Kimberly's Reviews > Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay
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really liked it
bookshelves: cozy-mystery, first-to-read, penguin-first-to-read, read-2016

I received this book as part of the First to Read program with Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.

Local librarian, Lindsey Norris, has decided to give all of her patrons a fresh start by holding an amnesty day at the library. Books that are overdue can be turned in and fines will be overlooked. Little did she realize that this idea would be incredibly successful as well as open up an old mystery. Many books are anomalously returned, included a copy of Catcher in the Rye that has been checked out for the past twenty years. After looking at the records, they discover that the book was loaned to a school teacher named Candice Whitley. She just so happened to check the book out on the day she was murdered. Along with a few breakins around town, Lindsey has the feeling that the person who returned the book is the culprit who is trying to finally get rid of the evidence.

This is book number seven in the Library Lover's Mystery and a great addition to the series. You can easily read this as a stand alone book, but I feel that the reader would be more connected and understanding of the character's actions if they had a bit more background story.

All of our favorite characters make an appearance in this book. Mary's secret becomes public knowledge and Lindsey finally makes a decision about her love life and bravely leaps into a relationship that leaves the entire town of Briar Creek talking. There's the addition of a couple new characters who also join the Crafternoon group. I think they will bring a new dynamic to the series and I'm anxious to see how McKinlay develops their storylines. My favorite character is the children's librarian, Beth! She wasn't in too many scenes this time, but the ones she did make an appereance in kept me smiling. You have to love someone who will walk around in an elephant suit!!

The story was fairly evenly divided between character development and investigating the clues. The mystery was really well written and paced. I liked the correlation brought up that librarians make good sleuths because they are always determined to seek answers. I was kept guessing until the very end of the book and was actually surprised once the culprit was revealed. Definitely a bittersweet murder for several of the people who were close to Candice and have been plagued by her sudden death all of these years.

I was a bit concerned towards the end because Lindsey is adamant that she will no longer jeopardize her relationships. In doing so, she vows a couple times to no longer become involved in future investigations. That statement as well as the announcement of her relationship almost felt like the conclusion of the series. I really hope that's not the case though!!

At the end of the book, you will find a few ideas on how to start your own book group. There's a few reader's guide questions for The Catcher in the Rye, a craft project and several recipes. A preview of the next Hat Shop Mystery is also included. Overall, this was a wonderful book and an enjoyable read. If you are a fan of the author's other series, you will appreciate the part where she briefly mentions the Cupcake series!
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Reading Progress

September 21, 2016 – Shelved
September 21, 2016 – Shelved as: cozy-mystery
September 25, 2016 – Started Reading
September 30, 2016 – Shelved as: first-to-read
September 30, 2016 – Shelved as: penguin-first-to-read
October 11, 2016 –
page 117
October 15, 2016 –
page 249
October 16, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
October 16, 2016 – Finished Reading

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