Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas, #2)” as Want to Read:
Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Miss Zukas and the Island Murders

(Miss Zukas #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  471 ratings  ·  29 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Miss Zukas and the Island Murders, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Miss Zukas and the Island Murders

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  471 ratings  ·  29 reviews

Sort order
Cynthia K
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: miss-zukas
I read three of this series in quick succession, and by the third I was warming up to the character, but, really, I could not identify with somebody who could, even in private, utter only "Faulkner" as her most heated swear word.
Lesley Looper
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, mystery
It's been a long time since I read a Miss Zukas mystery, and I enjoyed getting plugged back in. It was a light read, but with some interesting (and smart, some of them) twists and turns. And of course, I liked the library connections. I look forward to reading more in the series.
Ann Cooper
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fast read thriller, with well drawn characters and a beautifully evocative setting.
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
#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
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fiction-mystery
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
Feb 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Nathalie S
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, series
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.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

Elizabeth Olson
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-2011
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.
Ryan Mishap
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
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.
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fiction
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.
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Class reunion on foggy island? Murder, mystery, and mayhem? Let's go! Lot's of fun. Good pool-side read.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
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.
Pam Bales
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy, owned
Always a good read when Librarians have to solve murders.
Jun 21, 2012 added it
Passed on to me from Mom.
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rmr-project
It was better than the previous Miss Zukas mystery. But still an overload of details. Some breaks from character.
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
I like the characters. the one thing that I hate that is the earlier books are so hard to find.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Miss Zukas remains one of my favorite cozy mysteries.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!!!
Jul 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Another light local mystery.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Murder at Miss Zukas 20th H.S. reunion
rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2010
Blake Wehling
rated it did not like it
Oct 07, 2011
Noreen Trotsky
rated it liked it
Apr 26, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Death's Autograph (Dido Hoare, #1)
  • North Star Conspiracy (Glynis Tryon, #2)
  • Rex Libris, Volume I: I, Librarian (Rex Libris, #1-5)
  • Murder Can Spoil Your Appetite (Desiree Shapiro Mystery, #7)
  • Do Unto Others
  • File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks, #3)
  • The Fright of the Iguana (Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery, #5)
  • The Divine Circle of Ladies Courting Trouble (Cass Shipton, #4)
  • Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book: Book Care Guidelines from Library Secret Service
  • The Northbury Papers (A Karen Pelletier Mystery #2)
  • Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs (A Dixie Hemingway Mystery, #5)
  • Cooking the Books (Corinna Chapman, #6)
  • The Case of the Stolen Sixpence (Maisie Hitchins, #1)
  • A Midwinter's Tail (A Magical Cats Mystery, #6)
  • Butter Safe Than Sorry (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #18)

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


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)