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Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas #2)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  382 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The ever-conscientious Miss Helma Zukas of Bellehaven, Washington, is not one to renege on a promise—even one made hastily . . . and too long ago to possibly remember! So when an anonymous note in the morning mail reminds her of her vow to bring her high school classmates together for a twenty-year reunion, Miss Zukas hops to and begins organizing the perfect celebration . ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Avon
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Best Cozy Mystery Series
339th out of 1,221 books — 1,361 voters
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Books About Librarians
73rd out of 229 books — 421 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 580)
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Nathalie S
I hadn't read a Miss Zukas book in ages and it's just as good as I remember. Helma Zukas is a very proper and straight-laced librarian in Washington State. As a fellow librarian, I reveled in their staff meetings described by their head librarian as "Harmony circles".
Also, the following sign was a very good way to gauge when it's time to take your 15 minute break "WHEN A LIBRARIAN DELIGHTS IN GREETING THE PUBLIC WITH A 'NO', AWAY FROM THE REFERENCE DESK HE OR SHE MUST GO". I took this book as my
This is the first Miss Zukas book I've read, and I'll certainly read more. I enjoyed the fastidious and orderly Helma Zukas, even as I recognized that her inflexible, rule-bound personality would preclude me ever liking her a whole lot in real life. (I wouldn't dislike her, but she's certainly not someone I'd seek out as a friend.)

The mystery was revealed in suitably mystifying ways, the pace good and denouement well-crafted. Some mysteries go on far too long after we've reached the apex of the
Cynthia K
When I read the first Miss Zukas mystery, I enjoyed the way that the author revealed the personality of the heroine. It was an excellent example of showing instead of telling the reader. And what did she show? A fastidious librarian, very conservative in her tastes and actions. Helma (don't call her "Helm") Zukas likes things to be just so.
That is why I pictured Miss Zukas as my elder, someone with many years on me. Imagine my shock when I realized that Helma is my contemporary. This dawned on
#2 Helma Zukas mystery, featuring the intrepid librarian who lives in fictional Bellehaven, WA. Helma gets an anonymous letter reminding her that she promised to plan her 20-year high school reunion, and also hints that the death of a classmate after a basketball game their senior year may not have been an accident as was previously believed.

Since Helma was the class treasurer and invested their funds with her usual aplomb, she and her friend Ruth who also hails from back home, decide to invite
Helma Zukas is receiving anonymous letters. One writer wants her to keep her promise and organize her twentieth high school reunion; the other warns her that trouble awaits if she does. But she did promise, and so she brings her classmates to a small resort island off the coast of Washington, only to find that someone had cancelled the reservation and that the inn is not nearly ready for them. When one of the classmates is found dead, Helma and her friend Ruth realize that there's a murderer on ...more
I'm working my way through this series.
It's a nice surprise when the second book is better than the first one.
The way Helma Zukas' past is slowly revealed and her personality beyond her public persona are both fun to read.
I read this one while on the road, so I'm not sure if I followed all the little subplots, but I did like how she tied past and present together for a good mystery.
It's not deep, but it's fun.
Aug 14, 2008 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who likes libraries
Recommended to Barbara by: Nyoka the jungle girl
I really enjoyed the setting of a class reunion for this little mystery. I'm liking Miss Zukas and her pal Ruth, and the characters' past comes into play bringing the classmates in. I know I'm going to enjoy the whole series... with its subtle revelation of relationships, and the clueless geeky heroine.
Ryan Mishap
Miss Zukas is an impossible character but that's why we love mystery fiction: impossible creatures like Poirot inhabit that world and we can pretend such beings could exist in our world, though, one would hope, our world would have less people being bumped off for spurious reasons.
Helma Zukas, formerly of Scoop River, Michigan,and now a Northwest resident plans their 20th high school reunion in the San Juan Islands. Unsolved issues from high school crop up to make it a reunion to remember.

Tightly written--keeps one interested in a small book.
Elizabeth Olson
A cute & cuddly "cozy" mystery, starring a librarian whose sense of and desire for order leads her into solving murders, as well as organizing her high school reunion. Set in the Puget Sound area, this dryly humorous series is extra fun for locals.
I love Miss Zukas and her precise, prissy, persnickety self.

Imagining Helma as a high school student was interesting.

I missed this book when reading further in the series, and am happy to have caught up with her.
This series of books about librarian Helma Zukas is funny, funny, funny! I have read a number of them and enjoyed all of them. Helma gets into trouble while arranging her high school reunion in this one.

I just love Helma Zukas! I was laughing just a few pages into Chapter 1 when Miss Zukas is rearranging her fiction books into alphabetical order from Library of Congress order.
The mystery part was OK, if simplistic. I'd expect someone as exacting as Miss Zukas to know when to use "who" vs. "whom", even if the author & editors do not.
This is the second in the series. I thought I'd read the first, but I haven't ... ooops!!! Oh well, I'll read that next, but out of order bothers me!!!
It was better than the previous Miss Zukas mystery. But still an overload of details. Some breaks from character.
Class reunion on foggy island? Murder, mystery, and mayhem? Let's go! Lot's of fun. Good pool-side read.
I like the characters. the one thing that I hate that is the earlier books are so hard to find.
Death follows a college class reunion that Miss Zukas and her zany friend put together.
Miss Zukas remains one of my favorite cozy mysteries.
Jun 21, 2012 Marti added it
Passed on to me from Mom.
Aug 20, 2007 Missy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cozy readers
Shelves: cozymysteries
Miss Zukas is a hoot.
Another light local mystery.
Morgan marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2015
Heather marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2015
Vicki marked it as to-read
Oct 26, 2015
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I grew up in rural Michigan, greatly influenced by my Lithuanian roots. I'm one of those tedious people who wanted to write stories as soon as I learned to read, but believed I had to leave Michigan first. In fact, I couldn't wait to shake off that Michigan dust! Curiously, everything I write seems to have a connection to Michigan or my Lithuanian heritage.
I now live in the beautiful foothills of

More about Jo Dereske...

Other Books in the Series

Miss Zukas (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Miss Zukas and the Library Murders (Miss Zukas, #1)
  • Miss Zukas and the Stroke of Death (Miss Zukas, #3)
  • Miss Zukas and the Raven's Dance (Miss Zukas, #4)
  • Out of Circulation (Miss Zukas, #5)
  • Final Notice (Miss Zukas, #6)
  • Miss Zukas in Death's Shadow (Miss Zukas, #7)
  • Miss Zukas Shelves the Evidence (Miss Zukas, #8)
  • Bookmarked to Die (Miss Zukas, #9)
  • Catalogue of Death (Miss Zukas, #10)
  • Index to Murder (Miss Zukas, #11)

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