Spuddie's Reviews > Miss Zukas and the Library Murders

Miss Zukas and the Library Murders by Jo Dereske
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's review
Dec 24, 2008

really liked it
Read in September, 2009

#1 Helma Zukas mystery. Wilhelmina "Helma" Zukas, a thirty-something librarian working in a smallish seaside town in Washington State, is a very precise woman. So when she is a little late for work one morning (she knocked over a houseplant when she went back into the apartment to make sure she'd drawn the blinds--and had to clean it up) only to find a police car parked in HER spot, she's a little put out. Arriving inside, she finds that there's a murdered body in the Mo-Ne aisle of the fiction stacks--not one of their regulars, thank heavens! Helma takes it as almost a personal affront and sets off doing a parallel investigation to the police. As I said, Miss Zukas is very precise--so while she doesn't actually out-and-out lie to the police, she does omit some very pertinent information that she observed/gleaned during the course of the investigation.

I was a little leery of this book as I've had bad experiences with most cozy mysteries of late, but I actually liked this one. Miss Zukas obviously has a touch of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and could keep company with Mr. Monk without too much trouble I think. LOL But although she's rather rigid and epitomizes the 'spinster librarian' stereotype, there is an undercurrent of wry humor and her bawdy friend Ruth rather offsets Helma's prim and properness. I did have one of my 'gut feelings' about the bad guy, but didn't figure out the hows and whys of the mystery until closer to the end. I've already set out to procure the second one in this series. B+

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