Death on the Shelf – Allison Brook

“‘I can’t believe it! This simply cannot be happening!’

We first met librarian Carrie Singleton in Death Overdue, where she met the library’s ghost, got tangled up in a murder, and then solves it – with a little help.

Life is going pretty well for Carrie, which is a nice place to start a cosy mystery. However, helping her best friend Angela organise her wedding, Carrie is soon caught up in family drama a-plenty – and when a wedding guest winds up dead, there are no shortage of suspects. Given neither Angela nor her fiancé can be excluded from that list, Carrie is soon back to sleuthing to clear her friends’ names.

This series, while not the strongest of my book-related cosy mystery reads, has improved as it continued, and there’s a lot to like here. For one, there’s the lack of annoyingly contrived obstructions: most of the characters are supportive of our heroine.

I also really liked that the mystery element is kept at the forefront. As with any cosy, it does wrap up a little too abruptly, but up until that point there’s a large suspect pool and plenty to keep you guessing.

On the downside, the wedding topic didn’t really capture my imagination, and the supporting cast is rather unmemorable – although the flip of that is that they do feel quite ‘real’ rather than two-dimensional with some ‘quirk’. I do think the library ghost who gives the series its name deserves a bigger role, though 😉

Overall, this was a sweet story, a nice light read, and a great continuation of the series.

NetGalley eARC: 320 pages / 35 chapters
First published: 9th November 2021
Series: Haunted Library book 5
Read from 15th-18th September 2021

My rating: 7/10

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