Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery)
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643858904
ISBN-13 : 978-1643858906
Kindle ASIN : B094GN61WT
An icy cold murder and a library patron collide in Holly Danver’s second Lakeside Library Mystery.
A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.
After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.
As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?
With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?
Winters in northern Wisconsin can be brutal and definitely aren’t for everyone but Rain Wilmot decides it is the perfect place for her. She plans to make it her year-round home and keep her family’s Lofty Pines Library open so that everyone in the area will be able to check out books to snuggle up with on the cold winter days and nights. She is already meeting new people like Wallace Benson. Wallace plans to take part in the annual chili dump that takes place during the Ice Fishing Jamboree. He just needs to find the right recipe and Rain shows him the library has plenty of cookbooks to choose from. She sends him on his way promising to check his entry out on the big day.
The Ice Fishing Jamboree opens with plenty of ice shanties out on the lake and Rain notices Wallace’s prime spot. But soon chaos erupts when a woman breaks through the crowd claiming her husband has been murdered and she points her finger at Rain’s friend and neighbor Nick as the murderer. Rain soon realizes the woman is saying that her new friend Wallace is dead. Why would Nick kill Wallace? Heck, Nick wouldn’t kill anyone. Looking around she sees a whole crowd of suspects. She has to help her friends. Nick’s wife Julia needs support especially when her brother Jace has been pulled off the case. Hopefully, the three of them can cast a line and catch the real killer, and set Nick free. That is if the killer doesn’t catch her first . . .
After living here my whole life it is not hard to imagine the weather the characters experienced in this book. This year we had a pretty mild winter where I live in Wisconsin but I know that wasn’t the case up north. It was fun to slip into Rain’s world while snuggled up in a comfy chair with a blanket knowing I wasn’t going to have to deal with the blustery wind, blowing snow and frigid temperatures she was dealing with while crossing my fingers we are really headed to spring and have no big storms in our future. Aside from the weather outside, Rain’s family cabin and library would be a place I could easily call home. Ms. Danvers’s descriptions really take her readers inside this marvelous place effortlessly. The fire in the fireplace, the books on the shelves, the coffee brewing. A grand place in the woods perfect for a booklover.
In the last book, Murder at the Lakeside Library, I thought Julia was a really pushy woman. This time, because her husband is the prime suspect, she is a bit more subdued by the shock of what is happening around her. I liked seeing this vulnerable side and her letting Rain be the strong one. Don’t get by wrong, Julia still pushed, just not as hard or the over the top way she had before. Marge, who usually heads south for the winter just couldn’t stay away knowing the library was open. I loved that she returned. Both Rain and Julia needed her.
Rain’s sleuthing did make me a little nervous but she really shined in this story. She is still finding her way and reconnecting with people but she seems much more comfortable now. She has more confidence. I love that she is making the cabin her home and I love all the ideas she has for the library including a new wood stove. A stove that has bought a new young man into Rain’s life setting up the dreaded romantic triangle found in most cozy mysteries. Some people hate them but I enjoy them when done right. I really like Jace but Ryan is very nice too. Time will tell where these romantic ties will go and if I will be Team Jace or Team Ryan.
I was sad that Wallace was our victim. He seemed like such a nice man that was clearly working through something. He was so excited about both the chili and ice fishing contests. The mystery surrounding his death evolved slowly over the course of the book with Rain and Julia taking some real risks and making Jace a little crazy. The killer wasn’t thrilled by their actions either and tried to make that known. I solved this one pretty easily but was still very entertained following all the clues with the girls. The ending was super exciting and had me at the edge of my seat. I loved it!
Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library was a delightful addition to this series. The characters continue to evolve and become even more engaging. The Wisconsin setting is a big draw for me too. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.
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About Holly Danvers
Holly Danvers grew up devouring every mystery novel on the shelf of her local library. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and 3 chickens, where she’s already plotting her next novel.
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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.”