the case her new boyfriend Dylan is working on is recovering the very same gems her father had stolen. Was he only leading her on to track down her father? Did he only rent to her in the hopes her dad would drop by? Bad enough, Dylan travels so much for his job, was he avoiding her or was he really working? Is anything about their relationship real?
Carrie’s whole life has been turned inside out. Thankfully she can escape to her job at the library with Smokey Joe. Maybe she will be able to track down the gems herself. What does that mean for her relationship with Dylan? What will that mean to the relationship with her dad? Does she want to have a relationship with her dad?
OMG! I started this book and I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until early in the morning to finish it all in one sitting.
The first couple of chapters felt off, forced, not what I expected from this author. I was worried. But then the story started to flow and the author exceeded my expectations.
The characters in this series are so clearly written. Carrie, her aunt, and uncle are so genuine. They try to see the best in everyone and are truly there for each other. Her dad returning is quite a shock but his brother and his wife take him in for a while until he moves in with Carrie. Evelyn is a unique character in that, she is a ghost. A very well dressed and coiffed ghost, who appears in the most opportune moments and can only be seen by Carrie and one other person. She gives Carrie “food for thought” and adds a few laughs to the story. I had an aunt the was named Evelyn and the Evelyn in this story reminds me very much of her. She passed on several years ago and to my knowledge she doesn’t haunt anyone though. 🙂 Carrie’s cat Smokey Joe has become the library cat. The patrons love him. As for Dylan, he gets in some hot water with Carrie this time and in my mind, he deserves being there.
The author takes these wonderful characters and twists and turns them around in a marvelous mystery. There is a treasure trove of suspects, the man had enemies. His family and a few “friends” had means, motive, and opportunity. Carrie’s dad is the perfect suspect but she knows he is being set up. There is a very well embedded subplot to the story that adds interest too, how it ended both warmed and broke my heart.
Christmastime in Clover Ridge, Connecticut sounds absolutely delightful. There are plenty of programs at the library including carolers and choirs performing. Carrie is doing very well in her job as the head of programs and events and the town is very happy she decided to make her home in Clover Ridge.
This story reads very well on its own, but if you haven’t read Death Overdue, it has a Halloween theme and there is no time like the present to start this series from the beginning so you can get to know Carrie and the residents of Clover Ridge from the start.
I highly recommend this one. Be sure to plan accordingly, you may have a late night and a book hangover the next day, but it is so worth it!
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About 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.
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At the time I was creating this post I noticed Death Overdue was just #1.99 for Kindle.
Praise for Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook
If you are looking for an entertaining cozy mystery with friendly characters and an adorable cat, then look no further than Read and Gone.
~The Avid Reader
The author does an amazing job of bringing this small town to life. It was a quick read for me. The storyline is filled with mystery, adventure, and romance mixed into one captivating read.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
A charming small town with a copious cast of characters, a small-town library with a surprisingly robust staff list, a feisty library cat with his own plans and plots, and the former head librarian who is haunting her old digs (whom only Carrie and her young cousin can see).
~Reading Is My SuperPower
Enterprisingly plotted, the mystery certainly had me guessing throughout.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies
The mystery was well plotted and was carried on well throughout the entire book. With numerous killings and twists and turns, it was not an easy mystery to solve.
Read and Gone the second in the Haunted Library Mystery series by Allison Brook was a quick entertaining read perfect for the busy holidays.
~Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
I loved the holiday setting, as Carrie and the library staff prepared for Christmas.
~View from the Birdhouse
A perfect sit by the fire and Christmas tree read.
I enjoyed it. I think you will too.
~My Reading Journeys
I love the recurring characters (and the new cat!) and this is a series that I know I will be reading as soon as a new book comes out (pre-order is my friend for certain series and this is going to be added to that list!) 10/10
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog
. . . it is entertaining for those who appreciate the cozy mystery genre, felines with their felonies, and amateur women sleuths. . .
A pleasurable read, READ AND GONE is a well-plotted enjoyable mystery focusing on family relations as well as murder!
~Cozy Up With Kathy
This book was a fast read, but it had so many twists and turns packed into it to keep you reading late into the night . . .
~The Montana Bookaholic
The author throws quite a few characters into the mix as suspects and when the real killer is revealed I was surprised. This person wasn’t really on my radar!
I was absolutely hooked from page one unable to put it down as the story unfolded. The relatable characters, fabulous setting, and elaborate mystery all combine into this incredible novel with a library theme.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
With multiple mysteries to solve and a shady cast of secondary characters, this installment continues to showcase the upbeat and lighthearted nature of cozies. Even with an insightful ghost lurking around, very few clues are made available within this multilayered and well-plotted mystery.
~That’s What She’s Reading
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September 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 13 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW
September 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Reading Authors – REVIEW
September 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 18 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
September 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 19 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 20 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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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.”