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Better Off Read

(Bookmobile Mystery #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  276 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
When her best hope of saving her storm-damaged library is found murdered, senior librarian Cleo Watkins hits the road in her bookmobile in search of justice.

Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins won’t be shushed when an upstart young mayor threatens to permanently shelve her tiny town’s storm-damaged library. She takes to her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to collect allies
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books
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Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Better Off Read by Nora Page is the first book in the new cozy Bookmobile Mystery series. The story centers around Cleo Watkins who is a seventy five year old librarian who is willing to do anything to save her library when the mayor threatens closure.

After a storm damaged the main library Cleo took to the streets in her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to continue her lending habits and find support for her cause. But when a supporter of the library winds up dead Cleo puts her years of mystery read
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cleo Watkins is seventy-five and a librarian. Or, rather, she used to be one until a storm damaged the old Victorian mansion that served as the library for quaint Catalpa Springs, Georgia. And with the town's new boy-wonder mayor deciding to invest in a fishing pier instead of repairs, it's doubtful whether Cleo will be a librarian again. Not that she's ready to retire. For the time being, she serves her community with her bookmobile, with her ginger Persian, Rhett Butler, as her copilot. She ha ...more
Cleo is a seventy-five year old librarian in a small Southern town. After the library suffers storm damage, the mayor threatens to keep it closed. Cleo brings out the bookmobile, and looks for support to keep the library open. Plus, a local is found murdered, and Cleo's best friend is the prime suspect. Cleo stays busy with her librarian duties, and playing amateur sleuth to prove her best friend's innocence.

The 1st book in the Bookmobile mystery series. A charming town with eccentric character
Susan Furlong
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Better Off Read had everything I like in a cozy mystery: a charming setting, a smart amateur sleuth, well-developed characters and a furry sidekick. The mystery was well plotted with enough twists and red herrings to keep the story interesting. I especially enjoyed the protagonist, Cleo Hawkins, a spunky 70 + year old librarian who was the epitome of southern charm ... and a bit bad ass, too. All in all, this was a delightful mystery.

I received an early copy of this book for review.
Sherwood Smith
This cozy mystery is set in the tiny town of Catalpa Springs, Georgia and featuring seventy five year old librarian Cleo Watkins, often accompanied by her Persian cat, Rhett Butler. Cleo is working hard to save the local library, recently damaged, and driving a ricketty school bus bookmobile "Words on Wheels," .

Sleazy Mayor Jebson Day doesn't want to see the town spend the money to fix the library, instead he has plans to knock down the building and develop a huge fishing pier. The Mayor has the
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, cozy, e-books
A new author for me and the start of a new series with an unusual plot with creative parts. I have trouble at the beginning of the sentence had many adjectives slowing down the reading flow but at the time I was turning The pages very fast.The main characters were developed but others needed fleshing out. I did admire the tale and will read the next book. Recipe for hummingbird cake is included. I recommend this book.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Crooked Lane First for a review copy. The opinions e
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cleo’s library is damaged by a storm and her bookmobile bus is at the end of it’s life. The Mayor wants to close the library and the bookmobile. A man who is a major benefactor asks for all the books on getting away with murder and later he is fund dead. Cleo’s friend is blamed and Cleo sets out to prove her friend didn’t do it. Lots of adventures with the bookmobile and decades old secrets.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
A library with a 75-year-old librarian who still drives a bookmobile (and speeds while doing so)? The set-up for Nora Page's new series features that implausible scenario. The mayor of Catulpa Springs, Georgia,somewhere just north of the Florida state line, wants to do away with its tree-damaged library, its bookmobile, and its librarian. An antiquarian book collector and library friend's death turns suspicion to the man's neighbor. Cleo doesn't believe it and sets out to investigate. Not even R ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I loved this book! I haven't read such an enjoyable senior sleuth since Jessica Fletcher. Cleo is just awesome and this was an amazing first book for what I hope is a long series--so much fun!

Cleo Watkins drove the bookmobile bus in Catalpa Springs, GA a lot more now that a storm caused major damage to her beloved library. A local curmudgeon who wasn't well liked but was a library supporter had basically assured her he had a plan. But someone else had a plan for him, murder. Cle
Hand me a book with a lovely Georgia setting, a few corrupt citizens aligned against some honest folks, and combine it all with an enticing mystery, and I’m happy! The protagonist is a young 75 year old librarian—Cleo—who is strong, capable, and fun! When the town’s new mayor gets it in his craw that they need a fishing pier and casino and he’ll just cut out the funds for Cleo’s precious library and Words on Wheels bookmobile to pay for them, she’s determined to show him how misguided his plans ...more
Anna At A Wondrous Bookshelf
Better Off Read is the first book in the Bookmobile Mystery series. The main character, Cleo Watkins is a librarian who also runs a bookmobile, words on wheels, in the city of Catalpa Springs, Georgia. Cleo is desperately trying to fix the damaged library and prevent the young mayor, Jeb Day, from closing it down. Cleo soon comes across the body of an old patron, Buford Krandall, and evidence seems to point to her friend Mary-Rose, so Cleo decides to solve the murder on her own and clear the nam ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m yet to be completely sold on cosy mysteries but this was a moderately enjoyable read.

When the library is damaged, 75 year old librarian Cleo makes her rounds in her ‘bookmobile’ (a RV with books basically). At one of her stops, she finds the local bully dead. Cleo then turns sleuth when her friend and grandson are both pinged as suspects in his murder.

Better Off Read includes many of the must-haves of the cosy mystery. There’s the southern US small town setting, the plethora of colourful tow
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a fun first installment of the new Bookmobile Mystery Series. I enjoyed Cleo, her mobile library and her funny cat Rhett Butler. I felt bad for her as she went up against the young mayor of the town who wants to re-route her much needed library funds to repair storm damage to the town’s library. When one of the few library benefactors in town winds up dead things do get a little crazy. There was a lot going on in this story and maybe a tad too many characters to keep straight but all in ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
Arrgghh! I hate when I am disappointed by a book I so wanted to like! The whole premise of this book was likeable but missed the mark.

First, it was the main character, Cleo. She is an aging librarian, like 75! Not only is she working in the library, but she is driving the bookmobile!! Really?! My neighbors are in their 70s and very active, but they aren't nearly as Cleo is described.

Second, there was such an info dump that it overwhelmed and disconnected me from the story.

I was given an eARC b
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to be added in May in respect to the Publisher's wishes.
Kathy Martin
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When the progressive new mayor of Caltalpa Springs, Georgia, refuses to supply the funds to replace the roof on the historic public library, seventy-five-year-old librarian Cleo Watkins hops into her bookmobile to rally community support for the library. Her first stop is with Burford Krandall who is a local eccentric more known for making enemies than friends but a big supporter of the library.

Buford has a long-running feud with his next door neighbor and Cleo's best friend Mary Rose who runs a
I'm always up for a new mystery featuring a librarian or library. Nora Page's Better Off Read involves a bookmobile and a seventy-five-year-old librarian, Cleo Watkins.

Catalpha Springs, Georgia's mayor, Jeb Day, isn't interested in repairing the library's roof after a tree damages it during a storm. He'd rather use the city's money to build a fishing pier and turn the the town into a sport fishing destination. So, Cleo and the library cat, Rhett Butler, take to the roads in the only remaining li
Book Him Danno
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very pleasant read that has a vast cast of characters. However, the reader, is left with sorting the chaff in order to find the wheat. I am not ashamed to admit that I did not find the wheat until it was revealed to me. Although I do believe that some smoke and mirrors were used to find the mastermind behind the dastardly scheme. A satisfactory tale, which you will enjoy, if you prefer your murder mystery with little emphasis on the more lurid aspects of the murder or victim.

I have rated this
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A new series is something to always cheer for. I was eager to read this book and wasn’t disappointed. Cleo is my new friend. She is a delightful older gal who certainly doesn’t act her age. I had visions of Sophia from Golden Girls a couple of times when I was envisioning Cleo. Think Miss Marple meets Sophia and I would say that is Cleo. I was bummed by the victim but sometimes we like the victims. The mystery was easy to like, but not the easiest to solve. I love a mystery and setting that cent ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Better Off Dead is the first book in A Bookmobile Mystery series.

From reading the synopsis of this book I was looking forward to reading about 75-year-old Cleo Watkins, her bookmobile, and her attempt to save the Catalpa Springs library that was damaged in a storm.

But I found that I was repeatedly putting the book down. Although the characters were interesting, I just couldn’t get into the story.

I might try the next book in the series.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a promising start to a cozy series. Cute, not cutesy. Likeable characters, including the 75 year old librarian, her young protege, and police officer neighbor.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Better off Read is the debut of the A Bookmobile Mystery series set in the small town of Catalpa Springs, Georgia and featuring seventy five year old librarian Cleo Watkins and her Persian cat Rhett Butler. A recent storm has severely damaged the local library and Cleo is working hard to get the monies for its repair, and her ancient school bus bookmobile "Words on Wheels" is sounding like it's about ready for a new engine.

Mayor Jebson Day doesn't want to see the town spend the money to fix the
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Better Off Read by Nora Page is the first tale in A Bookmobile Mystery series. Cleo Watkins is the head librarian of the Catalpa Springs Public Library in Catalpa Springs, Georgia. Unfortunately, a storm recently downed a beautiful old tree right onto the library. Mayor Jeb Day does not wish to use city funds to revive the library (they have insurance). Instead, he wishes to make Catalpa Springs a fishing destination with a world class fishing pier and have a floating casino on Tallgrass River. ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is a solid, delightful, and intriguing start of a new series, Bookmobile Mystery #1. Cleo and Rhett drew me in from the beginning, and kept my attention throughout. Cleo, best friend Mary-Rose, young deputy Gabby, and best guy Henry are memorable – especially since three of the four are seniors. Ahem. I love seeing more cozy mysteries with folks of a certain age, and Cleo is more active and brilliant than many younger folks. Especially Mayor Jeb Day, who keeps trying to send Cleo off to ret ...more
RO G'ma
Better Off Read is the debut book in Nora Page’s Bookmobile Mystery series. The story moves along at a steady pace, the well-developed characters are somewhat quirky and delightful, and humor is disbursed throughout the book. There are lots of twists and turns and the final reveal came as a surprise. I’m looking forward to reading future books in this series.

Cleo Jane Watkins is a seventy-five year old librarian in Catalpa Springs, Georgia and known for her successful sleuthing. After a violent
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!! Occasionally I'm in the mood for a good cozy mystery, and just seeing the cover and description of this one made me want to read it right away. I love libraries, books, and pets and I also love a good cozy with an elderly "detective" (I'm obsessed with Murder She Wrote, for example), so I couldn't wait to read this one. Nora Page sets a perfect tone and scene in Catalpa Springs, Georgia. Septuagenarian widower Cleo, along with her "not boyfriend" Henry and various assorted s ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Better Off Read is a firsrt book in Bookmobile mystery series. It is a perfect cozy for me. It has smart sleuth, charming setting, quirky and funny characters and well crafted plot.
Retired librarian Cleo has her bookmobile that she uses to deliver books to readers. However her precious libarary is damaged and she realises that she can't expect any help from the mayor she decides to ask local eccentric for help. But when she goes to talk to him she finds out that someone has gotten to him first
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-georga
Librarian Cleo is not going to retire, and she's not going to let the obnoxious new mayor shut the library down, either. She turns to Buford Krandall, a rich eccentric, who promises to help her save the library, until she finds him murdered. Unfortunately, the main suspects are Cleo's best friend from childhood Mary-Rose, and Cleo's beloved, if directionless, grandson Ollie. Using her battered bookmobile as transportation (until the brake-line is cut), Cleo rallies public support with the help o ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You never know where books will take you.

Librarian Cleo Watkins, 75, is determined to keep Catalpa Springs library alive by driving Words on Wheels around to bookmobile stops every day while waiting on town officials to repair the storm damaged library building. Library supporter Buford Krandall is not well liked so when he ends up dead the celebration is one of 'thank goodness he's gone'. Cleo and her PT assistant, Leanna, find themselves facing a gun-toting town businessman and rescued by a ca
Emris Lindsay
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
An ingeniously crafted tale with strong and amusing characters, lending a captivating interest of intrigue to the storyline. Although this book started a bit dreary, with the insensitive money grabbing jerk of a Mayor, it soon changed its tune, when things became quite interesting for Cleo and her cat Rhett with the murder of their town’s most cantankerous resident. When her grandson became a suspect in the second murder, Ms. Cleo decided to seek answers before her he was sent to jail for a crim ...more
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Bookmobile Mystery (2 books)
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