Sep 122019
 

Buried in the Stacks: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

About the Buried in the Stacks


Buried in the Stacks: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643851381
ISBN-13: 978-1643851389
Digital ASIN: B07NKPTL81

Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her–and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered–run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Like many communities, Clover Ridge is dealing with a homeless population. Because of the winter weather, many spend their days at the library. Carrie learns of a group that has purchased a vacant house in hopes to open Haven House, a daycare type center for the homeless. Carrie is excited about the venture and joins their committee and offers the library meeting room for future meetings. Sadly she learns it may all be just a scam.

Carrie has also become the library’s new Sunshine Delegate and immediately gets a call that research librarian took a fall and is in the hospital. When Carrie arrives for her visit, Dorothy tells her the fall was no accident. She believes her husband is trying to kill her just like he killed her aunt, the library’s resident ghost Evelyn. Dorothy is subsequently killed when her car is forced off the road. Evelyn begs Carrie to find the killer but Evelyn is holding something back. Carrie knew Dorothy was not happy when Carrie got the job she wanted, but Evelyn finally reveals Dorothy had a long list of enemies which translates to a long list of suspects. Carrie isn’t a cat and only has one life, she hopes by the time the killer is found she doesn’t become the second ghost haunting the library.

___

I have enjoyed this series from the start. Carrie has evolved so much from punk rocker chick the arrived in Clover Ridge to an almost sedate librarian. She and her cat Smokey Joe are settling in and she is patiently waiting for her boyfriend Dylan to settle down closer to home too. Her father has also turned his life around. We learn that most of the library staff has secrets. Secrets Dorothy knew about and may have been using to her advantage. Evelyn is still my favorite. She is a very friendly ghost that any library would be happy to have.

The author introduces readers to a few of the homeless taking shelter within the library. My heart broke for an elderly couple who had lost everything. It really brought home the reality of how close many people are to becoming homeless. Carrie handled things perfectly and used her resources/ her uncle to help them as much as she could. I applaud Ms. Brook for taking on hot community issues of mental health and homelessness and twisting things up a bit to fit her story but then gave us hope many places could emulate.

The mystery was a tricky one to solve as more and more suspects came to light. I am surprised someone hadn’t taken out the cranky broad before this. I was very intrigued when Dorothy’s case opened up new questions about Evelyn’s death.

Carrie was also trying to solve a second mystery surrounding Haven House. The cases did cross over in places but Carrie had a few moments when I wanted to jump into the book and stop her from what she was doing. She is a great planner for library programming but when she is snooping she tends to plow straight ahead without thinking things through.

A well-written story full of twists that was a lot of fun to read. The characters are believable and leaped off the page.

Be aware when you start reading the books in this series they are hard to put down. I do recommend reading all three in order but the author has written them so they can each be read on their own.

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You can read my review of Death Overdue here and Read and Gone here

About Allison Brook

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

Website  Amazon Page   Facebook     Goodreads    Twitter   Pinterest

Purchase Links

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 10 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 10 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST – Sapphyria’s Books
September 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 11 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 12 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 12 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 13 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 13 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
September 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
September 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
September 16 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
September 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
September 19 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
September 20 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 20 – View from the Birdhouse – 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.”

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Sep 202018
 

Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

About the Book


Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317340
Digital ASIN: B078M7MXGR

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?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Author Links

Website  Amazon Page   Facebook     Goodreads    Twitter   Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  BookBub

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.
~MJB Reviewers

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. . .
~Rosepoint Publishing

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!
~Storeybook Reviews

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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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
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.”

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Oct 242017
 

Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313861
E-Book ASIN: B06XW3MGZC

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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Carrie Singleton never stays in one place too long but when she is offered a job coordinating the library’s programs and events she just can’t turn it down. Her first program features Al Buckley, a retired cop who is trying to solve the 15 year old murder of Laura Foster, a library aide. Before he can get to far into his presentation he falls to the floor, dead. The medical examiner rules his death a homicide by poison and the police have very few leads.

Carrie feels his death is partly her fault. Her boss had reservations about the program but Carrie pushed for it to go on as planned. Carrie is sure his death is connected to the library aide’s death all those years ago. Determined to find the killer and with a little help from her new library friend, who happens to be a ghost, she strives ahead with her own investigation. The closer she gets to the truth  the closer she gets is to finding herself “checked out” permanently.

I really enjoyed this story. I liked Carrie and her aunt and uncle immediately. They are good people that try to see the best in everyone. Evelyn, the library ghost stole my heart. She appeared whenever Carrie needed her. I could picture her so clearly she felt as real to me as the living characters. We meet several of the library employees, they are quite a group. We also meet the family of Laura Foster and Carrie’s new landlord. The author twists things up a bit in the romance department for our protagonist and I loved it.

The library where most of this story takes place sounds amazing. It is a happening place with all kinds of programs and events, more than any library I have been to. I wish we had a library like it nearby. A secondary scene is the guest house Carrie is renting. It also sounds amazing with its rooms, amenities and views. One view being the hunky landlord.

The entire story is very well written. It flows nicely and at times is very hard to put down. I liked the interesting and unexpected twists and the edge of your seat moments.

Ms. Brook is off to a great start with this series and I am very excited for the next installment.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

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.

Author Links

Website Amazon page  Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter  Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N

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.”

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